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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am looking for fun ways to play with my dog and nice activities to keep him busy. The thing is that he doesn't like tennis balls, sticks, squeakies, and generally any other toy that I have presented to him. He plays fetch every now and then because I taught him to do so, but he doesn't seem to be motivated by the activity itself, but by rewards he gets for it. He tires of it quickly. Do you have suggestions as to really nice toys that dogs can't resist? Or other nice ways to play with him?
 

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I love, love, LOVE wrestling and playing chase with Mac. With that said, he is a 15 pound terrier shihtzu, I don't know what breed and weight your dog has behind him. We will chase eachother around and roll around together, get him all riled up and silly. We both love it, and I usually end up laughing so hard I'm crying. No toys required! Could you play like that with your dog?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oscar is a 33 lbs Leonberger mix. The thing is, I do sometimes playfight with him, but am not sure he likes it. He will play along, but seems a bit frustrated at the same time. He sort of moans and whines when I play with him like that, he doesn't do that in any other situations. He will also never start it himself, and will stop immediately when I stop. He doesn't have a tail, which makes it harder to judge if he's enjoying himself or not. My idea is these sort of games are not his style?
 

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What a cute face! Is he food motivated? Maybe you could work on clicker training and/or teaching him tricks. We taught Colby to stick 'em up (sit pretty, paws in the air) and then bang! (play dead). We also taught her to open her crate, go in and close it (thought that only took about 15 minutes). They're more complicated than just sit or a down and I have a lot of fun teaching her new tricks. As a bonus, it keeps her thinking. If you're looking for something to keep him busy while you're making dinner or doing some other activity, I'm a big proponent of KONGs. You can fill them with all sorts of stuff. We usually chop up carrots and apples and then stuff part of a banana in to hold everything inside. Usually keeps Colby busy for 20 minutes or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Whoa! I love a Leonberger, but you do not see too many of those. How old is he? What is he mixed with?
I saw his mom at the shelter where I got him, and my best guess is she is a terrier mix. A small, lean and athletic looking dog. Oscar got his size from her luckily :) he's about 18 months old, and we think he's fullgrown.

Melundie: thanks! yes, he is food motivated and knows a bunch of tricks like play dead, roll over, back up and my favourite: shame on you! (he covers his face with his paw if I say that). I was more thinking of activities he can do without me, when I'm doing something else. A Kong seems like a great idea, thanks. Fingers crossed he won't ignore it like his other toys! :)
 

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He's a shelter dog? He may not know what toys are for or you may not have the right kind of toy. Kabota didn't have the slightest idea what to do with a toy when I got him. So I got one of each kind of toy (soft stuffed, softer rubber, harder rubber), rubbed hot dogs on them to get him started and then watched to see which toy he kept chewing after the hot dog wore off. Kabota likes stuffies and only stuffies.

As to other games, you could play "chase me", you could do tracking games, hide and seek, you could build a little makeshift agility course and run through it with your dog. There's a lot of options past just toys.
 

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One of our dogs was raised in shelters from a few months old until we adopted him at nearly 4yrs of age. He never played with toys, had no idea what they were for. It was ages before we found a game he truly loved. Dingo was a grouchy old dog but the one thing that could make him smile was to be chased by a car. Yup, you read it right: to be chased by a car. We would go out on country roads and let him run. He would keep looking back for us to chase him. When we did he was in doggie heaven.
Not saying to go chase your dog with a car but just pointing out that dogs can be entertained by some crazy things. Sometimes we have to think outside of the box.

Attached is a pic of Dingo one of the days we were playing this game with him. He was the most depressed, sad, dog I had ever known. However, This one 'game' ....well, look at his pic... I love that smile.
 
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