How Toys Fulfill a Dog’s Natural Instincts

//How Toys Fulfill a Dog’s Natural Instincts

Have you ever stepped into a dog store and wondered out loud why a dog needs so many different types of toys?  For some, the sheer number of rope toys, squeaker toys, rubber toys, and stuffing toys may seem superfluous, but each type of toy fulfills a natural need for your dog, and also helps to keep your furniture from being destroyed!  Listed below are common types of toys, and which drives the toy satisfies.

Squeaky toys

For any dog owner who has ever witnessed his or her dog catch a rabbit or bird, the reasoning behind a squeaky toy may seem obvious.  The squeaker in the toy emits a similar sound as the one an injured rabbit, squirrel, or bird makes when it has been captured by a dog.  In the wild, dogs must hunt and forage for their food, so squeaky toys fulfill a dog’s natural desire to find prey. Dog breeds with strong hunting drives, such as beagles, a squeaker toy can provide hours of entertainment.  Interestingly, squeaky toys are also useful for dogs that have lost their hearing later in life.  The high pitched sound is a frequency that can be heard by most hard-of-hearing dogs, which serves to increase their excitement about play time.  The squeaky latex chicken is a great toy for the dog who likes to rip out squeakers (a choking hazard), and also is mess-free, due to the absence of stuffing.

Tug of War toys

One of the first games that wild and domesticated dogs learn to play is tug of war.  Tugging and pulling is an innate drive for a dog, likely because dogs within a pack must tug and pull in order to eat their prey.  Playing tug of war is not only a great way to satisfy natural urges, but also is a good overall workout.  The dura tug toy is perfect for the strong dog that also is prone to destroying the rope after the game has ended!

Rubber toys

An innate desire for a dog is to chew – whether that be on bones, branches, or your furniture.  Dogs are driven to chew for a number of reasons, including jaw strengthening, teeth cleaning, and boredom reduction.  Puppies also like to chew as a way to reduce the pain of teething.  Rubber toys provide an outlet for this natural desire while also being relatively indestructible.  Besides being resilient to heavy chewing, the nubs on the end of the rubber dumbbell provide cleaning action for your dog’s teeth.

Fetch toys

Fetching is fun for many types of dogs.  For the retrievers, who have been bred to retrieve game, playing fetch is a great way to fulfill an in-born instinct.  For hunting dogs with a high-prey drive, fetching is fun because they are given the opportunity to chase a small object and proudly bring back their prize.  Fetch also allows dogs to do what they do best:  stretch out their legs and run.  The dura fetch is a great addition to any fetching dog’s toy box, as it can be flung far while also withstanding all kinds of abuse.  As an added bonus, it is long enough to play tug of war with, too!

Why dogs turn their noses at some toys? The study, published in the  Animal Cognition, explains the reasons

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