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How to Choose a Toy for Your Canine Companion

Updated on December 27, 2012
A Happy Dog Means a Happy Home!
A Happy Dog Means a Happy Home! | Source

For Dogs Who Likes to CHASE

If your canine companion loves to chase balls, people or other animals, that is a sign that your pooch has a very strong prey drive, which is what motivates them to run after almost anything that moves.

The prey drive is a very strong drive that endows your dog with a high intellect and need for both physical and mental stimulation, which is why it's important to provide your dog with plenty of toys and social activities that allow them to relieve their need to chase, in healthy and positive ways. Without that outlet, the dog who likes to chase can become the dog who wouldn't stop tearing up the house or running after the cats.

If you dog likes to play chase, the best toys you're going to want to look for will be:

  • Frizbees
  • Brain Cubes
  • Tennis Balls
  • Soccer Balls
  • Lunge Whips
  • Laser Pointers
  • Kong Toys w/Kibble

For Dogs Who Likes to DIG

The dog who likes to dig is not hard to figure out, though sometimes the process of helping the whole family embrace this natural need of theirs, can be quite challenging. The trick is in achieving a balance that works for all of you, where your dog can dig in an appropriate place, located safely away from your garden or other valuable areas in your yard.

Once you carve out a space, it's important to understand that similarly to dogs who like to chase, dogs who love to dig, are in search of lots of stimulation on both a physical and mental level. The difference between the two, is that the dog who likes chase is usually open to just about any physical or mental challenge, the dog who likes to dig is a dog who loves a good puzzle. Like the canine version of Sherlock Holmes, they let their senses guide them towards the next mystery and the next challenge, leading to an end result of either burying or unburying any treasures or clues they find along the way.

Another interested fact about dogs who like to dig, is that they are very kinesthetic and love the feeling of the dirt as it moves between their toes. It's not my cup of tea, though I can understand it. Which is useful because I can use that understanding to build you a small list of gift ideas that are sure to be a hit if your dog loves to dig.

  • Brain Cubes
  • A Rope Swing
  • Bones for Burrying
  • Fresh tilled dirt or organic soil

I really must say, regardless of all the options you have with store bought toys, the dog who digs really loves simply uncover their own form of buried treasure. So if you really want to get them the best gift ever, it would be a fresh bit of tilled earth with various treats buried throughout it. Biscuits, cookies, chew toys and pieces of cloth with different scents on them, all work fantastically as the treasure itself.


For Dogs Who Likes to CHEW

Dogs who like to chew tend to have a strong need to keep their jaws exercised and their teeth dulled down, which is why they have such an intense urge to be chewing on something all the time. Thankfully, if your dog loves to chew over anything else they do, you'll have it the easiest when it comes to looking at new toys for them.

Consider getting something such as a:

  • Kong Toy
  • Pigs Ears
  • Squeaky Toy
  • Raw Hide Toy
  • Stuffed Hooves
  • Tug of War Toy
  • Recycled Tire Toy
  • Organic Cow Knuckle

For Dogs Who Like to HIKE

Dogs who really like to hike are interested in just about anything that keeps them physically busy. They enjoy the challenge of pushing themselves and they enjoy challenges that are never exactly the same every time, which is why they enjoy hiking and camping so much.

If this description fits your pup, try out toys like:

  • Water Toys
  • Tennis Balls
  • IQ Treat Balls
  • Teeter-Totters
  • Open Tunnels
  • Obstacle Courses

For Dogs Who Likes to BE LAZY

Even the dog who doesn't like to do much at all, has a preference for toys that you can easily hone in on. The trick is to get them low-energy high-reward toys. They aren't going to be interested in playing with toys that require them to think or play very hard, and if they are the ultimate couch potato, they'd prefer toys that don't do much of anything.

Thankfully, these are the kind of dogs who usually love and cherish toys like:

  • Plush Pillows
  • Squeaky Toys
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Doggy Blankets


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