For dogs and other animal companions, toys are not a luxury, but a necessity. Toys help fight boredom in dogs left alone, and toys can even help prevent some problem behaviors from developing. Although cats can be pretty picky when it comes to enjoying particular toys—ignoring a $10 catnip mouse and marveling over a piece of crumpled newsprint—dogs are often more than willing to “play” with any object they can get their paws on. That means you’ll need to be particularly careful when monitoring your dog’s playtime to prevent any “unscheduled” activities. Continue reading “Dog Toys – The Right Ones”
Toys and Treats
There are many safe toys and healthy treats available for your puppy, but there are also some toys and treats that may not be good for every dog.
- Safe Toys: Puppies and dog toys are meant to entertain your dog, but it is important to supervise your puppy to make sure your puppy is not making a meal out of a toy that isn’t meant to be a meal. This can be dangerous. Be sure to always read the labels on puppy and dog toys. Toys that can give long hours of safe fun include most nylon bones, bones made out of starch, “Kong” brand toys, hard balls that your puppy cannot destroy and that do not fit fully into your puppy’s mouth. Again, it is important to supervise your puppy when your puppy is playing with toys.
- Rope Toys: Rope toys can provide lots of fun for your puppy, if your puppy does not have a tendency to chew on carpets, blankets, throws, or clothing. If you see your puppy is chewing on these items at home, then avoid rope toys.
- Plush Toys: Plush toys are lovable, cute, and your puppy may enjoy “cuddling” with plus toys. The fabric and stitches on some plush toys are easy to tear apart. If your puppy likes to rip open the plush toy and pull out the stuff, avoid these toys.
- Healthy Treats: Treats are used for special occasions. Feeding your puppy too many treats can lead to obesity later in life.
Games and Activities
As you probably already know, puppies love to play. Playing with your puppy will not only help you establish a trusting relationship early on, but it will allow your puppy to burn off excess energy and avoid other “excessive energy” problems, such as boredom.
- Games to Enjoy: Puppies like playing “Hide and Seek,” Fetch, and Find It. They also enjoy having social time with other dogs and taking walks with you.
- Games to Avoid: Puppies generally love to “tug” on toys or other objects. It is best to avoid tug-o-war games as this may cause your puppy to grow into a dominate dog, or a dog that loves to play “cat-and-mouse” when it has your favorite slippers. You will be chasing your puppy everywhere when this happens.
A Few Final Notes
- A trained pup is a happy pup. Be sure to get your puppy into training as early as possible so you can enjoy your puppy and your puppy can enjoy you and others.
- You should not have to alter your life for your puppy; puppies should alter their lives and behaviors for you.
- Puppies do not always grow out of puppy behavior and it is true- puppy behavior can transfer to adulthood!
- Puppies and dogs love to please their owners. Love your puppy every day and make sure you praise your puppy every time they do something right. Consistency is the key to success!
Jennifer Dorner, Master Trainer, National K-9 Certified (815-886-0059)
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Congratulations, you’re expecting a baby! If your family already includes a pet, you’ll need to help that first “baby” adjust to the new one you’ll soon bring home. You can help your pet cope with this big change in much the same way parents help children understand that a new brother or sister will be joining the family. By following the tips below, you can ease your pet’s stress, help her welcome your new baby, and ensure that your pet stays where she belongs—with you and your growing family. Continue reading “Introducing Pets To The New Baby”
This article is written to help you and your puppy begin training in the early months. It contains helpful hints for training puppies and establishing a trusting relationship. We start by sharing information about what to expect in the first few months. Older puppies will have more specific training needs. Continue reading “Puppy Manners”
One of the main reasons people acquire a dog is for companionship. Like us, dogs are able to form strong bonds with people. One could even argue that dogs are even more social than we are. Due to their instincts they a even more motivated than humans to stay with their social group. Separation from their group is usually followed by behaviors that will help them reunite such as vocalizations, increasing activity, urination and defecation, etc. Of course these natural and normal behaviors cause problems in our homes. Dog’s are not programmed to be alone with our busy day-to-day schedules, so if they must be alone for a few hours, here’s a few tips to keep them from chewing, pooping, and ruining. Continue reading “Understanding Separation Anxiety”