Every canine owner has the same story, they give their much-loved fur baby a new stuffed toy, only to see it rapidly dismembered into shreds on the kitchen floor.
Sometimes it would take a day, sometimes it would survive much longer, but the outcome was always the same, destruction beyond recognition of the original form.
Watching your pup recklessly destroying a new toy that is claimed to be indestructible, is not only confusing to us humans, the replacement toy places a continuous drain on the pet care household budget.
It is widely known, that all large dogs destroy their toys within minutes. A friends’ dog, Oscar Wilde was given a purple/grey stuffed elephant. After two weeks of play, my friend panicked because the elephant was missing and feared that OW had eaten it. Another two frantic weeks of searching, finally revealed that OW had buried the toy in the back garden.
Like many mammals, dogs learn through repetitive play. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), stuffed toys in particular tend to evoke emotions of real-life prey, similar to what our pets’ wolf forefathers would have captured in the wild. This may explain why OW and millions of other dogs make light destructive work of an otherwise super soft plaything.
The AKC also recommends selecting toys based on activities that your fur baby already loves. For chase and retrieve games, nothing beats a frisbee or a hard rubber ball. And natural fibre rope toys are perfect for chewing.
Dogs, like children, rapidly tire and get bored of certain toys once they’re interest wanes and the newness shine wares off. To keep your pup entertained (and to keep your pet care budget in check), many professional dog trainers recommend you put toys away for a few days and then bring them out, making an old toy seem new. This results in a renewed excitement and interest in the toy, and more importantly, a more creative and content behaved dog.