|Barked: Thu Dec 18, '08 6:11am PST |
|Dogs tend to feed off the energy around them. Mulligan will sleep the day away if I am having a lazy day and not engaging him to much. You may just have to play with Brianna to get her interested. Mulligan is more food motiviated then toy motivated. We have had to teach him how to play with toys. I'll give you some tips. Buy some of those Dr Noys toys with the stuffable bellies. (Petsmart, and online retailers) You can put something really smelly in the velcro belly. That will make Brianna use her nose and get her interested in the toy. This next one always gets Mulligan interested in a toy. I act all sneaky, showing him the toy and them hinding it in my arms or behind my back. I actually make little noises. Kinda like a little kids would do. Never put the toy in Brianna's face. Move the toy away from her to try to get her to chase. I then will run away dangling the toy, and repeat. Mulligan will get so interested in the toy I am trying to hide he will run around after me. When he gets really excited I will then tug with him. If Brianna has never tug before you have to match her energy level. It she tugs softly so do you, she tugs hard then so do you. You will learn in time what she likes. Mulligna is not a soft dog an dloves to be nudged in the shoulder when we play. Dogs would do that when playing with each other. He also loves the side to side shake and kill motion. Always end the game when Brianna still wants to play. I know it sounds mean but it really is not. This will make her more willing to play the next time.
Just keep it light and fun. Keep play sessions short in the beginning, jsut a few minutes through out the day. Brianna will be playing in no time if you teach her. Their is nothing better then a blitzing Bichon who has a squeaky toy in their mouth. Oh, that reminds me. I don't leave toys laying around the house except Nylabones. I make toys a special thing that comes out at special times. This will build added value to the toys, and make them more interested in them. Bichon's do tend to like Nylabones. Mulligan really likes the wishbone and the little tuffies bacon flavored. Don't forget to teach her "drop it". You don't want to battle to get a toy back. When teaching drop it you don't want to make it a negative. Either give a treat to replace the toy with or after she drops the toy, go crazy!!! Start acting like that was the coolest thing ever and then give the toy back. That worked the best for Mulligan. I also never let Mulligan win and take the toy away from me. You still want to keep the dog knowing you're the boss. You run the game, you end the game. Have fun playing!!
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