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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Dog Toys

Dog toys go a long way in keeping a dog occupied (yes, I'm still talking dog-movement deprivation. It is Honey's last week of full rehab for her knee - with any luck, she will be free to do a lot more roaming starting Thursday). But, not just any toys will do. Dogs get very attached to specific toys. You can try and force certain toys on them but it doesn't seem to work. This is a list of Honey's current toys:

1) A hard-rubber Kong ball. Kongs are famous odd-shaped dog toys that you can stuff full of peanut butter and treats keeping any dog happily occupied. The ball....not so much. It was an impulse buy at an expensive pet boutique meaning I paid too much for it. There was no reaction from Honey on introduction but I wouldn't give up on this over-priced toy. I brought it over and kept trying to entice her. She took a couple of half-hearted chews to humor me and then gave me a look that seemed to say, "You play with it if you're so into it." I even added a trick to her repertoire incorporating the Kong ball. I'll put the ball in front of her (forget her looking for it) and say "Where's your ball, Honey? Where's the ball? Where's your ball?" Throughout this falsely-enthusiastic questioning she just looks at me and doesn't move. When I'm done she'll look at me just a little bit longer to make sure I get the message and then finally put her paw on the ball. If the treat is good enough, she'll grab for it a little more eagerly the second time I ask but we both know that's about the treat and not the ball.

2) A fox from AKC toys. These toys are really great (good plush/fake fur and double squeakers) and this has been a hit. Of course, if you think about why she likes it -the squeak is supposed to sound like an animal - assumedly in distress - and the cute, funny shaking they do when they have it in their mouth is that terrier instinct of how to break a rat's neck. Let's move on...

3) A dachshund with a head and body attached to opposite sides of a tennis ball that my sister gave her. Initially, not a lot of reaction but then Honey fell in love. She would run after that toy for hours and would be very upset when she couldn't find it. Well, it started to fall apart, of course. I sewed it up a couple of times but there's not much to sew anymore so I'm weaning her off it. She still seems happy playing with its three parts separately, though. She'll fetch the head, or chew on the middle ball or, somehow, the most disturbing part is when she happily runs around with the headless rear end.

To add some photo examples of dogs and their toys, we have a guest appearance by Samson Cloud Guild.

Here you can see a couple of stuffed toys ready to double as pillows:

Here the classic rubber newspaper has been abandoned (top corner) while Sam practices his cutest-ever sleeping dog pose.


Anonymous catbird said...

Such great observations about the nature of dogs, as usual.
It has been my experience (as well) that no amount of owner enthusiasm can overcome dog-toy apathy.
They're either just gonna like it or not. Bribing and coercion only makes the owner look (and feel) bad! :)

12:12 AM  

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