on being fun

So on the weekend I discovered that I can, infact, have fun when running agility stuff…

But my question is still: how can I be fun enough for my puppy?

It frightens me a lot that every day he seems a little less keen to play- sure, he loves the chasing part, the grabbing the toy part, but the holding on tight part? That’s not as good as it was 2 weeks ago. And sure, with food and a clicker, I’m getting a pretty decent retrieve, but try and run off to encourage him to bring it with him and he’ll do a circle around me and take it off by himself. Em=no fun with toys, much more fun to play alone.

Do I just do much more of the hunting down/chasing stuff and let the holding on part come later? Do I make the toy ‘run away’ up a tree or something when he lets go so he learns to hold it tighter?

I’ve been trying, when he takes the toy off by himself, to have a wonderful time with a different toy by myself and that works, sort of- he will, eventually, ditch the toy he had to come chase mine (which I’m usually dragging around on the ground) but then he realises that it’s not as fun (WHYYYYY) and goes back to his original one.. We played the two toy game today and I think we swapped toys 3 times before he wanted to go have a drink and find something more interesting to do. Maybe I’m too static- I need to move about more. Be more interactive. Less kneeling & playing, more jogging and running and bouncing.

Though, this doesn’t exactly help necessarily with the ‘taking the toy elsewhere’ thing… Amazingly though, at the fun day on Saturday, we were playing, tugging, I’d let go of the toy and run, and he’d run along with me and we’d play again. If I try this out somewhere else, at a park, the backyard? Nope.

 

So, help. I don’t know how to do this fun thing. He’s obviously not at a point like Lu where he’ll bring me toys and instigate play, and I’m just worried that we’re on such different levels of understanding right now that he’s going: Ahhhh! So confused! Will find something more interesting to do! Rather than hang out with me and play. How much of this is puppy stuff, too? I don’ t know. I suppose my concern is is that when I first got him, 8 weeks old, we went to outside the supermarket and played, and his attention barely wavered – I was exciting, any toy I had was exciting, my food was really exciting (and it still is- I can win with food every time), but now? I get a bit of play and then he’d rather be off. How can I have turned him off in 3 short weeks?!

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3 thoughts on “on being fun

  1. I doubt it’s you turning him off-the world is a whole lot more exciting when you’re an 11 week old puppy than an 8 week old. Lots more to notice now. 🙂 I’d watch him play, just observe and see what he likes. How does he like to play alone, with other dogs? My girl has always loved thrashing a toy around by herself, so tugging was an obvious one of her favorites! I would try doing a lot of running chase games if that’s what he likes, and throw in a couple tiny tug sessions in there.

    I actually had a post right after my girl Feist stopped running away with the toy all the time, might be relevant:
    http://feistea.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/we-have-fetching/

    Good luck! 🙂
    -Tory

    • Em says:

      Hi Tory! Thanks for your comment. That’s the thing like I don’t know if it’s him becoming more interested in the world and just normal puppy stuff, or me being too boring or weird for him to want to play with!
      I’ve watched him play with my girl- basically she plays keep away and when he grabs it she just stands there. And stands there. And then pulls her head to the side and stands there some more. And he seems to love that with her! I’ve tried playing like that but standing there is very boring- I don’t know how she makes it so much fun! So far most of the playing he’s been doing with them has been chasing her when she has a toy, or some wrestly-bitey-face games. So certainly lots of chase games with little tugs I think. He loves chasing the ball, but then isn’t so into bringing it back yet. When I run away with a toy, he LOVES that game- grabbing it and then holding on a bit then – when he’s super aroused I get much more excited play, haha.

      Oh Feist is gorgeous! I love those dark faces!
      Thank you so much for that blog post! Her behaviour sounds exactly like what Loki-dog is doing, for sure! So I might just continue on with playing without the option of running away, and even just doing the shaped retrieve we’ve been playing with, alternating when he gets a treat and when we play with the ball he’s brought back. 😀

  2. Puppies are like babies! One day they LOVE sliced apples. The next day NO! Next day love pasta and cheese, two days later, spit it out. Watch him, enjoy him figure out what is making him tick.

    Oh and he loves when Lu just stands there holding the toy because under her breath (in doggy language) she is calling him all sorts of nasty dog names and teasing the heck out of him. When he’s bigger, he’s going to kick her ass for that. I swear. 😉

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