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I am having a hard time teaching my rescue chi-mix to play.

He is now ~8.5 years old. He is mixed with some kind of terrier & is 11+ lbs. He LOVES to go on walks & sniff; he also is very cuddly, though not a couch-potato personality (I find him to be sensitive & bright). I'd give him an A-minus in paying attention to me.

My issue is, I am afraid he is a bit bored when we are not walking. I may be wrong, but I think when he runs around scratching himself against furniture, that he is expressing frustration that I am not spending time with him.

SO, I would like to play fetch or something with him, but I am having a very hard time. He has no interest in toys. Once in awhile, he will have fun for a few seconds playing with plastic wrap that is noisy & has food crumbs inside, but so far that's the only play I've seen from him in the 1.5 years I've had him.

It occurs to me I don't see many small dogs playing fetch, as I do larger dogs.

Any thoughts on the subject will be much appreciated.
 

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My two chi's loved fetch when they were puppies, BUT when they got to be adults, the fetch seemed to lose its attraction. Now, they just look at me, and say 'you threw it, you get it'!! I too, would love to know of any games that inside chihuahuas love.
 

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MY GOD, YES.

Gizmo is a fetch-aholic. But only with his BFF - his Lamb Chop stuffy. We're on LC#4 now...maybe #5. But he will fetch that thing until he drops...it's almost like a compulsion with him; if you throw it, he HAS to go get it. He may only fetch for 10 minutes at a time, but 10 minutes later he's dropping LC at your feet again and chirping. He's four years old.

Finny, not so much. He likes tug of war with his stuffies more, though he does fetch them a couple times before getting sidetracked.

Tinkers used to fetch a fair amount, but she's 13 and a half now, so less enthused. Plus, her brothers always take the toy away from her when she shows an interest...she does still have moments when she's stoked and wants to play though, so we usually hold the boys hostage so she can ACTUALLY play without being bullied and having her toy stolen. She'll fetch a ball a half dozen times before she moves on.
 

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Jr loves to play fetch with stuffed animals and balls (his favorite)
Sunshine is my oldest and she doesn't do fetch or play with balls. But she loves stuffed squeaky toys. She'll find the squeaker and squeak it constantly. Also loves to curl up with them. But when I 1st got her she didn't play with no toys it took her a long time.
Jojo loves to just carry the toys but he will run after it if it's thrown.
Buddy Bear will fetch but loses interest quickly. He play with it for about a minute and that's it.
 

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Jr loves to play fetch with stuffed animals and balls (his favorite)
Sunshine is my oldest and she doesn't do fetch or play with balls. But she loves stuffed squeaky toys. She'll find the squeaker and squeak it constantly. Also loves to curl up with them. But when I 1st got her she didn't play with no toys it took her a long time.
Jojo loves to just carry the toys but he will run after it if it's thrown.
Buddy Bear will fetch but loses interest quickly. He play with it for about a minute and that's it.
I adopted Pablo with an unknown history. He's 4 yrs old and has perked up fine. He will only chase his cuddly toy and only for about 10 mins, then he gives up or starts snorting. He'll chase a ball but won't fetch it back.

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He'll chase a ball but won't fetch it back.

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Lol Jr actually loves bringing back the ball but when he gets tired he tends to "drop it" a bit further away from me. But he's the only one who does that.
 

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Yes my 2 chis LOVE playing fetch! I don't think small dogs fetch less than big dogs, at least not in my experience.

I had to teach Lilo because at first she had no interest in playing with toys, but she loves it now. Try using treats (if you haven't already). I started by giving her a treat for any little sign of interest she showed in the toy and little by little she started paying attention to it, then started chasing it and eventually she started fetching.

Otherwise you could also try other games like hiding treats around the house and getting him to run around for ages trying to find them.
 

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Nope, not a chance, sometimes he runs after, but … if ever he catches, never gives it back :/
He’s ssuper easily distracted
 

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My chipit started fetching, without my teaching her. She is absolutely a beast. When she brings it back, she will run right into me, and would knock me down if I wasn't seated.
 

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My two chi's loved fetch when they were puppies, BUT when they got to be adults, the fetch seemed to lose its attraction. Now, they just look at me, and say 'you threw it, you get it'!! I too, would love to know of any games that inside chihuahuas love.
My little 2 year old Chi loves to play fetch!
She has certain toys she plays with but her “cow” is her favorite!!!
 

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I have 3 chihuahuas; 2 are female and both around the age of your little guy. These two never, ever would play fetch. One we had as a puppy while the other we got as a rescue age 2 but neither ever seemed inclined to fetch. My husband really tried with our first baby Lolli but sort of gave up with Bella lol.

We got our newest baby a year ago this month. It was a very new experience for us when we got him. He is a little boy and does things I've heard little dogs do but never experienced. Both of our girls came from backgrounds that were traumatic; Lolli especially. I don't know if that makes a difference but they have always just been more settled and cautious? Grendel is one hundred percent trusting, happy and filled with endless energy. He loves his stuffed toys and will respond to the word, 'Boo' for toy. This was an accident as his first toy was a little ghost and he fetched with it automatically. He has his own basket of toys and really loves all of them. We play with him all day; he will bring one or the other to each of us constantly. Even when lying on the couch, he just drops it in my lap with a big smile and waits for us to throw it. If not me, my son, daughter or husband.

I don't know whether to attribute that to his being a male, his having been with us since he was 8 weeks old and from nothing in his life but people treating him well and being so open and trusting or if it's just a personality thing but he's really very different from my girls. Every once in awhile, he does seem to liven up the girls and Bella will try really hard to fetch like he does but then gives up when she gets to the toy as if to say she doesn't understand what to do now lol. My husband gets a kick out of this. Grendel will also dance, responds to 'outside' with enthusiasm and is very open with everyone in our home.

The best I can say is he is always filled with joy and has no fear or caution at all with any of us. I think you can have a rescue that may have not seen the best days and now he is a bit older, he has you and you are making him very happy. But I do definitely see a difference in their response attributing to their history; for certain in mine. My Lolli is my heart and she sticks to me like glue but she can be a very sad little thing. She came from a very bad background and was in vet's care for the first two months that we had her while she fought to breathe after coming from the place we got her from and I won't ever forget how very sad and unmotivated she was the first year after that we had her. She trusts us completely but even now, 9 years after we first got her, she is a low key personality that still doesn't trust so easily. I think your boy can be in the same boat and it may be a factor in his personality with little things even like playing fetch. He sounds to have a similar personality to Lolli.

I know Lolli loves her walks. We have a small yard in front and large one in the back but she doesn't move very far from my feet when we go outside. We added a fence to the front yard and she loves to run for some minutes in the front before wanting to come back in but it's enough to make her 'smile'. Maybe finding other things like these can be the ticket for your little guy. It may also take him quite some time before he can open up enough with you to show his full personality; just a guess as I remember when you first got him and he seemed to exhibit some characteristics going along with a little one feeling unsure of his new home based on his background.

Don't know if that can help but I know that little guy really got lucky with you.
 

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I am having a hard time teaching my rescue chi-mix to play.

He is now ~8.5 years old. He is mixed with some kind of terrier & is 11+ lbs. He LOVES to go on walks & sniff; he also is very cuddly, though not a couch-potato personality (I find him to be sensitive & bright). I'd give him an A-minus in paying attention to me.

My issue is, I am afraid he is a bit bored when we are not walking. I may be wrong, but I think when he runs around scratching himself against furniture, that he is expressing frustration that I am not spending time with him.

SO, I would like to play fetch or something with him, but I am having a very hard time. He has no interest in toys. Once in awhile, he will have fun for a few seconds playing with plastic wrap that is noisy & has food crumbs inside, but so far that's the only play I've seen from him in the 1.5 years I've had him.

It occurs to me I don't see many small dogs playing fetch, as I do larger dogs.

Any thoughts on the subject will be much appreciated.
Yes he does! He is a rescue from the San Diego Humane Society. We brought him home at 10 weeks old. He is Jack Russel/Chi. Very smart and playful. He brings his babies so we can throw them and he goes fetching. Colt can do this for a looong time.
 
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