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-   -   Young puppy, encouraging use of toys... (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/puppy-behavior/411810-young-puppy-encouraging-use-toys.html)

Serbrider 02-16-2014 12:30 PM

Young puppy, encouraging use of toys...
 
So, my pup is 6 and a half weeks old. Before anyone says anything, she is still with her litter, as I definitely do not want to miss out on that puppy socialization with her littermates, but I am able to see her anytime I want, and have had her for a good long time this weekend (again, still with her litter).

She's incredibly social and smart, already will walk by my side, crate trained, and 95% house trained (have to take her out as soon as you let her out of the crate or she is likely to just pee, but she knows what to do). She loves people and loves to play... With people.

She will play some with toys, but for the most part, ignores them in favor of me or her littermates. She will chew on anything I am wearing, and try to play tug with it, but despite all my efforts to prove otherwise, toys just aren't as fun.

I know it takes time. And I'm not expecting a miracle. :p

I guess I'm wondering, since I don't want to discourage her biting inanimate objects at this age, or mouthing me (bites I do yelp and pull my hand away, and she is getting better at getting softer with her mouth), but at some point really soon I need to transfer that drive to a moving rope or stuffing-less toys, or do on... But I'm not sure how to increase her interest. I try to make a big deal over it, she stares at me, then goes after my shirt arm. I try to throw it, no recognition (could definitely be age), I try a quick transfer of items... Still no desire.

So, without punishing play at this age, how do I go about transferring it from my clothes to her toys? I don't want her to think play is bad and should overall be discouraged, but I want her to get interest in those toys FIRST before I might add in some discouragement with my shirt arm or shoelaces (on me, she ignores them if off of me).


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Baillif 02-16-2014 02:53 PM

You need to stick to soft items that the puppy can squish and cause an effect on. They like having an effect on stuff. On the flip side if the puppy bites for you you need to be as nonreactive and boring as possible even if it hurts a little. If you squirm they will have fun with it and continue.

Blanketback 02-16-2014 03:11 PM

I had lots of fun with my puppy, using one of those very small tennis balls that you can find in the cat toy department. But be very careful to only use it for about a week, lol. By the time my puppy was 10 weeks old he had outgrown it, and it could have become a choking hazard.

Serbrider 02-16-2014 03:25 PM

Young puppy, encouraging use of toys...
 
I don't squirm when puppies bite, even when it's hard. If too much I will yelp and quietly remove myself from any position.

All toys she has now are soft. Stuffed animals, braided tshirt ropes, other rope toys, a cotton terry rag, and similar. And I try and make them as fun as possible, making a big deal over them, etc, and ignoring anything with the rest, to make it as boring as possible.

Just my luck, second dog I've owned that is EXTREMELY food motivated and toys do very little, despite my best efforts and trying every toy possible.

Serbrider 02-16-2014 03:31 PM

No squeaky toys yet, next on my list to get at the store, as well as stuffing a plastic bottle in a sock... She does like that crunchy sound.


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Tratkins 02-16-2014 03:47 PM

Try rubbing a dab of peanut butter on the new toys (even the plush ones...just wash them). It will get her interested and she will continue mouthing the toy when the PB is gone. Worked great with my new pup!


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