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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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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.

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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