Why does your dog love love love some toys but not others? Surprisingly, the answer may be as simple as the wet nose on your furry friend’s face. This recent study on dog toys in the journal Animal Cognition explores why dogs find some toys so enticing but not others.
Study co-author Dr. John Bradshaw, a researcher at the University of Bristol’s Veterinary School, was quoted by Discovery News as saying that “…we think that dogs perceive toys in the same way that wolves perceive prey: they prefer toys that either taste like food or can be torn apart.” Co-author Dr. Anne Pullen, also at Bristol, added that “dogs quickly lose interest in toys with hard, unyielding surfaces and those that don’t make a noise when manipulated.”
Thus, the study determines that if a dog can shake it, taste it and cause it to make noise (“kill it” in the dog’s view), the toy’s chances of success increase dramatically. Bradshaw continued, “If a dog has to be left on its own, it is most likely to enjoy toys that can be chewed, make a noise when played with, or are designed to be eaten as they disintegrate (such as a chew).”
One important point made by the study is that all dog toys eventually fade from importance if there is no social component included, that is to say, if no one plays with the dog and their toy, the toy’s popularity will quickly diminish. Below are our guides to a variety 0f dog toys, covering the fun and the serious of each.
There are many ways to approach even the simplest dog toy. Below are two of our guides laying out safe practices and how-to’s for each of these favorite play styles!
Does your dog have a favorite toy and/or way to play? Please post below what that toy is and how your dog most likes to play with it!