Play is an important bonding activity between dogs and their people, and is especially important to the development of puppies. Toys are a great way to have fun interactions with your dog, but not all toys are created equal.
Dogs have very specific preferences about their toys. They generally prefer soft toys that make noise or are easy to tear apart (like prey) to hard or silent toys (like hard bones). They also get bored quickly. Most of the excitement you see when you present your dog with a new toy is because the toy is a new object – not because the toy itself is going to be loved forever. This is why we often find that new, exciting toy buried and forgotten under a bed or in a couch cushion just a few days after it arrives.
Rather than buying new toys constantly to keep your pup’s attention, try these tricks to give longer life to your existing toys.
- Don’t leave toys laying around the house. They become part of the scenery, and lose their appeal quickly.
Take an old toy outside, or rub it in something that smells new and interesting.
Hide toys regularly, and rotate the stash so that the favorite toy today isn’t seen again until next week.
Make a big fuss over old toys, and invite your dog to play an interactive game with you.
This will make even the most old and boring toy seem fresh and exciting again.
Remember to supervise your pup when toys are around, especially with squeakers, strings (rope toys), or balls (which can get stuck in the mouth).