We all want to give our pets toys that they love and play with, but how can you know before you buy one if it will be a hit? Well, it turns out that there’s more science behind our pup’s responses to toys than we thought. Don’t spend your hard-earned money on another toy before you know what you’re getting into!
Why Dogs Find Some Toys Boring
Ever bring a new toy home for your dog — only for the gizmo to end up neglected and ignored on the floor?
It turns out there could be a way to avoid such flops in the future with new research detailing which toys will either interest or bore canines.
“Because we think that dogs perceive toys in the same way that wolves perceive prey, they prefer toys that either taste like food or can be torn apart, however the latter can cause health problems if the dog accidentally swallows some of the pieces,” co-author John Bradshaw, a researcher in the University of Bristol’s Veterinary School, told Discovery News.
When introducing a new toy to your dog, always be aware of the materials used to make it. You never, ever want to give them toys not made for pets because they will likely not be made with the precautions in place in case they get eaten, in part or as a whole.
Co-author Anne Pullen, also at the University of Bristol, added that dog toys should be “soft, easily manipulable toys that can be chewed easily and/or make a noise.”
As for what toys cause many dogs to grow bored, Pullen said, “Dogs quickly lose interest in toys with hard unyielding surfaces, and those that don’t make a noise when manipulated.”
In the case of toys, the problem is that dogs can become habituated to them quickly, which leads to boredom and neglected toys.
So you follow the rules and get your pooch a new toy you just know he will love – but then within a few minutes he loses interest. Don’t stress! You can help him learn to love it!
If that happens, there’s only one solution: the owner needs to jump in and play with the dog and toy too.
“For an animal as social as a dog,” Bradshaw explained, “toys only become really exciting when they are part of a game with a person. Few toys will sustain a dog’s interest for long if the owner is not around to offer encouragement.”
He added, “If a dog has to be left on its own, it is most likely to enjoy toys that can be chewed, make a noise when played with, or are designed to be eaten as they disintegrate (such as a chew).”
Continue reading — Why Dogs Find Some Toys Boring: Discovery News
Does your dog have a favorite toy? What characteristics usually get their attention the most? The details of the study below might explain part of why that is.
Fascinating Insight into Why Dogs Find Some Pet Toys Boring
A recent study in the U.K. may have solved the maddening mystery of why your dog virtually ignores the “indestructible” toys you buy him to replace all the brightly colored, soft squeaky toys he has systematically destroyed.
Dogs Quickly Grow Bored with Most Toys
The study subjects were 16 adult Labrador Retrievers between one and eight years old.
Labs are not only an extremely popular breed but also very playful, and the researchers needed dogs that would play with the toys for at least a short time so they could evaluate what encouraged the dogs to play again once they stopped interacting with the original toy. The toys used in the experiments were different types and different colors and had different smells.
The dogs were given one toy at a time for 30 seconds until they stopped interacting with it. Then they were given a unique toy that was quite different from the original toy.
All the dogs expressed strong but short-lived interest in almost all the new toys, leading the researchers to conclude canines seem driven to explore any new object placed in their environment.
The problem with toys is, as you’ve probably noticed, your dog quickly becomes accustomed to them, gets bored, and shows little further interest.
The researchers tested different things to see if they could lengthen the dogs’ period of play, without success. And nothing about the individual toys made much difference either, which suggests that once a dog is completely familiar with the sight, sound, smell and feel of a toy, boredom sets in.
Read more — Why Dogs Find Some Pet Toys Boring
Does this study make you see your dog’s interaction with his toys differently? Will it make you shop for different things next time you visit the pet store?