TOYS!!! Or toys? (A guide to toys!)

Hello Fellow Dog Owners, 

I started the wonderful journey of dog training a little over a year ago. During that year I did massive amounts of research, training, and discovered new ideas. Some of which I'd like to share with you! 

So... the first step in training your dog, is (as you probably know) finding out what motivates your dog: food, toy play, and praise! Treats are an easy, quick motivator that most dogs love! But aside from that, maybe you don't want to be giving your dog treats right and left, or you want to engage in more interaction, or you simply found a good toy on sale so, you've decided to use a toy as a motivator. You only have one problem... That is your dog WON'T PLAY WITH THE TOY!?!!? Therefore, he doesn't consider it much of a reward to get one. And the problem you face is a real one! Many people (Including myself) have faced the same problem. Perhaps you sadly give up and go back to treats as I once did. But little did I realize my problem could be solved if I was willing to put in the time and effort!  

Step #1! Consider the possibilities! 
Generally, if you find that your dog does not like toys two explanations exist. 1. Your dog was never taught how to play, Or 2. You (without knowing) are making play time (and therefore toys) unpleasant. Usually (but not always) if your dog doesn't ever play with toys it is because he was never taught to play with a toy. This can easily be solved if you tinker around with different methods. 

Method one: tie the toy you want your dog to play with on a rope and jerk it around in his sight while making happy, and excited noises!! Method two: Buy a toy that specifically holds treats and bounce it and roll it to get your dog in on the game.  

To deal with explanation two you have to work a lot harder at it. And it most likely won't happen overnight! First you MUST completely understand the problem to fix it. To do this use the same Methods listed above to get your dog to want to play again. Concentrate while playing with your dog. Note any loss in enthusiasm. Example: Your dog is happily playing with you snapping after a toy, you toss it. Your dog  lunges after the toy and runs off to go chew on it but then as you snatch the toy away and throw it for him to chase, he suddenly losses interest. In your mind you were making the toy even more exciting by making it move again. In his mind however, you stole his toy and threw it away. 

To fix this after the first throw and, your dog runs off to chew on his toy, just tug on the toy ever so slightly and let him win. After that let him chew on it for a while. Gradually when he runs away with it you can tug a little longer and a little harder. Eventually you'll be able to play a game of full blown tug-o-war with him! Just make sure that you end the game by giving him the toy (as it is his) and letting him chew on it. 

But if your dog still dislikes toys one other explanations exists. That he really and truly doesn't like the toys you've been giving him. Instead of a rubber bone try a bouncy ball! Or instead of a nylon tug toy try a sheepskin tug toy! 

So whatever problem you have don't be discourage! Things like that happen! And the more training you decide to go forwards with the more obstacles you will face. But as you push past all of those obstacles you and your dog will become better friends!! 

I really hope this helped! 


             With a paw shake from Josey 

Community Representative

Re: TOYS!!! Or toys? (A guide to toys!)

This is so helpful! Thank you for sharing. 


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