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Thread: Introducing play to an older dog.

  1. #1
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    Default Introducing play to an older dog.

    Tandie seems to enjoy training and is responding well to the sit and come commands at the moment (unfortunately only during sessions at the moment. She forgets instantly if she finds something better to do, like annoying the cat )

    However she doesn't seem to know how to play. When i show her toys, she's not interested. I've tried sniffing them, and tossing them and running after them to fetch them myself and generally making an eejit of myself with the toys to get her interested, but she's not.

    Suggestions anyone?
    Cecily, owned by Dougal (B&T boy, age 2) and Dora (Blenheim female, age 2, rescue)

    Cavaliers at the bridge, much missed and not forgotten: Aggie (tricolour female) and Rio (Blenheim female) and Tandie (ruby female)

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    Give her time. I know it's slightly different as Holly was a pup, but Holly hadn't had any contact with other dogs or puppies until she was 8 weeks, and then she was too frail to play. When I got her, she didn't know how to play. She had no interest in anything hard and bouncy, but after several days of encouragement, she started to like ropes, and then soft cuddly comfort toys became a favourite- especially ones with squeaks and other interesting noises! Just be patient with her, and try a variety. You'll find something eventually. Chloe is proving to adore the hard rubbery things that Holly wouldn't touch, so all dogs are different.
    Holly - 7years
    Amber- 3 years

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    she may have never had a toy before, nor been encouraged to play. Maybe she was taken from siblings very young. will she play bite with your hands? i doubt it from what you say.

    I was just reading some reviews of THIS BOOK on Amazon.com. One reviewer said the book helped him to teach his dog to fetch after the dog had previously not been getting the idea. Another reviewer said the author considers fetch to be an important foundation of dog training, and that reviewer did not agree. At least I hope i'm remembering this right--i looked at a few books, i hope it was this one.

    If she's interested in food, you could try giving her a Kong filled with something she likes, something that won't fall out, like that stuff they sell for you to squirt inside, and see if she'll enjoy playing with the Kong, or trying to get the food out of it. I have one kong that's in the shape of a dog bone, and you squirt the stuff in each end. I think they have one that's in the shape of a ball.

    I don't think this would encourage interactive play, but it might help her develop an enjoyment of entertaining herself by gnawing on objects, such as rope bones and rings or other rubber toys, and if she came to like these things, you might be able to build it into some kind of interactive play.

    At least you are sure trying to get her to have some fun. I bet she gets some amusement or bemusement out of watching you jump around and such. i bet that's pretty fun to watch. and who knows, she may be learning something from it, sometimes it takes a while.

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    Thanks Lisa, I'll try the soft toys

    Judy, she doesn't play bite at all or anything. Maybe she's a bit old, but it'd be nice to get her into playing. She's energetic and likes to chase the cat. It would be better to re-direct that energy into chasing a ball
    I like the kong idea. Had a look at that book... it's called culture clash? Didn't see anything in the reviews about fetch though...
    Cecily, owned by Dougal (B&T boy, age 2) and Dora (Blenheim female, age 2, rescue)

    Cavaliers at the bridge, much missed and not forgotten: Aggie (tricolour female) and Rio (Blenheim female) and Tandie (ruby female)

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    Talk to Tara and Lisa about getting a treat ball at the training class, too. It took leo ages to figure out what toys were for and that was mainly from watching Jaspar, the fetch-meister. Also a dog that may not care about squeaky toys may really like stuffed toys, and so on. None of mine like hard rubber toys at all. Lily plays with fewer toys than the boys. She prefers to chew pieces of paper.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  6. #6
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    Just give her time, Cecily. It's early days yet and she's had a lot happen to her lately (and probably her whole life). When she settles in she'll more than likely start learning how to play.

    I think it took Charlie a good 6 weeks before he even wanted to learn to play - now my lounge looks like a playgroup with him. He pulls all the toys out of the box and throws them around

    He was also terrified of my eldest son when he first came here (understandable I suppose as he is 6ft 4"!) now however, he is his best friend and as soon as rhys gets in the front door, Charlie is going crazy, bringing him toys and jumping all over him. He treats Rhys like a climbing frame and a playmate

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    Quote Originally Posted by cecily
    Thanks Lisa, I'll try the soft toys

    Judy, she doesn't play bite at all or anything. Maybe she's a bit old, but it'd be nice to get her into playing. She's energetic and likes to chase the cat. It would be better to re-direct that energy into chasing a ball
    I like the kong idea. Had a look at that book... it's called culture clash? Didn't see anything in the reviews about fetch though...
    The parts about fetch were brief, one review was titled "Preachy but Good," and it says, toward the end: " Donaldson's explanation of how to teach your dog how to play fetch works. My dog wasn't really getting it, but Donaldson's book gave me the tools I needed to get my dog to understand what I was wanting from him."

    The other one is titled "Extremely Overrated" and says: "She focuses an inordinate amount of time to teaching a dog to fetch saying that this one move will solve most other problems. I can't disagree more. The things that works best for dogs is exercise and strong leadership. Besides, some breeds are generally not interested in playing fetch but rather doing the activites for which is bred in the first place."

    The book got a high average rating overall, but even most people who gave it 4 stars shared the same criticisms some of the others made, of the book's organization, lack of an index, and too much time spent ridiculing more traditional approaches. There were so many criticisms, i didn't choose to get it, but am still interested. I got that one you're reading by Fogle, and i got one by April Frost called Beyond Discipline.

    anyway, from what donna says, it sounds like there is lots of hope still that little miss tandie will blossom out of her reticence, and flea can relax again.

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