Toy Story

toys for dogs

by Pam Green, © 2006

Some of my favorite dog toys and their uses and sources. Some toys are good for dogs to play with solo, some for interactive play with other dogs or with a person. Dogs can be quite inventive, and most dogs love toys.

Dogs just want to have fun !


photo of some of my dogs' favorite toys


Here are a few of my dogs favorite toys, with some ideas and cautions on their use. These toys are primarily chewing toys, throwing toys, or both. (I'm not going to deal with tugging toys here, because it's so easy to find tuggables and the main issue about tug games is to play in a way that the human is the umpire and the dog learns to let go instantly and willingly when asked to do so.)

With all toys, it is wise to supervise the dog's use until you are certain that the dog cannot break off and possibly swallow the pieces. It is essential that the intact toy be of a size relative to the dog's mouth that the intact toy does not present a choking or swallowing hazzard. If you have a mixed household of small and large dogs, it can be a problem to find toys that are safe for everyone, ie big enough to be safe for the big dogs but still small enough that the little dogs can grasp them or enjoy whaping them with their paws. Of course any kind of play between large and small dogs should be supervised until you are certain that the big ones are not too rough with the small ones. (Most big dogs are quite careful not to hurt a playmate.) Of course when you are unable to supervise, you can always pick up questionable toys and put them out of reach. You also have the option to separate dogs whom you do not yet know can play together safely unsupervised. Cat toys and children's toys can also present hazzards to dogs.

two tennis balls, one with torn cover
(tennis ball on lower right has torn cover and is dangerous.)


I seem to have put a lot of emphasis on SAFETY, often stressing the need for supervision and occasional inspection. I don't think this is misplaced. A toy should be a source of pleasure, not a source of danger.

I wrote this article many years ago (2006), so the variety of toys available has changed, many new ones being included. I see that I have not mentioned the frisbee, surely a great toy for some dog-human pairs.

Different dogs enjoy different toys. Find what works for your own dog.

Watching dogs play, either with toys or with one another, is a great delight.

Dogs just want to have fun !


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site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 7/16/06 revised 7/16/06, 10/05/2020
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