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Choosing the right toys and games for your puppy

Activities that best suit your puppy

Everyone knows that playtime is very important for puppies. However, what most people don't know is that there are activities that are appropriate for certain breeds and not for others.  

What is more fun than playing with your dog? Beyond the fun aspect, it is well known that regular playtime is a critical component of a successful dog-training regime.

The importance of exercise

Many dogs have evolved from their instinct to hunt to perform a certain type of work. As such, these dogs still have a strong desire to express natural and innate behaviours that are part of their genetic makeup. In this sense, getting our dogs playing with us on a regular basis is not just fun for everyone around, but rather, a critical component of their emotional and social development. However, what most dog owners do not realise is that the type of toys and activities chosen can also make a difference. To put it simply, certain activities are more enjoyable for certain breeds than others. 

Let your puppy pick its favourite activity

For starters, provide your puppy with a range of toys and games and let them try them all out one by one. Slowly, you will see your puppy express a clear preference for certain toys and activities. Your dog is unique and there is no way to predict what they will like and what they will not beforehand.

However, having said this, your puppy’s breed does play a large part in influencing what activities they are likely to be drawn towards…

Terriers:

Terrier type dogs are often very motivated to dig and love to ‘chase and kill’ small objects. Small, squeaky dog toys are great for these dogs.

Retrievers:

Retrievers love to fetch games and can happily retrieve all day, so dog balls or frisbees that can be thrown a long way are ideal for them.

Poodles & Spaniels:

Water dogs like poodles or spaniels relish every opportunity to play in the water so floating dog toys that they can chase and swim after are a delight for them. 

Sight Hounds:

Sight-hounds love to chase, so dog balls are ideal. Keep in mind, however, that they may not bring the toys back, so less expensive toys bought in higher volumes may be more appropriate.

Scent Hounds:

Scent-hounds and beagles love ‘finding games’ so dog toys that can be easily hidden or buried are a perfect match for them.

Choosing the right toy:

Make sure all the dog toys you buy are good quality, sturdy, and durable. If any of the toys become damaged, throw them away immediately to prevent broken shards and fragments from being swallowed by your dog. Never use sticks when playing fetch as dog injuries resulting from this activity are all too common. When buying dog balls, make sure to choose ones that are the correct size - a ball that is appropriate for a small dog may be a choking hazard for a very big dog.

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