The gift-giving season starts early this year with
eight days of Chanukah kicking off the delight of opening fun presents right at
the beginning of the December. And, as more pet parents get on board with the
idea of including their pets, this means lots of great new toys and treats for
fur kids too.
But if dogs had an opportunity to choose their own
toys, what fun stuff would they really, really
Recently, I did a non-scientific study in trying to
determine what different dogs like best for play time. Manufacturers, including
Worldwise Inc., who manufacture so many different types of toys, sent over
boxes of their most popular ones. The play loot was divided up and presented to
different dogs of different sizes and play styles to literally see what caught
The reason behind this little “experiment” was a
discussion I’d had with pet parents who complained they often went and bought
new toys and their pooch gave the gift an initial sniff, a half-hearted attempt
at play and then it was immediately relegated to the toy box and never looked
at again. And to add insult, some pooches even go back to playing with a ragged
and worn and chewed favorite.
So, what is it that dogs, and, particularly, your dog really likes to play with for hours on end?
Well, here is the answer in a single sentence. It’s usually not the toy that
you liked the most in the store! That cute and cuddly giraffe with a crinkly
and squeaky tail that caught your eye, is not necessarily your pooch’s first
To test this theory, I put out a selection of goDog toys for Riley that included a large orange goDog Furballz, a Crazy Tugs monkey that allows interactive play by tugging the legs, a Hear Doggy plush giraffe with an ultrasonic squeaker that only dogs can hear but remains silent as far as pet parents are concerned, and a cute, very colorful plush dragon. All the toys had squeakers and all were constructed with tough Chew Guard Technology™, for really rough and tough play. The selection offered differed degrees of stuffing – some were plump and some were floppy.
My choice was the dragon.
It was colorful and its shape allowed for a dog to
grab either the thick tummy section or the thinner part such as the tail. It
had nice (annoying) squeakers. What’s not to love? In fact, lots of dogs do and
I was convinced after much sniffing and nose-prodding it was going to be the
toy of choice for the first game.
The winner was the large orange Furballz. She picked it up and ran off with it in her mouth shaking it and then put it down and proceeded to roll it around, grabbing it again and taking off doing zoomies with it in her mouth.
Why would you choose a ball albeit a fuzzy one over a
fun shape? Well, toy choices tap directly into your dog’s DNA – her innate
characteristics such as prey drive will determine a favorite plaything. Riley
is a mega mutt! She came from a high-kill shelter in Louisiana to San Diego
where she was rescued and is now a beloved family member. So, we knew nothing
A DNA test determined that she is in fact 62.5 per cent American Staffordshire terrier, 12.5 per cent Shih Tzu and the rest is undetermined working breeds. So she’s a high energy dog with terrier instincts. She loves to shake her “prey toy” and the fact that the ball rolls a short way just encourages her more to engage with it. And, because it was soft and fluffy, it was also a first choice at nap time. It was indeed the winner.
I also discovered that the Hear Doggy giraffe with the silent squeaker kept her busy and engaged. But because I couldn’t hear and react to the noise, it changed the game a lot and she lost interest quicker because I lacked reactions!
When it came to action toys, again Riley prefers ball shapes over stick shapes and flat discs. The goDog Retrieval line offers all the shapes in different sizes. Research has shown that dogs can see blue and yellow colors and this toy line has got this covered. So, whatever shape preferences your pooch has, you can be sure she will find a favorite.
If you have a toy gift “fail”, consider a gift
exchange with friends with pets. And, if you find a favorite, stock up! Even
the toughest toys don’t last forever.
DNA kits are a big trend this year for humans. Consider getting one for your dog or your cat too. Learning more about your fur kid is a great way of improving your relationship and enhancing that wonderful human-animal bond.
OlviPet, a unique pet-tested and approved line of dog treats fortified with cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. The treats are made with a proprietary blend of healthy ingredients to boost a dog’s immune system and improve the skin and coat.
Worldwise brands create smart new ways to satisfy your pet’s most important needs. Our innovative products marry solution-based designs with fresh style and incorporate environmentally responsible materials and processes wherever possible.