By Joel Monroe &
Please direct any questions or comments
to Joel Monroe email@example.com
Every young puppy has an interest
in playing and it is very easy to develop a pup's desire to play
with a toy such as a ball or tug. This is often referred to as "toy
drive". It is much more difficult to develop toy drive on an
older dog that has no interest in playing, so it is always best
to develop this drive while the dog is young and is always eager
The first key is to have a "favorite
toy" for your dog. If you play with your dog, try to use the
same toy every time rather than using a different toy each time.
The second key to developing a strong
interest in playing is not allow the dog to come in contact with
the toy when you are not playing with your dog. This increases the
value of the toy as the dog cannot have the toy whenever it wants.
Dogs are like people in that they will want things they do not have.
The third key is to stop playing at
the highest, most intense part of that playtime. In other words,
if the dog's drive is like a mountain peak, you should always end
the playtime when the dog's drive is on its way up or as close to
the peak as possible. Never end the exercise when the dog's drive
is going in a downward spiral. If this happens, then you've played
too long, and the dog's drive has already begun to diminish. This
will cause boredom.
Leave your dog "hungry"
for the toy and always wanting more. To draw an analogy, let say
you were hungry and I give you one bite of a candy bar and then
look the candy bar away from you. This would make you really want
more candy. However, if I gave you 10 candy bars to eat and you
ate all of them, you would probably be sick of eating candy and
wouldn't want another bar if I gave it to you.
For this reason, playing with puppies
should not be an activity done all of the time. Playtime should
be the most special time for them. Puppies sometimes have extremely
short the attention spans. Too much play with the toy can cause
the puppy to lose interest and lose focus. So it is possible that
you may play with your young pup for only a few seconds at first
until the toy drive increases.
By developing a high drive for a toy,
you will not only be able to give your dog a great workout and build
a strong relationship, but the toy then can also be used as a reward
for obedience training and socialization.