Which Toy Should You Get Your Dog? One You’ll Like to Play With!
December holidays are just around the corner and inevitably you’ll want to get a new toy for Fido. What should you get? A ball? Something he can rip the stuffing out of? An interactive game to stimulate his brain? So many choices….
Researchers at the University of Bristol recently conducted research looking at the toys dog prefer and those they get bored wish in a new study that will be published later this year in the journal Animal Cognition. In their study, 16 Labrador retrievers were given toys to play with, while researchers recorded how long it took for the dog to get bored. Labs were chosen for this study because they tend to be very playful and enjoy toy time. Investigators tested different types of toys, toys with different colors, and toys with different smells.
Here’s what they found:
- Dog prefer soft toys that change shape as they chew and toys that make noises.
- Dogs were indeed interested in new toys, but only for short periods of time. Dogs instinctively like to explore new things, so they will likely show an interest in any new toy.
- After a short time with any toy, a dog will lose interest in it.
So what does this research tell the dog toy shopper:
- When you buy your dog toys, try rotating which toys your dog gets to play with so “old” toys become “new” again when they have been put away for a few days before making another appearance.
- Don’t expect your dog will sit and play with a toy for hours. Just because he plays hard with your special gift for only a few minutes before casting it aside, doesn’t mean he doesn’t like a toy. That’s how dog’s play.
- Dogs are social animals and their preferred toy is one that you play with, too. Most dogs enjoy a good chew on a toy now and then, but nothing’s better than a toy that engages you with your dog. So if you find that the stuffed pig in a Mrs. Claus suit totally hilarious, your dog will absorb your enthusiasm when you play with it with him.
So this holiday season, think good chew, squeaky sounds, and toys that let you get down to play with Fido. Look for toys that you’ll want to play with because Fido’s favorite toy will always be the one you’re playing with along with him.