October 31, 2014
If dogs could talk, taking care of them and getting what they want would obviously be much easier. They could tell us about their favorite foods, favorite things about going for walks such as their favorite park, as well as their favorite toys. But, as it stands, dogs can’t speak English or any other language, so we have to make do with their vocal chord limitations and use our best judgment to determine what they like. Your dog is going to rely on you for providing entertainment, until they evolve to the point where they can do all this:
Thankfully, there are ways to find out what dogs like to play with based on their visible interest or disinterest in a particular toy. It’s just kind of annoying to have to buy toy after toy until you find out what they like.
So, what is the best way to find the best dog toy?
Understand Canine Psychology
When looking for that perfect dog toy that will become an icon for your pet, consider what the average dog looks for in a toy.
1. Dogs Want New Stuff
Just like us, dogs can grow jaded when overexposed to certain objects and experiences, except quite a bit quicker in many cases. Dogs like the thrill of something unfamiliar and exciting.
2. Dogs Want Something They Can Easily Manipulate
Dogs don’t want a toy that makes them work. The point of a toy for them is not to make them think, like putting a Rubik’s cube together; they want to be able to just rip into it and perhaps hear a little squeaky noise. If you treat your dog like a child prodigy and give them a painstaking challenge, you’re sadly overestimating their abilities, I’m afraid. Also, the less noise it makes, the more boring it is.
3. Dogs Want You to Have Fun with Them
We know that the main difference between cats and dogs is that cats are independent and like to indulge in their individuality, while dogs are extremely social and are always in search of a playmate. A toy that engages both the owner and the dog is typically a great choice.
4. Dogs Like to Hunt
No matter how much we domesticate them and feed them food that’s already been killed, processed and packaged for their convenience (and ours), canines refuse to let go of their hunting instincts. And when they play with a toy, they tend to activate those instincts. They see their toys as a meal that almost never ends, which is why toys with flavors, noises and removable parts are ideal for satisfying the predator within.
In the end, you should choose toys that appeal to your dog’s individual personality; also like us, they have their own likes, dislikes and quirks. After spending enough time with them and seeing what they enjoy, you should be able to find that perfect toy.