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Old 05-11-2017, 01:14 PM   #1
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Animal Smiley 049 Our Yorkie doesn't play with toys!

Hi Everyone. We have an 11 y/o poodle/shih tzu mix who loves to play and has a wonderful personality. We got a pure-bred Yorkie (AKC) a few years ago, and she has a very odd personality... maybe not odd for a Yorkie?

Among other things, she won't play with toys, let alone chase them. We can shake a cloth toy under her nose, or roll a ball toward her, and she totally ignores them. We've tried many different kinds of toys with no success. Any ideas how we can get her interested in toys? Is this normal?
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Old 05-21-2017, 05:59 AM   #2
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What kind of a personality does your little one have? Laid back? While chewie plays and is playful, she's also happy watching birds, animals, and people on her indoor dog house, and also loves watching Youtube on our television with us. Prefers to do that even more than her beloved ball.

However, she has her quirks. My gal cannot play with bones. She can't eat them or play with them. They are too high value and she'll spend her time doing this bird twitter noise. She also does that with any plush toy that I PERSONALLY give to her. Right now it's a stuffed owl I brought back from a trip. If I can't hold it for her to love on, it's immediately in her mouth and she'll run around twittering. Even if I hold her bones, she'll take them out of my hands and run around frantically. I have to put them under her bed, or her pillows, or her blankets- and she'll take them out and persuade me to do it over again. I've given up and she now has lamb ears and treats that aren't bone shaped, squeaky plushes, Her bacon tug of war toys, and balls.

Is your little one displaying any signs of a nervous disorder or depression? If he/she is just laid back and happy cuddling or being chill, I wouldn't worry about it. I read up on anxiety since Chewie was so very high strung (and still has her moments.) I had to change some things around, and cluck around my loud family to lower their voices, which helped her out a ton. She spent the first 3 weeks staying in the living room, so we simply adjusted to add her personality to the mix. She was playing in earnest right after the changes were made.

Chewie has only done the "zoomies" after bath time twice in her life- and I can only count on one hand she's done zoomies (instead of her signature chewie howl) when she's happy to see us.

I have a video of what she usually does after her bath, complete with jaws music. She'll stick her butt, ears and tail straight up, tuck her front legs and paws under, and keep her chin and tummy firmly against the carpet. Then she'll propel herself around the living room like that- every so often rubbing her ears on our feet, legs, shoes, or the throw rug. I mention this, especially, because most dogs- especially yorkies I'm seeing- do. She doesn't. So, while I mention GAD and depression, I'd be surprised if you answered yes. These guys are VERY, VERY, opinionated, that's for sure. They have strong likes and dislikes, and aren't afraid to "voice" it, either. one last question, how old was your little baby when adopted? Was there time to learn how to play?

I hope someone has something definitive for you and some experience with this. I came on here that first month asking your very question and I was told she would... and she did. I'm sorry I couldn't do more than give examples and ask more questions.
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:19 PM   #3
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Hi Everyone. We have an 11 y/o poodle/shih tzu mix who loves to play and has a wonderful personality. We got a pure-bred Yorkie (AKC) a few years ago, and she has a very odd personality... maybe not odd for a Yorkie?

Among other things, she won't play with toys, let alone chase them. We can shake a cloth toy under her nose, or roll a ball toward her, and she totally ignores them. We've tried many different kinds of toys with no success. Any ideas how we can get her interested in toys? Is this normal?

Our yorkie weighs 4.5 lb and is small frame. While occasionally she likes a larger toy, she really likes cat toys. They are smaller, fit in her mouth for playing, and make gentler noises than the smaller dog toys. You have to make sure they are sturdy if you choose a cat toy because they are not generally made for the type of chewing that a dog will do. She prefers toys with a gentle rattle, small bell, or no noise at all. And she has no interest in toys stuffed with dog treats. It took a bit of training to play fetch - which still can be kind of a "keep away" game, but she loves to run and get it. When she brings it back she's rewarded with a brief game of tug of war (gentle as to not break teeth). I think we had to teach her that too. Mostly she likes the bear she got as a baby to be her faux sibling. It has required a lot of mending, but it's her "comfort animal." She drags it around like a limp doll. She also likes the small not-stuffed plush for dogs.


Temperament tests for puppies use curiosity and playfulness as a criteria for good temperament. But given all things (like nipping etc.) that might disqualify a dog, laid back isn't too bad!
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Old 05-22-2017, 11:26 AM   #4
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My yorkie is 3 yrs old and she doesn't play with toys either. She did when she was little she had a favorite, but my sister's dog played with it one day and Tessa didn't want it after that. Even though I bought her another one she didn't want it. Bought other toys and nope. She would rather lay on my lap and sleep or sleep beside me on the couch. That's her nature and I'm fine with it.
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Old 05-22-2017, 06:50 PM   #5
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My yorkie is 3 yrs old and she doesn't play with toys either. She did when she was little she had a favorite, but my sister's dog played with it one day and Tessa didn't want it after that. Even though I bought her another one she didn't want it. Bought other toys and nope. She would rather lay on my lap and sleep or sleep beside me on the couch. That's her nature and I'm fine with it.

We had a similar experience when another dog played with one of our pup's toys. With regard to playfulness..............just like people, dogs should be allowed to have personalities. Frankly, we didn't choose a Jack Russell terrier because we didn't want that hyper behavior or an Aussie etc. I'm sure they have a range of personalities also.


We love our little companion dog who likes to lay with us, too.
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Old 05-24-2017, 11:39 AM   #6
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Some dogs just aren't into things. Could be the shih Tzu in her. My shih Tzu didn'y play a lot either. Sometimes rope with my yorkie or wrestling with him or the cairn mix.


My girl maltese doesn't play with anything. The boy maltese only likes to play with the role inside the toilet paper or paper towels (the dispenser).


I guess some are just plain lap dogs. Which doesn't bother me.


(I have a whole toy box of doggie toys just sitting there.)


I didn't chose them for breed standards or anything. I chose them & they chose me, cause we were meant to be best friends!
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:41 PM   #7
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I used to have poodles and they were always toy oriented, even into old age. One would carry her plushy around with her all the time and even sleep with it. I noticed poodles were also total clowns, funny entertainers.

Your baby sounds kind of psychologically or emotionally shut down. Usually, you can prod a terrier into an almost instant reaction by poking at them a couple of times or playfully baiting him with almost anything. What is your Yorkie's life like - what does he do all day? How involved with you with his day-to-day life? First thing I'd do is get a good vet check-up w/labs to be sure he's physically well, not got low thyroid or suffering from diabetes, worms or cardiac insufficiency, etc.

But none of my 3 Yorkies was much interested in toys after puppyhood. Mine all preferred human interaction, mental stimulation and game-playing with me over toys - kind of like older kids. My Yorkies have all been totally involved in their human's life, adore visitors and you can tell feel like they run the household. And they love working at anything you do with them, such as obedience training, a walk or learning to use an interactive toy.

Now outside, my Tibbe is a different animal - like he's awakened to a half-wild animal, scent-and-prey driven, he'll track the comings and goings of any critter that's been in the yard, chase any birds or cats that get in the yard and then track their scent long after they've departed, his little neck slightly arched as he lowers his head a bit to better catch the scent, tail and ears pointed straight up and ultra-alert, he's the very picture of a terrier at his work, looking for trouble and set upon dispatching it if he finds it. Keeping a dog with his mental abilities and terrier disposition takes a good deal of knowing your dog, life-enrichment activities, interaction and involvement in order for the Yorkies I've had to live their best lives.

Tibbe has a lot of interactive toys and forage food bowls that he adores for their challenges and we play a number of games we've invented that keep him working to solve problems and engaging his natural instincts. Owning a Yorkie usually takes no small amount of their owner's involvement as they are such keenly aware, complicated little wonders.
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Old 05-25-2017, 09:44 AM   #8
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I did forget, some time my boy maltese does like to play rope.


Both maltese also like the cats' mouse toy that has catnip.
(I've never read anything that says it's bad for dogs.)
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Old 05-25-2017, 12:58 PM   #9
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I did forget, some time my boy maltese does like to play rope.


Both maltese also like the cats' mouse toy that has catnip.
(I've never read anything that says it's bad for dogs.)


When we buy catnip toys for our little yorkie we buy the kind with the Velcro opening that allow for refilling and just never put any in. Her squirrel is one of her favorites.
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Old 05-25-2017, 01:03 PM   #10
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I'm sure she's very happy.
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