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How do you teach a dog (not puppy) to play?


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#1 Ellivort

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:48 PM

Our new dog is pretty intelligent but shows signs of definite owner disinterest. He wasn't trained in any basic commands i.e sit, stay, lay down, but already with some firm command and consistency he is now responding consistently to sit.

The saddest thing is he doesnt know how to play fetch or tug of war, leading to believe he wasn't played with much. I had him outside for a couple hours this morning and trying to teach him fetch, but am not sure how to go about it.

Does anyone know how to teach a dog these things? or is it something that is lost because he is now 1.5 years old?

Thanks

#2 Jen.Uh.Fur

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:00 PM

I don't have any advice on that, so hopefully someone can help.

I just wanted to say that some dogs aren't interested in playing. My one dog will play from the moment she gets up til when she goes to bed with you, she loves it. But my other dog cannot be bothered, and has never played with us at all. She just doesn't want to. She will play with the other dog. But no tug of war, fetch etc with us.

#3 Ellivort

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:20 PM

I don't have any advice on that, so hopefully someone can help.

I just wanted to say that some dogs aren't interested in playing. My one dog will play from the moment she gets up til when she goes to bed with you, she loves it. But my other dog cannot be bothered, and has never played with us at all. She just doesn't want to. She will play with the other dog. But no tug of war, fetch etc with us.


Interesting point. It never occurred to me that a dog wouldn't want to play. We had 2 family dogs as I was growing up and both played.

It might be possible he's just not a fetcher (which is fine). I guess I just kinda assumed since someone gave him up because he was "tooo much work" and his grooming wasn't kept up that maybe they just didn't play with him. Guess we'll see as he gets more comfortable with his new life :)

So far I can't see what was so much work with him. Took him for a run this morning. Came home, he played with the cat and DD, we had lunch, took him out for potty time. Came back in and now he's lounging while DD naps and I'm on the PC. He was rather exciteable before he got ran. I imagine his previous owners didn't do much with him and he had so much energy he was bursting with it! lol

Edited by Ellivort, 29 April 2012 - 02:22 PM.


#4 single_mom

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 04:04 PM

so who is he following around more... you or dd? lol I loved when my shepherd would follow me and just be happy to plop down ON my feet whenever I sat to eat or read or watch tv.

#5 Ellivort

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 04:31 PM

so who is he following around more... you or dd? lol I loved when my shepherd would follow me and just be happy to plop down ON my feet whenever I sat to eat or read or watch tv.


he's following me everywhere! lol, even to pee he's whining at the bathroom door lol.

#6 murkywaters

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 05:35 PM

I woudln't recomend tug of war...

Mine has about zero interest in fetch unless it's in the house with a paper towel roll (empty one lol) then I just over and over and over again throw it and tell him "drop it" when he brings it back. AS he's bringing it back I tap my hand over and over gently and say "bring it"
He now knows the command "drop it" if he picks up something he's not supposed to I say "drop it" and it goes spitting onto the floor immediately. A very handy tool if it's something he's NOT supposed to pick up

#7 Kindermom

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:06 PM

It could also be too that he's just really stressed from all the changes. Poor little dude has been through so much I imagine he might not be feeling too much like playing. I know when we rescued our girl years ago, her true happy-go-lucky, goofy self took a little while to emerge. Once she settled in and realized we were her forever home she started to thrive. Definitely look into some fun clicker training classes. This will help him bond with you and learn to trust you. Best of all, your daughter can even get in on the fun! I don't have any name for you but I know there is one lady that offers classes in the Amherstburg/Harrow area.

#8 vals

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:39 PM

Get a few inexpensive toys like a ball and snuggly. Our golden is happy just to snuggle and chew at a cuddly toy, while the beagle prefers balls and fetching, play is different for all dogs. I agree with above that the initial blending phase will overshadow play and most likey your pooch will one day just grab a sock or stick and teach you what games she enjoys :)

#9 Ellivort

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:31 PM

Great advice here. He definitely has been through a lot in the last few days. He was surrendered Friday, spent the night in the strange dark kennel, met us on Saturday and came home with us today! That's a lot of change for doggie! He definitely has some abandonment issues and perhaps once he recovers he'll show us how he wants to play.

#10 Kris

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:13 PM

yeah I am sure once he gets used to the fact he has found a new permanent home he will open up to play more. When we got Coffee the first few days all he did was follow me around. Now he loves to play, his favorite games are chase the baby (my dd) he will run up and down the house with her and try to lick her face. Kind of like dog tag I guess lol. He does like to play fetch sometimes but only if you throw his carrot stuffy. It is his favorite toy.

#11 Trea

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 07:09 AM

Yeah, give him some time. Get "toys" that interest him.

I LOVE tug! There has to be rules for it TUG RULES FOR DOGS.....a great link on tug rules!

HERE is a link on teaching a dog to play with a toy

Also, just doing basic obedience, clicker training, will help get him more enthused.

I use my dog's natural jumping up instinct to "reteach" play. When I want to play I encourage a jump then push them off. I do the "dive at you" move (lunge toward the dog, like saying "BOO"). They usually jump back. I reward that with an enthusiastic pet. eventually they are crouching, waiting for my next lunge or they are running around like mad then jumping on me to get me to play more.

it really depends on what "play" you want.