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My GSD won`t pay with toys.

9535 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Karin
I adopted a female from the shelter a month ago. She is a wonderful girl but I can`t seem to get her interested in play. I bought a treat ball and she rolls it till the treat is out and walks away. I would love to get her to play with a ball for exercise. Help! Any ideas?
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you`ll have to experiment with different things any wheres from an empty milk jug to a frisbee
Some dogs really respond to something that squeaks or grunts. Maybe she doesn't want to play by herself? Get some tugs and invite her to play. A kong filled with cheese can also get her interested, since she has to work to get it out.
I know exactly where you're coming from.

My girl Abby, who will be 5 at the end of May, also came from the shelter. She has very, very little interest in any toys. We have tried squeaky toys and toys that make crinkly paper noises. We've tried rope for tugging and rubber balls and Cuz's and everything in between.

At this point, she will play with balls. We have a big orange basketball that we play with and a smaller blue one. Both have been "popped" but tend to re-inflate throughout play. It does take some work getting her interested in it. Usually, we'll let her run around a bit first, and then DH and I start playing "soccer" with the ball. That's when she gets interested and starts chasing the ball. When she "catches" it, she'll shake it and run around with it, then bring it back to us and wait for one of us to kick it or pull it away from her to chase.

But that really is the extent of play she does. And she only does it outdoors and if we play with her. (I have to say, playing soccer with DH while there's a dog chasing the ball is quite challenging...) Sometimes she'll get interested in plastic water bottles or plastic milk jugs, too. I think it's the "crunch" sound they make when she bites down on them.

The other thing she really likes is the Kong and I use it very sparingly because I want it to stay "special".

What I would do in your situation is, well, exactly what we've done. Try loads of different things and in different situations. Try playing with her or getting other family members to "show" her how to play.
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She seems to get really confused if we try to interest her in anything to play with. It has only been a month so I would guess she isn`t too sure of us or her surroundings yet. I like the soccer ball idea and my other shepherd used to love empty plastic pop bottles.
Yeah I think you're probably on to something with the idea that it's only been a month. Not to discount what Chris said, but it may just take her some time to settle in and when she's more certain of her new life she'll be more willing to play.
Heard of the "two ball" game? I use the "Two Dog" game. When I got Erika as a pup try as might she just was not interested in toys and tugs. Later on I purchased her mother "Roxie" who was a ball and tug Psycho. One day at the park I tied out Erika so I could work Roxie with her ball. Almost immediately Erika started going nuts and got that high pitch prey drive bark going. I let her loose, I started throwing the kong ball and she went ape after it. Later I tied them both out and did some tug work with Roxie then Erika went nuts so I started working her.

In short if your pupper sees other pack mates having fun and gettng rewarded she may want to join in on the fun

How old is she ?
Our adopted dog, Heidi, was the same way when we first got her. We'd throw a ball at her and it would hit her, and she would just stare at us. And she absolutely wouldn't chase anything and she didn't like it when we tried to chase her. We bought her several toys and she just ignored them. It was so sad!

Well, we've had her about 3-1/2 months now and she has decided that she does like to play after all. In fact, when my husband comes home from work, she will grab a toy from the toy box and prance around the house with it very proudly! She has even put a toy back in the box on occasion!

The toy that really got her started was a large plush soccer ball. It's still her favorite of all her toys.

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Karin she`s really beautiful and her colours are very similar to my Lilly. I am so grateful for everyones suggestions. She doesn`t like it at all if we try to play chasey with her, lies down and submits. Guess she needs to know we will never hurt her. We don`t know anything about her past except that her home must have been a good one, She is people and dog friendly. We see no indication of abuse. How she got on the street will forever be a mystery because off leash she won`t leave my side.
Time, and like maxgunnar said, seeing other dogs playing with toys.

It makes a huge difference. My Bella sat in the kitchen doorway watching me play 5 ball with a foster dog of mine. She had never wanted to play in the year I'd had her and she was transfixed watching Heidi go after the ball over and over.

The next time we were out, she picked up one of the balls and started carrying it around. Then I would toss it-very short distances so it wouldn't discourage her-and she started to pick it up. Now she LOVES her toys. I don't think she ever would have gotten it without watching Heidi. She's sleeping right now with her Cuz tucked under her paw.
I've heard this is VERY common with dogs from shelters. I feel many of them never played with people in their developmental youth, so don't see us as 'playmates'. Disciplinarians, bringer of food, someone to be careful of..... but not rip-roaring fun playmates!!!!!!

BUT you can, with some 'work', make it much better. Here's two articles with great ideas:
Originally Posted By: Lilly`s MomKarin she`s really beautiful and her colours are very similar to my Lilly. I am so grateful for everyones suggestions. She doesn`t like it at all if we try to play chasey with her, lies down and submits. Guess she needs to know we will never hurt her.
Thanks for the compliment! Heidi didn't like it either at first when we chased her. She would stop, turn around, and give us a worried look. But little by little we've gained her trust (and made the chasing fun) and now she does let us chase her while she's carrying one of her toys. She prefers to be the chaser rather than the chasee though!
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