Dogs come in all breeds, mixes of breeds, sizes, and temperaments. But one thing they all have in common is that they love to play. From puppyhood through adulthood and into geriatric times, dogs seem to have a sense of the whimsical and curiosity that fuels their desire for playing. In fact, playing is a second priority only to giving love for most dogs.
Choosing dog toys can be a challenge for their people, however. With so many types of toys to choose from, there is no way to know if a toy will be accepted by your dog until you get it home.
What to expect when you bring home a new toy
When you bring a new toy home, your dog will likely sniff it all over and maybe even lick it to scent mark it. If it is an interactive toy, you will have to do your part and throw it or show your dog how to interact with you and the toy. You will then receive one of two responses. A ho-hum expression and your dog looking away from the toy may mean your dog is not at all interested in the toy. But it may also mean that your dog wants quality alone time with the toy in order to inspect it and offer a seal of approval. Some dogs are very careful about what they allow in their homes. The other response is sheer joy and playfulness.
Choosing a toy for your dog
When searching for a toy for your dog, it is helpful to keep in mind a few things from your dog’s perspective:
- Most dogs look at toys as if they were prey, which is why they like toys that taste good, make a lot of noise, or can be torn apart.
- Quieter toys that dogs cannot chew apart are less interesting to them.
- Dogs are stimulated by new things, so toys they like at first will get a lot of play. It is good to put toys away and only bring them out periodically so that there is always something ‘new’ for the dog to enjoy.
- Dogs are social creatures. They are usually more interested in toys when their humans participate in the play.
Dogs and exercise
Most dogs love exercise, so choosing the right toy can go a long way toward providing the proper exercise your canine friend needs daily. Tug toys are great for exercising your dog, and they also exercise the dog’s owner. But dogs have an amazing amount of strength in their jaws and neck, and a tug toy can wear the dog’s human friend out fast.
Since most dogs like to chew things and play tug-of-war, a new and wonderful variation of that game is the Tether Tug toy. It is available in sizes and strengths for all sizes of dogs. It comes with a base that is placed in the ground, a tether, and a knotted rope that dogs love to play with.
The bottom line in choosing a dog toy is that dogs are as individual as we people are in their likes and dislikes when it comes to toys. The best way to choose a dog toy for your dog is to pay attention to the type of toy your dog prefers, and try variations of that.