Another request for help with Christmas shopping...
December 17, 2010 10:22 AM   Subscribe

What is the best Christmas-gift for a newly-converted dog person?

My parents recently adopted a five-year-old miniature poodle. They got the dog primarily because my mom wanted a small dog--my dad was sort of indifferent (and possibly slightly opposed). We had dogs growing up, but my parents had really gotten them "for the kids" and just tolerated them.

However, my dad has, despite himself, become attached to this little dog. He always tells me what a good dog she is. She even sleeps in bed with them, which is a first--before now I would have never imagined my dad being comfortable with a dog taking up bed space.

So...Christmas is approaching, and my dad is very difficult to shop for. I was thinking about getting him something related to / useful for interacting with the dog.

Difficulty: the dog plays fetch, but other than that is pretty sedentary (sleeps a lot, etc.). She's also a "velcro dog," constantly in someone's lap or nudging one of my parents to get them to pet her.

Bonus points if you can think of something that both my parents would enjoy. (Or even something separate for my mom, that also fits the parameters of the question.)

posted by mingodingo to Shopping (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A Fetching Tag that says "Daddy's Girl" or something might be cute.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:28 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Do either of them cook? If so the Doggy Bone Cookbook is a lot of fun.
posted by TooFewShoes at 10:30 AM on December 17, 2010

Clicker training book, a clicker, and a box of awesome training treats. He'll be able to teach her a few things and increase the bond even more. Clicker training is remarkable - easy, effective, immediate and super fun.
posted by barnone at 10:33 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

+1 for barnone. Best money you'll spend.
posted by canine epigram at 10:36 AM on December 17, 2010

I don't know mini-poodles particularly, but many dogs seem to have enough of a prey drive to enjoy chasing things. A lunge whip is a simple toy that with a piece of fleece tied on the end can provide considerable entertainment for both dog and owner. If you have access to a feed store or any sort of equestrian supply (I think I've seen similar whips at even Petsmart) they often have a barrel full of carriage, driving, lunge and other whips (I'm not a horse person so I don't really have the right vocabulary). Our dogs love chasing a whip so much that we have to put it on the *roof* when we're done to stop them mooning over it, begging us "Again!"

Also, many "plus ones" for clicker training.
posted by cairnish at 10:38 AM on December 17, 2010

if your father's arm is easily tired, or if he finds bending over difficult, a Chuckit can make fetch much easier on the person.

If they like long walks with the dog, a gulpy is super useful and well-designed. also good for car trips.

If they're sentimental types, you could look into pet photography or get a portrait painted of the dog. LOTS of artists do these kinds of things.
posted by juliapangolin at 10:59 AM on December 17, 2010

Awww that's a very sweet gift! Your dad is not the first husband to fall for a small dog that he was initially resistant to!

When I buy gifts for dogs and their people, I always try to find something that the owner wouldn't spend money on themselves. A leash or collar with his favorite sports team? A really nice bed?

I also like the idea of a custom tag. My friend and I used to have this joke about spelling "hot" as "hott" so I made his dog a tag that said "One Hott Dog" and he loved it!

Can you sneak the dog out to get her picture taken with Santa? A lot of places do this - here our local animal shelter does it as a fundraiser. The pictures are so cute! A framed pic of the dog with Santa would be adorable.
posted by radioamy at 12:57 PM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

In addition to the clicker training book (which might come across as "I don't think your dog is civilized") I suggest Kyra Sundance's fantastic book 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog. It's well written and emphasizes the bonding and mutual respect aspect of dog training.
posted by workerant at 4:07 PM on December 17, 2010

Interactive Dog Toys
posted by invisible ink at 6:22 PM on December 17, 2010

Where do you live? If the weather gets cool, a nice dog sweater or coat is useful. Gift cert. to a dog groomer.
posted by theora55 at 8:26 PM on December 17, 2010

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