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Discussion Starter #1
. . . to play with toys by himself for a while?

I ask this because my sweet Cupid loves to play fetch. I enjoy it as well, and we often play it in the evenings. The problem is that he doesn't seem to enjoy doing much else. He'll play with other toys for a few minutes, but seems to get bored pretty quickly. When I put away the ball and won't play with him, he tends to wander around and get into things.

I wish I could give him a bone, but he's on a special diet (due to bladder stones), so I can't.

So my question is this: have any of you had dogs who didn't/don't much like to play by themselves? And did you teach them to like it more? It would be nice to watch a movie or something without having to throw the ball around while it's running.

Here are a couple of facts it might help to know. He was two when I rescued him, and I don't know anything about his past beyond the fact that he was at a shelter in California that had too many dogs, so he came here. Also, I take him on a minimum of two walks a day, so he gets other exercise as well.

I'd love to hear your suggestions or success stories.
 

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Chasing a ball taps into the dogs Prey drive and works well for dogs that have that high drive. Some of them seem to shun other toys...my male Sheltie is ball crazy and won't touch the stuffed toys. My female likes the stuffed toys but, she will only play with them for a minute or two. A couple of toys that hold their interest though are Kongs (stuffed with peanut butter/food) and Buster Cubes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for responding, Tooney. It doesn't surprise me that he has a high prey drive. When he spots a bird on the sidewalk or grass when we're on our walks, he is focused and after it. Luckily for the bird, he's got me at the other end of the leash, so the bird usually flies away before he can get to it. I've thought he would make a great bird dog.

I have a Buster Cube but he doesn't seem to like/use it much. I think this is because he can't see the food until it comes out, so he doesn't stay interested. He does enjoy his Twist N Treat.

I wish I could do the Kong thing, but his special diet consists only of one type of food and one type of treat (a low-mineral biscuit). No other food.

If you have any other ideas, let me know. If I read between the lines, though, it sounds like you're saying this is just the kind of dog he is.

Cupid is like your female in that he is interested in stuffed toys or other toys for a minute or two, but then he's right back to wanting a ball. Or he brings the toy to me to throw as a fetch toy. :)
 

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Pack drive dogs seem to like stuffed toys although Prey drive dogs can like them too especially if they squeak. But, you're right, every dog has their preference and the Play drive is not very high for most dogs. All we can do is keep trying with new/better/more expensive/interesting toys.
 

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I wish I could do the Kong thing, but his special diet consists only of one type of food and one type of treat (a low-mineral biscuit). No other food.



I have filled the Kong with kibble, or have broken the biscuits into small peices and shoved it into the Kong on many occassions - with no peanut butter. Even our Golden, who hates to work for food will take the time for it. Maybe you could take the special food (or break up the lo-mineral biscuit, or mix the two) and put that into the Kong. Just remember to deduct that amount of food from the regular feeding, so you don't overfeed.
 

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I gave my husk puppy an old basketball, he has it in the backyard for when i'm not around, he will play hours with it even if i'm not the one tossing it around, he will kick, munch, takle, hug the ball all day long... i wouldn't be surprised if ''ball'' was his non human best friend!
 

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I gave my husk puppy an old basketball, he has it in the backyard for when i'm not around, he will play hours with it even if i'm not the one tossing it around, he will kick, munch, takle, hug the ball all day long... i wouldn't be surprised if ''ball'' was his non human best friend!
My Golden doesn't play by himself much, except with a soccer ball. With that, he's like a 75 lb. kitten on crank. He loves to do the same with big cardboard boxes inside the house. He can really make some noise with those things.
 

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You might also talk to your vet (or a nutritionist- there's a few that do distance consults) about foods that are safe to add to the diet. What kind of stones? For example, dalmatians form uvate stones and their protein intake has to be carefully monitored- but treats low in (or free of) purines (such as eggs (low), carrots (free), sweet potatoes (low, IIRC) or frozen green beans) are all okay. This isn't true of all gut problems (IBD for example, or epi) where a relaly stable diet is the main thing, but talk to your vet! Booda bones, for example, might be okay- they're 90% corn starch and very little else.
 

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This may seem a little silly and far-fetched (no pun intended), but have any of you ever seen that commercial with the doxie that loads the tennis ball into the machine that then shoots it out for him to fetch? He does that over and over. Here's an article about it:

Fetch 2.0: Man Builds Machine for Dog

I thought that was pretty cool, so I searched to see if there's something already made for someone like me, who doesn't have the know-how, time, or materials to build something like that. Wouldn't you know, there is! It's called GoDogGo. It's fairly expensive, but this is the cheapest one I've seen so far after typing it into Google:

GoDogGo

If my dog turns out to be a fetch-fanatic, I'll definitely save up for one of these. Otherwise I'd probably end up playing a game of "How Much Work Can I Get Done Between Throws?" or "How Far Can I Throw It In The House Without Breaking Something?".
 

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Do they make a canned version of his diet? If so you could stuff a kong with it and freeze it.
 

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Oh my gosh the godogo thing is AWESOME! Ha! Now if only they would make a flyball box that the dog could reload himself. And I was actually surprised that it was only $150. I wouldn't spend the money myself but it isn't as outrageous as I would have thought either. I have been looking at buying a flyball box to practice on at home and they are about that expensive. (Boo).:p

I do have a dog that will play with oversized balls for awhile on her own. If you don't mind the mess you could take a stuffed animal and rip it open a little and show her how fun it is to pull the stuffing out. My dogs LOVE to gut stuffies.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My thanks to everyone for the comments. Lots of great ideas I'm excited to try.

Agility Collie Mom, I've already tried your suggestion of a frozen Kong using his canned food. I went and bought some this morning, gave it to him this afternoon, and it kept him busy for nearly an hour. THANK YOU. Lexilu, I'll remember to deduct the amount from his feeding. Good point.

I also like the idea of a nutritionist. I'm going to look for one near me or try and find one who does distance consults. If you have any suggestions about the latter, let me know.

I have seen the GoDogGo. I was hoping to buy it with my tax refund, but that money went toward a home improvement project. Still, I'm hoping to save up for it and buy it later this year.

Thanks, all, for your comments, commiseration, and suggestions. I'm definitely open to more ideas.
 
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