Why your puppy needs a TOY BOX

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by RedyreRottweilers, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. If you have a new puppy, you know already that they like to chew. Not only do puppies LIKE to chew, they really NEED to chew. Chewing is more than entertainment for puppies. It helps them teeth, and it relaxes them. They are able to relieve themselves of frustration and anxiety by chewing.

    Destructive chewing usually begins quite innocently for the puppy, but it can rapidly escalate into a serious problem if the puppy is not supervised and directed properly.

    Here is a typical scenario:

    Owner has new puppy. Owner leaves new puppy unsupervised. Puppy gets anxious, and looks for something to soothe itself with. It comes across a shoe. (or anything else that smells like the owner) Immediately the puppy is comforted by the scent of the owner. Then it will begin to chew the object that smells like the owner to relieve it's frustration and anxiety. As the puppy chews, he feels much better. The amount of reinforcement a puppy gets from this activity cannot be over emphasized. The liklihood of a puppy expressly seeking out your personal items goes up exponentially after even only ONE incident where he's allowed to relieve his anxiety in this manner. This is why careful confinement and supervision is SO IMPORTANT. You can never remove that reinforcement the puppy got while he was chewing the object that smells like you.

    So what do we do? We confine and supervise the puppy very carefully, and we make sure she has a GREAT toybox with a variety of very interesting chew items. You can use a box or basket of any type as long as the puppy can easily get to it to take out chew items. Some things that can go in the box are kong toys, nyla bones, real bones.....use your imagination and keep it interesting and varied. For the first week or so, put a tiny smear of peanut butter or cheez whiz on each toy once a day.

    So now you have your toy box set up, and your pup is out playing. Of course the pup will choose a toy from the box to start. But eventually the pup will decide to investigate something that's not his business. This is why you MUST watch a puppy EVERY SECOND he is loose in your house in the beginning. You don't want to miss an opportunity to TEACH. So, when the puppy focuses on something he should not have (this means LOOKING AT, SNIFFING, or PUTTING HIS MOUTH on any object you don't want him to chew) immediately interrupt him. I usually say AH AH, as I move towards the puppy. Once you have his attention, rush him happily and cheerfully to the toy box, and help him find a cool toy to play with and chew. Encourage him with a little tug game, or a few tosses.

    Do this each time your puppy focuses on something he should not have. I also interrupt and redirect in this manner each time the puppy looks up at tabletops, countertops, stovetops, trash can, etc.

    If you are consistent, and if you supervise CAREFULLY, in several weeks you will have a puppy who will consistently choose articles from the toy box to play with and chew.

    Keep the box in one place, and never miss an opportunity to encourage the puppy towards the toy box when he wants something to play with.
     
  2. wookie130

    wookie130 New Member

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    That's wonderful advice. I haven't had a puppy in a LONNGGG time, as both of my "puppies" are now 5 and 7 years old, but I am getting a puppy next May or June. Helps to have this as a reminder of one of those "do's and don'ts" with a new little one. And since I have a few months, I can begin broadening our collection of toys NOW...expanding our existing stash, if you will. My golden retriever chewed any and everything when he was a puppy...shoes, entire rolls of paper towels, couch pillows, etc. He had some toys, but probably not the variety he needed. He's now a very wonderful undestructive older dog, but I know that this is one of those things I'd handle differently the next time around.
     
  3. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Great ideas!
     
  4. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    When I saw this earlier I thought it was worthy of being stickied..
     
  5. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    I've had a toy basket for over 50 years with many reminants over 30 years , Well , actually it's now a partial basket ..... Ollie likes it !
     
  6. hollybea

    hollybea New Member

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    mine have a toy box, we just bought them a new one and i want to replace some of the destroyed toys but not sure they will like them so much!
     
  7. Buddy'sParents

    Buddy'sParents *Finding My Inner Fila*

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    Great post!
     
  8. Cazian

    Cazian I'm a Good Pup Me.

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    Buddy Loves his Toy Box, or does He ?
    [​IMG]
    Buddy often climes into his Toy Box to look for his Favorite Toy
    [​IMG]
    This is Buddy's best Toy.
    He loves his Teddy
    [​IMG]
    I took the first two photo's on Sunday night of Buddy playing in his Toy box
    but it was not untill Monday during a play with Buddy that
    my daughter Charlie first notciced that Buddy was Humping
    his Toy Teddy.

    Now look again at the photo's and you can see what is beneath Buddy LOL.
    Eight Week's Old. Bad Buddy hahaha.

    Oh what a shame, I have lost Teddy.
     
  9. LhasaLover

    LhasaLover New Member

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    HaHa! You have a little horndog there! LOL

    I also used this toy box thing with my puppy and she never chewed anything destructively. When I got my rescue dog who was probably about a year old when I got him, he went nuts over the toy box. LOL Mind you, he loves stealing socks & slippers and racing away with them, but he's never destructive with them.

    I recently had to clean out their toy box because it was overflowing with all the toys everyone's bought them over the last couple of years. I washed them all in bleach and took them over to the animal shelter.

    My next goal is to teach them how to put all their toys away. :rolleyes: :lol-sign:
     
  10. Cazian

    Cazian I'm a Good Pup Me.

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    LOL Well Buddy's toy box has grown from a shoe box to a large packing crate.
    When you teach them how to put their toys away let me know how so I can teach Buddy how HAHAHA hahaha.
     
  11. xPwincessJaffa96x

    xPwincessJaffa96x New Member

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    Ohh I might try that idea, I have puppy toys everywhere on the floor.
     
  12. EbonyDal

    EbonyDal Spot the Difference!

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    What a wonderful article, thank you!
    Time to do some shopping and refill Ebony's toybox!
     
  13. Jane

    Jane New Member

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    We have always had rescue dogs at about a year old, so avoided the chewing stage. But now we have a baby Yellow Lab, and she would love to chew everything including the ceiling if she could get to it. So the toy box is surely helping, but you have to rotate the toys as they get bored with the same old ones, the breeder who we got her from told us this. Introduce a new toy every day and put one away for a week or so, and the pup will be happy with that.
    We have a big sunroom which we have removed the rug from, (guess why?), and with the bare wooden floor, we give her a plastic bottle and she is so comical with it, like a championshop soccar game! Dont let them have a plastic bottle unsupervised, always put it away when the playtime is over, as they can be broken or split open, use a new one frequently. Once I get my video cam and figure out how to get a clip or 2 on my site or YouTube, I wlll post one here.
    Puppyhood is new to us, and tiring but wonderful.
    Jane
     
  14. bailey07

    bailey07 New Member

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    can a toy be too hard for my 10 weeks old puppy??
     
  15. Giny

    Giny Active Member

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    Great post! We've always had toy baskets around the house, one upstairs and one downstairs. As our dogs grew it was apparent how much of a stress reliever they are with them especially for Boomer. You can tell he uses his to relieve his excitement stress when we come home from being away a few hours. He used to jump, bark, nibble our hands and urinate out of excitement but now he'll run get a toy and greet us with his toy in his mouth.

    Here's a cute picture of one of the toy baskets we have. I found him in it when he was just a puppy. I wish he wouldn't have seen me coming with the camera because when I first saw him all I could see was his bum sticking up and his head deep in the basket looking for the perfect toy. lol
    [​IMG]

    Even Tilly, who was 6 yrs old when we got her, uses the toys as a stress release. She also loves to play fetch with them.
     
  16. zanna.russell

    zanna.russell New Member

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    Thanks for the tips! It has been ages since I've had a puppy this young. Before Captain and Tegan, our dogs, at 10 and 14, had long since "civilized".
     
  17. CustomDogBandanas

    CustomDogBandanas New Member

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    We have a toy box!

    We have a toy box for our Cavalier King Charles Spaniels! Ever since they were puppies, we keep it full with different bones, toys, and their leashes (for some reason they like to get them out when we go to the door!). They know when they want a bone to go stick their little heads in their box and grab one!

    -Katie
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2008
  18. DebbieDD

    DebbieDD New Member

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    This is great advice. I have a toy "basket" that is overflowing. I pick up all of the toys every other day or so and by the end of the day, there is at least 10 toys on the floor. I have 5 dogs and they all have their favorites. Many of the toys are picked out of the basket by my youngest. She is 7 months old and gets bored with one toy pretty quickly. I have lots of toys to keep her busy!
     
  19. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    Having a dog toy basket has saved us. Try raising a 2 week old human baby, and a nine week old puppy at the same time. Through using a toy basket and teaching, he never once chewed on one of our daughter's toys...or anything else for that matter. Just his own stuff.
     
  20. BuzzedHornet

    BuzzedHornet New Member

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    Would you suggest that I put the toy box in his play pen with his crate and bed? It has a door that I will keep open so he can come and go as he pleases except at night and when we are gone.
     

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