Every pooch has that one go-to toy that lights up their eyes, gets them off their bed and makes playtime even more special. That one toy can be just about anything, from a squeaking plush toy, a big floppy bear, a simple ball or even a simple old stick. No matter what the toy, there’s something about it that makes it irresistible to your dog. This is why:
Dog Toy Ball:
There is no doubt that we all know, or have a dog, that loves a good game of fetch. In fact, those dogs will carry on all day until they collapse from exhaustion, and even then, they will still hold onto the ball. These dogs live for the chase and feel compelled to dart after a mouse or leap in the air after a flying bird. These dogs are all acting out their instinct to hunt down a moving target.
Most working dogs, like terriers and shepherds (and many other breeds) are well-known for their energy and the love for chase games. This is why these breeds excel at agility challenges. While a good game of fetch is very healthy for your dog, always remember that your fetch junkie will need to stay hydrated and kept cool by having fresh water available and providing frequent rest between fetching.
Tug of war:
Does your dog love a fun game of tuggies? There are quite a few breeds that are well-known for playing tug of war with their fellow fur friends and their human friends. Bully breeds, like English Bulldogs, Frenchies, Boston Terriers and Pugs, also tend to enjoy tugging. These games need to be controlled and watched over in order for it not to get out of hand. Make sure to train your dog to release on demand.
The two most popular theories as to why some dogs get a thrill out of tugging are:
The history of Bully Breeds plays a big part: they were bred to be robust, fierce, durable, muscular dogs with short, powerful jaws that were used to control livestock and help gather animals. The breed also needed to bite down and hold cattle and release only on command.
When your dog grasps and tugs, it is mimicking a kill. It is how your dog’s ancestors hunted in packs. When prey is hunted down, the members tear away meat as quickly as they can before the upper-level dogs step in. This does not mean that your pup is out to kill the rope, but it is a fun game and it is instinctive.
The Squeaker toy:
Just one squeak, and it’s over! Ears are in the air and the hunt is on. If your dog gravitates to a squeak toy, it is following its wild canine instincts. In the wild, wolves and wild dogs need to search and kill their food, and during the attack, the small animal cries out. The squeaking sound in your dog’s toy during playtime reminisces in your dog. This does not mean that little fluffy is imagining killing its bear, but that somewhere in the brain instincts kick in and fluffy has the urge to pounce at the toy bear.
Be sure to always keep an eye on your pup while playing with its toys. Some dogs go the extra step and shred their toy till the squeaker is removed. This can become a choking hazard or an obstruction in its stomach.
Soft Plush Toys:
If you have a furry friend that loves a soft plush toy and gently holds it in its mouth walking around with it, sleeping with it or even licking it and giving the plush toy a little affection, he is just doing what he was bred to do. Most Labradors and Retriever dogs are known for doing this. Retrievers were bred to recover bird carcasses to their owner without causing any puncture holes into the carcase, that is to return the bird in one piece. It, therefore, makes sense why your dog holds onto the toy with such a very gentle grip of the jaw.
If your dog likes to sleep with a soft toy and mounts/humps it, it often means that your pup was taken from its mother and siblings before he or she was weaned. Mother dogs who lost a litter or had a ghost pregnancy may also treat plush toys as their lost puppies.
To your dog, you are the best thing on this planet. You are your dogs everything, you are their person and they love you without question. Your dog lives for your attention, you are your dogs most favourite toy EVER! You can have just about any toy in your hand, whether it be a ball, a teddy or a squeaky toy, your dog will love the interaction between the two of you two and so will you. Playtime will encourage a healthy and happy dog, and it strengthens your bond. With that said, go on, go play fetch and love your four-legged babies.