Dog Toys--Does my Dog really need them?Dog Toys are an essential ingredient of good dog care--whatever your dog's age. Puppyhood can be a nightmare, because everything to a puppy is a toy. Its tail, your shoes, the carpet, chair legs, books, knives, virtually anything that will fit in his mouth. They all need to be chewed, and if possible swallowed.
At 4/6 months your puppy is teething, and again at 8/10 months. During teething chewing is important, and fortunately most dog toys are chewable. Consequently,they have a major role to play in puppyhood.
But their most important role lasts throughout the lifetime of your pet--and that role is play.
Behaviourists, human and canine, explain play as an essential part of the learning process. The younger you are the more you need to learn--therefore the more you need to play. However, research in to the behaviour of adult animals reveals that play, aside from enhancing the learning process, also acts as a confidence booster, through interaction with humans and other dogs.
Playing with your dog, in all of its forms, can only improve his mental and physical health.
Getting your pet to understand the difference between her toys, and your possessions starts early. Only play with your dog, with the toys that you have signalled as her toys.
Keep them in a box, or special area. When the games over return them to that area. Playing and teaching as discussed before go hand in hand. Sit, stay, leave, fetch, drop are just a few of the commands that can be taught.
Teaching you dog just through playing with her is the easiest, most pleasurable, and user friendly way of training your dog.
So what dog toys are best for your pet?Commonsense should guide you: Kongs, balls, bones, pulls, etc, need to be large enough not to be swallowed whole, and tough enough so that lumps cannot be broken off and swallowed.
Dogs are often intrigued by squeaky toys, and won't rest until they've de-squeaked it. Some dogs become obsessive about toys. Collie owners probably recognise this. Repetitive strain injury is probably widespread amongst collie owners from constant ball-throwing.
Most dogs seem to have a short attention span, favouring one toy over another, and then dropping that one to move on to another. So give her a variety of toys, but don't overload her.
Which dog treat is the best?The one that tastes the best, your dog would probably answer. Treats can be used as an important tool in teaching your dog. The treats you use for training should not be used for any other purpose. This treat has to be the one your pet would gladly sell its soul for. Hard baked liver, cut in to bite size pieces are good.
So too is dried tripe as shown in the picture. They smell awful, but that only adds to the dog's sense of expectation.
Stay away from all sugar based treats. Hide based chews should also carry a health warning. There's no value in them nutrition wise. They are indigestible, and many varieties of them have been dyed, simply to please the dog owner's eye. There have been many instances of these chews becoming infected with dangerous bacteria's. Salmonella being just one of them--You have been warned.
Hard, crunchy biscuits, from a reputable company, in an appropriate size for your dog, given sparingly--will probably never be bettered. Moving on from dog toys and treats.........