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)