When one goes to a Pet Shop to get a toy for our dog, we are faced with a ridiculous amount of toys to pick from. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some destructible, some indestructible. However, most people end up buying a ton of different toys, without realising how and what their main uses are.
I've met a ton of people that have a dog that happens to have a huge tugging drive, but doesn't show any interest to the ones at home. Or a dog that loves to absolutely kill
, de-fluff and de-squeak stuffed toys. But what's the point of it all? Let's get in to it.
There are four different types of toys you can buy for your dog! #1 Interactive toys
For me, these are the best toys because you can have fun with your dog, train them, and get them tired, all in one!
This group of toys consist of all your frisbees, balls and tugs. Your dog should be really happy about these toys, so we must set ourselves some rules. Rule number 1
Leave these toys safe and away when they are not being used. They only come out when YOU are going to play with your dog. Once the play session is over, the toy is put away.
If you always leave these toys out, you will ruin the toys' value. By always being present, they don't value it, as it's taken for granted. Rule number 2
Teach your dog to drop it
Some people are afraid of playing tug of war as it "makes dogs aggressive", but that is an old theory that has long been debunked. Simply make sure that you are not confronting your dog and reward for tugging. #2 Chew toys
These are the kind of toys that are always left about. I mean deer antlers, nylabones, kong chew toys and other toys whose purpose is solely to be chewed.
Chewing will keep your dog busy if they are home alone for longer periods, it keeps your furniture safe, and mentally stimulates your dog's brain.
These toys can also help your dog calm himself/herself down, and can help with a large range of behaviour issues, when used alongside training and behaviour modification. #3 Dental toys
These toys can also be left about, but they tend to have a purpose, which is to help clean your dog's teeth. Most of these toys have some rubbery teeth to help clean around the mouth, or grooves such as Kong's dental stick, in which to get treats or paste stuck in. #4 Stuffed toys
These toys are NOT to be destroyed, de-fluff and de-squeaked. If you allow your dog to do these things to the toy, they will aim for your laundry, your mail and other possessions next. Especially if they squeak. Some dogs get overly excited over a squeaky noise and will aim for other things that also squeak, such us your child's pet rabbit or your baby niece Linda.
Stuffed toys are to be cared for and bring your dog to a calm. They should survive the extent of your pets life and no, they can't be just left about.
For example, my dog has a chicken toy. The chicken only comes out when it's settling down time. If trained, your dog will also associate the stuffed toy as a calming toy, so don't waste the amazing opportunity that is right in front of you. Overall
Toys are fantastic when used according to their purpose, so please have a look at your dog's toy box/drawer/cupboard. Any toys that are getting too damaged must be replaced. Any doubts, give us a shout!