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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've tried every tip suggested online, even play signals, but he won't play (He's 4 months and will be 5 months next month). He'd rather be with my parents (I live at home as an adult, BTW.) and whenever I try to initiate play, he just stares at me. I haven't ever hurt him, and had always been patient with him. How do I get him interested in playing?
 

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Cat-dog, GSD spayed female and Tornado-dog, JRT mix, neutered male
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How are you trying to play? What are your parents doing when he goes to them? Who is feeding, taking him out for potties, walks, etc? How much time do you spend with him versus your parents?

The puppy may simply not be interested in your idea of "play". Or he may prefer to just " hang out". Or he may not have developed a bond with you (very common in situations where the "owner" isn't around to feed, walk, etc, the dog and someone else takes on those interactions).
 

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Is he a Berner cross? My experience with Berners is that a lot of them are pretty phlegmatic. I find the idea of dog-as-a-footwarmer appealing, but perhaps not the right breed for someone who wants an active companion.

That said, pretty much all puppies play. Here's a pretty good list of ideas for getting puppies to engage in appropriate play with people...I like it because some of the items aren't things people would necessarily think of as "games" but are very engaging for dogs: How To Play With A Puppy - A Complete Guide For New Owners
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How are you trying to play? What are your parents doing when he goes to them? Who is feeding, taking him out for potties, walks, etc? How much time do you spend with him versus your parents?

The puppy may simply not be interested in your idea of "play". Or he may prefer to just " hang out". Or he may not have developed a bond with you (very common in situations where the "owner" isn't around to feed, walk, etc, the dog and someone else takes on those interactions).
I spend a decent amount of time with him, and sometimes he just likes to hang out. I feed him, but my parents usually take him out to go potty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is he a Berner cross? My experience with Berners is that a lot of them are pretty phlegmatic. I find the idea of dog-as-a-footwarmer appealing, but perhaps not the right breed for someone who wants an active companion.

That said, pretty much all puppies play. Here's a pretty good list of ideas for getting puppies to engage in appropriate play with people...I like it because some of the items aren't things people would necessarily think of as "games" but are very engaging for dogs: How To Play With A Puppy - A Complete Guide For New Owners
He's a berner cross, a bernedoodle. I'll look at the list.
 

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Cat-dog, GSD spayed female and Tornado-dog, JRT mix, neutered male
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I spend a decent amount of time with him, and sometimes he just likes to hang out. I feed him, but my parents usually take him out to go potty.
OK. So how do your parents interact with him differently than you do?

If he's avoiding you and going to them, it really sounds like he just isn't that interested in what you are offering. Focus on his preferences for play. He may prefer walks over actual play. Or even car rides.
 
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You tried all those games suggestions in post 3? Does he come to you for pets or to cuddle? Does he enjoy walks? This really helps create a bond as well as feeding.
 
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