Toys – what should they be for your dog?
I’m sure you’ve seen many destroyed dog toys – cuddly toys with their limbs ripped off, shredded rope tugs. Should toys be just something for your dog to tear apart? We think there should be a distinction between toys that you and your dog play with together and those that your dog is left alone with.
So, the furry tug toy that you use to reward your dog with at the end of a training session shouldn’t then be left with them in their crate to do with what they want! Instead, make the rewarding toy a special one that only comes out when they’ve done something great, not one that they have access to all the time. That’s not to say that they can’t have toys to chew on, just that there should be a clear distinction between the two to ensure maximum value in play as a reward.
What types of toy are appropriate for your dogs to be ‘left’ with? That’s a difficult one because as you know you can’t always predict what your dog might do when left alone with something. One that is appropriate in most cases is the Kong, which can be stuffed with tasty treats or pastes. These aren’t easy to destroy (for most dogs!) and keeps them busy for a while. Softer toys that can be chewed up and unstuffed aren’t always appropriate for many dogs and can cause damage if swallowed.
About the Author: Molly Bridge helps out with some of the work in the office at Devon Dogs, particularly with marketing and advertising. She originally trained as a teacher but some of her interests are brand promotion and customer experience. She doesn’t train dogs herself, but is quickly getting used to how the business works! Molly has two Standard Poodles and a Border Collie to keep herself busy with at home!