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Lucy just wants to have fun!
October 19, 2012 8:29 AM   Subscribe

What do puppies do for fun?

Hello Hive, meet my 3 month old peekapoo, Lucy! She's been living with us for about to be a week this Sunday. So my boyfriend has had a few dogs before, but it's my first time at the rodeo. I've never had a dog, a pet, anything of the sort. I keep reading up everything I can online whereas my boyfriend just plays it by ear like he did with his last doggies. He goes to school so he can be home at random hours to play with Lucy, but with my 6:30a-4p job and a workout after I usually don't get home til 6/7p only allowing me little playtime with her. Our first weekend together is coming up and I am having a big brainfart at what I can do to have fun with her this weekend.. silly to say I know. But she's not potty trained yet and I worry so much about her well being. Like ridiculously stressing, never experienced this before. Is going to the park the main attraction for her? What other things do you do with your puppy for fun?

Thanks!
posted by xicana63 to Pets & Animals (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Puppies are the embodiment of fun. You can pretty much take her anywhere and do anything and she will have fun. She's going to be teaching you all about fun. If you need a tool to ensure puppy fun, go buy a ball or frisbee or or tug-of-war thing or hell, even pick up a stick. Go to the park and throw it. Puppy fun instinct will take over from there. At home, engage her in mental fun by teaching her some "tricks" or obedience (sit, stay, roll over, the basics). Cuddle. Have fun!
posted by Katine at 8:39 AM on October 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


RUN AROUND

SMELL A THING

RUN AROUND

CHEW A THING

NAPTIME

RUN AROUND

HUGS!

SMELL A THING AGAIN

NAPTIME AGAIN!
posted by griphus at 8:41 AM on October 19, 2012 [58 favorites]


Oh what a cutie!

All of the puppies I've owned were pretty easy to please. When my Ollie was a pup, he could spend hours just chasing after and bringing back a toy. I once watched a movie on the TV, sitting on the floor, legs out. I'd dangle a toy in front of him and have him jump over my legs in one direction. Then I'd raise my knees to make a reverse "V" and have him go under my legs in the other direction. Sometimes I'd let him catch the toy. Puppy glee! My goal was to make sure he'd be exhausted.

Basically, you are going to be her main attraction. Say her name a lot, too. :)
posted by kimberussell at 8:42 AM on October 19, 2012


Your dog has no concept of the "best" place to be. She will not be less happy prancing around in the cul de sac down the street than in the park, and she will not be disappointed in you if you don't do something amazing together. Dogs don't have that kind of brain.

Does she have all her vaccinations? I haven't owned a young animal in a long time so I don't remember offhand the timeframe of those things. If she's been through her vaccinations, then the top priority is socialization, and with that in mind the park is the best possible place to go. Bring a leash and some little plastic bags, and just wander around. Let her experience busy places and empty places, and learn that all of them are awesome and totally not scary at all, and keep some treats with you to reinforce that coming back to you is always a great thing to do.

So yeah. Park = fantastic. And once she's pooped out everything she can possibly poop in the park (and you've picked it up, etc etc), try the sidewalks. Let her meet people. She's an adorable puppy - everyone will want to pet her.
posted by Urban Winter at 8:45 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


At that age, training can be a fun thing. A few minutes learning/practicing the "sit" command, for instance, then a bunch of praise, and then running together for a few steps and then more praise. Learning "fetch"! Playing with the toy! Smelling things! Walking around with her. It's all about quality time with the pack, and if she can learn more about how to be a good pack member while it's going on, even better.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:55 AM on October 19, 2012


Get down on her level, on your hands and knees, palms flat, and look her straight in the eye. Cock your head back and forth, smile and laugh. Make like you're trying to "get" her, but let her win most of the time. This is a great time for her to practice eye-contact, the sounds of humans having fun, and that you are a totally trustworthy person who likes give and take!

If/when she bites, really ham it up for a few seconds, pulling your hand back and saying something like "Ow! Hey be nice!" and offer your hand for a kiss. That way she knows that playtime and roughhousing can stop instantly if need be. Then back to play!
posted by General Tonic at 8:58 AM on October 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


I just got a puppy around 2 weeks ago. Mine is a bit older than yours at about 6 months. I definitely think you are over-stressing a little. I get that way too sometimes with mine though, but if I think about it, he's only been in this world a few months so everything is new and exciting to him. I think the best things for my husband and I have been to try to keep things consistent between us with our schedules like feeding times and the words we use so it is easier for him to understand us. Also teaching him to come to his name has been really nice. We use treats and it has helped to continue to do it even with distractions and he gets better every day. It has helped when we bring him to the parks or have him outside that he comes when called. I practice this and play it up and make it fun when I am with him. Lots of praise and GOOD BOY! when he comes to me from far across the room or leaves a toy and comes to me. We are now starting with some other things too like sitting etc and they are all lots of fun with a lot of positive reinforcement.
posted by heatherly at 9:11 AM on October 19, 2012


Our beagle wasn't a puppy when we rescued him but there are some things about him I wish had been done with him when he was a pup.

Get him around other dogs and people. Walk her a lot. Make her happy to be around others. I love to see doggies who love the dog park.
posted by toastedbeagle at 9:28 AM on October 19, 2012


When she bites into her favorite toy, like Flatsquirrel or Bunnyrabbit or Sillycritter or Hedgehog-in-bits, take the other end and pull and make growly noises. Endless fun.
posted by Namlit at 10:00 AM on October 19, 2012


A puppy can entertain itself for a hilariously long time solely with a squeaky toy.
posted by elizardbits at 10:39 AM on October 19, 2012


Oh! Young animal helpful hint! Poke and prod her and inspect her ears and claws and play with her jaw and such while patting her and being fun and happy - get her used to the idea that humans do that stuff sometimes and it's not traumatic at all. Later, when you have to trim her claws or give her ear medicine or dose her with a pill, she'll be more pliable about the whole thing.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:49 AM on October 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Oh yeah, if you've got the time every day, get her used to hand feeding - done correctly, it will help her learn not to be a nippy, mouthy, bitey little monster.
posted by elizardbits at 10:56 AM on October 19, 2012


Puppies are the most easily entertain beings in the universe. Concentrate your efforts on socialization, potty training, etc.. The puppy will be entertained simply by your presence.

We've been taking our 3 month old Welsh Terrier to puppy school for an hour once a week. It's mostly about socializing her with other dogs but she might pick up a little training. I think it's been really good for her.
posted by Carbolic at 12:22 PM on October 19, 2012


What do puppies do for fun?

Romp and Sleep. Then repeat.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:27 PM on October 19, 2012


Don't bring your dog to a dog park unless she's had her Parvo immunization. /Debbie Downer
posted by kamikazegopher at 1:07 PM on October 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yep, Parvo can kill. We had got a german sheppard puppy who unfortunately had Parvo and died within 3 days. We later found out that other puppies were also infected when we wen to warn the shelter.
posted by pakora1 at 1:16 PM on October 19, 2012


A lot of shelters have 'Puppy Classes' - essentially puppy-dog meet-ups where the little guys get to run around together and go crazy. Those are super fun, and usually cheap or free. What's more, socializing your dog while it's young with both people and other dogs is incredibly important. The more comfortable the pup is with people and other dogs now, the more well-behaved she'll be around them later on.

A while back I saw a guy just standing around in Union Square, letting strangers love on his (absolutely adorable) golden retriever pup. Pretty smart way to socialize the little guy with people, I thought; and loving on a puppy is good for all those people's souls, too.

Your puppy will kind of let you know what she likes over time, too. My dog Judah loves the beach, but his brother Titan is still kind of scared of it. On the other hand, Titan loves chasing squirrels, while Judah really couldn't care a whole lot less. What I'm saying is that Lucy will have (or develop) interests particular to her, so trying different things will reveal those preferences to you gradually.

But, as many other people have said, you can pretty much go anywhere and do anything and you're puppy will have a great time. Just steer clear of the park until she's got all her shots.
posted by Pecinpah at 1:17 PM on October 19, 2012


Yeah they love squeaky toys, but if you want to build her brain while she amuses herself, consider getting a puzzle toy like this.
posted by mannequito at 1:19 PM on October 19, 2012


Weazel Ball

Only when supervised closely if you leave the weasel attached, though. When the dog gets older, remove the weasel so you can use the ball alone.

Although, scratch that. I think it's best to get the dog used to the mechanics and behavior of regular balls first and then introduce them to the Weazel Ball. My dog loved and hated (in only good ways) the Weazel Ball.

Basically, you can do pretty much any activity, and a puppy will find a way to have fun while doing it.

Best of luck, and now I'm bummed I don't get to play along with the pup.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 1:52 PM on October 19, 2012


If she gets really mouthy and bitey and nippy and justwontstop as puppies are wont to do, let out a high pitched YELP or OUCH and then ignore her for 5 minutes. This simulates how puppies learn boundaries among the rest of their litter/mom. It totally worked for us within a day.

Also, it's been 4 years and I still miss my own Lucy very dearly. Cherish your time with yours and take tons of pictures. Lucy is the best dog name, ever.
posted by Gonestarfishing at 2:01 PM on October 19, 2012


Here's my new puppy's to-do list for today.

-Chew on other dog's neck
-Get neck chewed on by other dog
-Steal socks
-Piss everywhere
-Nap (x 40)
-Go into the bathroom
-Nose the bathroom door shut from the inside
-Wait for daddy to get back from work and open the bathroom door

As others have said, the number one thing to do is to socialize the dog. With other dogs, with other people, whatever. In my experience (Doggy daycare coach, not exactly a doctor in Dogology, but I know a thing or two) the dogs with the most problems are the ones that aren't well socialized. But if you've taken your dog outside for more than ten minutes, you know that getting people to interact with a puppy isn't exactly a challenge.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 4:55 PM on October 19, 2012


One tip is that the puppy will need to go potty pretty soon after you feed it or after he has a big drink of water. When something comes in, something needs to go out! I had a couple of accidents with my dog because I got sucked into work e-mail or reading and didn't go out soon enough after a meal.
posted by dottiechang at 10:37 PM on October 19, 2012


I would advise against any kind of tug-o-war for the first year, can make them overly aggressive. And when you do start, never let her win, you are dominant (sounds silly but a dog that knows their place is a much happier dog).
posted by Mick at 5:58 AM on October 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, as soon as she is old enough, take her to puppy daycare once a week or so. she'll be exhausted (tired dog = good dog) and all that time with tons of other dogs will teach her a lot about how to behave.
posted by Mick at 6:00 AM on October 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


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