Entertaining The Schnauzer Mind

Author: Diane R Mitchell
Originally Published in GPSSC Der Schnurrbart Winter 2007
     Winter is here! It is really cold outside and neither you nor your faithful companion want to go outside, but your companion is not happy because there is nothing to do indoors. So, how do you alleviate the boredom?
​      How about Obedience or Agility class? For those who will venture to drive in this wonderful weather, I suggest taking a class together. If that is not an option, what else can you possible do?
     Well, here are a few ideas…
​      If you own a treadmill, teach your schnauzer to use it. The method I use is to hold the dog’s leash and use food as a reward. Start the belt moving slowly and don’t let the dog go off the front or sides of the machine. Once the dog is reasonably comfortable, speed up the belt. If you have a show dog, I recommend finding the perfect movement you want in the ring and keeping the machine on that speed. Slowly increase the time the dog is on the machine as they build muscle to go with the exercise.
​      If you don’t have a treadmill, how about teaching your dog a new trick? Teaching some tricks are not easy, but each dog has it’s own talent, so use what the good Lord gave you to work with. Here are some examples
​      Isee is very springy and loved to jump on me. I used that ability and while holding a treat in my mouth, caught her as she jumped up for it. I did this until she learned that if she jumped on command she would get a treat.
​     I remember 14 years ago, trying to teach Music a trick of shaking hands, but she always put her paw up to mine when I held it straight up like I was doing a High Five, she refused to let me actually shake her paw, so I stuck with the High Five. Promise paws at my hand when she wants petted, so I am teaching her the same trick.
     Music would also stand on her hind legs trying to get a treat from me, so I just moved the treat behind her head, so that she had to turn around. This eventually evolved into the Dance.
     My first schnauzer loved to take anything we had handled and carry it in her mouth. I taught her to carry the outgoing mail to the mail box. She felt important because she was doing a job!
​      So, take those natural talents of your favorite furry friend and teach them a trick or two. It will occupy some of their time and keep them out of trouble!