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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My puppy is 5 and a half months old. I have purchased many toys, each generating different amounts of interest. I'm sure each puppy is different and will each have their own preferences, but I think it wouldn't hurt to have a list of the best toys that worked. For me:

  • Dog Football : Synco Football with holding loops for dogs. : My puppy loves this one
  • Ball pit: I got the Trixie Pool for dogs which is great. The problem is the balls. All the ones I have gotten so far are unsuitable for dogs as my puppy can crush them in seconds. But for a brief few minutes he was thrilled at the sight of so many balls.
  • Double Squeaking Toy; I got a toy shaped like a squirrel, that has two squeakers - On in the head, and on in the tail. He loves that. It comes in different animals, like bunny, fox etc. Made by Barkbutler x fofos
  • A rope toy - no brand name. But I'm looking for a much bigger one!

Interested in, but don't have yet:
  • Agility stuff
  • Whistling balls! / Chuck-it
  • Glow in the dark balls / Chuck-it
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I was reading in my book on enrichment, that dogs should have an outlet for things like digging, shredding etc.
Was wondering if anyone made a list of things safe shred.... for variety ?

So far all I can think of is:

- Newspaper
 

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Jazmine Auf Der Marquis, Reacher Auf Der Marquis
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You can buy rolls of plain white or brown paper so they aren't chewing on ink.

I think a lot depends on if your dog is shred and drop or a shred and swallow.

Mine will shred and drop bits of a nice stick.
 

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my big-boy tore up large cardboard boxes. Supervised of course. Check for tape and staples. Thankfully he was smart enough to realize which boxes were his and which he had to leave alone. I think that is because I allowed the shredding in only one room. My gal-dog wasn't as interested in cardboard but she did like crunching up water bottles. Remove cap and ring around the neck. Supervise again, especially if they start ripping it apart after they've crunched them. Both dogs enjoyed tearing apart pinecones. Not that I would recommend it but both of mine enjoyed their demolition on occasion.
And we did crunchy veggies. carrots, celery, broccoli stems, apple quarters. Some people freeze them but I find once they defrost they loose crunch. Frozen banana was fun for them for a little but then they lost interest.
 

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Jazmine Auf Der Marquis, Reacher Auf Der Marquis
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my big-boy tore up large cardboard boxes. Supervised of course. Check for tape and staples. Thankfully he was smart enough to realize which boxes were his and which he had to leave alone. I think that is because I allowed the shredding in only one room. My gal-dog wasn't as interested in cardboard but she did like crunching up water bottles. Remove cap and ring around the neck. Supervise again, especially if they start ripping it apart after they've crunched them. Both dogs enjoyed tearing apart pinecones. Not that I would recommend it but both of mine enjoyed their demolition on occasion.
And we did crunchy veggies. carrots, celery, broccoli stems, apple quarters. Some people freeze them but I find once they defrost they loose crunch. Frozen banana was fun for them for a little but then they lost interest.
My girl loves water bottles and particularly taking the caps off. I can give her 6 bottles at once and she will pull the caps and rings off, spit them out and move to the next one. Only after all of them have been removed does she chew on the bottles.
 

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Jazmine Auf Der Marquis, Reacher Auf Der Marquis
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Get the bigger chuck-it balls for fetch.

We also use a chuck-it that has two balls one on each end of about 10 inches of nylon leash material works great for tug and training reward.

The Jolly egg was a huge hit as well.
 

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West Paw Zogoflex toys have held up well over the years, bright colors, wide variety to choose from. Qwizl is a favorite. I have their plush toys too, which I haven’t let Josie play with yet since I got them a couple of years ago..whoops.

Had a tough time looking for a glow in the dark ball on a rope ( for dark winter morning training) and recently ended up buying a couple from a company in Canada, they shipped promptly but items are now stuck in US customs for a few days.
Salty Dog Canvas
Kong Wubba was a hit, but the cloth part is easily shredded if left with the pup unattended. Stuffed Kongs helped Josie a lot during crate training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You can buy rolls of plain white or brown paper so they aren't chewing on ink.

I think a lot depends on if your dog is shred and drop or a shred and swallow.

Mine will shred and drop bits of a nice stick.
Great Suggestion! With regard to newspaper my puppy is shred and drop. I will constantly monitor all his activities for quite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Cardboard boxes can work. Just be sure your pup doesn't eat the pieces as drparker said.

My dog likes to shred leaves and throw those around. Outside, of course.
Good idea! I was just thinking of making a list of leafy greens that are safe to consume raw... then he can shred.. and consume... as long as their is no choking risk....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
my big-boy tore up large cardboard boxes. Supervised of course. Check for tape and staples. Thankfully he was smart enough to realize which boxes were his and which he had to leave alone. I think that is because I allowed the shredding in only one room. My gal-dog wasn't as interested in cardboard but she did like crunching up water bottles. Remove cap and ring around the neck. Supervise again, especially if they start ripping it apart after they've crunched them. Both dogs enjoyed tearing apart pinecones. Not that I would recommend it but both of mine enjoyed their demolition on occasion.
And we did crunchy veggies. carrots, celery, broccoli stems, apple quarters. Some people freeze them but I find once they defrost they loose crunch. Frozen banana was fun for them for a little but then they lost interest.
Thanks for the list of veggies! Cardboard boxes is a work in progress for me... I noticed some tape in his poop once, so I am currently avoiding cardboard. I don't know why -> He shreds paper and doesn't swallow... but cardboard, I'm not so sure... need to figure this out, since I get a lot of packages... so if I can figure out how to ensure he doesn't eat the cardboard will have a constant supply of shred toys for him...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
my big-boy tore up large cardboard boxes. Supervised of course. Check for tape and staples. Thankfully he was smart enough to realize which boxes were his and which he had to leave alone. I think that is because I allowed the shredding in only one room. My gal-dog wasn't as interested in cardboard but she did like crunching up water bottles. Remove cap and ring around the neck. Supervise again, especially if they start ripping it apart after they've crunched them. Both dogs enjoyed tearing apart pinecones. Not that I would recommend it but both of mine enjoyed their demolition on occasion.
And we did crunchy veggies. carrots, celery, broccoli stems, apple quarters. Some people freeze them but I find once they defrost they loose crunch. Frozen banana was fun for them for a little but then they lost interest.
Also thanks for the advice about water bottles. I have not tried them yet, but none of the websites I have seen pointed out that you should remove the cap and ring around the neck. I was planning on doing it anyway, but I'm glad you pointed it out.
 

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i use paper bags and paper towel rolls, put the dog in an x pen so the mess isn't as bad, and let them have at it. i usually put high value treats in the bags and rolls then put it all in a box with more sprinkled on top, they have a blast. All of my dogs know not to eat the paper though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My girl loves water bottles and particularly taking the caps off. I can give her 6 bottles at once and she will pull the caps and rings off, spit them out and move to the next one. Only after all of them have been removed does she chew on the bottles.
I guess its a good idea to monitor the bottle c
West Paw Zogoflex toys have held up well over the years, bright colors, wide variety to choose from. Qwizl is a favorite. I have their plush toys too, which I haven’t let Josie play with yet since I got them a couple of years ago..whoops.

Had a tough time looking for a glow in the dark ball on a rope ( for dark winter morning training) and recently ended up buying a couple from a company in Canada, they shipped promptly but items are now stuck in US customs for a few days.
Salty Dog Canvas
Kong Wubba was a hit, but the cloth part is easily shredded if left with the pup unattended. Stuffed Kongs helped Josie a lot during crate training.
Thanks, didn't know about any of these! 👍
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I had a great idea (I hope) this morning.... since I get the paper everyday... I was thinking.... Origami... can make so many different types of birds, animals, dinosaurs.... its like free toys forever... that he can shred! Researching origami books with animal shapes....
 

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Jazmine Auf Der Marquis, Reacher Auf Der Marquis
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Also thanks for the advice about water bottles. I have not tried them yet, but none of the websites I have seen pointed out that you should remove the cap and ring around the neck. I was planning on doing it anyway, but I'm glad you pointed it out.
If you really want have some fun put a bunch of kibble in the bottle. Great brain exercise as they work on getting it out.

Gatorade bottles are tougher and last longer than water bottles.
 

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If you really want have some fun put a bunch of kibble in the bottle. Great brain exercise as they work on getting it out.

Gatorade bottles are tougher and last longer than water bottles.
I did this with plastic juice bottles but eventually the neck of the bottle would be crunched trapping the treats. Good to know about the Gatorade bottles. I don't drink the stuff so I never tried them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
For my 5 and a half month old, it is:

  • Walks. Mental, physical, social, scent
  • Play (Fetch, Chase, Flirt Pole, Find it) . Trying to incorporate structured play / training within play. Make it both physical and mental.
  • Training (commands, tricks, behaviour). Mental
  • Shredding (authorised items, in an authorised location and time) - Mental
  • Digging (at authorised locations) - Mental and physical
  • Chewing (authorised items only) - mental and physical
  • Music (play different kinds of music every evening when playing) - sensory
  • Nursery rhymes (when we wake up, we sing some nursery rhymes while cuddling) - I read somewhere that nursery rhymes help toddlers learn languages, so I figured no harm in teaching puppy.
  • Food - I'm trying to increase variety. sensory
  • Social : Earlier I used to try to introduce him to every dog he was interested in. Nowadays I train him to not react to other dogs, but allow him to play with old friends. He is allowed to meet some humans who I know. For other interested strangers I encourage him to sit calmly. Planning to train the AKC Good Citizen things.
  • Grooming - I comb and brush him often, as he seems to really like it. sensory
  • Car Drives : Try to take him with me everywhere. Mental. Sensory
  • Foraging : Not sure if playing Find it with kibble qualifies. Mental, Sensory
  • Puzzles : use to do food puzzles a lot before, but stopped when it seemed too easy. Planning on trying again, but maybe making things more interesting. Mental
  • Ball pit : I made one because it seems fun, but it is closed for maintenance until I can get better balls that are safe for dogs. Sensory

I think that's what I can think of. I avoided putting different scents in the house as I have not yet done research on toxicity of essential oils etc, but he gets a lot of scents during his walks.

There are no obedience schools, clubs / dog sports close by. Most trainers here are very basic (Sit / stand etc, and my puppy has already learned:
Sit, Stand, Down, Wait, Stay, Cross, Left, Right, Stop, Shred, Fetch, Take it, Find it, Chew, Special Chew, Kong, and a few other commands. Drop it and Leave it works with low value items, but improvement is required with high value items.
So instead I am trying to train him myself, by reading books / web etc. Not doing protection training. Only Obedience, Tracking and Dog sports. I keep teaching him behavioural stuff on walks, like how I want him to react to different situations. When he is older I will start agility training.

I am not sure how useful dog massage or yoga is. I was considering trying to teach him some exercises, but feel he may get more value for his time by freely roaming outside (on a long leash). Can't think of much else. Need to check the enrichment book again for ideas....
 

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When my dog was a puppy he loved to shred boxes too. I would put food or a toy inside and let him rip. Also paper towel tubes, put food inside and fold the ends closed.

These are also super versatile: https://www.chewy.com/jw-pet-hol-ee-roller-dog-toy-color/dp/38425

I've stuffed it with wads of paper with kibble inside, rolled up washcloths with kibble inside, and small plush toys. My dog loves the challenge of pulling everything out of the ball.

I also tried the ball pit, but he just wanted to eat the balls 😂 and he's a small spitz, so I can't even imagine the damage a GSD could do lol. I've seen people fill the pool with empty water bottles, so that might be an option.

Food dispenser toys are fun, too. Favorites here are the kong wobbler, busy buddy kibble nibble (silly name, but it's great - a kibble dispensing ball that you can actually open to clean unlike the tricky treat ball), kong genius toys, and westpaw toppl. If you have a large and small topple, they connect together to make a sort of ball.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
When my dog was a puppy he loved to shred boxes too. I would put food or a toy inside and let him rip. Also paper towel tubes, put food inside and fold the ends closed.

These are also super versatile: https://www.chewy.com/jw-pet-hol-ee-roller-dog-toy-color/dp/38425

I've stuffed it with wads of paper with kibble inside, rolled up washcloths with kibble inside, and small plush toys. My dog loves the challenge of pulling everything out of the ball.

I also tried the ball pit, but he just wanted to eat the balls 😂 and he's a small spitz, so I can't even imagine the damage a GSD could do lol. I've seen people fill the pool with empty water bottles, so that might be an option.

Food dispenser toys are fun, too. Favorites here are the kong wobbler, busy buddy kibble nibble (silly name, but it's great - a kibble dispensing ball that you can actually open to clean unlike the tricky treat ball), kong genius toys, and westpaw toppl. If you have a large and small topple, they connect together to make a sort of ball.
Thank you! Excellent list.
 
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