Toys & Supplies
The Adventure Box
What exactly is an Adventure Box? Technically, it’s a square frame constructed of PVC pipe from which puppy-safe items with different textures and colors are strung. Things like lengths of hose, un-used paint cans, plastic funnels, etc.
Why an Adventure Box? From about 3 ½ to 16 weeks of age is generally referred to as the “sensitive period”. Puppy’s brain is growing incredibly fast! The breeder has the puppy for most of this period, so the things they do or don’t do greatly influence the kind of dog the puppy will become. The new owner then carries on once they get the puppy until 16 weeks old.
During this period in particular puppies are gaining confidence as they experience the sometimes scary new things in the big world around them. While they are with their mother and siblings they are less afraid so gain confidence and mental/emotional stability by leaps and bounds. We already do a great deal to stimulate and socialize our puppies through various means. The Adventure Box is a fun-for-them (and us!) way to introduce them to even more along the lines of touch and motion. As the puppies move in and out of the Adventure Box, eating or playing, the long-time breeders at Avidog™ found it helps develop stability in their pups, growing the size and complexity of their brains, helping them become more confident for life and develop problem-solving skills
I have received several requests about how to make one so I thought I would share!
We got the pvc pipe and corners from Home Depot and the toys and stuff from Amazon.
For the frame we used 12 1/2" x 24" pieces of pipe. (in the photo we cut the pipe down to 18" for height because we start the puppies at 4 weeks but you wont need to.)
you will need 8 1/2" 3 way elbows to put it all together! Easy- Peezy!
- small cup screws
-clear plastic shower rings
- plastic chain
For the toys you can use anything. We get a lot of ours off Amazon. plastic rings, fabric kite tails, cow bells, small tennis balls, etc.
Just make sure they are chew proof and always supervise your puppy while he is playing! You want to help desensitize them to different sounds, textures, etc. as well as help them problem solve.
Embrace the Breed!
One thing that I believe will help current and future dog owners is to embrace their breed(s). Do not discourage their natural drive or instincts. When a dog breed was developed it was bred for a purpose. Retrieving, herding, guarding, scent work, etc.
Now-a-days many of those breeds are bred for companions and not
working dogs- but they still have those instincts and need an outlet for
them. If not given proper mental and physical stimulation they can
For example, I hear over and over that new owners are frustrated that
their Sheepadoodle puppy tries to "herd" small children and nips at
their heels. Old English Sheepdogs are a working breed. They have
been bred for hundreds of years to herd livestock. When small children
cry or yell in that high pitched tone the dog thinks that is a good thing-
a signal to continue, not stop. Even mixing them with another breed
isn't going breed out that instinct. Instead of getting frustrated
(both you and your pup!) try giving him an appropriate
outlet to exercise that instinct. There are many options to try- and its
not a one size fits all. You may need to experiment a bit to find
something your dog enjoys.
For herding there are balls that bounce in all kinds of crazy directions that mimic
animals darting about, or get a large hard ball that he can push around the yard.
Hiding treats around the house works their minds if they enjoy scent work. A
game of hide and seek or fetch is great for retrievers. The possibilities are endless!
If we embrace their breed(s), drive and instincts and give them an appropriate outlet it will exercise their minds as well as their bodies and they will be happier for it!
Here are a collection of items that we personally think are essential (or at the very least helpful) with owning a puppy & doodle. The items are items that are similar or identical to the ones we use and an explanation of their usefulness. Enjoy!
Baxter & Bella
Baxter & Bella is an online puppy school for new puppy parents. Its great to utilize since puppies cant go out and about until all shots are done. Early training is key! Use promo "MULE" for 20% off membership!
Snuggle Puppy helps to lessen seperation anxiety with a heat element and heart beat to mimic littermates. It really helps the 1st week for puppy to be able to relax and sleep at night (and you too!)
Suffle mats are a great interavtive puzzle game that incouraging natural foraging and keep pups mind busy. Just add kibble or treats thoughout the matt and pups and dogs sniff them out.
Midwest Play Pen
Every puppy needs a safe place to play. This pen is the perfect size to keep puppy secure when you cant be with him and is essential for potty training until puppy can have full run of the house!
Outward Hound Slow Feeder
Puppies tend to wolf down their food- this can cause indigestion and bloating. This slow feeder makes them take more time to eat their kibble and doubles as an enrichment activity!