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Discussion Starter #1
Lucy loves playing with her toys (especially taking the stuffing out) but gets really bored easily. I was wandering if anyone can give me some ideas of games or different things to do with your lab that may stimulate them more?
 

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Hide and seek is a lot of fun. If she'll do a stay, put her in one, go hide (start simple) then call her. A variation is to put her in a stay, hide a trea, go back to her and tell her "find it". Again, start simple- I started by putting the treat in plain site in another room. Eventually we've gotten to where I can put it under something.
 

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I have not personally tried them but I have heard the kong toys with the treats inside keep dogs occupied. If you really want to be involved...I used to play hide and seek with my boxer...one person would sit with him...while the other person hid. Then he would be let go and find the hiding person:D Luckily I don't have this problem as my dogs play with each other or are camped out with us wherever we are sitting.
 

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FETCH!.... then fetch some more... then fetch some more until your arms are pulled out of their sockets. They never get bored of fetching, it is amazingly inbred in them

The hide and seek treats was a good one I used to play with Brownie.

Play bitey with them, tickle their tummies, "nibble" their legs with your fingers and engage in a "full" combat wrestling match. This usually ends up with a full speed "tail on the butt" run all over the yard. Just make sure you control the start and end on this game and don´t play it if your dog is not sure you´re the boss. You will get nibbled back though
 

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Playing fetch (or retrieve) outside is a great game for Labs.

I've never used a Chuck-it with tennis balls but some people like those because they help you sling it much farther.

We use 2"X12" (5x30 cm) "Lucky Dog" (brand) vinyl training dummies bought from www.gundogsupply.com These are less than half the price, 4X the quality, and 10X the longevity of the brittle plastic ones sold at Petsmart and Petco. And they come with ropes already tied on for slinging. (Grab the end of the line and wind up like a softball pitcher; release at about 30-45º above horizontal).

With Bess, when there were tornado warnings or lightning storms so we couldn't play fetch outside, we had a dozen duck wings a friend gave us. I took them upstairs and "hid" them in obvious, easy to find places. After Bess learned the rules of the game, I hid them in progressively harder to find places. It meant one trip up the stairs for me but at least 12 or more for Bess to play just one "inning."

You can do the same thing with toys. It may help to put just a tiny dab of a duck (or =) scent on the toy to give hints.

 

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If its raining outside, my son and I play "koko in the middle" with a tennis ball. We throw it back and forth to each other with her in the middle trying to steal it. She loves it and gets pretty worn out. I don't know who likes it more, my son or koko.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you everyone for your advice and ideas!! The one thing I wish I had that I don't is a back yard..I live in an apartment so it's hard to let her get out and run a lot. I try to play with her in the apartment, but she gets bored. My boyfriend of 2 years used to play really rough with her and she loved him! But we broke up last week, so I'm having a really difficult time finding the motivation to just get up and play with her. Maybe I will try the hide and seek thing. thanks everyone!
 

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Where are you located? Are there any dog parks in your area?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I live in Athens, GA. Yea there are dog parks, I used to take her to one and then she got kennel cough, I haven't taken her to once since then (that was like 6 months ago). She goes to daycare almost everyday while I'm at work, but I just feel like she gets bored at home
 

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Look for fenced-in school yards or softball fields where you can sling a tennis ball with a "Chuck-it" or a training dummy (Be sure to take bags to pick up any poop Koko deposits.) Or larger fields you can use? Or are there any ponds or lakes where Koko can make swimming retrieves? Or agility or obedience clubs you and Koko can participate in?

 

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I will say some things that might not be popular, but here goes:

Playing fetch:
Most Labs will play fetch until they drop (literally). Be very carefull of overheating. This can happen in the winter as well as summer. Always bring a bottle of water for them if you aren't near a water source.

The bones and muscles take a lot of stress when playing fetch. A lot of elbow and knee injuries are caused by this. Short distance (20 yards or so) allow your dog to get up a good speed and then try to stop to pick up the ball or bumper. this can cause problems. The further you can throw the better.

Both the above problems are made worse by overweight dogs.

I say this because it is directly from a Board Certified Vet Surgeon that I know......and they don't come cheap when you need them.
 

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Here's something I did when my 9 moth old was in the later stages of recovering from FCP surgery.

I had a puppy bumper (cloth) that he had been retrieving before surgery. I would hide it somewhere on the car such as under the wheel well, on the bumper, or on top of the tire. I would lead him around the car telling him to "find it". It only took him about 20 minutes to catch on. We would play "drug dog" several times a day. I found that it gave him some light exercise and also made him exercise his mind.
 
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