Play!

Generally speaking, Rufus is a pretty low-key dude.  He enjoys a good romp and he’ll even accompany you on a 12-mile hike (maybe longer, though we have yet to test this).  However, he is not hyper or rambunctious by any means.

Because I have toyed with the idea of getting certified in some type of dog training, I started to work on his play drive.  Even at his most hyper, his play sessions do not last more than 10-12 minutes straight.  Even then, you really gotta keep him going.  It has been a lot of work, but really fun as well.

In an attempt to spark his interest a bit more, I decided to purchase this toy from Tillies Tuggies on Etsy:

I just love when they come looking like a birthday present!

 

The product in question.

This handmade device combines two of his favorite things in the world : tug and soft toys.  This is a really durable toy, and the quality is great.  It’s made of fleece, but it also has real rabbit fur finely woven into it (yet another purchase I have cringed while making as a vegetarian.  Just put that up there with raw marrow bones and bully sticks)  I thought that this detail would help get him amped as he has a fairly high prey drive.  He certainly enjoyed it.

The Ru-man in action.

 

The verdict?  Rufus definitely enjoys this toy, but he doesn’t necessarily get MORE excited when I bring it out.  However, I have noticed that when he is chewing on it, he definitely focuses on the rabbit fur.  I’m hoping to train with this a little more and give you guys an update.  As for right now, he’s just having fun with yet another new toy.

Play bowing with his new friend.

 

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9 thoughts on “Play!

  1. I remember building Elli’s tug drive / play drive the same way: with super long sessions that she would eventually tire of and not find any value in whatsoever. The trick is to keep them, like any training session, very short. But it’s especially true of play. Ideally, sessions last only 3-5 minutes TOPS.

  2. 1. That thing looks terrifying! 2. Rufus is as adorable as ever and knowing he is low key makes me love him even more. 3. Melvin could care less about toys. He’s either afraid of how they look or the noises they make or he pretends they don’t exist, even when I’m waving them in his face.

    • Haha, isn’t that strange? Rufus enjoys toys, but he’s not nuts about them. In fact, when we fostered Teeny, I realized just how much of an angel he is compared to most dogs – Teeny destroyed EVERYTHING.

  3. It looks like a fancy horse tail! Turk won’t play tug games AT. ALL. And fetch? Forget it! He’ll go get it once, and then look at you like “now it’s your turn.” If we don’t go “fetch” it, then he’s done. He likes “I’m not your errand boy. You threw it. You go run and get it.” It’s ridiculous.

    • Haha, that’s great. Rufus loves tug, but he does get pretty growl-y, so we stop and start a lot to show him boundaries. He will run after a toy/ball, but he’d rather be chased than bring it back again. Oh, dogs.

  4. Hi! Shop owner here! I wouldn’t recommend you letting him just chew on it – they’re meant to be interactive. And as far as I’m concerned, growl-y is what you’re looking for when playing tug! My guys sound like cougars when playing tug – it just means they’re pumped up.

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