We want our puppies to develop social skills, as well as experience early stimulation and cognitive development. Between 4-16 weeks it is an important development period. Studies have shown that non-stimulated puppies will develop fears of unfamiliar objects and possibly even withdraw. So we decided to create a little play gym for them that exposes them to puzzles, textures, colors and smells.
When I looked for play gyms for puppies I came across a play gym from Puppies in Bloom. I really like their idea, but I did not like the price. So I searched for cheaper alternatives. I found www.formufit.com who has color pvc. So I estimated what I needed and ordered it from them. With a little math I created my own for more than half the price. The Pythagorean Theorem is actually helpful in life. I also discovered that Formufit’s pvc pipes will work with pvc slip couplings from your local home improvement store. I guess you could just use pvc pipe, and pay less than $10 for entire thing, but I figured that the color is just as important in their neural stimulation. Even if dogs are somewhat color blind, lights and darks will stimulate neural activity. This is what the finish product looks like. We did however add a few other extensions that we can add and take off.
I noticed with our growing Alice that she has many fears while walking her on walks. I often wonder if she was exposed to more things while younger if she would have had less fears. Since we didn’t have her until 9 weeks of age, we weren’t able to try this play gym on her. I guess we shall see if it has any effect on future puppies from our pack.
As we use this gym I’ll expand on it. Hopefully we will learn to see what really is effective in stimulating them, and what is not. It is easily broken down, and there is no need to glue it together.
I’ve had many people ask and e-mail me in regards to what parts I bought to create our gym. I’d go with the 1″ pipe if I were to do it again, although 1/2″ still will work. I’m listing the items I bought below. I’ve also attached links to amazon so that you can buy the Formufit products there. However, they do have some of the joints being sold in sets of 4, where as in a couple cases you only need one. If you did get extra’s you could always add a bunch of other designs into your setup and maybe even purchase more colors of pipes. If you want the exact pieces and no extras you could order directly from Formufit.
Various 5’ selections of 1″ Furniture Grade PVC Pipe (a mix of Purple, Red, Blue, Orange, Yellow, Green, Black)
(7) – External Flat PVC End Caps
(6) – 4-Way PVC Tees
(4) – 3 Way PVC Elbows
(1) – 90 Degree PVC Elbow
(4) – 45 Degree PVC Elbow
(1) – 5 Way PVC Cross
(1) – Standard PVC Cross