How many toys does your dog have? Two? Three? 20?
It is so easy to accumulate toys for our dogs that can soon become excessive. And eventually our dogs seem to spend more time pulling them out of the box and leaving them scattered around the home than actually playing with them.
So what can you do to first, reduce the amount of time you spend picking up dog toys and second make the toys interesting for your dogs again?
Having access to all toys 24/7 makes them seem pretty boring to dogs. And if they aren’t interesting, your dog will find other ways to entertain themselves, like chewing shoes, socks or other household items.
One of the easiest things you can do is split the toys into 4 or more containers and rotate the toys on a weekly basis. Not only will this save you money from buying toys that you think they might play with, it makes you more fun when the new toys come out!
But why not take it one step further and use the toys as a way to improve their engagement with you?
* Rotate toys daily from your weekly toy basket. You might like to give them only 2 toys per day to play with on their own, instead of a whole bunch
* Keep one or two of the MOST favourite toys in a seperate place that come out ONLY when you are able to play with your dog. Imagine how much more fun you will become to your dog if you bring out the best toys!
*Make the changing of the toys an opportunity for some training. Ask them for a behaviour (like drop, spin or look) before a new toy is given.
*Teach your dog the fun trick of picking up their toys and putting them into a basket.
*Teach your dog to “leave it” by putting the toy on the ground near them and asking your dog to wait for a cue to be able to get it.
It’s really simple isn’t it? It won’t take too much time out of your day and training becomes fun because the reward is play time with you!
Here’s our challenge to you! Spend time today sorting through your toy box and making the toys interesting for your dog again!
Gather all the toys in one place…. This was our toy box!
Find four (or more!) containers/baskets or boxes to hold the toys
Sort all the toys into categories. We used:
*Toys with squeakers
*Toys to throw away!
Mix up the toys into the baskets/containers. Keep one container of toys out, we used the current favourites and put the other containers away.
The other containers need to be somewhere the dogs can’t access for themselves or see.
Set a reminder on your phone to swap a container of toys every week or even better, daily!
This means your dog will feel like they are getting new toys every week. And it will remind you to wash the toys being put away. Keeping your dog’s toys clean by washing regularly is important for everyone’s health.
Pick one or two of your dog’s MOST favourite toys and keep them in a safe place, for you to have special play time with your dog.
Share your toy challenge photos on our Facebook page under our Dog Toy Cleanup Challenge post.
Let’s see how many toys you have to split and how many you find are ready to go in the bin!
Tell us what your dog’s most favourite toy is today.