Question about Toys - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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Question about Toys

I'm a first time GSD owner and we just brought home our new 8 wk old pup a few days ago, Lexi.

Our breeder has bred two of her most calm, low key, kind dogs and that is why we got on this litter. That is exactly what we wanted which is why we picked this litter. I am very happy with her temperament.

One of the things my breeder told me, and that I have seen online in training videos, is that the toys should be ours. i.e. we don't leave them on the ground with her, so that when a toy comes out it is only when WE are playing with her with the toy. That way it really is a great reward, and she is always excited to play and we are super special to her. So we have been doing that...and just leaving nylabones and a kong tire, and other similar items around for her on the floor and in her create for her to chew on her own.

She is doing a pretty good retrieve with her ball. I roll it about 5 - 15 ft away, and she will chase after it and pounce on it and push it around and then bring it back for her reward. She isn't as into tug, she will play a little, and she is already playing more aggressively then she would a few days ago, so I think she is starting to like the game.

Now here is the problem. It seems that sometimes she wants to chew on something soft. Most of the time she is happy with the nylabones, kong tire, etc...but every once in awhile she goes out searching for soft things, parts of the carpet, a robe hanging up, etc. Usually we can redirect her to her nylabone but sometimes, it seems useless like she just has to chew on something soft. If I put down a toy for her to chew on, she stops going after those soft things and is content with the toy.

However I have already notice that when I try to play retrieve or tug with her after she has had a toy on her own, she isn't as interested...she just wants to take the ball or tug and lay down on her own and chew on it.

So I am trying to figure out what to do:
Keep her toys back unless I am able to play, builds better tug and retrieve drive = her looking for soft things to chew around the house occasionally
Letting her have a few soft toys (whether different or the same that I play tug with her with) = less of her looking to chew soft things around the house, but less tug and retrieve drive.

Any help is appreciated.

I am not trying to create super high drive in her....I am not looking to do IPO or SCH with her, and we purposely got her because we knew she would be a bit calm, low-key or even soft, but I do want to build and keep a little drive in her so that I can use play as a reward and have fun playing with her.

Thanks in advnace.

First time GSD owner with a brand new puppy - Lexi
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 07:41 AM
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Maybe buy her special tug toys and balls to keep up only for play with you guys or a reward. But buy her ropes and toys to chew on while she's just laying around.
Something like this for special play or training.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 08:30 AM
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you will just have to try different stuff with her to see what works. It is kinda hard on the pocketbook for awhile. Toys that my boy didn't play with much are favored by my gal. And vice-versa. My boy loves catching tossed leaves, my gal love pine-cones. When I squirt water from a hose, My boy likes to grab close to the nozzle, my gal likes to chase where it lands.

So try free stuff as much as you can. An old leather glove might be nice for awhile (of course, don't just leave her with it. Make sure she isn't tearing pieces off and swallowing them). Torn jeans can be sliced lengthwise and braided. I tried that with white cotton t-shirts but it mostly made a mess. Cardboard boxes free of packing tape or staples might be fun for her to tear up (yes, you will have a mess to clean up but it is worth it). And I've used rinsed plastic juice bottles with tiny treats inside as chew toys / puzzles. Something like Simply Orange bottles. While she is teething, this will be a great free resource.

For edibles we go with Bully Sticks (cheaper online in bulk) and my gal loves crunchy fresh carrots. She gets one at night after her dinner. My boy used to like celery, and still does on occasion.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 08:43 AM
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Why not get those soft toys that squeak? Supervise her while she chews on them, so you can make sure you pick up any stuffing/squeakers she manages to pull out.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 08:55 AM
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We use a Leerburg puppy tug. He loves it when he wants something soft. We also have a Kong Wubba which he likes to chew on. His favorite chew toy is undoubtedly his Jolly Ball.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Just wanted to follow up and thank everyone.

We have gotten even more animated and excited when playing with Lexi with the tug and retrieve toys. It has helped make it so that any other toys she plays with on her own defiintely aren't as fun.

We leave nyla bones, and some similar harder toys all around the house for her and in her two crates, so there is always something to chew on and play with. Her softer toys only come down when we put them down, so they come from us which makes them special, we also change up which ones she gets so it seems there is always something new.

I have definitely been surprised by some of the likes and dislikes.

First time GSD owner with a brand new puppy - Lexi
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