Why won't my puppy play on his own?
(Q) I have a nine-month-old puppy who cannot seem to entertain himself for more than a couple of minutes. I have many chew toys and he gets a good amount of exercise. Any tips?
(A) Trainer Tony Cruse says: Most dogs will not play alone. Dogs are social creatures and find it better to engage with other dogs or their owners. However, start incorporating an interactive toy into your dog's feeding regime. Rather than putting his meals in a boring bowl where the food quickly vanishes, stuff the meal into an interactive toy like a Kong. Your dog will then entertain himself by chewing, shaking, and dropping the toy in order to eat.
To make a chew toy more appealing, you can store it in your dog's dry food bag/container. The chew toy will smell of his meal and be more likely to be chewed. The toy will also appear newer because it has been stored out of the dog's sight. Dogs are drawn to novel items!