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Old 12-17-2006, 11:13 AM
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Default Why your puppy needs a TOY BOX

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.
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Old 12-17-2006, 01:06 PM
wookie130 wookie130 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 188

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, 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.
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Old 12-17-2006, 06:38 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Great ideas!
"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." -- Samuel Adams 1776

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Old 12-17-2006, 10:04 PM
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Whisper Whisper is offline
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When I saw this earlier I thought it was worthy of being stickied..
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Old 12-17-2006, 10:31 PM
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bubbatd bubbatd is offline
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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 !
A light for all who are crossing dark times.
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Old 01-01-2007, 03:31 AM
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hollybea hollybea is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 95

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!
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:12 AM
Buddy'sParents Buddy'sParents is offline
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Great post!
"A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave". - Mohandas Gandhi

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Old 03-06-2007, 12:16 AM
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Cazian Cazian is offline
I'm a Good Pup Me.
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: London
Posts: 27

Buddy Loves his Toy Box, or does He ?

Buddy often climes into his Toy Box to look for his Favorite Toy

This is Buddy's best Toy.
He loves his Teddy

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.
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Old 05-20-2007, 02:32 AM
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LhasaLover LhasaLover is offline
<< My baby girl, Pinkie
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: So Carolina
Posts: 149

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.
Disclaimer: I have no formal training in animal behavoir or dog training as some of the other posters here do; these are just my opinions based on my own experiences & self education.

I love my critters to death, thank God for them everyday, and can't live without at least one. I need them as much as they need me, and have found they're much better than husbands!!
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Old 05-20-2007, 08:01 AM
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Cazian Cazian is offline
I'm a Good Pup Me.
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: London
Posts: 27

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.

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