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Training Your Dog To Play Nice With Toys

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Train your dog to play with a toy?  I know that sounds absolutely absurd.  However, as I’m learning some toys do require training just as you might have to teach your dog to retrieve a tennis ball or sit on command it may sometimes be important to train your dog to play properly with his new toys.

For those of you who’ve been following along here on the blog you may remember my post about the Ginger Bread House Puzzle Dog Toy.  I thought these would make great Christmas gifts and ordered several Gingerbread House Puzzle Dog Toys from Amazon.com.  I gave one to my parents dog, a 12 pound Cairn Terrier named Ralphie.  Check out the picture below:

Ralphie and Gingerbread House Dog Toy

Doggies Reaction To The Gingerbread House Dog Toy

Ralphie is not the kind of dog who prefers to tear apart and gut his toys unlike some other dogs I know (Linus, Stetson, and Derby).  Ralphie carried the Gingerbread house around a little bit and I showed him how to remove the gingerbread man from the house, but overall I think he was unimpressed.  However, the Gingerbread house and man did make for a good picture with Ralphie 🙂

The real test was with my three boys.  All three of my dogs love to gut their toys when given the chance.  Linus is the most gentle with his toys, but he still has the tendency to pull the  stuffing from his favorites.

Although I haven’t thoroughly exposed my boys to the Gingerbread house and it’s residents they did get a brief glimpse and some initial training with Ralphie’s Gingerbread house.

  • Linus pretty much ignored it as he often does when around other dogs
  • Stetson grabbed the house and it’s occupants and carried it back and forth around the house, but couldn’t quite get his nose and mouth through the doorway to extract the inner toys.
  • Derby had the most success and grabbed hold of the Gingerbread man and pulled him from his cozy home.

Play time with the Gingerbread house was entirely supervised and I did see Stetson creep towards his bed…Gingerbread house in tote and start gnawing on the ends of the little home.  I’m pretty certain that if left unattended this little Gingerbread home will end up in the pile of torn apart toys.  At this point I think I need to work more on showing Stetson, Linus, and Derby exactly how to extract the Gingerbread man through the front door rather than using the brute force attack and tearing off the roof.  Afterall, pulling the toys out the front door has to be like pulling the stuffing out of a plush dog toy…right?

We’ll see how it goes and I’ll keep you updated on the durability of the Gingerbread House Puzzle Dog Toy.

Did your puppy get a Gingerbread House Puzzle Dog Toy for Christmas?  How’s it holding up?

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  1. @Em, I got the Hide-A-Bird for my brothers German Shepherd mix and he absolutely loves this toy. He’s gentle with his toys and in general doesn’t really tear them apart like my guys do. I got him the toy Christmas 2008 and the house and all the parts are still intact.

  2. We have the Hide-A-Squirrel and the Hide-A-Bee puzzles. Our girls LOVE these toys, they will root all the other toys out of the basket to get to these. They are fairly aggressive chewers and the toys have held up well after months of use, I have found only a couple of holes in the bees and squirrels (nothing I couldn’t patch up myself with needle and thread). The great thing about these products is you can buy replacements/refills of the toys that go inside when they wear out. They love to pick up and shake the hive or tree trunk and try to knock the toys out. I thought after they figured out how to get the toys out they would be bored with it , nope they still love them. All and all I think it is great toy, I agree supervised play with it just to be safe – the toys that go inside are on the small side.

  3. @Condo blues, that’s a good idea to add some treats to the inside of the toy. I also picked up the squirrel and tree stump, the cube with the balls, and the birds in a tree (most were for gifts). I’ll try to get some more pictures of the dogs playing with the toys. Derby’s mastered removing the gingerbread man from the house.

  4. Blitzkrieg has the tree stump with the little squirrels inside. At first he didn’t get that he was suppoed to pull the squirrels from the stump but then again, he’s a rescue who didn’t exactly what toys were for so we had to start at Square 1: This is a toy. Please chew it and not your foot please.

    Eventually, he got the message that he should pull the squirrels from the stump but only after I put some good and smelly treats in the stump and half plugged the holes with the squirrels.

  5. @Rissa, I’m glad George likes his litter treehouse with the birds. Take some pictures like the one of Ralphie and the Gingerbread house and I’ll post it to the website.

  6. George loves his treehouse with birds hidden inside! At first he tried to take the roof off but then we showed him how to get the birds out through the holes.

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