If your dog is a chew-master 5000, a no-returns-allowed fetcher, or a super
cuddle-bug, finding a toy that keeps them entertained can be difficult. Not
every dog will see a stick and want to run after it. Even fewer dogs have any
interest in giving a stick back after they retrieve it. Plus, starting a game
of “chase” by trying to grab the stick away from them can have negative
outcomes on your dog’s overall behavior. Luckily, in the year 2020 there is a
toy for every dog. There is no such thing as a dog that doesn’t want to have a
little play time.
The most basic toy that is sure to be a hit with your pup, is any toy that uses
food as a motivator. If you can stuff it with Peanut Butter, or it has been
flavored to taste like chicken, you have found yourself a winner. Dogs are
naturally food motivated. They will not turn down the chance to gnaw on
something that reminds them of the turkey they took out of your trash last
weekend. Nor will they be begging for attention from you for the next hour.
These types of toys have the potential to keep your pet happy, entertained, and
quiet for hours.
A toy that may be a little riskier, is the classic tug-of-war rope toy. Not
every dog immediately latches on to the idea of this being a fun new game, but
most can see the light within a day or two. The trick is to show them that it
is a game which involves you. Whether you start by dangling it in front of
their face or leaving it on your lap for them; being involved with the rope toy
can convince them it is worth a try. Your dog just wants to spend time with
you. Hopefully you don’t mind spending a little time on the floor with them.
A low-budget option is to dig up an old stuffed animal and let your dog go to
town. You must, however, make sure the animal of your choice does not have any
small, hard elements. If it has button eyes it should not be given to your pup.
Likewise, if you have given your dog a store-bought plush toy please keep an
eye out for the squeaker. Although the squeak is a great way to get your pet
enticed into playing, it can be dangerous if swallowed. Dogs love returning to
their instincts and destroying small, fluffy toys. A stuffed animal is a great
choice for a dog you can’t trust to return a stick.
In the end, it is all about spending time with you. Whether you engage them
with a bone and then have a nap yourself or spend an hour on the floor trying
to pry a rope from their jaws, your dog is happy that you were involved. Not
every dog wants to chase a ball, they do, however, all want to be your best