Dog Doesn't Play

I am currently fostering a 7 year old boy basenji and he doesn't seem to have any interest in playing at all. He loves to go for walks and is very food motivated, but will not play with a ball or soft chew toy. The only thing I know of his history is that he was raised with another dog and some cats in the house, but near the end of his stay with his last family he was crated or put out side on a leash. I have never had a dog that has no desire to play.

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Most of mine don't play with balls or soft chew toys. They play with each other, and sometimes with us humans. They will chew on their chew bones. I do have two girls that like to retrieve (on their terms…certain ball, only when they feel like it)...but other than that, I think basenjis, in general, play less with THINGs than other dogs. Ours prefer to play with each other.

Depending on how long you have been fostering him, he may not feel comfortable to play yet either. As you may already know, playing requires a great level of comfort....maybe as he gets more comfortable, he will relax.</but>

Jazzy doesn't really "Play" either. She will wrestle with our other dog, occasionally she'll wrestle w/me and one of our daughters, but seldom with the other kids or Darren.
She will sometimes chase/retrieve a stuffed toy, if she's in the mood.
And she will shake and gut her stuffed animals.
But mostly, she likes to sleep!

try a piece of papertowel or a wadded up paper ball…my two go nuts over the simple things....a cardboard box will keep them entertained as well! LOL

I tried the tissue idea last night and all he did was tear a bit off and eat it, lol. I also tried to tie a string to a bag and fuzzy chew toy and drag it to get him to chase it and he just looks at me like I'm an idiot. In everything else he is a wonderful dog, it's just strange to me to meet a dog who doesn't like to tug a toy or rope. I do know that tugging comes with trust, but he doesn't seem like he doesn't trust me. He LOVES massages and food, so I guess I will have to be happy with that.

How long have you been fostering him? It usually takes 2-4 weeks for them to really settle in. Then they can be really mischievous causing all sorts of trouble as it sinks in that they are there to stay for awhile.

I am so glad I found this thread. I recently adopted a one year old male Basenji mix and at first he had no desire to play with anything. Then yesterday he took one of his raw hide chews and threw it up in the air and then pounced on it.

Today, we were out in the back yard and I tossed an orange tennis type ball and he went after it and tossed it and then went after it and tossed it! It was a hoot to watch him. I guess he is feeling comfortable with his new routine. I have no history for him, he just appeared in our neighborhood and was around for a few weeks before I decided to take him to the vet hospital to see if he was chipped. He wasn't and I wound up adopting him.

He is however, very shy and timid around things. The ice dropping in the freezer freaks him out, as does me towel drying my hair, clicking an ink pen and all sorts of other little things. I am hoping he will get over some of this as he gets more ingrained in our routines and knows that we will not hurt him.

I find that my basenjis on fetch inside when they are really relaxed and not distracted…

my guys have had tons of toys....the ones they like the most are the game birds from petsmart. they have a quacking sound and crunchy plastic inside...

my boy will fetch it until he is bored, and my girl would just try to eat the stuffing out.

i never gave them a lot of treats, so when a paper towel comes out....oh man....they sit and are intense!! LOL..I let the paper towel float down on their heads and they grab it and run....let the shredding begin!!!

I just clean it up when my girl would try to eat it. my boy never did. simple stuff....

hey, you could always get a cat for them to chase, LOL, just kidding!

Mantis-that's a great idea!!

It took my B's three whole months to really get relaxed enough to play. It's all about how comfy they are feeling. Give it some time. I also tried a trick where you open up a tennis ball & stuff it with a treat & then toss it. They'll bring it back for more treats 😃 😃 smart doggies!! HA!

I bet if you lay a roll of TP out you will see some action….:o

Max never did play with toys. Pepper, my german shepherd mix loved fetch and always carried around a tennis ball or stuffed animal. I would throw the tennis ball in the yard–Pepper would run to go get it, and Max would run after Pepper--but he would never run after the ball. I would leave Max's treats in paper bags around the house after Pepper was gone when I had to go to work, and he would shred the paper bags and eat the treats.

MaxBBB that's a GREAT idea! 😃

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