Ideas for puppy games/stimulation - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 02-22-2011, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We have just rescued an abandoned puppy. He is about 3 months old and either part or all border collie. He is very, very sweet and obviously extremely bright. We have a 6 yr. old french mastiff who is a big ol' (but well-behaved) oaf of a guy. They are getting along swimmingly (Mastiff thinks the puppy is *his* wonderful new pet, and puppy thinks Mastiff is the best back-up and big brother a guy could hope for!).

 

We've done plenty of obedience training in the past....mostly working on other dog tolerance for these mastiffs....but it is clear the new puppy needs a whole new level of stimulation/training/jobs/etc.

 

In a week he has learned sit, down, paw, his name, and is pretty clear on the whole house breaking thing (a couple accidents, of course, but mostly our fault for not catching his cues). He is also an incredible tracker. We've done a couple of exercises in the back yard where we hid from him and he tracked and found us instantly.

 

Here's my question: What are some fun and interesting games/activities/training that we can do with him to keep him stimulated, tire him out, and keep him from getting bored and destructive?

 

Like I said, we're doing brief bouts of "school" (working on sit and down, etc. but his attention span is still pretty short). We'll do: sit, down, paw, stand, finish, wait, stay, roll over, and "bang" (pretend shooting him with finger, he does down and then a roll over w/ stay). Any other "tricks" or lessons we could do? Some of that is a long way out...I doubt he's got anything like the attention span/control to do a down stay right now, Are there other fun and easy tricks he could learn now?

 

He's got a bunch of "challenging" toys--you know the kind with treats inside, and that's a good challenge. We've done a bit of hiding treats under toys for him to sniff out, and that's been good for his bean. What are some other games like that we could do with him?

 

Just want to have plenty of ideas to keep this little brainiac stimulated and thus well-behaved. Thanks, mamas!

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#2 of 8 Old 02-22-2011, 08:29 AM
 
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We have a 3 months old rottie puppy. Someone suggested to me on another forum to teach her the names of the toys "fetch kong", "fetch duck", etc. Lining up the toys and teaching the pup which one is which. We'll be trying that soon enough (trying to master the basics for now). I also would like to teach her to find each person in the house, and possibly carrying things to that other person (we'll start by working in the same room "go to Oriole", gradually increasing the distance).

 

I hear border collies need a lot of active play, so I'm guessing daily walks are a must. 

 

We also sometimes give her a plastic milk jug to toss around, she loves it, and will stay busy with it for a while (it's always supervised, so that she doesn't bite off a piece of plastic by accident).

 

On our end, I am also considering exploring Agility with our pup, once she gets through all the basic obedience classes. Some dogs must stay busy and productive in order not to cause trouble. dog2.gif

 

Good luck and congratulations! I'm sure others will have more ideas for you.


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#3 of 8 Old 02-22-2011, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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eta: yes, a couple of walks a day are a must!

 

Oh great ideas, Oriole!

 

Our first Mastiff was very, very bright (our current one got in line twice for brawn and missed the brains...LOL) and knew the names of his toys. I think this puppy will easily get that and we can totally start that.

 

Love the idea of "hide and seek" and "courier!" Will you just have the person who is found reward with treats/praise? Call to them?

We're also tossing the idea of agility around.  What have we gotten ourselves into? lol.gif

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#4 of 8 Old 02-22-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post

eta: yes, a couple of walks a day are a must!

 

Oh great ideas, Oriole!

 

Our first Mastiff was very, very bright (our current one got in line twice for brawn and missed the brains...LOL) and knew the names of his toys. I think this puppy will easily get that and we can totally start that.

 

Love the idea of "hide and seek" and "courier!" Will you just have the person who is found reward with treats/praise? Call to them?

We're also tossing the idea of agility around.  What have we gotten ourselves into? lol.gif



the person who sends "the package" gives the command, the one who receives the package gives the treats.

"What have we gotten ourselves into" was someone my reaction. This is our first puppy and the amount of attention and work that we are putting into raising a healthy well behaved dog is quite eye opening. :)


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#5 of 8 Old 02-23-2011, 05:39 AM
 
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Lots and lots of park/running time.  You could always sign up for agility classes too. Border collies need tons of stimulation/exercise.


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#6 of 8 Old 02-23-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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Freeshaping random tricks and things with a clicker is a great thing to do.  It burns both mental and physical energy/

 

A simple puzzle you can make is using a muffin tin and putting treats in it...then cover each indent with a tennis ball.

 

He is a little young to do agility, but you can definitely start the foundations....tunnel work, weaves, etc.  Rally is also pretty fun and its a good time to get some of the basics down.  Not that you ever have to compete.


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#7 of 8 Old 02-23-2011, 03:49 PM
 
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Our Corgi loves to play hide and seek with toys. I'll show him a squeaky toy, then hide it in another room (behind a chair or something), and tell him to "Find it!" He will nose around until he scores the toy.

 

He also loves to do tricks like roll over (both directions), speak, and whisper (because his bark is so loud - sometimes for whisper he just moves his lips!).

 

Border collies (and Corgis) don't have a natural fetch instinct like a retrieving breed, but they can learn. They are just more willing to quit than a lab!

 

Since herding is his nature, our corgi learned to "herd" a soccer ball with his feet and nose, and will retrieve it when we throw it for him.

 

We have a buster cube, which is a puzzle that has to be rolled around to dispense treats.

 

The more tricks you can teach him, the better! Obviously he is still pretty young, but it's never too early to start with simple things.

 

Two very nice commands that I taught my dog early were "off" (which means either don't touch something, like the bone I'm holding in front of his nose), and "settle", which causes him to relax every muscle (he learned this very young). It's handy for things like trimming toenails, when I want him to be still.


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#8 of 8 Old 02-24-2011, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post

the person who sends "the package" gives the command, the one who receives the package gives the treats.

"What have we gotten ourselves into" was someone my reaction. This is our first puppy and the amount of attention and work that we are putting into raising a healthy well behaved dog is quite eye opening. :)


I know! Just like kids, we tell ourselves, "It's all front-loaded. Put the time in now and reap the rewards later." But, man....it's a LOT. lol.gif

 

We tried a scaled-down version of this last night, where we all sat in a circle holding treats and told him to go to certain people (who then treated him). He seemed challenged, so that was good. And the kids had fun, so win-win, right?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonegirl View Post

 Border collies need tons of stimulation/exercise.


You are not kidding! nut.gif Good thing he's so dang cute.

 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmagick View Post

Freeshaping random tricks and things with a clicker is a great thing to do.  It burns both mental and physical energy/

 

A simple puzzle you can make is using a muffin tin and putting treats in it...then cover each indent with a tennis ball.

 

He is a little young to do agility, but you can definitely start the foundations....tunnel work, weaves, etc.  Rally is also pretty fun and its a good time to get some of the basics down.  Not that you ever have to compete.


What does "freeshaping random tricks" mean?

 

GREAT idea about the muffin tin! We didn't have that many tennis balls so we used various toys and other balls....oh my word....he LOVED it! His nose is amazing.

 

Going to look up "rally," too....not sure what that is either. Thanks for the ideas!
 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post

Our Corgi loves to play hide and seek with toys. I'll show him a squeaky toy, then hide it in another room (behind a chair or something), and tell him to "Find it!" He will nose around until he scores the toy.

 

He also loves to do tricks like roll over (both directions), speak, and whisper (because his bark is so loud - sometimes for whisper he just moves his lips!).

 

Border collies (and Corgis) don't have a natural fetch instinct like a retrieving breed, but they can learn. They are just more willing to quit than a lab!

 

Since herding is his nature, our corgi learned to "herd" a soccer ball with his feet and nose, and will retrieve it when we throw it for him.

 

We have a buster cube, which is a puzzle that has to be rolled around to dispense treats.

 

The more tricks you can teach him, the better! Obviously he is still pretty young, but it's never too early to start with simple things.

 

Two very nice commands that I taught my dog early were "off" (which means either don't touch something, like the bone I'm holding in front of his nose), and "settle", which causes him to relax every muscle (he learned this very young). It's handy for things like trimming toenails, when I want him to be still.



Great ideas! Thanks! He likes to fetch. The herding idea is great--I know this is going to be an issue for him (we live in the country, so I'm already thinking about who I know with livestock!) He's definitely into learning new tricks, and is picking them up at a break-neck speed. The only issue is he is still sooo little, his attention span is only so much, you know. So we can do about 5 or 10 minutes of training, and then that leaves several more hours in the day to entertain his steel-trap little mind! biggrinbounce.gif

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