Monday, September 22, 2008

What Are Good Toys for Dogs?

When choosing good toys for your dog, consider safety and appeal to the pet – dog or cat. Hard rubber and nylon properly sized for the dog are generally safe but have little appeal. Recent changes include being able to flavor or “season” the object with appealing things like peanut butter, prepared spreads and a little gravy to make them much more attractive as best dog toys, especially to dogs.

My old favorite dog toy of a “PB Kong” is now being produced as a rubber Kong toy with an accompanying aerosol can of some sort of cheese spread, but I still prefer smearing the inside of the Kong with peanut butter.

In considering what toys are good for dogs, you might consider a new line of chewies. They are hard but edible, made of things like rice, corn, potatoes – to make them appealing to dogs but safe enough to chew and consume.

A great new type of dog toy to keep dogs busy AND interested are the rolling balls you can put treats or kibble into. The goodies come out bit by bit as the dog rolls the dog around. This gives activity and exercise and rewards both with the food treat. Just be careful, of course, that the Godzilla dogs out there don’t crack the whole thing open to get the contents.

Although you should avoid tug of war type games with your dogs, a double pull toy can be a good dog toy as it provides great exercise if you have multiple dogs. It’s okay if they tug playfully against each other; it is NOT okay if they do so with a human.

When you tug with your dog, you first of all teach it to tug and secondly reinforce it for using its mouth hard against a human. That’s not something you ever want your dog to learn or feel okay doing, so why teach it? Now, dog to dog, it’s not as bad because when they play they are either mouthing a toy OR each other’s body directly and they will get instant feedback that they’re mouthing too hard. But by the time a human, especially a child says that to a dog, the damage is done. Don’t teach what you don’t want.

Chosen carefully, good dog toys can provide exercise, fun, and activity to prevent mischief and damage so common with boredom. Just choose carefully. You can find more information on my 'Talkin Dog methods of solving dog behavior problems without jerking, squirting, yelling or clicking.

by Dennis Fetko, Ph.D., "Dr. Dog"
Information on stopping dog behavior problems like digging.

5 comments:

FINDINGS said...

A kong toy will probably last longer than most, yes. If you don't want to waste money on expensive toys you can always make your own as well. Like using old socks as tug toys/toys to just toss around.

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