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Stuffed animals for puppies -- bad idea?


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Our breeder told us that giving a dog a stuffed toy to play with trains him/her to chew furniture, since couch cushions have the same "feel." However, I know C. Milan and other trainers are fine with it, and our puppy LOVES stuffed animals -- he is always stealing them from the kids. I am wondering if it might help for him to just have his own (one especially for dogs). What do you think? Will he suddenly start chewing our furniture?

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:001_huh:

 

That's a new one on me, although I confess that I am not a dog trainer and I don't play one on TV. :D

 

The only thing I've heard is that you shouldn't give your dog an old shoe because he cannot tell a difference between it and a new shoe. Similarly, I can imagine that giving him stuffed toys which he cannot tell from your dc's stuffed toys might not be a good idea. OTOH, I cannot see why it would cause him to chew on furniture, which although soft in parts is actually nothing like a stuffed toy, presuming your dog cannot pick up the sofa and walk around with it...

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I have never experienced dogs chewing on the furniture as a result of plush toys. The only chew marks we have on furniture are from when ds was a baby. :D

 

When our dogs were puppies we could never give them plush toys because they would be destroyed and disemboweled within a matter of moments :001_smile:

 

If your puppy enjoys a plush toy and doesn't destroy it then I would let him have one.

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If the stuffing starts to come out, though, be sure to take it away. We nearly lost a healthy 4 year old golden to pneumonia from, we always thought, inhaling a piece of stuffing from his beloved stuffed hippo. It could have been coincidence that a dog who had never been sick before, and lived to be 14 1/2 without ever being sick again, developed pneumonia within a day of his freeing the hippo of its stuffing, but we have always been wary of stuffing since then. We have sewn up a lot of stuffy holes.

 

Terri

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I wouldn't give it a child's stuffed animal because I think it would rip apart too easily. I would purchase a dog toy. Our dogs have always had the stuffed toys with squeakers in them and have never confused it with a piece of furniture:tongue_smilie:. However, our dogs do have difficulty differentiating between which is a stuffed toy for them and the kids' stuffed animals.

 

Another option that our dogs love are those Kong type of chew toys that you put treats inside. They get to chew and it keeps them busy. Also, we have this plastic jar type of toy with a chew rope attached. You put small treats inside of it and our dogs carry it around and play with it to get the treats to fall out of the small holes in the bottom. It keeps them entertained and then they are not chewing on the wrong things.

 

Have fun with your puppy.

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We have a no-stuffies rule for our dogs. I figured they'd never be able to distinguish between dog stuffies and kid stuffies, and had no desire to deal with that heartache!

It's worked well for us. The dogs have plenty of non-stuffed toys, and the kids' stuffed animals almost never get swiped!

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I've never owned a puppy who chewed on upholstery. That doesn't mean there aren't any. I don't see a correlation between a dog toy and upholstery at all. Dogs are destructive of walls and furniture and all sorts of things if they are unsupervised or they don't get enough attention or exercise. A tired dog is a good dog. Having a crate helps a lot.

 

Aidan has stuffed toys. He doesn't chew them, he plays with them (tossing them, fetch). He still has the ones we gave him a year ago, and plenty more. He loves them.

 

I've had dogs who tore up stuffed toys. That is dangerous for the dog -- choking and ingestion hazards. If a dog does that, then he doesn't get stuffed toys.

 

Pet stores sell unstuffed "stuffed toys". Aidan has a lot of those. I have no idea whether a dog who tears up stuffed toys will also tear up these. They have squeakers in them, and I wouldn't want a dog to eat one.

 

All stuffed toys are fair game for Aidan. DD is responsible for keeping hers out of his reach if she doesn't want dog slobber on them.

 

Aidan loves to chew on furniture legs -- any wood. We give him things he can chew: Bully sticks, cow ears, Himalayan chews... appropriate to his age and size. I buy them at http://www.bestbullysticks.com because they are cheaper there. He likes edible Nylabones; hates the plastic ones. He likes Kongs if they are stuffed with goodies; otherwise he ignores them.

 

Kongs are versatile. Sometimes I fill them with plain, organic yogurt and freeze them. Sometimes I fill them with a little bit of liverwurst and kibble or treats. Sometimes they just have treats in them. Lots of dogs like peanut butter in Kongs, but I have never owned a dog who would eat peanut butter.

 

I never give him rawhide bones or chews because I think they are dangerous. Dogs can ingest pieces and they swell up in their stomachs, which can cause a blockage. Aidan loves to chew on sticks from the yard, too, but these are dangerous because they splinter, so I don't let him keep them. Once in awhile he gets a raw beef rib bone (purchased at the grocery store), but he chews it under supervision. He gets the meat off, and that's it -- he'd rather have a bully stick.

 

The toys and chews a dog likes depends on the dog's preference. Not all dogs like toys. Our collie didn't, but he loved playing catch and herding games.

 

All puppies and dogs chew, and if you don't supply them with something, they will chew on whatever they like. They also must be supervised, and the people in the household must be make sure that nothing is left around that the puppy can chew on and hurt himself.

 

My kids keep their belongings in their bedrooms, and keep their doors closed. When our collie was a puppy, we gated doorways to rooms we didn't want him to go in, like the playroom. I blocked the entrance to the staircase with a Little Tikes toy box to keep him on the first floor.

 

When the kids were young, I regularly patrolled to make sure that nothing was left out that the puppy could get. I don't want an injured or dead dog. Surgery for dogs who have blockages and/or who eat sharp objects is very expensive, and so far I have managed to avoid that.

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