How do you play with dogs?

(16 Posts)
CoolLikeOvie Sun 25-Aug-19 10:31:21

Might be a stupid question but I have zero experience with dogs blush I'm dogsitting 2 chihuahuas for a couple of days, all v last minute, they arrived this morning. They seem pretty happy (though not eating or drinking much, but my friend said not to worry if they don't at first. Might cook a sausage or something to see if that will tempt them? Will check with my friend first). They're getting lots of strokes and attention from me and DD(4).

But I don't really know how to play with them? We've tried to throw a ball/ frisbee in the garden but they're not interested. Gonna take them for a walk in the woods later this evening when it's cooler.

They have 3 under 4 at their house, including a v boisterous 3yo (love him loads, but my friend says he can be boisterous with them) and my DD is super gentle and a little bit nervous around them (really glad to have them actually as she has started to be nervous around big dogs especially, but she's loving these guys) so I don't think it's her being around.

Maybe they're just shy, it's only been a couple of hours. Just want them to have a good time with us grin

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Sun 25-Aug-19 11:15:11

It's very early day for them and all dogs have verying levels of interest in play. They also all have their own play preferences.

For example...

JRT1 loves a ball thrown over and over. She also loves a good tug on a small furry toy (e.g. like a rat). She likes to tug away at it and growl, then fling it about like she's trying to break its neck. Lovely. She will play for about 20mins

JRT2 likes a ball rolled gently cross the floor. He also likes you to put your hands under blankets and jerk them about like they are little mice or something while he pounces on them.He will play for 5mins.

Springer likes you to drag toys along the floor like they are trying to get away. He likes to wrestle and mouth your fingers while rolling on his back. He likes to pounce on you. He will never stop playing.

PookieDo Sun 25-Aug-19 12:03:46

My terrier likes manual play, he becomes excited when you ruffle him and touch his paws. But not all dogs like this

Use an excited voice, usually excites dogs!

pigsDOfly Sun 25-Aug-19 14:56:31

My dog loves her ball to chase, to catch, to roll on and of course, to retrieve. She also like to hide her head under her blanket so that I can 'find' her.

She's not that fussed about soft toys, except her beloved sheep, and doesn't seem to get the idea behind playing tugging games - I remember being quite embarrassed in puppy class eight years ago when the trainer wanted us to play tugging games in order to teach leave. Every dog in the class was tugging at the toys as happy as Larry and my dog just stood there looking at me with a 'why would I want to do that?' expression on her face.

All dogs play differently. Did your friend not bring any toys when she dropped them?

Perhaps no one actually plays with them? Perhaps they entertain themselves.

My dog is small, not a Chihuahua, and I've had load of comments from people in the past about how surprised they are to see a small fluffy dog retrieving a ball, as if being small, she's somehow not expected to do dog things.

Redannie118 Sun 25-Aug-19 15:07:26

Have you tried bubbles? My 2 JRT go crackers over bubbles, and its a good way to get the kids involved. Just normal, shop bouggt bubbles are fine and move into the garden. My 2 also go utterly crackers over a water pistol/ gun squirted at them, esp when the weather is like this, but lots of dogs hate that !

shinynewapple Sun 25-Aug-19 15:15:04

My JRT is exactly the same as missbattenburg's JRT number 1. Loves to chase balls, play tug and shake little squeaky toys to death whilst growling! He also plays with DH's feet and fingers - but he knows it's only DH who plays like this.

nixso29 Sun 25-Aug-19 15:23:17

Aww you sound like a lovely dog sitter! I have a teacup yorkie who doesnt play at all like most other dogs do. She is happiest when sitting on your knee having her ears scratched or just likes to potter about the house on her own. She has never ran after a ball in her life! She also isn't too fussed on playing fetch/tug-of-war with toys either, she prefers to lie and chew her toys ears but would give you it and walk off elsewhere if you came over to try and play with it with her! Chi's are tiny dogs so I would guess they are happy just chilling out without too much entertaining


pigsDOfly Sun 25-Aug-19 15:28:55

Actually, thinking about it OP, they might just be enjoying the peace and quiet.

You could start by offering a back rub, head rub and ear rub, which might lead to a tummy rub.

They might just need time to feel relaxed enough to play.

CoolLikeOvie Sun 25-Aug-19 15:36:22

No toys. Tried bubbles, not interested. Splashed the paddling pool a little to see if they wanted to go in but they certainly did not! Maybe they're just not v playful dogs. It is really hot here. They're just following us in and out of the garden and chilling really. Hopefully it cools down after dinner so we can take them for a walk. Will take a tennis ball with us in case they're more keen there. Bless em smile

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CoolLikeOvie Sun 25-Aug-19 15:38:01

Oh, they definitely do love strokes and tummy rubs and have been cosying up next to me all day. They've taken themselves off to their bed now. Chilled out about it now, think you're right that they might just be enjoying some peace. smile

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DogInATent Sun 25-Aug-19 18:39:28

Carpet rats aren't the playiest of dogs. Just give them as much fuss as they want and unless they start getting bored allow them to amuse themselves or chill out as they want.

Sforsh49 Sun 25-Aug-19 19:43:02

My dog is pretty playful but in this heat even he's not bothered! Doesn't even bother to chase his arch enemy the wood pigeons out the garden when the weather is like this! Don't worry, they'll let you know if/when they want to play!!

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Sun 25-Aug-19 19:51:54

They're probably enjoying relative peace and quiet / feeling a bit lackadaisical due to the heat / bit unsure in their new environment

How old are they? Dogs tend to get less playful as they get older. Something that all dogs like is the chance to go out sniffing things - when you walk them, be prepared to go slowly and let them sniff lots of different things (except anything clearly dangerous if eaten!)

Did they come with any toys (or instructions?)

Kyvia Sun 25-Aug-19 19:53:13

Too hot to be playful today! My chihuahua can be quite playful (throwing/chasing small toys, chewing up small plushies & hiding them in places). But today she’s mainly just laid about in the shade or in front of the fan, we went for a walk early on before it got hot.
Sounds like they’ve had a lovely chilled day.

CoolLikeOvie Sun 25-Aug-19 20:42:11

One is three and one is four. Not many instructions, my friend is so laid back she's horizontal 🙉 we've muddled along though. They're no trouble at all. We went for a little walk about half 7 at the park across the road, which they seemed to enjoy, and gonna go to the woods early for a longer walk in the morning. My room is the coolest in the house so I'm in bed already, and they've jumped right up next to me grin god I wish I was in a position to have a dog! One day...

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mumofthree321 Mon 26-Aug-19 00:11:19

I wouldn't worry about playing with them - if they go on a nice walk the dogs are probably just very happy in your company having nice tummy rubs. Adult dogs sleep for around 16hrs a day so they will appreciate some rest time too smile

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