Many dog owners spend a bunch of time looking for what they think is the perfect toy for their dog. They spend hours researching products and reading reviews and then finally settle on a toy. The toy finally arrives but your dog shows absolutely no interest in it at all. In this article, we will be taking a look at how to get your dog to play with toys.
These tips and tricks are quick and easy to implement with your dog and should have your dog playing with its new toy in no time at all.
How To Get Your Dog To Play With Toys
If a dog shows no interest in a toy, dog owners usually think “my dog doesn’t know how to play“. A common problem is that the owner has purchased a toy that is bad for their dog breed. Different dog breeds have been specifically bred to have specific characteristics in their personalities. If you choose a toy for your dog that works with these characteristics, there is a higher chance your dog will play with its toy.
The Best Dog Toys For Terriers
If you have a terrier breed then it is probably extremely active, intelligent, and loves a challenge. This is due to terriers being bred as hunting dogs to help control rodent populations in the United Kingdom. As they were bred to hunt small animals, they tend to be a reward based breed. Any small toy that challenges your dog’s intelligence and provides a reward should do well.
Our recommended toy for any terrier breed is the IQ Treat Ball. Simply fill it with your dog’s favorite treats and roll it across the floor to spike your dog’s initial interest. As your dog chases and rolls the ball its treats will be released as a reward for playing. Its adjustable difficulty levels will help keep your dog interested in the toy for hours. This helps promote an active and healthy lifestyle by getting your dog to play with the toy for its treats.
The IQ Treat Ball quickly and easily twists apart allowing your to clean it with ease between uses. At the time of writing, it has over 5850 positive reviews from dog owners on Amazon.
The Best Dog Toys For Sighthounds
Depending on where you are in the world, you may not have heard the term sighthound. It refers to a number of different hunting dogs that rely on their excellent vision rather than smell. Their hunting strategy is usually based on superior speed rather than mobility and once they have prey in their sights, it rarely gets away. Popular breeds of sighthounds include Afghan Hounds, Greyhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, and Whippets.
Thankfully, there are plenty of different toys on the market that will play to a sighthounds instincts. Provided you have the space to play fetch with your dog, a ball or a frisbee make the perfect toys. If you have access to open fields or a beach then a Chuckit is perfect as it extends your throwing range substantially and your dog will love you for it.
The Best Dog Toys For Retrievers
As you may guess from their name, Retrievers were bred to retrieve things for their masters. In the vast majority of cases, this would be game that their owner had shot and the dog would run off and collect it for them.
Most retriever breeds were specifically bred to have a low jaw strength so they would not bite what they were retrieving. Their instincts are based on hunting around for something and then bringing it back to their owner. Due to this, we always recommend a high-quality ball as the perfect toy for your retriever, it plays into its instincts and will keep your dog playing with its toy for long periods of time.
Unlike the sighthound breeds above, a Retriever is more likely to appreciate you throwing the ball into bushes or long grass. This allows it to rummage around for it before retrieving it for their master.
The Best Dog Toys For Scent Hounds
As the name suggests, a scent hound is a dog that hunts by using its keen sense of smell. Scenthound breeds include bloodhounds, beagles, basset hounds and dachshunds. Although bred for hunting, many scent hounds prefer mental stimulation overrunning when playing. Due to this, we recommend toys that engage your dog’s sense of smell and invoke curiosity.
We recommend the same types of toys as we recommended for terrier breeds, the IQ Treat Ball. You can put your dog’s favorite dog treats inside of it and then hide the ball. This encourages your dog to sniff the toy out and then work for its reward helping keep it occupied.
The Best Dog Toys For Herders
Herding breeds have been bred over the years to help their masters control livestock such as sheep. Although different breeds of herding dog have slightly different methods for herding animals, they all usually enjoy herding objects and toys.
We recommend interactive, electronic toys for herding breeds. This can help satisfy their need to herd while keeping them playing with the toy for long periods of time.
My Rescue Dog Won’t Play With Toys
When researching how to get a rescue dog to trust you and play with toys people often see that it is a challenge. Unfortunately, many rescue dogs have trust issues and have numbed themselves to pleasure. This can often lead to the dog initially being closed to from you and any toys you get it. It is important to note that some dogs will simply never play with toys, no matter what you do or try.
Dogs playing with toys usually only happen when the dog feels safe and comfortable enough for it to drop its guard. Many rescue dog owners think that the best way to do this is to offer it toys to play with. In our opinion, this is not the case.
The best way to get a rescue dog to relax and let its guard down enough to play is to show it love. Do everything you can to positively reinforce the relationship between you and the dog. Let it lay on your lap if it wants when watching TV, stroke it, itch behind its ears, and feed it treats by hand. Physical contact is key, your goal is to get the dog to understand you are a friend and not a threat.
Over time, you may see the dog show signs of relaxing and trusting you such as laying on its back exposing its belly to you for bellow rubs. You can now try to introduce dog toys but be sure to try and fit the toy to the breed as covered above.
How To Teach A Dog To Play By Itself
If a dog won’t entertain himself then it might be an idea to look at how to train a dog to be alone. If you are in the house with the dog but you just need to get it from under your feed we would suggest something like the IQ ball.
Although not the perfect toy for all dog breeds, overall it usually has success at keeping a dog occupied. The toy requires little interaction from you other than to fill it with dog treats and then give it to your dog.