View Full Version : Teaching a dog to play

6th December 2006, 06:28 PM
I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for teaching a dog to play?

Our 2 new girls do not really play with any of their toys. They love chewing which is great as it keeps them happy during the day but they will not chase a ball for instance or play with squeaky toys.

Also (and this may seem strange!) but they will not look at the ground! :p Does anyone have experience with this? If I point to something on the ground they will not look at it.

6th December 2006, 09:40 PM
Are they rescues? Maybe Karlin can help...I remember Cecily posting something similar about Tandy, and it took my own Holly some time to learn to play because of poor socialisation as a tiny pup.

6th December 2006, 10:18 PM
Yes, rescue dogs dont understand how to have fun with toys. Sometimes they will pick it up in time, others are just content enough to watch the world around them.

If the dogs arent rescue, how old are they? Do they play a lot with each other? If they are really young or if they spend a lot of play time wrestling and chasing with each other, the toys simply may not be necessary!

6th December 2006, 10:27 PM
Thanks for your replies.

My girls are ex breeding bitches and are around 3 or 4. Molly is very quiet and doesnt seem very interested in the toys but she does like her "chewies". Bella on the other hand has bundles of energy and I think she would get a lot of enjoyment out of toys if she knew how to use them!

They do frolick around with each other every now and then when they're not cuddled up to each other!

I'm not worried about the fact that they don't play with toys because they are very sociable, well adjusted dogs but I do think if they learned to play they would be more stimulated and have a lot of fun. I'm just now sure how to go about teaching them to play....

7th December 2006, 07:22 AM
Both our Cavaliers LOVE toys... and Beauregard is neurotic about them. If they're not asleep, they're playing with a toy, mostly together. Princess the Cocker used to chase and play when she was a puppy, but lost interest. Neither of the Saints were ever interested in toys of any sort... even as puppies.


8th December 2006, 03:13 PM
our rescue, Brandy, has shown no interest in toys yet either. He watches the girls running around like lunatics play fighting or playing tug-of-war with a toy and then goes jumps up on the settee to get out of the way and watch from a safe distance.

8th December 2006, 03:49 PM
I suppose all dogs are different and the older they are the less likely they will be to want to play but I had both them chasing a ball yesterday. Bella was very interested at the start and I think Molly was more interested in chasing after Bella than the ball!

I have a feeling though the attention and praise they were getting was more fun for them than the ball... but I'll keep trying!

Cathy Moon
10th December 2006, 06:49 PM
Here is another thread about teaching older dogs to play:

And one about rescues and older dogs learning fetch:

Barbara Nixon
11th December 2006, 01:24 PM
Not all dogs like to play and the desire goes with age. Monty and Izzy have never been layers, though they like to retrieve or carry a toy around. Teddy and Joly being close in age used to play tug, but only Joly will play, now nad even he prefers retrieve.

11th December 2006, 08:16 PM

We had a rescued greyhound that didn't like very much toys. We try with a stuffed Kong and she started to play with it. Only if it was stuffed.
:flwr: :lol:

11th December 2006, 09:58 PM
Thanks for all your comments and suggestions. I might try the kong as they LOVE their food!

They had a lot of fun playing with a cardboard disc used to hold ribbon when I was putting up the Christmas decorations yesterday :lol:

Cathy Moon
12th December 2006, 12:06 AM
Ohhh yes, and try the Kong food dispenser ball. They love to roll them around to get the food out! :lol: