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Getting a dog to play with toys

May 23rd, 2006, 01:43 PM
Hi there, I have a 10 month old Sheltie, just got him. He came from a Sheltie breeder and I don't think he has ever played with toys or even been in a house. They were grooming him to be a showdog but he grew 1/4 inches too much, which I am grateful for. He was very skittish when he came but he is much better. We got him on Saturday. He loves to run and have me chase him in our fenced in yard but he won't play with toys. If I toss a soft frisbee at him he ducks or runs out of the way. He won't chase a ball or anything. What do I do. TIA

May 23rd, 2006, 02:19 PM
Same thing with my Pom! Try something smaller and soft. My Pom loves any stuffed animals (and slippers) aslong as they dont squeak.

Anything hard that looks like it would hurt if it hit him, my Pom wont play with:D

Its a start, some dogs just dont like to fetch. Out of my 3, one will not fetch ANYTHING, he's much to fancy to chase anything, he thinks we should bring stuff to him! Another will fetch but not bring back, and the third will not stop bringing crap to us so we will throw it for her.

Just try different things and see what he likes!

May 23rd, 2006, 02:44 PM
It sounds like he hasn't had much play interaction with humans before you got him. He likely doesn't know what a toy is and since you just got him, I think he just needs a little time.

I would try a kong filled with some kibble (part of his daily food amount) and smear some peanut butter over the hole to keep the kibble in. Then introduce some other toys or try a ball instead of a frisbee. :pawprint:

May 23rd, 2006, 05:41 PM
The dogs I've had have all been totally different when it came to toys. They showed their preferences right from the start. One was an absolute playboy! He had over 300 latex squeeky toys and knew them all by name. When we accidently bought duplicates, he knew the difference between the old one and the new one. Den-Den didn't take much to squeeky toys. He preferred the tug-of-war type. When we got Corky, Den-Den watched while Corky played with his toys. After awhile, you could just see him wanting to play too. Now he loves the plushy balls. He's still not one to constantly be after us to play, but he has his moments. We try to encourage him by getting excited, squeeking the squeeker, etc. He's getting it. Maybe your guy needs to watch another dog to develop the interest.

May 23rd, 2006, 07:56 PM
When we first got Monty two years ago we bought him all sorts of toys - kongs, bones, plush toys, etc - as well as a sleeve of tennis balls. He basically ignored every toy except one tennis ball. Play with another toy was unheard of. (he can still pick his ball out of a pile of the original three tennis balls). When Lucy came along she took to anything that can be chewed apart (same with my third, Jack). Eventually you (or actually your pup) will find the 'right' toy ... might be something a simple as a rolled up sock! :pawprint:

May 24th, 2006, 03:11 AM
Sounds like the dog needs to learn how to play. Engage him.. Involve food, encourage him to be curious. Most herding breeds have a fairly easy to find toy drive when it comes to balls, tuggy toys. I have a fleece tuggy toy with a handle on one end.. If I run around with it whipping behind me, all the herding breeds at our agility classes come to play. I just think it'll take some time and patince, and you working with the dog to get him into wanting to play, since it sounds like many things are new to him right now.

May 24th, 2006, 06:55 AM
My walkingcompanion Bailey also does not know what what toys are for:sad:
We've tried and bought squeeky toys,balls etc,but she only wants treats,,I would love to have her play.
She has NO toys in her house,just a bed....

May 26th, 2006, 07:24 PM
I want to thank you all for your advice. Buddy is doing a lot better. He is not as skittish. We had some people over today and after about 10 minutes he was over wanting them to rub his belly. He still does not play with the toys. He has decided he likes to destroy newspapers. I am getting one of those toys you put kibble in tomorrow. I like the idea of running around with the pull toy, I will try that tomorrow. Again, thanks to everyone. It is a big help to be able to ask questions and get wonderful answers.

May 26th, 2006, 07:56 PM
Joey had one toy and he played with it about once a month for 5 or 10 minutes. It was a white stuffed bear that he requisitioned from my daughter's room on his second day here. He attacked it and shook it in his mouth. After that he would repeat the attack every few weeks, or sometimes sleep with his head on the bear. But that was it. He twice tried to play with another bear that looked like his, and once a dancing singing brown stuffed animal. Once in a while if he found an empty soap box in the bathroom he might play with it for a minute or two.

But no matter how many toys we bought him and tried to interest him in, he just wasn't one to play with them.

Cooper on the other hand...... he has dozens !! And he plays with all of them. When we come in from shopping he follows us and waits to see if there's a new toy for him in one of the bags. His toys are all over the house--it's worse than when the kids were small.

Must just be a personality thing !

May 27th, 2006, 07:52 PM
Not all dogs play with toys, find other ways to play rather than toys...

May 27th, 2006, 08:18 PM
You have only had him a week, he is like a child that has been taken away from the only family and home he has known, he has a lot he is trying to figure out right now, what the home routine is, trying to get to know you and trying to learn to trust you, learn all about his new surrounding what he is allowed to do, what he isn't, and he is probably worrying about where his previous owner is, that can be pretty overwhelming and even scary,so expect some uneasiness from him and insecurity for a month or 2 yet, his behjaviour is not usual for a rehomed dog, possibly once he starts to relax and feel like this is now home he may take an interest in toys. Since he was being raised to be a show dog he probably was treated quite well and he would have had to be well socialized with people and around other dogs as he would have to have been comfortable being touched by other people, and being near other dogs in a show ring, so that kind of training would have had to be started pretty much right from birth, he is only 10 months old which means it would have been only within the last month or month and a half that he would have reached maximum height and the owner would have realized he was no longer show material

May 28th, 2006, 01:00 AM
You might also have to try a whole bunch of different toys before you find one or two that the doggy likes. My dogs are very particular about their toys. They won't play with red ones and the brats won't play with old ones either.:rolleyes:

May 28th, 2006, 11:09 AM
Thats how Shyla is... she will only play with certian toys and Pepper... well he's basically the same as well. The only one in the whole house (including the birds) that isn't specific about his or her toys is Pepsi (my cat.)

May 28th, 2006, 01:26 PM
I thought my Princess was the only dog out there that doesn't play with toys.... I bought her a Kong type, except you fill with water, and tiny holes dispense it while they chew, and I bought a soft stuffed one that talks... She is afraid of both... :(

May 28th, 2006, 01:46 PM
Did your FIL have any toys for Princess? If not, she probably won't take any interest now, because she's a senior. Maybe, the soft stuffed one, in time. But don't make it "talk" until she's used to it. :D

May 28th, 2006, 02:04 PM
My Bailey is 17 weeks old and plays with every toy she has. She even steals the cats mice.
Almost everything goes in her bed when it's naptime. She likes squeakies, plush, nylabones, name it...she'll play with it. She also thinks our new kitten is her own personal customized toy.

May 28th, 2006, 08:37 PM
Here is a picture of Buddy, hopefully it will come out ok. I'm not sure how to do this. He has come a long way in the week we have had him. He is a wonderful boy.


May 29th, 2006, 06:22 AM
GeeGee,he is beautiful..You're so lucky,I wish I could have a Sheltie,they are wonderful dogs.
My son sort of adopted a 13yr old Sheltie,as she was going to be put down,after her owner passed.
Here she is..Trixie