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Chewtoy Training

April 13, 2013, 12:44 PM
Q: Hello, We are getting our Morkie puppy tomorrow and I'm reading a training book by Dr. Ian Dunbar, he highly recommends chewtoy training, putting their dry food in them and swears it keeps them from getting bored and chewing on other things. My concern is will she at 8 1/2 weeks old be able to get her food out of it? Just wanted your thoughts on it. Thanks Donna
A: Hi Donna, Your good question actually prompts answers at several levels. Chew toys as a distraction to reduce boredom are definitely a good idea. Limiting the number of toys is important in that you want to imply "it's ok to chew on this, but not on that," if there are too many toys it is easy to give the ideal "it's ok to chew on anything." Having food or a treat inside the toy is also a good idea to keep the puppy occupied longer. The puppy is basically trying to solve a puzzle, and that puzzle can be too easy or too hard, either extreme will not work. There is not a perfect puzzle for all puppies, look at a lot and probably be prepared to need to try more than one. As for the new arrival I would start with something soft and small, it will double as a companion. Move toward the puzzle toy once your puppy is settled in the new routine, probably after 1-2 weeks.