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I have a 15-week-old dachshund/chihuahua mix that I've had for a little over a week now. If I'm not playing with him or letting him sit on my lap, it seems he doesn't know what to do with himself. He'll sit and whine at me, or he'll leap onto one of his toys for a couple of seconds, and then get distracted and start looking around again. It seems like he doesn't know what to do when someone isn't interacting with him, and eventually, he often ends up curling up on the ground and going to sleep.

Is this normal? I know he's young, and I need to keep my eyes on him 24/7 when he's not in his crate, but how can I have him so that he's not looking to me for what to do every second of the day? I get worried because if I don't have my eye on him and he's not playing with something or sleeping, I'm worried that he's searching around for somewhere to go to the bathroom. I keep him tethered, but still, the worry is there if I take my eye off of him for even a few seconds.
 

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I thought my dog was an idiot when we got him at 8 wks because he wasn't interested in balls. I thought ALL dogs loved to play with balls and fetch! I'd never met one who didn't. I think he started fetching about 3 wks ago. In the meantime, I bought a bunch of different types of toys for him - different balls (mini tennis, rubber), rubber toys, soft toys, rope toys, toys with squeakers, and now we have a better idea of what he likes (soft toys with squeakers) and what will keep him entertained. We also got him rawhide sticks a few weeks ago and one of those will keep him busy for about an hour, so we save them for when he's got the crazies in the evening. Sometimes he'll take a kong with PB/kibbles frozen, though we try to save that for car ride treats. Just try different stuff 'til you figure out what he likes. He may also just not be a very independent dog, or might be so new that he isn't comfortable doing things on his own yet.
 

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I thought my dog was an idiot when we got him at 8 wks because he wasn't interested in balls. I thought ALL dogs loved to play with balls and fetch! I'd never met one who didn't. I think he started fetching about 3 wks ago. In the meantime, I bought a bunch of different types of toys for him - different balls (mini tennis, rubber), rubber toys, soft toys, rope toys, toys with squeakers, and now we have a better idea of what he likes (soft toys with squeakers) and what will keep him entertained. We also got him rawhide sticks a few weeks ago and one of those will keep him busy for about an hour, so we save them for when he's got the crazies in the evening. Sometimes he'll take a kong with PB/kibbles frozen, though we try to save that for car ride treats. Just try different stuff 'til you figure out what he likes. He may also just not be a very independent dog, or might be so new that he isn't comfortable doing things on his own yet.
I think he only needs a little more time to adjust with the new toys. :)
 

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That's completely normal. My dog is 10 months old and spends the whole day at home alone, but when I come home at lunch time and after work, she barely takes her eyes off me, and moves whenever I'm moving. HOWEVER, when she's playing with a toy, or chewing on a bone, she's more independent, she's only really attentive like that when she's in a resting state. So I agree with tasty chews and toys for sure!

Also, if you have him tethered to you, make sure you do some independence training too, as he may be getting really attached to you, which can lead to him feeling uneasy when you're away. When he empties his pee and poo, try leaving him alone for a minute, and increasingly longer intervals, so he's ok being without you. Then when you're together, just do your own thing (read, etc) and look at him from the corner of your eye to prevent accidents, but just ignore him, and as he gets older, he'll know that when you're reading a newspaper, or watching tv, or having dinner, that it's his cue to do his own thing.
 
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