Not sure what toys to get for your dog? Does your dog seem to like a toy for a short time only to lose interest in it later on? Do you have so many toys for your dog lying around but your dog just doesn’t seem interested in playing with them very much at all? Well, keep reading because we will share two simple steps that will help you change the way you think about choosing a toy for your dog plus we will share some great advice on how to get your dog playing in no time at all.
In this article, we will show you how to choose the right enrichment toys for your dog that will help get them playing again and keep them occupied. Finding the right enrichment toys for your dog is as easy as two simple steps. Step 1 look and step 2 link. By looking at our dog, we are looking at the behaviors that they naturally like performing and then step 2 we are linking those behaviors with the right enrichment toy that will help our dog perform those behaviors. Now, when our dog gets to perform those behaviors they like doing, it’s rewarding and fulfilling.
Maybe your dog likes to dig or maybe your dog likes to chew, whatever behaviors your dog prefers to do, look at those behaviors and then link it to the right toy that will help your dog express his/her behaviors while they are interacting with it. For example, if your dog likes to dig, rather than restricting them from the prized veggie patch or garden area, simply create an area like a sandpit especially made for your dog to dig in.
Also, investigate by hiding the odd favorite toy, long-lasting chew, or some tasty food treats in there at random times for them to find. You will also make this area much more attractive to your dog. By giving your dog their own special place that’s approved for their preferred digging behavior and making it interesting for them, you’re also increasing the novelty for them. So it’s not just a digging area but you’ve also created another game for them to play in the form of a treasure hunt.
There are so many toys out there that are designed just to be chewed but sometimes you need to look a little further to find the right type of chew-based toy for your dog. Toys that can allow your dog to perform different behaviors at the same time; for example, chewing as well as pulling or tugging are very good choices for dogs that prefer to physically interact with their chew toys rather than just sitting quietly and chewing on them. So what chew-toys does your dogs spin most of the time? Take note of the texture, the feel, and the material – does it squeak, does your dog like to incorporate a chase or fetch behavior with this chew toy at the same time, how can you put a spin on this toys theme and provide a chew toy that your dog can fetch or chase at the same time and interact with it safely when they are home alone.
One of the best ways to maintain a novelty for any of your dog’s toys is to make sure that any toys that are in use are put away and out of sight. And when you are giving your dog toys, make sure you give them different toys on different days and rotate them around so they get something different every day. That increases the novelty for them as well.
Here are some important points that need a special mention.
When thinking about which dog toy to purchase, take into consideration your dog’s physical features and their mobility. If we think about different dog breeds like a chihuahua compared to a Great Dane or a pug, they each have their own different physical features and so we need to take into consideration their ability to manipulate the item and interact with the item. That takes some flexibility and some dexterity, so consider those things and then decide if that item is suitable for your dog.
If you have a large breed dog especially one that is young and still growing, it’s really important to ensure that the physical exercise that’s associated with that enrichment item is moderate and gentle. This is very important in helping protect your dog’s joints and musculoskeletal system in general. So just keep that in mind when you are choosing an enrichment item that might require some physical exertion from your dog.
When you are looking at your dog’s behavior, always put it into context for the situation in which it’s occurring and make sure it is usual or normal for that situation or environment. Now, for example, some behaviors like excessive digging and excessive chewing may be warning signs that your dog may not be feeling as comfortable and safe in the environment that they are in. So further investigation would be warranted and the best thing to do if you have any concerns is to talk to your regular veterinarian as soon as possible so they can rule out any medical conditions or other factors that might be contributing to any of the behaviors that you might be concerned about.
What are some behaviors that your dog naturally likes to do? Please share your experiences and your comments in the section below because we would love to hear about them.