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Our 15-month miniature poodle will take a toy, like a ball and purposely put it someplace hard to get to (like under the couch) and then stand back and bark as if she can't get it. Bark, bark, bark. In an urgent fashion. As if she can't get it and that disturbs her.

And then if anyone comes over to help find and retrieve it, she will quickly grab it first and runoff. Only to repeat again in a couple of minutes.

I don't think she is playing, as she does seem irritated that she can't "get it" only to then get it herself.

(The craziest version is she will drop her toy off the couch and stand on the edge looking down as if she can't get it and bark, bark, bark.)

All this time she is not looking at us as if she wants to play. She is totally focused on the "hard to reach toy."

What's going on?
 

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Peggy regularly seems annoyed by her made-up games, but they're definitely games. It's like she's going through the motions of real-life situations, and well....real-life isn't always happy.

Kind of like if a child pretends to be distressed because they "burned" their mud pie.

If it's annoying to you (and I think all that barking would probably annoy me) you could use those moments to practice shushing her. Or just block off the spots she regularly "loses" her ball. Sometimes I prefer the easy solutions ?
 

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Or just block off the spots she regularly "loses" her ball. Sometimes I prefer the easy solutions ?
This dog is smarter than me. I have blocked off the "hiding" spot, but like whack a mole, she finds new places to lose/hide her toy.

I have tried engaging her in other games, but she often gets stuck in her own little game or as you describe, life simulator.
 

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LOL, I know it's not funny. Some day when your pup is an old dog you will look back on these moments with a great deal of fondness & humor. I speak from experience. I had a Doberman who would lie in front of the box fan & would bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark for HOURS if I would let him. He got a kick out of the odd sound that happened when he barked into the fan. Same dog had the pink squeaky (giant pink squeaaaaaaky ball). He would lay down & squeeeeeeek for hours). I had another male Dobie that spent hours getting all 4 feet up on the very edge of his ceramic dog bowl & would toe walk in circles around his bowl... INSIDE his crate. He was part circus dog & a total charmer. One of our little Chihuahuas needs to believe everyone in the world wants her chicken wing or her bone. Everyone wants what she's got. It's very important to her. She makes the most fierce "NIT" sound as she snaps then she growls, her hackles are up. There may not be another dog in the house but she's certain everyone is after her goodies. Right now our little Boo Boo wants to play & Tink wants to chew her bone. So Tink is randomly going "NIT!" & Boo is making runs at her, stopping short to jump into the air, land on a big dog bed & attack either the rope bone on it or dig like she's mining for gold. My Standard Poodle learned that dig on the bed game from Boo. I have a cute video clip of him doing this & flipping himself over.

There are times I purely love to sit & watch this circus especially if they don't think I'm paying attention. Sometimes we mute the tv just to sit & laugh at these goofy dogs of ours.

I never got to have human children so I'm sure I would be less bothered or more bothered if I had... lol. On occasion the toy or the bone or whatever has to go to jail for an hour or so for my sanity's sake. My mother would come stay with the grandpuppies while we went on vacation & I'd call her & hear the most gosh-awful racket in the background. "Mom," I'd say, "You can make them stop. I do all the time." She would respond, "Oh honey, that's how I know where they're all at. And she will list off everything they're doing, what room they're doing it in & never miss what's happening on her favorite tv program." Mom's are awesome they only get better with age when they become grandmothers :) "It's when they're quiet," she'd say, "that I have to go investigate because somebody's up to no good."
 

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The short answer is she is training you for servants or jesters. Don’t fall for it. Take your control back in a fun way.
 
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