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Hi folks,

Thanks for all the help on my last post.  Wren is doing a lot better and I feel like our bond is building.  However, I'm kind of getting lost on games to play with her.  Right now it's almost exclusively me kicking a ball around the house for her to chase and also playing tug of war.  Both activities that I've read aren't the best for BCs and we are both getting bored....  She is learning names of her toys to bring to me and she is learning to wait until I tell her to go after the ball, but there has to be other things we can do. I've searched and read of ideas on other threads, but most seem geared for older puppies (Wren is almost 14 weeks).  Like hide and seek? Not sure we have the bond yet where she wants to find me or maybe it's just her attention span is still so short.  I've been looking into the smell games and I may yet be able to get her to engage in those.  What did you all do with your puppies at 14 weeks?

Thank you!

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It’s hard at this age. I did hiding a treat under a yoghurt pot and then moving two or three yoghurt pots around while he was watching. Then I say ‘find the treat’. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t get it first time or any time. Just praise when he finds the treat. He’ll be mentally engaged watching the pots being moved. 

You can teach him ‘touch’. Let your pup see you have treats in your hand and put both hands in front of you with pup in front of you. Move one hand to the side and he’ll likely follow your hand and touch it with his nose or mouth. At this point you can praise him and let him have the treat. You can then add in the word ‘touch’ when he frequently touches and also you can eventually do it without having a treat in your hand. 

You can also set up a treat hunt. Get him to stay or have someone hold him while you set up treats throughout the house and then he can go off and search for them. 

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Lots of games you can play with puppies.  Trick training is perfect.  Aside from the basic sit, down, shake, you can start doing things like bow (by capturing when she does the move naturally while stretching), touch with nose, touch with paw, roll over, turn around and the ever cute gimme a kiss...

I think there is something like "100 things to do with a box" which is full of ideas, or look at trick training videos.

 

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I too struggled to find different things for my 8 month old to do when he was younger, apart from ball throwing and tug. I keep any box, large or small and put them scattered around the floor with kibble in for him to find. Don’t bother buying any of the so called brain training toys, mine found them all too easy,. Hiding kibble under small pots around the house, also putting small plastic beakers together with treats in between. Although he is older I still do sit, paw, down and stand every day. Also wait for treats, getting him to wait while I walk away and after 10 or so seconds call him, this takes practice, but he loves to please.

good luck.

Mandy 

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Around this age, we started playing hide and seek with Kevin. Our place isn't huge, so here's how it would work: if Kevin is with me, Joey will go hide. I say to pup, "Kevin, where's Joey? Go find Joey!" and then Joey would say "Kevin, come!" and Kevin has to go find him and when he does he gets a treat. Then Joey says "Ok, where's Amanda? Go find Amanda!" and when he finds me, he gets a treat, and repeat. Now when we play, we no longer include the "Kevin, come!" part - he knows what "Go find Joey/Amanda"  means -- so much so that it's become an excellent way to distract him from biting his leash when we're outside, even if we're a few blocks away from home. Now I can say "We have to go find Joey!" and the response is instant work mode (in as much as an easily distracted 5 month old can slip into work mode, ha).

Another fun thing to do is what are called "contact exercises" here in Sweden (maybe that's an English term too? Not sure). This is where Kev gets rewarded for eye contact in various contexts. For example, I hold two toys (or two treats) out in a T with my arms, and when I get eye contact, he gets the treat/toy. We've now turned this into a whole process of 1) "down" (from standing!! I'm so impressed), 2) "look at me" - and then when I get that eye contact, he gets the toy thrown. Also, teaching names of toys is great, we incorporate "Where is Phyllis" or "Where is rope toy" with this (half of his toys have human names. They may be inspired by The Office. Why not :) )

Good luck!!

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If you and your puppy enjoy trick training, check out Silvia Trkman on youtube. She is an agility trainer from Slovenia. Silvia teaches her puppies tons of fun tricks, and you can see some on youtube. She also has a DVD called "The Puppy Diary" which shows how to teach a lot of tricks. I'm enjoying teaching these tricks to my adult dogs.

Wren is so cute, and I'm glad she is doing better.

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