5 Games to Play with Your Puppy

#1 Know Your Name

Teach your puppy his name for attention purposes. You want him to look at you and come running when you call his name. This is a foundation exercise for all family manners. 

Step 1: 
Stand close to your puppy. When he is NOT looking at you, call your puppy’s name one time. If he looks at you, mark “Yes” (or click with a clicker) and give your puppy a treat. If he does not look at you, touch his nose with the treat and draw it up to your eye. When your eyes meet, say “yes” and give him the treat.

Step 2: 
Gradually stand farther from your puppy so he must come to you to get the treat. Work to across the room, then across the house. 

Step 3: 
Practice outdoors on a short leash, then a long one. 

Tip: Try not to call him more than once at a time, or he won’t learn to listen to you the first time. 



Photo Masarik/Bigstock

#2 Brain Games

To stimulate your puppy mentally and help with brain development.

Step 1: 
You can purchase a variety of toys for this purpose or create your own. Get a muffin tin and 12 tennis balls. Hide treats in the muffin cups, then place the tennis balls over the treats. 

Step 2:
Encourage your dog to remove the tennis balls to get the treats. 

Tip: Some dogs learn quickly, and some take longer. Be patient and cheer your puppy on for trying!



Photo NynkevanHolten/Bigstock

#3 Sharing Is Caring

Teach your puppy to share with you. This is also great for channeling puppy teeth onto a toy for snuggle time.

Step 1: 
Get a long chew bone, so you can be holding one end with plenty of room for your puppy to chew the other end.

Step 2: 
Encourage your puppy to chew on one end of the bone. Your puppy can be in your lap, next to you on the couch (if permitted) or anywhere that’s comfortable for you both. Praise her for chewing the bone. 

Tip: Try to choose a time when your puppy is not overly active. If she wants to run around, then she will probably not be in a mood to enjoy this game. 



Photo Reddogs/Bigstock

#4 Chew on Toys and Not My Stuff

Teach your puppy to make better choices with his teeth! Have a variety of hard plastic or rubber chew toys, plus food-stuffed toys. Avoid stuffed animals as they just teach your puppy to chew on soft things, like your clothing, pillows, etc. Do not use household items, such as water bottles or socks, for toys. 

Step 1: 
Introduce your puppy to the toy. Show great interest in the toy to stimulate interest. 

Step 2: 
Every time your puppy picks up the toy, praise! 

Step 3: 
Rotate the toys daily to make them seem new. Do not leave a basket of toys out or your puppy will still grow bored with them.

Tip: Make sure your pup has toy options everywhere they are allowed to be, so they have a chance to make good choices.



Photo Surfsup Vector/Bigstock

#5 Handling All Over

Teach your puppy to enjoy being handled all over his body. This is a critical skill to help you take care of your puppy, as well as helpful to your veterinarian and groomer. For example, if your puppy needs eye drops or ear medicine, you want him to cooperate and enjoy his care, not avoid you or get aggressive. 

Step 1: 
Have tasty treats set aside, within arm’s reach. Gently and briefly touch your puppy’s paw, mark “Yes,” let go and immediately give your puppy a treat. Repeat with the rest of his paws.

Step 2: 
Repeat the exercise with his ears, tail, neck, and teeth. 

Step 3: 
Pick your puppy up, “Yes,” put him down and give him a treat. 

Step 4: 
Gradually increase the duration of your handling, such as really examining a paw or looking carefully in his ears. Only go as fast as your puppy is enjoying the game. 

Tip: If your puppy mouths you, turns his head to see what you’re doing, or licks you rapidly, he’s telling you he doesn’t like that body part touched. Make your next touch repetition briefer, even with just one finger, if necessary, until he relaxes.  




Leading Experts Recommend Early Puppy Socialization

“There is no medical reason to delay puppy and kitten classes or social exposure until the vaccination series is completed as long as exposure to sick animals is prohibited, basic hygiene is practiced, and diets are high quality,” says The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). “The risks attendant with missing social exposure far exceed any disease risk.”

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (ASVAB) echoes this, stating, “… it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated.”



This article originally appeared in the award-winning Modern Dog magazine. Subscribe today!

Story of The Samson Pet Group

Brought to you by The Samson Pet Group

Samson was our beautiful German Shepherd who passed away shortly before Christmas in 2014 at the age of seven from cancer. We are dedicated to honoring his name by providing safe, high quality, unique, and fun products for our pet-loving customers, and by giving back to the pet-loving community. 

Life for Samson began in a horrid puppy mill in Oklahoma. He spent the first three months of his life in a small and dirty cage. Having eaten a combination of kibble and his own feces, Samson was suffering from Coccidia and Giardia when we took possession of him. My wife and I, and our four young children welcomed him into our home with great love and caring. Samson was our first family dog. 

As Samson grew up with us and matured, his protective instincts began to appear. Every night while our children were sleeping, my wife and I would hear him walking on the hallway wood floors and enter into their bedrooms to check on them. He wanted to make sure our children were safe. This was an amazing thing to experience. He loved spending summers at our family's lake house in Connecticut swimming with our children, eagerly chasing them off the dock, dutifully digging holes in the lakeside beach sand, and relaxing in the shade under his favorite oak tree. Having lived for only seven years, Samson filled our family's hearts with wonderful memories that will last forever. He was a great dog and family member. It was two years ago this past December that we lost Samson to cancer. We miss him dearly. 

Like all pet owners, the loss of a beloved dog, cat, bird, to name a few, impacts a family greatly. There's a deep emotional pain that never goes away. So we formed The Samson Pet Group using that pain to honor his name by doing something about the challenges that impact these innocent creatures. 

We were greatly blessed as a family to have had the help to find that neglected pup in Oklahoma and to have been able to give Samson a loving home. We greatly admire all pet lovers around the world who tirelessly rescue and adopt animals in need. They do great work and we thank them all for giving their Samson a loving home. 


The initial spark for the idea for our inaugural line of dog toys was inspired long ago by our grandfather, Bill. He would always say, "When I die, I want to come back as a dog to find out what's so attractive about their backsides!"

As dog owners and purchasers of countless dog toys over the years, my wife and I have come across a multitude of toys scented like bacon, cheese, hamburgers, chicken, salmon, and other delectable food items. They seem all well and good to dogs, and even appealing to our own human senses, but we felt something was missing. Why not scent a dog toy with a smell that is natural and inherent to a dog? Seemed obvious to us at least. Why not scent a dog toy with a smell that comes from the most popular anatomical location known to all dogkind? Why not scent a dog toy that smells like a dog's butt? 

So one day we decided to make a dog toy scented like a dog's butt. But how? It started with understanding what's so attractive and special about a dog's butt. It turnes out, a dog's butt is very special. New York Times bestselling author, Alexandra Horowitz writes in her new book, Being a Dog, "At either side of the anus – 'at four and eight o'clock,' one writer helpfully guides the clock-readers among us – are anal sacs producing a strong odor of dog." She continues, "A sniff of another dog reveals who he is, but also information that only the more undignified gaze would catch as it falls. Dogs do not glance under the belly to see if the new dog is male or female. They smell male or female. Moreover, they may smell ready to mate, or being recently ill, or of having recently eaten. They smell their age: age is but a metabolic process, chemistry. And chemistry smells. Dogs smell of having had a bath or not having had one; they smell of having recently peed or very much having to pee. They smell of themselves, their status, and likely, whether they are scared or happy or anxious." As you can see, a dog's butt is a comprehensive information center. 

Our research identified the organic compounds that come from a dog's anal sacs that produce that strong scent of a dog. From there we replicated synthetic versions of these organic compounds. Each of our unique dog toys contain an amount that is safe for dogs of any weight, an amount only a dog can detect, and an amount a dog owner can appreciate. 

We introduced our patent pending CANINE COOLEYS™ and MUTT BUTTS® dog toys to the market in November 2016. These flattie, high quality, handmade, stuffed, squeaker-free dog toys have a heavy duty ripstop polyester fabric body and finished with a triple-stitched, durable nylon binding edge. They're available in the U.S. and Canada from our online store for $14.95 at thesamsonpetgroup.com. We're also very excited to introduce our new COOLEY COMPANIONS™ and BUTT BUDDIES™ dog toys. Based on our super popular CANINE COOLEYS™ and MUTT BUTTS® dog toys, they're designed for the small pure-bred and mixed breed adults and puppies. They're also available in the U.S. and Canada from our online store for $9.95 at thesamsonpetgroup.com.

The word is spreading quickly among our passionate, dog-loving customers across the United States and Canada. Dogs of every breed and their owners are choosing our dog toys because they're fun and long-lasting. Even among those Olympian chewers who normally destroy their stuffed toys inmere moments, our toys are lasting weeks and months! It is one of our goals at The Samson Pet Group to make our dog toys EVERY DOG'S DESIRE®!

Not only is The Samson Pet Group dedicated to developing unique pet products never before seen, we will be taking the same approach when it comes to the formation of our charitable giving. As we grow, it is our desire, for starters, to give a percentage of all purchases to various animal welfare organizations and causes close to our hearts and our customer's. One such cause we're working on is the formation of The Samson Canine Cancer Research Foundation. 




ZippyPaws Celebrates One Million Donutz!

ZippyPaws ended 2017 on a sweet note, selling their one millionth donut on December 14th. This past year has been a very successful one for the company. Not only were they awarded one of America’s fastest-growing private companiesby Inc. 5000, but ZippyPaws also had a new warehouse and office facility built, which is over three times larger than their currentheadquarters. In addition, sales more than doubled over 2016.

“It feels surreal,” says Jennifer Cao, Vice President of ZippyPaws. “What a great year 2017 has been for us! I still remember starting ZippyPaws with my father, in our garage. Now we’re moving into a new building, celebrating one million Donutz sold and being named one of the lead plush toy manufacturers in the industry.”                                  

“It’s been amazing seeing how the company has grown over these six years. We have new launches happening in 2018 – I’m very excited to share these new collections with everyone! With this new year, I have full confidence in the ZippyPaws team that we will continue paving the way for the dog toy industry.”

The Donutz toy line has been a best seller ever since Cao and her father launched them in 2014. With a stuffing-free, calorie-free,delicious dessert, dogs cannot get enough of these fuzzy, frosted sensations! Because of the popularity of these Donutz, ZippyPaws created Jumbo sizes to appeal to not only dogs, but their owners as well! Equal opportunity for all Donut lovers!

Let’s face it, one million Donut-lovin’ hounds can’t be wrong. This toy is a true testament to all things sweet and fun. And when you consider the love and quality that are embodied in each of these round delights, you just can’t stop at one. Let’s be real,why would you even want to do that? Regular-sized Donutz retail for $7.99 MSRP, mini-sized Donutz retail for $5.99 MRSP, and jumbo-sized Donutz retail for $10.99. Visit www.zippypaws.com to learn more about the Donutz collection!


About ZippyPaws

ZippyPaws was created in 2011 with the mission of bringing fun, exciting, and high-quality toys to dogs and their owners. Providing toys for dogs is a great way to encourage active lifestyles and to foster a strong relationship between owner and dog. Visit the full line of ZippyPaws products at www.zippypaws.com or email sales@zippypaws.com to request a catalog.

For Healthy and Eco-Friendly Pet Supplies, Check out WholeWoof!

At WholeWoof, we believe every dog deserves healthy, safe products. The food and toys you give your pets on a daily basis play a crucial role in their health and well-being, so we’re here with a selection of treats, toys, and clothes to keep your pet healthy and happy. Our mission is to make sure that dogs everywhere have access to stylish clothes and accessories, fun toys, and healthy food to enjoy a long and happy life.

We go the extra mile to make sure that all of our pooch-approved products are healthy—even for the most sensitive dogs. Whether you’re looking for all-natural, organic, grain-free, or gluten-free treats, we have them in-store for you. When it comes to our collection of WholeWoof toys, each one is completely chemical-free, non-hazardous, and eco-friendly. They’re also made of sustainable and biodegradable rubber, organic cotton, recycled plastics, and all-natural dyes.

Explore our store for healthy and eco-friendly essential pet supplies, or try our new exclusive WHOLEWOOF DOG TREATS, our premium GLUTEN & GRAIN FREE dog treats are handmade and baked in small batches using only ALL NATURAL, LOCALLY SOURCED, HUMAN GRADE INGREDIENTS.

Julius-K9 Training Ball

Julius K9

Julius-K9’s waterproof toys are a great way of getting your pup in the water. When tossed into the water the Show Training ball will float and entice your dog to paddle out and retrieve it! On land, it can be used as a training tool. – RC

Planet Dog Launches Toy Line for Notre Dame—Debuts Collegiate Line at Total Pet Expo

Planet Dog proudly introduces a new collection of dog-friendly products for the collegiate market. The line, introduced at September’s Total Pet Expo in Chicago, was created for Notre Dame, a prime player in the collegiate selling market.

The Notre Dame line features a wide selection of Made in the USA items that couple the product development and manufacturing expertise of Planet Dog with the passion of the Notre Dame brand. The line had its debut at the Total Pet Expo in Chicago. Because Planet Dog has obtained a national license, these products will be available to pet retailers immediately.

The starting lineup for the Notre Dame collection includes a variety high quality dog toys featuring the Notre Dame insignia. Every product is made from Planet Dog’s signature compound, Orbee-Tuff®, meaning each item is doggie-durable, minty, buoyant, eco-friendly, non-toxic, recyclable, and made in the USA.

Sports fans will love the Notre Dame Football in Brown or ND Blue (6”, SRP: $19.99); Notre Dame Baseball in White (3”, SRP: $15.99); and Notre Dame Hockey Puck in Black (3”, SRP: $11.99). And dog lovers everywhere will love the Notre Dame branded Ruff Play Balls in ND Blue or Glow in the Dark Cream (2.5” & 4”, SRP: $10.99 & $16.99); Funny Bones in ND Blue or Glow in the Dark Cream (4.5” & 6”, SRP: $7.99 & $11.99); and the Zoom Flyer in ND Blue or Glow in the Dark Cream (9.5”, SRP: $20.99).

Planet Dog and Notre Dame are celebrating their partnership with a number of added initiatives. Planet Dog will welcome a Notre Dame student intern interested in business, and the two organizations will partner together to support working dogs helping people in need in the South Bend region.  “We are thrilled to establish a relationship with an elite school like Notre Dame to deliver unique, high quality, socially responsible pet products to the legions of passionate Notre Dame fans,” says Stephanie Volo, Planet Dog’s Co-CEO.

About Planet Dog
Since incorporating in 1997, Planet Dog has been known as the pet industry’s leading socially responsible, values-based design house, bringing people and dogs together for fun and mutual support. Planet Dog is recognized throughout the pet industry as a leader in award-winning design, innovation, and quality. Planet Dog is proud to donate 2% of every Planet Dog purchase to the Planet Dog Foundation. To see the entire Planet Dog product line, please visit www.planetdog.com.

About The Planet Dog Foundation
The Planet Dog Foundation (PDF) is the 501(c)(3) non-profit arm of Planet Dog whose mission is to promote, support and celebrate programs in which dogs serve and support their best friends. Since January, 2006, PDF has given away more than $1 million dollars in cash grants and in-kind donations to non-profit organizations across the country that train, place and support dogs working to help people in need. PDF funds service dogs, therapy dogs, police, fire and military dogs, K-9 Search and Rescue programs, and other “working” dogs that are enhancing and saving human lives. For more information, please visit www.planetdogfoundation.org.

About the University of Notre Dame
Founded in 1842, the University of Notre Dame provides a distinctive voice in higher education that is at once rigorously intellectual, unapologetically moral in orientation, and firmly embracing of a service ethos. The nation’s pre-eminent Catholic university and rated among the top 25 of all U.S. institutions of higher learning, Notre Dame is organized into four undergraduate colleges — Arts and Letters, Science, Engineering, and the Mendoza College of Business — the School of Architecture, the Law School, the Graduate School, 10 major research institutes, more than 40 centers and special programs, and the University library system.  Located adjacent to the city of South Bend, Ind., which has a metropolitan population of more than 300,000, Notre Dame is highly residential, with 80 percent of students living on campus, and also is known for the quality of its physical plant and the beauty of its campus, including the Golden Dome of the Main Building, the world’s most recognized university landmark.

The Chase Is On!

Go Go Pals

Tossing a stick for you pooch is so 20th century – it’s time to upgrade to something more high-tech! Go Go Pals remote operated interactive dog toy is the ultimate toy not only for your furry pal, but for you too! This toy is especially great for people with injuries or disabilities that prevent them from throwing balls for their dogs and is easy to operate so kids, seniors, and everyone in between can get in on the fun! GoGoDogPals.com

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