How to entertain a puppy?

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How to entertain a puppy?

This is a discussion on How to entertain a puppy? within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; I frequently feel like I do not know what to do with my puppy to make her happy and would love suggestions on how to ...

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Old 05-06-2012, 07:20 AM
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How to entertain a puppy?

I frequently feel like I do not know what to do with my puppy to make her happy and would love suggestions on how to keep her happy and entertained. Ella is 5 months old, some kind of lab mix (looks like some kind of hound in there, maybe whippet). She goes to doggie daycare or the dog park most days which helps burn off some energy, and we go for at least two 30 minute or longer walks (she doesn't seem to like walking as much as I would like though, sigh).
But when we are home, I am not sure what to do with her when she is not sleeping. Sometimes she enjoys playing fetch with a ball (chasing it down the hall, I live in an apartment so don't have a yard), but she doesn't seem to love tug, and there is only so much room to play chase in a small apartment.
Any suggestions for toys or games she might enjoy would be much appreciated. Also, how much time should be spent playing with them versus them playing on their own? I love her, but also want some time to do things around the house, etc, but feel like I have to watch her constantly to keep her out of mischief.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:30 AM
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- Puzzle games (hinding treats/toys around the house and having him/her sniff them out works just as well)
- A well stuffed kong
- Bully sticks (supervised chewing since she is a lab)
- Make your walks more stimulating: weave around trees in the park, over benches, constantly change the pace and direction etc. be creative!
- If she enjoys toys with a squeaker you can add those into play time
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Ellabella View Post
I frequently feel like I do not know what to do with my puppy to make her happy and would love suggestions on how to keep her happy and entertained. Ella is 5 months old, some kind of lab mix (looks like some kind of hound in there, maybe whippet). She goes to doggie daycare or the dog park most days which helps burn off some energy, and we go for at least two 30 minute or longer walks (she doesn't seem to like walking as much as I would like though, sigh).
But when we are home, I am not sure what to do with her when she is not sleeping. Sometimes she enjoys playing fetch with a ball (chasing it down the hall, I live in an apartment so don't have a yard), but she doesn't seem to love tug, and there is only so much room to play chase in a small apartment.
Any suggestions for toys or games she might enjoy would be much appreciated. Also, how much time should be spent playing with them versus them playing on their own? I love her, but also want some time to do things around the house, etc, but feel like I have to watch her constantly to keep her out of mischief.
Puppies have a hard time keeping up with people on walks . Once she is older she will be able to take longer walks with you. Can you bring her to park to play fetch with her, she will could be on a longer leash so her run a little . Does she like to fetch sticks, you can buy toys that looks like a stick and use that is the house. When it get warmer out could put a small pool out for her, labs loves to play in water!
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:34 AM
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You can do training with her and that helps tire them out. Does she know sit, down, stay, etc.? Are there training classes you can take her to?
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:59 AM
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What makes you think that she doesn't enjoy walks? Does she not keep up or does she just stop walking? Our puppy used to really hate walks, like he would plant his butt down and refuse to budge, but we still gently walked him twice a day and now he LOVES walks. He goes nuts as soon as he sees his harness!

We've tried a bunch of puzzle feeders and those seem keep him busy on his own for a while. We tried the tug-rope feeder, the wobbler, and the IQ ball. His favorite by far is the IQ-ball on the hardwood floors because it goes all over the place and he has to chase it. We just stuff it with his kibble. I think that thing was $5-$6 on Amazon.

Still, his all time favorite "play on your own" toys are stuffed animals with squeekers. He will put one in his mouth and squeek it all over the house for thirty minutes until he tires himself out. What worked best for us was instead of buying 1 or 2 expensive big squeekers, we bought 7-8 cheap little toys; he seems to stay more interested in a toy when it's rotated in and out instead of having the same 2-3 laying around.

Some of the other games we play with Rocco inside are:

1. Wrestle him with his stuffed toys: I use his stuffed animals to play fight him like he does with other dogs. He tries to box it, bite it and roll it over. It's very important that you make dinosaur fighting sounds when you do this. Every now and then I will raise the toy way over his head and make him sit/shake/down/rolloever before he gets it again.

2. Tag: My wife plays this with him all the time, it doesn't use a lot of room once he figures out what she's doing. She will chase him and he will try to run away but then she suddenly changes directions and tries to run away from him and he will chase her then she switches back on him. he seems to like that, though it does get him barking sometimes if he can't catch up.

3. Hide and Seek: I think this one is his favorite, Rocco already knows "stay" and "come here" so I will ask him to stay in one room and then I will go hide call him. He will run all over the house looking for me. If it starts taking too long I'll start making noises to help him. You should see him when he finally finds me! I usually have a treat with me for when he finds me too.

And regarding your play duration question, we probably spend about 30 minutes an evening playing. His afternoon routine is like this:

- I get home from work at 4:00 PM
- We go on a thirty minute run
- He eats dinner
- We play or do tricks for about 30 minutes

By then he's tired and ready to nap. He'll either nap on the couch if we're watching TV or he will nap at my feet if I'm at my desk. He pretty much stays asleep or just laying down from 8 PM to 6 AM.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:02 PM
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The food puzzles are great. I have made my own version to rotate in...toilet paper roll, put treats inside, fold ends over...dog has to get the treats out (yes i supervise but thankfully he never tries to eat the cardboard)...small mess but worth it.

My last loved fetch and doing tricks (obedience training is great to wear them out). His favorite thing BY FAR was when I got on my hands and knees and put something under my tummy that he wanted...it was like keepaway. he'd try to go through the side...through my arms...and I'd close off...I'd let him have the great after 3 or so tries-not trying to frustrate him but just make him work for it a little.
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:34 AM
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If she is 5 months old she should be able to walk with you just fine... my 4 month old pup and I just did a 3 mile walk for a shelter. Im guessing you guys mean a pup way younger?
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:50 PM
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My 4 month old has no trouble keeping up to me and my adult Westies on walks. If she is 5 months old she should have no troubles keeping up to you unless she is not use to the leash. I could see troubles then.

A good puzzle toy you can make at home. Hide kibble in a towel and keep folding it over. This is a good way to slow down a fast eater and a good way to make them work for their food without spending a lot of money.
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