In our last blog post, we dealt with an activity that is unfortunately too often pushed into the background in everyday life - playing with the dog. But this fun activity promotes bonding, is instructive and, by the way, also groundbreaking in the area of education and development of your pelt-nose. In our article we have also summarized the different types of games, suitable forms of play and some tips for a successful play session with your four-legged friend. Today we want to go a step further and explain the play equipment and its areas of application in detail. The range of dog toys is wide and leaves nothing to be desired. But toys are not all the same, and even in this area there are many things that can go wrong. So that this does not happen, we illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of different dog toys in the following.
The golden rule for dog toys
A dog loses interest in toys if they are permanently available and lying around. It is much more exciting and animating for the four-legged friend if the various objects are used purposeful. To ensure that the skills learned during play are well understood, it makes sense to use different toys for the different types of play. The dog then connects a certain occupation, mood or behaviour with an object. Who covers his animal roommate with as many different, colorful and funny toys as possible, means it surely well, does itself and the dog with it however actually no favors. The toys lying around not only disturb the living ambience for humans, appear chaotic and take on smells, they also become uninteresting for the four-legged friend. Of course, your furry nose's favourite cuddly toy may stay in the basket - but congs, balls, tug-o-war and the like should only be taken out for a special occasion, namely for play. This golden rule is super easy to implement and has only positive effects: The lifespan of the toys is increased, they remain rare and exciting, and the apartment remains tidy and orderly.
Toys of nature
Sticks, branches, pine cones - dogs who love to play find everything their hearts desire in nature. Unfortunately, sticks in particular are not necessarily suitable for playing, as splinters of wood can cause considerable damage in the dog's stomach or even in the area of the snout and throat. The dog's stomach has considerable problems in digesting pieces of wood - acidosis and vomiting occur. Small branches and twigs on the stick are also a problem, especially for the sensitive dog eyes. With wild and excited dogs you should avoid playing with sticks. With cautious play types one can be a little looser here. Since sticks are usually very popular with animals, there are now great alternatives and imitation sticks that minimise the risks mentioned above. For example, chewing sticks made of coffee wood or deer antlers are suitable. They are not only extremely durable and available in the desired size, they are above all one thing: harmless for the four-legged friend!
The undisputed leader in the field of throwing toys is of course the ball. Here, the surface texture and size of the ball must be taken into account. Tennis balls are not suitable because of the rough surface, as they act on the dog's teeth like sandpaper. When buying a ball, this rule of thumb applies: better too big than too small! In this way a risk of swallowing can be excluded. In order to add a little more action to throwing and catching games, bouncing or noise-generating balls can be used. Also Kongs in different shapes, which bounce in an unpredictable direction on impact, make the ball game even more fun. No matter how much your dog loves to chase after every object, playing ball is no substitute for a walk and is very demanding on the joints because of the abrupt, extreme movements. Therefore also here applies: do not exaggerate.
Most pulling toys are braided or knotted from cotton ropes. If your dog belongs to the dominant species, distortions are to be avoided, because they are like a test of strength. The four-legged friend has to subordinate himself to the two-legged friend and should generally not know that he is stronger, faster or more dexterous. Among the wolves the dragging abilities were decisive above all in the fight for food - this is not necessary with our faithful house dogs any more, however. Many dogs love to run around with tugging ropes - as long as the dog does not insist on winning, is no longer a puppy with milk teeth and does not get too rough when pulling, you can have a great time with your four-legged friend with the large selection of ropes and ropes.
Cuddling, nibbling and gentle frolicking is incredibly important for your dog. The resting period is as elementary as the education and the play unit - because only with a healthy balance of these elements you will get a well-balanced and happy dog. Plush cuddly toys are especially popular with puppies. The soft objects are also wonderfully suitable for indoor hiding and retrieval training. By associating a plush toy with peace and security, just showing or touching it can already initiate the relaxation and cuddling time. If a dog is used to its cuddly object, it even helps it to overcome its fear of separation and being left alone. We at William Walker have developed our new Play collection with plush objects, which not only give your four-legged friend a good feeling in terms of material, but also convince visually, like our plush dogs William the First and William the Second. Williams Play Bone is a cool plush bone and thus another great addition to cuddling and playing, which is available in several stylish colours. The entire Play range fits stylistically seamlessly into your living room and also sets its own beautiful accents. To make sure it stays that way, the William Walker plush products can of course be washed at 40 degrees. By the way, the dog toys are completely tailored to the colour and matching to the William Walker Sleep collection
Various treat toys offer the perfect activity and sniffing training at the same time. As a ball, in the shape of a bone or a cong, these dog toys have holes, riffles and flaps to hide treats in. In summer, these toys can be a real relief for your dog. Just fill the toy with dog ice cream, yoghurt or similar and put it in the fridge or freezer, leave it in for 1-2 hours and the cool dog toy is ready.
In general, almost every dog toy is also suitable for retrieving. However, you make it much easier for your furry nose by using a dog toy for each of the different training and game forms. To give your dog extra motivation, there are retriever bags in which dog treats can be hidden. The strong smell makes it easier for your dog to find the hidden and thrown items and teaches you that you can only reward him when the dog has returned and put down the retriever dummy. Also for the William Walker toys it can be a good trick to store the toy for example 1-2 days in the food bag to convince the four-legged friend quickly of the new toy.
The world of dog toys is almost limitless and can hardly be presented completely. In addition to the main groups mentioned above, there are other fascinating toys, for example to develop the mental abilities of your furry noses. From technical devices to board game like dog toys, the Internet offers the dog owner almost everything. The A and O when playing with the dog is and will always be fun. We from William Walker are sure: No toy in the world pleases your four-legged friend as much as the time with their favourite person - because your dog loves you!
By Louisa Knoll