, Our dogs like to play. A dog only has so much prey drive that it can unleash at one time. My pitty loves any and all sorts of toys, whereas my pointer has never taken any interest in them. If you seem excited about the toy it will help your dog be more excited about the toy. Your pup sounds very similar to KJo’s dog. So if you want your dog to enjoy playing fetch you'll want to start by … You’re right, it will take some time until he’s comfortable with his new environment. He sounds like an amazing dog and Haley would agree, nothing is better than a car ride or hike in the woods, lol! Thanks for these helpful tips. Rescued Dog Won’t Play. Don’t worry if you made some mistakes, but if you think you’ve lost some ground in the trust department, this post might be helpful. She was initially rescued 8 mos. You want them to be successful so they find it fun! While some dogs, particularly the retriever breeds, do naturally want to play the game of fetch, others do not intrinsically understand it. I would focus on creating a bond of trust right now and helping him overcome his shyness and fear of the door (and any other issues he might have). We have tried many many toys and keep trying to use them in different ways (balls, tug toys, hide a treat toys, Kongs etc…). Hi, Jacqui! I too had one dog, Subaka, who loved to play in anyway she possibly could and my other dog, Dax, could care less…..except for the 30 seconds every couple of weeks, and never with a toy. Any thoughts on the possibility of trauma that I believe she experienced her first 4 years of life causing her reacting to treats and her lack of knowing how to play? We got a 1½ -to 2-year-old female mixed-breed dog from our local shelter a few days ago. I got a German Shorthaired Pointer thats reached her golden years, but believe me, hasn’t slowed her down, in contrast with my more mild mannered pitbull. Thanks for commenting, Jen. Thank you, Signed, Distressed Wendy. She won’t hold anything in her mouth, so fetch, tug, etc. My little dog Phoebe is a rescue. This is my first Husky, and I have heard they are wicked smart and can get bored. . He’s also getting some mental stimulation and exercise while you build a strong bond together. I think a lot of people who adopt adult dogs or rescue dogs wonder about certain behaviors when they don’t know what might have happened in the past, but I’m glad this puts your mind at ease about Dax. Published on 6/19/2018 at 11:23 AM. You could also start incorporating some types of play while you’re out walking, since that’s when she’s active and interested in things or try playing with toys while she’s on a leash in the yard or even inside the house. She does seem to be housebroken but has had a few accidents, but we are figuring out ways to help her avoid that. I made the mistake of rewarding Haley once for killing a spider when it scared me (I screamed, of course) and she now looks for bugs and spiders to kill. she will not play. Hugs to all of you!. I bought him several different toys, which he ignores. All the dog has to do is choose a moving statue instead. Dog won’t play fetch. This is something I’ve wondered myself. Although most dogs will go after the ball, only a few will bring it back to you. I’m a disabled Vet my English Lab, Charlie, died of Cancer when he was only 5. Mort on the other hand had 20% play tendency that I could nurture up to 110%! End the play session if your dog gets over-excited. He will play with a keychain or a leaf the size of a quarter as much as he will with a tennis ball. Games like tug-of-war or wrestling can cause some dogs to get pretty riled up. Haha, it’s funny that he brings all of his toys out when you have guests, that’s cute. If not, you may need to break it down even more by tossing the toy closer (some dogs you have to start with just a few inches!). I am trying to learn more about my dog’s utter disinterest in play. Sure you could *train* them to play, but teaching them to *enjoy* play is completely up to them (whether it’s something they want to do more than something else they could do). It’s delightful watching her! Don’t punish him. I can’t believe somebody would do that. 9. We love him! A good way to introduce fetch to your dog is through the two-toy fetch method. It might take some observation and a little creative thinking on your part, but if you discover what makes him happy, you might be able to expand it into a type of play. However, not all dogs naturally fetch. He has no enthusiasm for play or toys. Thanks so much for adding to the conversation and sharing your thoughts on the nurture vs. nature debate. My 8 yr old dog (female labradoodle/golden doodle cross) does not play at all. Hi Grace, Congratulations on your new family member! You’ll have to let us know if you figure out what’s happening.. Like your example of guarding chicks or maybe chasing bugs. By Maggie McCarthy. I haven’t met a Tibetan Terrier in person before, but they are gorgeous dogs. Both were puppies when we got them. I know Haley’s that way most of the time and on days when we’re really active, she likes to take it easy for the rest of the day. So we know at least during this phase of a dog’s life that they like to play. Did I mention that she will stand very still next to us and wait to be told to go, and often will just wait with her nose to the wall. I guess they’re similar to people in that respect, our interests change over time and we find ourselves enjoying new things. You don’t want him to get bored, so at first, only play a few minutes and then do something he really does enjoy, like a walk or a run, to get out the rest of his energy. she is super active on the leash. When I adopt a dog who never learned, I accept it and just love the dog all I can. But the reason for this comment is that she doesn’t know how to play at all. In the meantime, try using those hooves or other treats to discover clues to what she likes. I bought toys for her and she is just not too interested in them. And even then, it’s just laying down and nibbling them. It’s understandable that older dogs or dogs that are ill may lose interest in playing, but the idea of a dog that doesn’t like toys or playing is foreign to me. , It sounds like she’s having a good time playing by herself and sometimes with your JRT. She may just be very shy but if she’s still sleeping all the time, it might be a good idea to have her checked by your vet to make sure there’s not a reason for her to be so inactive. I wonder if she associates the toys and/or tug-o-war with the loss of her friend. We would say go get your Birdie and she would and then carry it to her bed. Growling is normal, but if you sense your dog is getting too worked up or he’s playing too aggressively, have him drop the toy and take a break from the action. At first she gave it a couple of licks, but after a few weeks she just totally ignored it. I even put peanut butter on one, and she didn’t even lick it off. Aw, I’m glad you found some answers, Jill! I have seen people at competitions weather it is at a dog show or agility trial get a tug toy out and give it to the dogs to get them hyped up or as a reward for doing a good job. Some will pick the ball and run away with it while some will drop it halfway. ? If so, maybe they both have some competitive anxiety when going after the ball at the same time. (heartworm, puppies too young, dental disease). . Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Jen. One will always copy the other and completely stop what they are doing. Now THATS a game a GSD could get into! She does not chase balls , Will not put anything in her mouth to play tug, She even ignores sticks outside. Most dogs have a preference to certain toys – here is a list of common “types” of toys that dogs find pleasing: Be exciting! In fact, many dogs, of all breeds, are not “into the fetch.” Or maybe your dog likes to chase the ball, but never brings it back. I think it’s a bit of both nature and nurture that determines how playful a dog will be. A month ago we found a beautiful 4 year old female from a rescue organization. help. But we are sure the humans would be more than willing to play a game of fetch with him. They are masters of reading our body language and they look for our play signals. She’s a very lucky girl to have found a wonderful home with you, Jackie. I have an 11/12 year old Maltese that will run and play with a toy but the minute you try to engage her, she stops wanting to play. Give your boy a hug from me and Haley and good luck with the training, socializing and the playing!? 4 4. Great tips, I’m lucky and my gang loves to play in some form or another. 10 Tips for Helping Your Dog Learn How to Play, “Do You Have a Dog That Doesn’t Like to Play?”. That’s interesting! This is a game, be excited when your dog is successful, quiet when he is not. Some dogs will chase after the toy but then won’t bring it back, while others simply look at you with a confused expression, wondering why you repeatedly throw the toy away! The 2 year old loved to play tug-o-war with the 9 year old. If your dog does it – big party! Once he’s had some time to really get comfortable in your home, watch for anything that seems to peak his interest and build on that. With out the cane she would come but slowly. Since she’s also super playful, I’m going to try Jen’s advice and see what I can accomplish with a tug toy and playing as a reward sometimes. Then again, as a dignified guy, he may look at you with that expression that says “Really?” That’s okay too, some dogs are content with just doing their own thing and that’s just fine. Most people play fetch for a LOOOONG LOOOONG time. Fetch is an interactive game that encourages the bond between human and dog, cementing your position as the ‘alpha’ as you command your dog to retrieve objects for you. And he definitely does that terrier shake and kill with his stuffed toys. Some dogs, depending on age, are bred to be “lap dogs” and may not be as interested in playing. A lot of scent hounds enjoy following their noses more than playing with traditional toys, so she might enjoy walks and exploring with you more than connecting with her fetching, retriever side. hi I have a problem, my dog is 7 year old lab, we got him when he was five from a friend who could no longer keep him, he LOVED toys before we got him, but he REFUSES toys (other then raw hide) I just can’t get him to play, I play bow go “grff!” As a play bark, and other play signals but he looks up at me gives me a look like “WHAT are you doing?” HELP. I’m curious what you think about a dog that doesn’t like to play. That's why it is a good idea to start teaching the rules of fetch when your dog is a puppy. I will keep trying, but this article and comments were very helpful to me as I thought I was the only one who had a dog who didn’t love to play all the time. Move the toy. My Favorite Global Pet Expo Products 2017. He loves to hike and ride in the car. They also would go get it, bring it over to me but not let go of it. I’m sure Kilo is making great progress with the manners. . I’ve heard of farms where you can take a herding dog to learn or practice sheep herding. But now they act like they are intimidated by playing fetch. Maybe she’d be a bit more playful if she’d had a more normal puppyhood, but who knows. Rita was living in the “mean streets” in Mexico when she should have been learning to play, so who knows. He preferred to sleep and take a more relaxed approach to life. Fetch is a game that most people want to play with their dog and it can be frustrating if you throw a toy and your dog just sits watching you or goes and gets the toy but doesn’t bring it back. Mr. N plays with toys but he has very set times when he feels like it. He is a very sweet, low-key, low maintenance fellow! Rudy’s intake paperwork says he was a stray. While the ball-crazed Border Collie may fetch all day, a dog who does not naturally find it a fun game will not. She could not fetch to save anyone’s life. I had two dogs, a 2 year old and a 9 year old. ago as a stray, and we were told she was adopted once and brought back for “behavior issues” (the rescue found out she’d been mistreated and had begun acting out in retaliation). I’m not sure why, but I’m thinking that he never knew how. She is incredibly smart (she will train herself by just watching me train Mort to do something). Keep training short at first. I believe she has been beaten with a stick … a lot. I’m certain that if you looked at these dogs as part of a litter, you’d see different amounts of play tendency within the litter (just as you would prey drive, confidence, etc). I have tried every single type of toy (texture, type, size), probably two dozen different methods of instilling motivation, have a huge arsenal of ideas from world class behaviorists. Sounds like a lot when I put it in writing but we really do feel she’s a very smart (she learned to “give me your Paw” in one morning) and a wonderful dog with great potential. She doesn’t care for chew bones, however full size carrots are the bomb in her eyes. If he fails three times, go back to rewarding for looking a few more times. If you’re lucky, your dog plays fetch naturally, but few dogs intrinsically understand the concept of retrieving. Playing fetch is something that most dogs enjoy, and for very active and lively breeds like the Springer spaniel, a game of fetch can help them to get the additional exercise that they need and allow them to run around freely, without having to match them pace for pace!. 6. And I’m still not sure. It could be PTSD, or perhaps they missed the critical “play stage” of development by being placed in a shelter? Like the vigilant guard dog who keeps an eye on every chick in the barnyard. While the ball-crazed Border Collie may fetch all day, a dog who does not naturally find it a fun game will not. Preventive Vet says that some dogs might just never show an interest in the game. She played with her sibling *all* the time (died 8 weeks ago) but bcz she always had another dog in the house to play with she was never interested in playing its humans. That’s just who she is. Don’t go so fast or so far away that they can’t catch it – make it easy for them at first. In fact, some people have a dog so they can go outside, get some fresh air and play fetch. What do you do when your dog loves to play with a ball, but he won't give the ball up in a game of catch? His breeder has had many dogs disinterested in play and Riley’s grandmother is one of them, where as his dad loves to play and is the only male dog that loves when the new puppies are born so he can play with them. If he never learned how to play, you’ll be looking for subtle signs of interest that you can possibly build on. However, she will kind of wrestle and play fight with my Jack Russell on occasion. Your sweet GS/Corgi girl sounds pretty well adjusted to me and I’m sure she’s happy to have her new loving, family. Every dog has their toy preferences, so it’s a good idea to experiment with a variety of toys to find out what appeals to your dog. . When we first got her I bought a little stuffed bird and worked with her to get her to go pick it up. Your dog doesn’t have to fetch a ball. Now she’s a toy loving pup and can’t wait to play w/ us and our other dog! I tried to find other dogs that dhe could play with and that kinda failed when the other dog refused.I have set up another play date this weekend hopefully it works out. I don’t believe for a second all dogs are created equal, and all dogs can do “x” well (be it play, trained, etc) despite all having some genes for these things, but the question is drive. Once you have gotten to the point where your dog is picking up the toy, you are going to add in your end behavior. For the vast majority of dogs, fetch won't turn into this obsessive fixation. ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky! Other breeds, however, have been bred to “do a job”. Ready, Set, Fetch. At first, it was just kibble in a soda bottle we turned upside down for her to knock over. I am not sure if this is a) just who she is b) mirrors our lifestyle (we are very active outdoors and relaxed indoors, c) she is still adjusting to her new home environment or a combination…. You have to lock up tennis balls to keep your dog from constantly bugging you to play fetch. In other words its not fun to chase something that is readily available. It will take a lot of patience and conditioning from the owner to make this game a true success. Every day I find myself researching and reading to resolve these issues and I’m beginning to feel overwhelmed and unsure about what to deal with first as perhaps some of these things are certainly connected. Maybe try freezing the peanut butter Kongs so they last a little longer (if you don’t do that already) or bury some other yummy treats inside the peanut butter or buy some larger bones that will last quite a while. The ONLY time my border collie won't play fetch with me is when he is somehow discomforted. One other thought, as you work on training and creating a stronger bond with her, you might notice that she’s more trusting and open to playing with you. Kilo the Pug is a lap dog but he loves to play. That was a about 3 years ago. We even tried tug-o-war with her but she loses interest quickly. The good news is, that wouldn’t necessarily mean he’s not happy or content with you. She has next to no motivation there, looks at me like I’m crazy or something, and when she does play (tug a little etc) it lasts for maybe 30 seconds before she does something else she prefers to do. Fido doesn't know the rules of fetch, so teaching him the rules is the only way to break the cycle so you and your dog can truly enjoy the game. Update: If your dog brings a toy to you but doesn’t seem to want to play, maybe your dog wants to make a trade. I have a rescue his is Oreo he is 3 we have tried all kinds of toys no luck but he loves walks and me jumping behind him he gets excited and will twirle around till he is panting lol he is a cuddle bug that’s for sure he loves to lay with me and my husband and he loves to see his doggie friends up the road, Really informative article: Thanks for sharing it with us, Also, read this article: https://www.boredcesar.com/understanding-dog-emotions/, Your email address will not be published. Any idea on how to play with him? He is housebroken, however afraid of the door, has to be carried to the door after several minutes of trying to catch him. She is extremely well behaved and a complete dear, so I am focusing on loving her and including her in as many things as I can. She’s not big on fetch, but she loves tug, chase, wrestling and shake & kill! I’ve always had very playful dogs. He goes crazy as most dogs do. Try to relax and just work on the biggest issues first while giving her lots of love and calm reassurance. They have been doing this for almost 5 months now. Check out my post, Do Dogs Barter? She doesn’t chase balls or sticks and she doesn’t really take things in her mouth to tug. You’re right, a dog that can play or have a job that’s aligned with his breed is one happy dog. What do you do when your dog loves to play with a ball, but he won't give the ball up in a game of catch? He never was touched with love, no freedom but a small box kennel. ? I can’t wait to implement these ideas. Do You Have a Dog That Doesn’t Like to Play? When someone tells me their adult dog doesn’t like to play, I often wonder about the old nurture vs. nature debate. Keep it FUN! ? Close. He is quiet, gets along with everyone and occasionally will wag his tale when it’s time for a walk, and that’s about it. Hi, Sandy! A friend of my husband and I is the only person who was able to get her to play with a human. The point is that your dog probably won’t instinctively run after a toy or ball and bring it back like the dogs in the movies. Riot of the day is that she’s discovered Home Depot and thinks it’s the most fun place on the planet – many people smile and scratch her ears, smells great. Thanks Susie, You’re so right, Susie! Motivation. Always so important to choose the right dog and breed for your lifestyle then do early socialization and invest the time in play and training. There’s such a huge variety of dog toys: Balls of all shapes and sizes, squeaky toys, hard and soft rubber toys, stuffed toys, tug toys, treat-dispensing toys, throwing toys, etc. Some dogs won’t play with a toy unless you are engaged too. Is it that they don’t like toys or they don’t know how to play with them? It makes sense if you think she might be part hound too, since they love to explore and follow scents. No further interest in the Kong. I read a few other articles along with this one and you all seem to agree on having a variety of toys to stimulate the dog’s senses and mind. These are great tips! Great post! It’s interesting how different drives and motivations come into play. If you don’t you could end up with a “Marley”. I never had a shepherd who would play fetch. It was the first time she showed interest in any sort of play. More Videos. Maybe considering a “dog-sibling” would help with transitioning to playing with humans. I wonder if play might look so strange for some dogs that we humans don’t recognize it. some dogs wont play fetch but may prefer a game of tug instead, your pup may be slightly insecure that may be why he wont go very far from you. Q:I am curious about my 3-year-old terrier mix's absolute refusal to play fetch outside. Herding dogs may prefer chasing games, agility or Frisbee catching. Some dogs are just less playful than others but keep trying different ideas (without pressuring her) and perhaps you’ll discover a clue to what sparks her playfulness. Sadly, so many dogs who are adopted are returned to shelters because they “won’t play”. He likes to play after dinner and sometimes after a walk and if we have guests over, he’ll drag out all the contents of his toy box and parade around with them. It’s fun to let her loose and watch her go! For Tig, her gig is going for hikes and if she had a choice her game would be chasing squirrels and watching me train or play with Mort while she enjoys the sunshine and *not* doing those things! If you get a chance, I’d love to hear back later about how things are going. However, when indoors, she just likes to hang out and/or sleep. Thanks for visiting the blog! You make such a good point too, that all dogs are different and we need to find the things that appeal to them and what they enjoy doing. Love & Biscuits, Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them, Wow, it’s heartwarming to read so many comments about rescue dogs like Phoebe that learned to play and trust through the kindness and patience of people like you, Cathy.

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