The Five Toys You and Your Dog Need
When buying toys for our pooch pals it is important to note that while a squeaky toy will usually get their attention and a tennis ball might get a few runs across the yard and tire them out briefly, those aren’t always the activities that are going to give them the most enjoyment, or better yet give them a sense of fulfillment. Dogs need interesting mental and physical stimulation to satiate the natural drives within them, so it is up to us to provide a variety of experiences that will give our doggos well rounded exercises.
A bored dog is a bad dog. A bad dog is a pain in the butt but more importantly not a happy dog. A tired dog is a good dog. A good dog is a peaceful dog. With these five dog toys I give you peace and happiness in our time! Why? How? Because these five toys have duel purposes. They cover both mental and physical stimulation, are easy to use and inexpensive. What more can you ask for? I have used these toys for years because they are interesting to the dog and keep their attention through their life as a puppy in to adult hood. So, let’s take a look!
The first three toys I am going to tell you about are treat dispensers that can be used stand alone or all three together as a strategy to increase mental stimulation. In the mornings just before I left for work, I would split my dog’s breakfast up between all three of these toys and just before I walked out I would put them down for him. As I was closing the door I could see that he was already hard at work and did not even watch me leave. This lowered his stress level about being left alone.
Each toy is different than the other two and requires different actions by your dog in order to get to the yummy treats inside. This causes the dog to figure out how to change strategy and really use their problem-solving skills. I tested these on the weekend when I could watch my dog using them and saw that it would take anywhere from 30 to 35 minutes for my dog to empty all three toys.
The great thing is that within a few days I could see my dog anticipating getting these toys and his food rather than starting to get nervous about me leaving him in the morning. So, for up to 35 minutes after I left the house my dog was working not sitting there stressing out because he was alone. What can be better than that?
The Bob-a-Lot treat dispenser is great because of the way it moves when your dog interacts with it. When your pooch nuzzles it or bats at it with his paw the toy bobs and rolls and treats spill out of the two doors. It is an interesting movement that engages your dog and then when they realize it has treats inside, they are hooked. It has an adjustable door on top and on the side. The reason this is so important is that you can vary the time it takes for your dog to empty the toy of treats.
When you first introduce your dog to the Bob-a-Lot and the Wheeky Treat Ball you want to be there so you can be sure your dog is capable of using the toy and it doesn’t scare them. Open up the doors as wide as they will go the first couple of times they use it so that your dog gets the most reward in the shortest time. This will associate the toy with a wonderful experience! Quick and easy rewards. Don’t we all wish we could get that every day? As they become more accustomed with the reward these toys give, close the doors more so that it takes more work to get the goodies and keeps them engage longer.
The Wheeky Treat Ball is a great addition to this trifecta of treat dispensing toys because it moves differently than the other two toys. It rolls. This causes your dog to adapt to its movements to get what they want. In other words, it causes them to problem solve and rewards them for solving the problem. This toy also has an adjustable door that changes your dog’s experience by changing the flow of treats that spill out as your dog rolls it around.
The Bob a Lot and the Wheeky Ball are good together because they will not move the same way every time, so your dog cannot “master” either one of them.
The Tug-a-jug is completely different because the treats are only dispensed when the rope is manipulated, and/or the toy is moved around by the dog. So, since the Tug-a-jug does not move around on its own it will challenge your dog in a different way by making them use finer manipulation to get what they want. It takes more focus, patience and control. This makes it the perfect toy for your dog when they must be put inside a crate.
So separately or together these three treat dispensers work perfectly to get your dog using their minds and paws in different ways to figure out a problem. I used them just before I left for work. But you may use them as you get ready for work to distract your dog from all of the signals he has learned that mean you are about to leave. Or use them at any time for a fun distraction and rewarding mental stimulation!
The Mammoth Pet Products Flossy Chew Tug-o-War toy with rubber handle is another crucial tool to use to burn off energy. The important part of this toy is the rubber handle. When your dog pulls on most other tug o war toys the handle painfully digs in to your hand. The rubber handle of this toy gives you a better grip and is much more comfortable and that allows you to stay in the game longer!
Not only does this toy burn off energy but it is an important training tool as well. Just before you start your tug o war session grab some of your dog’s favorite treats. Once you get going and your dog is pulling to win, offer her a treat and as she lets go of the tug o war toy to take the treat give her a verbal command like “Drop It” or “Give” or “Release.” When she follows your command give her the treat and verbal praise and start the fun all over again!! This will teach her to share with you and it also insures that you “win” the tug o war game sometimes. This is a fun and positive way to show control over your dog while she gets that “rough and tumble” fun exercise.
Here is a video that shows this training. Check it out!
Notice how much easier this exercise will be when you are able to hold on to a solid, rubber handle like the Flossy Chew Tug o War toy has.
Also remember to let your dog win every once in a while. When she gives a good tug on the toy let go and make a big deal out of her winning! Clap your hands and cheer and watch her soak it all up as she enjoys her victory and then start the game all over again!!
The Titan Busy Bounce is one of those all-around toys that serves multiple purposes. It is a treat dispenser that is tough enough for chewing but hands down it’s best used as a fetch toy. It is a heavier gauge of rubber so that it can be used in tough terrain and thicker grass. Because of its unique shape it will bounce and roll in unpredictable ways. This is GREAT for your dog’s prey drive.
When you are ready to get outside and burn off some of that energy take your Titan with you and be sure your dog knows you have it. Pretend like you are going to throw it or wave the toy around to get your dog’s interest and get him ready to go! As you draw back to throw the Titan your dog may anticipate what you are doing and start running in the direction you are about to throw. Throw the toy right passed your dog so that it bounces out in front of them. When it hits the ground it will skip forward and your dog will be compelled to chase it as it bounces away. After about the 2nd or 3rd bounce the Titan will start to change directions and challenge your dog to chase it down!
If your dog isn’t a cheater and does not anticipate your throw you can toss the toy underhanded in the direction your dog is facing to get the same type of “chase” effect. The Titan’s unpredictable bouncing movements will draw your dog in to a fun game of fetch and a great way to burn off energy.
Your doggo NEEDS to be challenged and engaged and these five toys make your own little enrichment program for you and your dog to work on mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. We have links to our affiliate marketing program that offer these toys. Pick them up today!
There is no one way to use a dog toy or training tactic so we KNOW you have questions. Please ask questions and comment below and let us know what you are thinking! We love to hear from all of you!!
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