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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all!

New to the forum. I recently adopted a 1 1/2 y.o. pit mix. She's the largest dog I've ever had and the youngest I've had in quite a while. The problem is her addiction to her toys. Whenever I just want to pet her and give her some loving, she immediately runs and gets a toy and brings it back to me to play with her. She loves tug of war and fetch. I want her to realize there is more to life than playing with toys. For that matter, if I just look at her and smile, she runs and grabs a toy to bring to me. I suspect that the way to deal with this is to put her toys away except for when I decide it's time to play, but I'd like to get some feedback first. I don't want her to lose her playfulness, just her obsession with it. So anyway, is it possible to teach her that there is an appropriate time to play with me and other times not? If I ignore her, she'll start tossing the toy herself and chasing it.
 

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How long have you had her?

When you ignore her and she goes off and just plays, does this bother you?

If you just got her, she may be excited and worked up and happy to have toys. She may just settle down on her own.

Exercise and long walks may help. She sounds a little pent up.

Does she have any training? Can she do a sit/stay or a down/stay?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How long have you had her?

When you ignore her and she goes off and just plays, does this bother you?

If you just got her, she may be excited and worked up and happy to have toys. She may just settle down on her own.

Exercise and long walks may help. She sounds a little pent up.

Does she have any training? Can she do a sit/stay or a down/stay?
I've had her for about 2 months. She was previously in a home with kids and another dog. In fact, when her previous family brought her to me they brought several tug toys and told me she really loved playing with them. When she goes and plays by herself, I am actually relieved as I work from home and can use the uninterrupted time. As I said, she is the youngest dog I've had in decades. I lost my last dog to lymphoma in November and we had been together for 13 years.

I take her for 3 walks a day, but I am going to increase the length of them. She definitely has her puppy energy going. I can't let her off-leash right now as the backyard fence has some spots where she could get out.

She can do a sit, but staying is a no-go for now. I just got a Dog Training for Dummies books and am going to start working with her.
 

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I don't think I would do anything to discourage her playtime as long is she is entertaining herself. I have one who will do that too and I love it. I see it as a good thing.

Exercise has a way of bringing everything into balance. There's no downside to stepping it up a bit. The craziness will likely pass or at least fade as time passes as long as you don't let her get pent up.

It sounds like she is used to a lot of stimulation. She comes from a busy back ground!

If it was me, I would work her a touch harder and relax. When you start training, you may see that having to use "her thinker" will wear her out a whole lot more than playing! My mutts can hike and play all day, but a 20 minute session of training takes the edge off more than physical exercise!

Best wishes on your journey with your new dog!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't think I would do anything to discourage her playtime as long is she is entertaining herself. I have one who will do that too and I love it. I see it as a good thing.

Exercise has a way of bringing everything into balance. There's no downside to stepping it up a bit. The craziness will likely pass or at least fade as time passes as long as you don't let her get pent up.

It sounds like she is used to a lot of stimulation. She comes from a busy back ground!

If it was me, I would work her a touch harder and relax. When you start training, you may see that having to use "her thinker" will wear her out a whole lot more than playing! My mutts can hike and play all day, but a 20 minute session of training takes the edge off more than physical exercise!

Best wishes on your journey with your new dog!
Thanks! Yeah, I love watching her play by herself. She'll toss the rope up in the air and catch it. I also got her a Kong toy (the black one for extreme chewers) and she'll pick it up and then throw it on the floor and chase it.

I agree that she probably had a busy previous life, where there was probably always someone to play with her and now she has to adjust to just having one person in her pack. And I have to adjust to having a young, energetic dog again and I'm not as young and energetic as I used to be.
 

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Filling that kong with her dog food, wetting that food once it's in the kong, and then freezing the kong will take meal time from a 30 second affair and stretch it to 20 minutes or so! Twice a day! That's 40 minutes of peace! I employ this trick with my 3 dogs, especially in the winter when they drive me to insanity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Filling that kong with her dog food, wetting that food once it's in the kong, and then freezing the kong will take meal time from a 30 second affair and stretch it to 20 minutes or so! Twice a day! That's 40 minutes of peace! I employ this trick with my 3 dogs, especially in the winter when they drive me to insanity.
I used to do that with Sadie. I would also plug the hole with peanut butter before freezing. Funny thing is that Hailee is the slowest eating dog I have ever seen. Her previous family had her on wet food, so the first thing I did was gradually switch her to kibble. Now she'll take a piece of kibble and toss it into the air and chase it around the kitchen.

I understand the insanity part! Sadie (my previous dog) had grown old with me and we pretty much just went for walks and cuddled on the couch in her final years. So to go from a sedentary 13 y.o. to a pup (and a big strong pup at that) is quite an adjustment. I need to help Hailee ramp down her energy a few notches and I need to ramp my own energy up a few.
 

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She's going to keep you young! Mixing your new kibble with her moist food then freezing will work too!

I take my dog's food and add boiled eggs and some grated cheese and some chopped hot dogs. I moisten then stuff. The mix is still mostly dog food, but the little treasures help motivate my critters to feast. My 5 month old demonic hell-child puppy will jump up on the furniture and throw her kong to dislodge the good stuff. She's so smart that she may be the death of me.

I use agility to wear mine out. That's all good until winter strips me of training space. I sorta freak out about mine from November til April.
 

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I'm trying to teach mine that cuddles aren't everything, and he should play a bit. (yeah right!). We need a little exchange going on ;)

Good luck, I'm sure she'll get the hang of cuddles after you wear her out a bit more!
 

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I always see dog that's OCD on toys as a good thing.

But you gotta train an off switch of some kind for that if you want any peace.. A go to your mat cue or some way to say it's not play time.

I also make sure and work them out real well daily. Sounds like the first thing is to fix that fence, so you can play fetch and get your dog really excercised.
 

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I'm trying to teach mine that cuddles aren't everything, and he should play a bit. (yeah right!). We need a little exchange going on ;)

Good luck, I'm sure she'll get the hang of cuddles after you wear her out a bit more!
I'm working on that, too. I don't thinking ever had a toy before.

I think a self amusing, playful dog is a good thing, but it would only help her to have more exercise and to learn an off switch. Muggsy was obsessive about fetch at that age and I had to teach him "all done". Once he got it, he would grab a chew toy and lay down and chew for a while. Then I could rest my throwing arm.
 
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