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Discussion Starter #1
I've been doing a lot of reading here in the puppy and dog sections, and there's tons of great info!

One thing I've noticed, a few people have posted to my puppy situation and said that basically Cobber should be able to entertain himself at this point with his toys, so I should be a boring human and not a playmate for him (especially regarding the biting situation).

Then I read in the dog behavior forum that dogs don't play well on their own, they get bored, sometimes destructive, and really need to be exercised (played with, walked, etc).

So at what point does a puppy who can play by himself with toys stop doing that and expect the human to be the focus of play and exercise time? Is it something that will happen over time after, say, the 4-mo vaccinations are all taken care of, so we can go on hikes and to dog parks and whatnot?

I realize every puppy's different, I'm just looking for generalities. And thanks!
 

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I think all puppies need a combination of things in order to develop into happy well behaved adults. If they are biting or become too rowdy, that needs to be re directed. That's not to say you shouldn't play with them. You should! Enjoy puppyhood with them. Socialize them as much as possible, etc. At the same time, provide him with the tools to become self dependent. Fill a kong and freeze it, give it to him when you need some "me" time. Get him puzzle toys, antlers etc. He should have a combination of things going on. He should be able to play by himself, play with you, go for walks, etc.
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puppies or dogs do not play by themselves. If they have another dog to play with they still spend most of their time alone sleeping. Enter the humans all hell breaks loose at our house. I used to board dogs and I could put 10 dogs in a fenced yard and walk away and all would go to sleep until I returned even though they could play with each other if they chose to.
 

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puppies or dogs do not play by themselves.
I ussually agree with all your posts but I disagree with this one. Nyla plays by herself all the time (with toys). If we don't feel like playing fetch she will run around with the toy throwing it up in the air, jumping on it, etc. She also learned to entertain herself with her kong, antlers, etc.
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Actually Cobber plays by himself just fine, which is something I wasn't even giving him the chance to do until it was suggested here (I posted a thread about what to do with a puppy all day, thinking I had to entertain him all the time!). He goes in his pen and plays ball, chews on various toys and bones, prances around, has a pretty good time (he really is so friggin' cute!).

Eventually, I'm guessing that he won't behave like a puppy anymore :) I was just curious around what vague timeframe that starts to happen. I'm in no rush, I'm just curious because even though I've lived through this before with a few other dogs, for the life of me I can't remember now.
 

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There is a distinction between being puppy's playmate, and playing with him like a human.

Playmates encourage or allow the puppy to engage human flesh. Playmates stimulate the puppy and get him all wound up until he is a veritable frenzied alligator with fur. ;)

Humans focus the puppy's only to toys, balls, sticks etc. Humans also are very well aware of the level of stimulation to the puppy, and keep it below the threshold where puppy loses control. So humans will constantly be monitoring, and slow the pace of activity as necessary.


If you can be a human playing with him, rather than a playmate, then play away. ;)

Hope that helps a bit!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was just asking when puppies grow up, that's all :) I don't remember when my last pup turned into a dog. 4 months? 8 months? 2 years? I didn't mean to make the question sound so complicated (sorry!).
 

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Every dog is different! And most of them are grown-up ("dogs") in some ways while they are still puppies in others!

For example: characteristically, Calypso learned to play by herself (a la "dog") long before she started being able to cuddle while awake (was stuck in puppy mode in that respect).

Please note that I do play with Calypso, lots, and I super-reinforce her ability/desire to play by herself. When I see her playing with proper toys, I take a break from whatever I'm working on and go in for a few rounds of fetch or tug with her. :)

ETA: Like right now! Gotta go!
 

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Tessa is 18 weeks old last Tuesday (so around 4 months) and she plays by here self whenever she feels I'm not paying attention to her (after pouncing on me to try to get me to play; I think she thinks I'm still her playmate, even though I'm trying not to be). My previous dog, Jazzy, never played by herself. Instead she chose to just sleep (like Dawnben said) till a human came to play. But then she was a weird doggie ;)

To your question about 'maturing' into an adult (not physically but mentally)

'Becoming' a dog is pretty much based on the dog. It's like saying you as a human are technically an adult when you reach 18 (well in most places), but usually most 18 year olds aren't responsible enough to be holding down a career, kids, spouse, and all the other things 'big people' deal with; some can, and some decide to take YOLO as their motto and party well into their 20's, sometimes 30's. It's also true with 'older' people, some settle down and grow some common sense, while others simply never grow up.

My previous girl was around 4 when she became the perfect dog. Up until then she was a bouncy, hyper active, headache inducing, chewy, separation anxiety ridden 'puppy' (for lack of a better word). She lived for 14 years, so 10 of them were good; it was just getting through the first 4 that was tough. My neighbours Lab mix is only settling down now (at 10 years old) because he has arthritis; otherwise he'd still feel like a puppy.
 

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I was just asking when puppies grow up, that's all :) I don't remember when my last pup turned into a dog. 4 months? 8 months? 2 years? I didn't mean to make the question sound so complicated (sorry!).
Sorry, I over-analyzed, as usual! :eek:

Quick answer... about a year old they are young adults (maybe sooner for a small breed dog.
3 to 4 years for full emotional and social maturity, in my experience, again maybe sooner for smaller dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm notorious in many forums for making questions much more complex than they need to be by using waaay too much background before I even get to the question part.

I am so grateful to you and everyone here who's been so helpful to me!

Thank you!!
 

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There is a distinction between being puppy's playmate, and playing with him like a human.

Playmates encourage or allow the puppy to engage human flesh. Playmates stimulate the puppy and get him all wound up until he is a veritable frenzied alligator with fur. ;)

Humans focus the puppy's only to toys, balls, sticks etc. Humans also are very well aware of the level of stimulation to the puppy, and keep it below the threshold where puppy loses control. So humans will constantly be monitoring, and slow the pace of activity as necessary.


If you can be a human playing with him, rather than a playmate, then play away. ;)

Hope that helps a bit!
When I tell people not to rile her up because it will make her bite and I am trying to teach her not to bite they go "Well she needs to learn not to bite even if she's riled up." I don't know what to tell them, does this method teach them never to bite? Or does it teach them not to bite people who know how to handle her?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That's it! That's what Cobber is: an alligator with fur and puppy eyes :)

I continue to try playing calm games, but there seems to be nothing as interesting and appealing to him as parts of me (hand, arm, shirt, ankle) even when he's being calm. Makes me feel bad for not being able to play with him more...
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When I tell people not to rile her up because it will make her bite and I am trying to teach her not to bite they go "Well she needs to learn not to bite even if she's riled up." I don't know what to tell them, does this method teach them never to bite? Or does it teach them not to bite people who know how to handle her?
It avoids having puppies "practice" biting... ie making it more of a habit.

Also, it allows you to endure the puppy stage with minimal damage to you!

AND keep in mind, needing to bite/chew everything is a bit of a stage. Most adult dogs don't have that same drive.


Of course, its also important to make sure your puppy has enough opportunity to learn "bite inhibition" so you don't need to never allow contact to skin, just make sure when you do, the puppy is not so aroused he cannot learn from your "ouch" reaction.

Google "Ian Dunbar bite inhibition" and you'll find the good doctor discussing this.
 
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