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Constructive ways to play?
Old 01-22-2013, 12:30 PM   #1
puppy-love
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Constructive ways to play?

Hi Everyone - this group has been so knowledgable about all things puppy, I hope you have some play-time suggestions.

Julie is just 12 weeks old today and I'm looking for suggestions on ways that she and I can play that don't encourage her to be aggressive or encourage her belief that she's in charge around here.

The last few days she's taken to barking at me, loudly. She's more interested in playing with my hand (nipping and even biting) than with the toy I'm holding in my hand. She loves clicker training and never seems to lose interest. We'll do that for 20-30 minutes a few times a day. I can tell that she wants to interact with me (not the toy) but I'm not sure what we else we can do together that will be fun for her and support our training goals.

Help, please!
Deborah
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:16 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by puppy-love View Post
Hi Everyone - this group has been so knowledgable about all things puppy, I hope you have some play-time suggestions.

Julie is just 12 weeks old today and I'm looking for suggestions on ways that she and I can play that don't encourage her to be aggressive or encourage her belief that she's in charge around here.

The last few days she's taken to barking at me, loudly. She's more interested in playing with my hand (nipping and even biting) than with the toy I'm holding in my hand. She loves clicker training and never seems to lose interest. We'll do that for 20-30 minutes a few times a day. I can tell that she wants to interact with me (not the toy) but I'm not sure what we else we can do together that will be fun for her and support our training goals.

Help, please!
Deborah
First, while you certainly want o encourage good MANNERS, which includes not putting teeth on humans!0 play with your puppy will NOT encourage aggression, nor will it make her believe she's "in charge". That's not the way dogs think.

As far as types of play, fetch is a great on. If she doesn't naturally fetch, you cans tart her off with a tiny tupperware-type container with a few treats inside. She will soon learn that to get it open and get a treat, she needs to bring it back to you.

Another good one (and this can be VERY useful in later training) is "tug". Most dogs really enjoy it. The important thing is that YOU remain in control of the tug toy. Encourage her to tug, then encourage her to "drop it" by trading for a treat, then giving the tug right back. It's important to end this game with her still wanting more. Don't wait until she gets tired of it.

Another good one is a "flirt pole". (you can find these on Amazon among other places) It's like a fishing pole for dogs! You wiggle the toy and have her chase it. You can wear off a TON of energy very quickly with this toy!!!

And remember... from her perspective, all your training sessions are "play" too!
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:09 PM   #3
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here's a good article on play by one of our IAABC members. Really important stuff. Yeah like Karen mentioned , no need to worry about your dog becoming your boss, so long as you have a few rules. http://iaabc.org/dog/the-form-of-dog-play
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:13 PM   #4
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try hide and go seek with one of her favorite toys!!
Have her in a sit/stay while you go hide the toy, then give her a release word (we use "go get it!) and then she gets to hunt for her toy!
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:54 AM   #5
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Aside from the suggestions above. I play chase, NOT me chasing her but her chasing me, and hide and seek with myself. I will go hide behind the bed or a door and call her name, she gets a treat or a party when she finds me.
If I am in the same room and need a break from playing but she is still ready to go, I will give her a piece of ice to chase or an empty waterbottle.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:40 PM   #6
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Thru the years, my family has played "easter egg hunt" with their dogs. My Mom used to back in the 80's, now my son does it with his boxers, and I do it with the girls. I put them in a sit/stay (my son shuts his dogs in the bathroom) then go thoughout the house hiding little treats (a couple in each room). Then I tell the girls to go find them. At first I had to walk them thru the rooms and almost point them out, but at this point, they know the game and go off in their own directions smelling for the treats. I follow up and tell them if they've missed one here and there.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:33 PM   #7
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I liked teaching Henry the names of his toys.
We would have a few minutes of "school" everyday. He even responded to that word.
These havs are very smart and their mental capacity needs to be stimulated.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:23 PM   #8
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Hey Deborah,

you need to decide if you want to hand play with your pup. if you do, then you need to be consistent with the rules, like you end the game not the pup. If you decide not to hand play with your pup, then any time she puts teeth on your hand, play times ends immediately, you walk away.

I will be honest, I've always had big dogs, and was advised never to hand play. My little guy Ollie, he just seemed to know what was too hard of a bite, so I still hand play with him today... he's 3 yrs old now.

consider having playdates with other dogs.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sprorchid View Post
Hey Deborah,

you need to decide if you want to hand play with your pup. if you do, then you need to be consistent with the rules, like you end the game not the pup. If you decide not to hand play with your pup, then any time she puts teeth on your hand, play times ends immediately, you walk away.

I will be honest, I've always had big dogs, and was advised never to hand play. My little guy Ollie, he just seemed to know what was too hard of a bite, so I still hand play with him today... he's 3 yrs old now.

consider having playdates with other dogs.
yep hand play is vital. They need feedback on mouthing , that's how they learn. You want a pup that nips so you can teach him how to be gentle.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:59 PM   #10
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I agree. For some reason Luci loves hand play and she NEVER hurts me. I think that is so sweet!
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