Ripley is a rescue dog that I have owned for 1 year - she is now 2 1/2 years old (18months old when I had her), she has come a long way with one hell of a lot of everything but she will not play with toys. She can show interest occasionally to certain toys (particularly rope toys & she has shown a slight bit of interest in squeaky toys, when I have tried to entice her, by squesking the toy and being very excited, myself, by it, but as she shows a little bit of interest in it she tries to squeak it but is too gentle with her mouth and can't squeak it so loses interest immediately ) As 'tigerlily' has said in a different thread - try peanut butter or similar on a toy I add that I have tried this on various toys & Ripley LOVES peanut butter and this did help for a while with a Kong toy I had bought her but unfortunately it didn't instigate any sense of play in her just that if she run to that toy she could then lick peanut butter off all of it and then leave the toy as it was, even when I tried this with a rope type toy which she occasionally has shown interest in playing tug but not much as she plays tug for, like, 30 seconds and then just gives the toy up and goes all submissive like she shouldn't have pulled against the human ( even though huge amounts of verbal praise have been given while she was playing ), on this we already know she had been hit (in her previous life before we owned her) as she cowers if you move your hand too quick etc, and it is like she is remembering this if she shows a bit of play in her with toys, it is like she is expecting a whack if she 'forgets herself' for a few seconds and enjoys the play we are trying to instigate, despite the praise. I thinks this underlying fear she has related to being hit is the main cause of her not wanting to play with toys and don't quite know how to let her know that we are never going to hit her for playing (or anything else for that matter), it took her about 4 months to be able to go to stroke her head without her ducking then running and cowering in her bed (a dog cage we got so she would have a safe 'den' with a blanket over and a soft cushion inside)!! She has made GREAT progress from when we had her (excellent recall and trick training, happy and relaxed dog about 90% of the time, no more destruction of household item of our garden, looks for attention now and wants to be stroked, will now be bathed/brushed/wormed/defleaed/inspected etc) but I think this fear is still underlying in her not wanting to play with toys. I have bought an array of toys in the past year - I think we have about 30 different ones now - big/small, squeaky/rope, rubber/floating, soft/cuddly, balls/frisbees... the list goes on!!!! I never keep all of them where she can get at them, I do rotate and try and get interest in different toys. I play with them myself and with my partner to try and entice notice and interest in the toys but when she does show a slight bit of interest the above happens when she decides she is scared of what will happen to her, seen as she has tried to play, and she then 'seems' to think she will be hit... I have tried so much to try and get her to play and just this week she did show interest in sticks (as said in the thread 'teaching you dog to swim' not ideal due to safety concerns) to fetch when going in swimming but it is a genuine interest in play and can hopefully be moved on to phase out the sticks and introduce 'safe' toys... I would like to add that my dog is NOT a shy dog, She has no ends of confidence playing and meeting other dogs (too much when on lead) and is fine, NOW, meeting and greating strangers and friends of the human world. I would LOVE my dog to put aside any fears and learn the joy that can be found in playing with toys so any pointers or advice is greatly appreciated?