How many toys does your puppy have in his toy box?
Does he know them all by name? Does he have a preference?
Dogs of all ages like to engage and play with toys, whether it’s with you or with their canine buddy or on their own.
All toys in your dog’s toy box should have a name. The association and names of the toys, will offer mental and physical challenges, an enrichment, gained through play.
Directing energy into play with stimulating toys, can prevent and resolve behaviour problems, like digging, chewing, begging and barking.
Behaviour modification can be very engaging when the stimulation of a favourite toy comes into play, regularly.
There are many benefits for a dog, chewing on a quality chew toy:
- conditions their gums
- cleans their teeth
- stimulates the muscles that control their ears
- satisifies a dogs natural need to chew, especially in the developmental stage of adolescence
Dog toys can be a lot of fun, especially with your participation. If you are enthuastic and energised, they can represent a great stimulating training session, improving your dog’s physical and mental skills. Toys can be used as a reward for your dog as well as or instead of, food.
Curve bad behaviour with a favourite toy & lead your play sessions
A young puppy with barking, jumping, whining problems, can have his attention re-directed onto a toy.
- Select a toy.
- Name the toy.
- When you have your dog’s full attention on the toy, have a game with him and the toy, repeating the name of the toy, often in the play session.
Your toy training session should be exciting, engaging and fun. If your puppy is over-energised, tone the play session by removing the excitement in your voice.
Avoid your puppy from taking off with the toy by attaching their lead for the session. Puppy must take the toy ‘gentle’ with a soft mouth.
Finishing a game. Give your dog a hand signal and a word to finish play time.
Finishing the game while your dog is enjoying the training, will make him eager to participate next time.
Each dog has a different energy level, therefore will also have his own unique preference of toy type.
Deciding what toy would best suit your canine companion, can become a little tricky, does he like the squeaky toys, or cloth, a tuggy or something with ‘legs’ to carry around. There are countless options, with some toys claiming so many benefits it becomes even more confusing. In time, you will gain a better understanding of ‘favourites’.
Dogs and toys are engaging and fun.
written by Lee Hettiger