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Cheyenne is 10 weeks old. Since she's been home (2 weeks) she has had someone with her non-stop. When she is awake, she is by my side, or my daughter's side and we play with her. But if we are busy doing something, she just whines and lies down next to us. She will ONLY play when we initiate play. How do we get her to play by herself? She has a ton of toys, but we have to practically put them in her mouth to get her to start playing! I always plan to have set play/exercise times with her...but can't play with her every minute that she is awake! I just feel so bad when she just lays down and looks at me when I'm busy!! Will this period end? Will she learn to play by herself sometimes??
 

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None of my puppies really play by themselves (my cat does though :) ). Instead they DO seem to normally want to play WITH someone (they'll play with the cats too :) ) and not be alone.

So when they want to play, I stop everything and play with them.

If I am too busy............ I don't expect them to play alone. Instead I give them chew things. I fill a kong, or a Purple Squirrel Dude, or I also give rawhides.

Truthfully, the other key thing is to keep my puppy SO exercised and socialized during the week, that they are calmer in general so more readily able to calm/quiet themselves and not pester me so incessantly.


 

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Thanks! I feel a little better. She just seems so SAD....which makes me want to stop what I'm doing to play with her. I'm assuming that I need to let her have a little alone time?
 

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GSDs really don't play by themselves. They play with their people and they play with their doggie friends but not alone. In fact when my two used to play together, they'd stop every so often to make sure that we were watching. If we had stopped watching, they'd just go lay down.
 

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i don't think you have to worry. your pup will
play alone when she's ready. as of now
she doesn't need to play alone because
all she has to do is look at you and you play with her.
lots of time you'll find your dog will lay down
near you and just look at you. enjoy the pup.
 

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Karlo would play on his own with a teaserball or pinecones at that age. They kept him entertained...to the point that I had to limit his time with his teaserball.
He is very pack oriented, though and interaction with me or the other dogs is his preference.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you everyone for your responses!! Again, I'm used to small dogs, who will run around and play non-stop with or without you. I'm relieved to know that this is normal behavior and not something I need to worry about!
 

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This is what I do if I am in the house doing housework I keep a ball or toy in my pocket and intermittently toss it down the hallway as I am doing my work. When we are outside and I am doing various yardwork I will kick or toss the ball as I can. Jamie will then bring it back and wait for me to repeat process. It keeps her busy and I am able to do my work also. I still set aside time for playing and training in addition this. This method has been working well for her. If I get too busy to kick/throw the ball she will lay and wait for me until I am able to kick/throw the ball. I do this throughout the day whether inside or outside it really helps to tire her out. She sleeps real good at night.:)
 

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Stosh would play play play with a frisbee by himself until I go in the house- then he would sit there staring at the door until I come out again. Once he turned about 10 mos or so, he would do stuff on his own like play with sticks or just wander around and goof off by himself. Right now your pup is in an intense bonding period so she really isn't interested in being alone. She just left her mom and littermates and now she's stuck on you.
 

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I've had pups that have entertained themselves (Halo is good about rooting around in the toy box and finding something to play with) and pups that will just hang out and chill when I'm busy doing something else. Either way is fine, and some alone time for a puppy is not a bad thing at all.

As MRL said, get some chewtoys. Mostly when my dogs are "playing" without me it's by chewing something. I have a variety of nylabones, Kongs, an Orbee balls and an Orbo, which is like a Kong but made by Orbee, that sort of thing.
 

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I don't agree that GSD's won't play by themselves, and I certainly can't drop everything just because a dog wants to play. My dogs all know how to entertain themselves. I start with very interactive toys and food motivators, (such as the kong treat balls which dispense treats as they roll it around) and it progresses to things like nylabones, etc. Many times Akira will zoom around the backyard, by herself, with one of the cuz's, and the others will be playing chase or wrestling by themselves out of my hair.

Dogs that do not have the ability to play independently have, IMHO, some seperation anxiety problems. My dogs can and will play independently, and do not have to be attached to my hip to be happy.

Try using an x-pen and LOAD it with fun toys. Lots of different ones. Rotate a few out each day so they are "new" to the puppy.
 

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A few of mine would play by themselves, Masi is one tho she much prefers US to play with her..She loves flipping her jolly ball around and she has one of those indestructible balls, that she is constantly pushing around and screaming at:)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Cheyenne did a little better today...she actually left a room I was in to go get a toy...so I consider that huge progress! :) Of course she brought it to me and laid on top of my feet while I did the dishes! I will definitely have to try to find some of the toys that you guys mentioned! I know that I can't be playing with her 100% of her waking time (as much as I'd absolutely LOVE to!) so I will do my best to make sure she has some things that catch (and hold) her interest without me!!

Thank you again everyone!! you've helped me tremendously!
 

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I tried the kong stuffed with canned food and frozen. Cheyenne gave a few licks and then lost interest. So I filled it with peanut butter last night and froze it.....SCORE! She has been working on it for 40 minutes!!

Thanks everyone for your advice!
 

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My boy plays all day at daycare with other dogs. Then when he comes home we play ball for a while. Then when I have to do things I give him a bully stick and let him settle down and chew on it. Our last GSD had a Labrador sister and they played alot giving us more time without the "stare" but Romeo is an only dog so he is learning that it is okay to throw a ty around on his own...of course he has recently discovered the drop the ball in the water bowl activity...
 
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