Toys for the boys (and girls too!)

It has now been 5 months since Trooper was welcomed into Lorie’s household.

Trooper has definitely been a positive impact on Lorie’s life and it has been a journey in training the lil pup.

Up to date, Trooper is 50% potty trained – He knows where to pee on the mat but of course he has the occasional mishap here and there. He is still as fun and adventurous as can be. His personality really shows when playing games, and you can see his love for his toys.

Speaking of toys, here are 3 things you should consider when purchasing toys for your dog.

  1. Chemical free
    Whenever possible, try to look for items that are BPA free and choose 100% rubber. These chemicals (even in small amounts) can be extremely harmful for the health and well-being of your dog. When in doubt, go natural!
  2. Safe and securely fastened items
    Toys that have too many hanging and dangling parts are choking hazards for dogs. Because they’re constantly biting and chewing their toys, its important to choose toys that are secure and that cannot be easily torn apart.
  3. Sizing
    The toys you buy your dog should be according to their size. If you have a small dog, of course buy them a toy that tailors to their size and that’ll easily fit their mouth. It it pointless to get a small dog a big toy, especially if it isn’t going to fit in their mouth. Similarly, you don’t want to buy a toy that is too small and that can become an easy choking hazard for them.

For more information and tips on how to buy dog toys, visit The Humane Society – Dog Toys: How to Pick the Best and Safest

Watch the video below on how to properly choose the toy size for small and big dogs.




Owning your first pet is life-changing and teaches you many valuable lessons. These lessons can be learned the hard way, or you can be ready and equipped for your dog’s very own adventures. Welcome to The ‘Ruff Life – your one stop-shop for everything & anything dog related. This blog will take you through Lorie & Trooper’s journey together.

Meet Trooper.

Trooper is a Pomeranian-Shitzu (pictured below). He was born on June 2016 and has been growing fast ever since. Trooper is always full of energy and can always be seen exploring around the house. Trooper has been a positive impact on Lorie’s life but it is without a doubt a huge responsibility.

Lorie’s a first time dog owner and because it takes 8 weeks until they can be released from their mother, she had plenty of time to get ready & do some research before bringing him home. Here are a few quick and easy tips that she used to help Trooper adjust to his new home.

  1. Comfort & space is key
    Make sure you have enough space for your puppy. Although they may be small right now, these little pups grow fast! One week they’ll be small and tiny, and another they’ll be completely different in size.Space is a big thing too. Because puppies are full of energy, they’ll want to roam around the house freely and explore. They’re in a new environment, so its best to give them space that is free of clutter and free of hazards.
  1. Have a schedule
    With everything that you do in training your dog, make sure you’re being consistent with its sleeping, feeding and potty schedule. First time owners do not capitalize on this and it is so important to maintain a regular schedule that your pet can follow. New pet owners often go with the flow and try to feel ‘things’ out but it’s actually better to have a plan set out before even bringing the dog home. Lorie said that doing this made a huge difference to Trooper as he didn’t dictate the schedule, but rather adhered to it. Of course there are exceptions, but generally speaking, be consistent amongst all schedules.
  1. Be diligent
    Being diligent with your new pet means you taking control over the situation as opposed to the other way around. Often with new pets, new owners don’t know where to necessarily set boundaries, what’s acceptable and what isn’t. Sometimes what happens is that the dog tries and see where and what they could get away with. Because of this, right from the get-go, you should be setting a general set of rules which your dog should abide by. For example, if you don’t want them on the couch, you should be signalling them actions that indicate ‘no’ whenever they do so. Doing this early on will instill these rules in the minds of your pet. Lorie said doing this really helped with guiding Trooper where he could and couldn’t pee.
  1. Schedule enough time to play with them
    Puppies are ever-growing and learning. It is important to play with them and stimulate their minds. Playing games will help your dog learn and adapt to the given environment. As simple as the game ‘fetch’ sounds, initially many dogs actually struggle with the concept. Often what happens is that they will chase after the toy or item but they won’t actually bring it back. Fetch is such a basic game that can easily be translated into many items such as a ball or frisbee which makes it universally-friendly.Lorie said this was the thing she struggled most. Being a full-time student and working part-time, it was often hard to keep up with playing with Trooper. As a result, he’s had difficulties with learning the concept of ‘fetch’ and simply catching onto other games.
  1. Name recognition
    It’s better early on to call your dog’s name by its actual name. Doing so will really help instill in the dog’s mind its name and the name it should answer to. Right from the get-go, calling your dog its actual name will help remember its identity and who they are. This is vital as it is one of the key steps in training your dog. Once a dog learns its name, it can answer to any call and essentially follow your commands.

By focusing on these 5 things to start, you can get a head start in ensuring your puppy is comfortable and ready to be trained.


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Follow The ‘Ruff Life with Trooper’s journey to the big dogs!