Squeaky Toys vs. Rope Toys

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Choosing Between Dog Toys

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Squeaky Toys

One of the most popular and attention-grabbing types of squeaky toys are the brightly colored latex toys that have a high-pitched squeaky sound. The toy’s appearance and the sound it makes when squeezed (or chewed in a dog’s case) are what usually capture a dog’s attention. These toys are great tools to use during dog obedience classes. You can keep a smaller one in your pocket when teaching new behaviors, such as “down” or “focus.”

Pros

  • Most squeaky toys are easily washable and dogs love the high-pitched sound.
  • They can be used during dog training sessions for a dog who finds toys rewarding.
  • They are small and easy to transport so you can take them wherever you take your dog.

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Cons

  • Squeaky toys are to be used as chew toys because they tear easily and parts of the toy (including the squeaker) can be swallowed, causing intestinal damage and blockages. Never leave a dog unattended with a squeaky toy.
  • Unlike other rubber toys, squeaky toys are not the best toys to use as chewing deterrents because of their imminent danger. Ask your animal trainer for suggestions regarding suitable chew toys.

Rope Toys

Rope toys are tightly-knotted cotton ropes that come in many different sizes, shapes and lengths. Some have multiple knots, tennis balls, rubber balls, bones or handles attached for various types of doggie fun and entertainment. When choosing a rope toy, make sure you choose one that doesn’t completely fit into your dog’s mouth.

Always choose a longer-length rope toy to prevent accidental ingestion or injury when using it as an interactive toy. Be smart when playing with your dog so as to not hinder his learning. For instance, by allowing your dog to win a game of tug-of-war, it can give him overconfidence and falsely place him in an alpha role. This means he may have an increased feeling of dominance over you, the owner, which can lead to multiple behavioral issues.

At the same time, allowing your dog to win tug-of-war can be a positive training technique if he has low confidence, as it will encourage him and boost his self-esteem.

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Pros

  • Most rope toys are soft and flexible, which is attractive to many dogs.
  • Rope toys can be used for various interactive games as well as a dog training reward or supervised chew toy.
  • They may be soaked in cool water for teething puppies. Although you should never leave the puppy unsupervised while he chews on a rope toy.
  • Similar to squeaky toys, rope toys can be taken wherever you go with your dog. (You never know when the perfect training opportunity will arise!)

Cons

  • Rope toys are not for aggressive chewers that may shred the rope toy into pieces and/or swallow strands or chunks of the toy.
  • Dogs cannot be left unsupervised with any rope toy.
  • Since they’re soft and flexible, some dogs may mistake them for clothing or other inappropriate fabric objects. This could stimulate problem chewing, which is a behavioral issue that may need to be handled by a professional dog trainer.

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