Ideas: Mentally stimulating toys for a non-food motivated dog... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Ideas: Mentally stimulating toys for a non-food motivated dog...

Ok let me explain. Titan is on toy restriction, meaning he doesn't get full access to his toys. I did this because he is so insanely "toy" driven that if the toys are out he will not settle down inside. He also isn't the type to play with a toy by himself. All he wants to do is fetch fetch fetch.. so basically any toy that I bring out he will just bring it to me to fetch with... no matter what it is. If it's a stuffed toy and I don't throw it he will destroy it instead. I have, on occasion, left him a squeak toy when I leave for work, and it's always relocated when I come home. What he does with it, I have no idea.

Titan is not food motivated. I do have one high value treat that he goes bonkers for, but it's not something I would like him to have all the time. So I usually just use those for obedience training. He isn't into raw hides unless there is another dog that is chewing on one. He likes marrow bones and antlers on occasion.

I would like to leave him something when I go to work, as he is here all by himself. Right now I leave him a nylabone dental chew, that he doesn't really pay attention to as far as I know. When I have marrow bones he gets one during the day. But I really would like to give him something else to do. I thought of a Kong, but he had one and treated it like a ball, though I never put food in it because he really isn't food motivated at all. Someone suggested putting his breakfast in there so he has to work for his food.

Does anyone have any ideas as far as mental stimulating toys for a dog like Titan?

v/r,

Whitney
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 03:37 PM
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If he is more motivated for his kibble then I'd try the Kong idea. My dog also isn't very food motivated (he'd never work for food out of a kong) but he lovessss his antlers and they last forever.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 04:02 PM
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I like toys that can be filled with small amounts of peanut butter or kibble that take a long time to remove. Kongs are good, also a Buster Cube, but that requires an interest in food.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 05:00 PM
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I would think if he is toy driven, and you combined a toy and food (like a food stuffed Kong) then he'd self reward as he played with the toy even if the food wasn't the motivation for playing alone.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilie View Post
I would think if he is toy driven, and you combined a toy and food (like a food stuffed Kong) then he'd self reward as he played with the toy even if the food wasn't the motivation for playing alone.
The only problem I see with that is that he doesn't like to just sit there with a toy and play with it. It's either a chew, or we play fetch. Maybe he would if I wasn't there. I will have to give it a try and see if all the food is gone when I get home.. at least I will know that way if he is interested in it.

v/r,

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GatorDog View Post
If he is more motivated for his kibble then I'd try the Kong idea. My dog also isn't very food motivated (he'd never work for food out of a kong) but he lovessss his antlers and they last forever.
I will have to give antlers a try again. I tried hooves once. He seemed to really like those but they smell so awful I couldn't stand it any more.

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Originally Posted by LuvShepherds View Post
I like toys that can be filled with small amounts of peanut butter or kibble that take a long time to remove. Kongs are good, also a Buster Cube, but that requires an interest in food.
I tried this when he was a puppy and no such luck.. but maybe it is different now that he's older.. I will probably just give it a try. I just want to find something for him to do while I'm gone other than just lay around and be bored, as I'm sure he is because he has such an incredible amount of energy all the time. I'll have to look at the Buster Cube, I've never heard of it.

v/r,

Whitney
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 08:53 AM
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The good thing about food drive is you can make it much higher by just feeding him less.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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Oh how I wish that were true for my boy. You can argue this point with me (not asking to, lol, just saying) but when we were going through his whole picky food stage and all that.. he would go days without eating.. the most was 6. Drank water, same personality, healthy, but no eating.. on pure dang principle. Once the food was changed, instantly back to eating. did this repeatedly until we found BBW Duck. And I am slowly starting to see a rise in his food motivation but only to soft treats.. anything crunchy will take him about 20 minutes of it sitting in front of him for him to finally go, ok fine I'll eat.

Though recent discovery, we were at a friend's place and Titan discovered their dog's Kong and wouldn't put it down. I think initially he wanted us to throw it, and probably still thought about it the whole time but he just sat there chomping on it in his jaws (not chewing trying to break it, just sitting it in his mouth biting down multiple times.) He looked like he loved it. SO I think we might be getting somewhere. I had a friend that lined with Peanut Butter and stuffed kibble in there, maybe I could sub with soft treats, froze it and whenever she leaves she hides them and tells her's to find it and leaves. like a game with instant reward. I may give it a go... gave him a marrow bone the other day and he has been in heaven since. Lol.

Thanks again for the suggestions guys!! If you have any more, keep them coming!

v/r,

Whitney
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 05:02 AM
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Hi there. It sounds like you are starting to get somewhere with your boy. One of our puppy Nzo's favorite toys is a plastic hollow ball with a sliding door that allows you to open or close the hole into the ball. Nzo will happily push this around the floor so that the kibble inside slowly falls out of the hole. It keeps him occupied and stimulated and gives him a reward. Not sure if it would work for your boy if he is not food motivated but it is great fun for him to play with.

Another thing he has is a rubber bone that has an outer cover with holes in it and an inner sponge. You can soak the bone in water and then freeze it. Obviously there is no food involved here but the water does come out of the bone as it thaws and as the bone is chewed and its a different toy for him to play with, especially when its hot.

Hope you find something soon.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Renmure View Post
Another thing he has is a rubber bone that has an outer cover with holes in it and an inner sponge. You can soak the bone in water and then freeze it. Obviously there is no food involved here but the water does come out of the bone as it thaws and as the bone is chewed and its a different toy for him to play with, especially when its hot.
Thank you Do you happen to have the name of the bone?? sounds like something he might like.

v/r,

Whitney
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