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Planning for Alfie, the Miniature Schnauzer (Toys!)

Toys, toys and more toys!

Photo by Hkyu Wu on Unsplash

I loved you at first sight and we are learning to be best friends!

I loved the toys you had for me when I walked through the front door and my toys will continue to be critical as I grow.

As I reach 4 months old, my growth and development is going to demand that I chew!

If you haven’t already, it’s time to apply a little discipline to the humans in the home and keep the floor clear of anything that doesn’t belong in my mouth! It’s all fair game, in my puppy mind.

Once shoes and backpacks and coats and toys are out of my reach you will want to replace them with puppy toys for me!

I will need a variety of things and just for the record, you are not spoiling me. No, not at all. By supplying me with a toy box that is full of toys you are setting me up for success. (You are also protecting your human stuff by giving me my own.)

You will soon find out what appeals to me. You may want to try stuffed toys with squeakers, rubbery toys with texture, balls, ropes, and puzzle toys with pouches and pocket areas for treats to hide.

And here are some points to ponder…

  • Don’t feel discouraged if I tear up my toys. Instead, consider it a WIN. Because a destroyed toy very likely took the place of a potentially destroyed people item! THAT’S what toys are for!
  • Toys will become strewn hither and yon! It is best if you routinely pick them up and put them back into a toy box or basket that is exclusively MINE. I will love pulling them all out again… it’s half the fun! And, again, if you don’t give me my own toys I WILL find my own and my choices will probably not be popular with my human family.
  • When toys get torn (they will!) make sure loose parts are not posing a danger to me! The last thing you want is to create choking hazards. Throw away torn toys and replace them with new ones.
  • Consider a few ‘homemade” toys: an adult sock with a knot tied in the middle or an old hand towel make great toys!

If I have a toy that I absolutely love, you might want to consider saving it for reward times. Keep it on the top of the refrigerator and only offer it at very special times (like when coming indoors from a successful potty time) — when I eventually lose interest in it, put it back away on the fridge until next time.

Please don’t feel like it’s no use to buy me replacement toys — when the old ones become tattered. think of my puppy toys as SAVING your human possessions from harm. Chewing is NOT inherently bad — it’s a normal, expected thing and it just needs an appropriate outlet.

Whose fault is it really?

As carefully as you plan for my chewing necessities, I’m just going to predict that at some point there could be an “OPPS!” If I chew on an accessible human shoe that got left in my path, whose fault is it really?

Be careful how you react to me. I AM going to chew! Be prepared!

Here is another great reason to keep me on a soft little leash in the house. Even once I’m potty trained, my chewing will continue to be an obstacle in which to deal! If I’m close by, on a leash, your chances for catching me when I step out of line are greater. (Loop the leash over door knobs or under chair legs, etc. when not leading me to a new area.)

And don’t forget that it does NO good, and in fact will inflict harm on my understanding, if you discipline me after the fact. For example: if I chew on a shoe and you completely missed that act… you cannot show me the shoe and then raise your voice to me. I won’t understand and will only feel verbally abused and confused. You don’t want me to lose my trust in you. If you didn’t SEE it happen, it DIDN’T happen — you have to ignore it and carry on. For this reason, KEEP ME IN YOUR SIGHTS at all times.

The first year of my life is critical for my development and training. It will be a bit of a marathon but hang in there! I am worth it and there WILL be a time when I am trained and can be trusted. Put in the work and attention now — save headaches and heartaches later.

So, buy me cool doggy stuff! Hand me the old sock; throw me a ball. Help me take care of my playthings by examining them and throwing away ones that become dangerous to me. Pick up my toys after play times so that you can easily direct me to my toy box when I’m needing an outlet for my playful puppyness.

Because toys aren’t just fluff for spoiled puppies. They are necessary for coexistence with my human pack.

From your chewing maniac puppy,

Alfie, the Miniature Schnauzer

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Donna Lynn

Donna Lynn

I’m Donna — mom of three grown children and grandma to 4. I’m a former kindergarten teacher and I love to write.

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