Furry feedback: Your dog's favorite toys revealed - and why they love them
It shouldn’t be hard to pick out your furry friend’s favorite plaything – look for the dirtiest or the most worn toy. You know, the one you hardly want to touch (why is that toy always wet?!). And, despite a bin full of other toys thanks to your cheap dog subscription box
, this is the one they carry with them everywhere, the only toy that seems to hold any value to them. So, do dogs have preferences regarding their toys, or is this all your imagination? As it turns out, your pup probably does have his favorite chew toy, plush "buddy," or squeaker. From scent and texture to emotional connection, several factors help contribute to this.
It's all about the scent
Remember, dogs have an incredible sense of smell, which is one of the main reasons they get so attached to a particular toy. When a dog is given a toy, they’ll often lick, chew, and carry it around to spread their scent to it. Doing this eventually makes the toy more familiar and comforting to them, which explains why they’ll often go back to that toy repeatedly. A study from the University of Lincoln (UK) found that dogs rely on multiple senses, including smell, to locate their favorite toys. According to the study, dogs use a combination of scent and visual cues to find their toys, which may explain why your dog always seems to know precisely where that favorite toy is – even when it’s hidden in another room.
Texture and shape play a part
Does your dog prefer soft, plush toys? Or do they gravitate toward toys with more texture and durability? What about round or irregularly shaped toys? All of this plays a role in which toys your dog prefers. The breed and personality of the dog can influence texture and shape preferences. A retriever, for example, might prefer toys they can easily pick up and carry in their mouth, while a terrier may enjoy toys they can chew and shake.
This toy is just right!
Playtime is essential for a dog's physical and mental well-being. However, their choice of toys can also impact their behavior. For example, a too-small or fragile toy can be destroyed easily, leading to frustration and boredom for your pooch. On the other hand, a toy that’s too big or heavy may be challenging to play with, which can lead to frustration and disinterest. Therefore, consider your dog’s size, breed, and play style when picking out toys. Remember, a toy that’s appropriate for one dog might not be suitable for another, even if the two dogs are relatively close in size and weight. And it’s always a good idea to switch up your dog's toys occasionally, as this keeps them engaged and interested. The emotional connection Finally, that favorite toy may hold a significant emotional connection with your dog. Maybe the toy was given to them by a beloved owner, or it simply brings them comfort and a sense of security. Some dogs even become possessive of their favorite toy, guarding it and refusing to let anyone near it. This is entirely normal, though, and again is a result of the strong emotional bond your dog developed with that toy. Ultimately, you can help keep your furry friend happy, healthy, and engaged during playtime once you understand your dog's preferences. So, the next time you see your dog carrying around their favorite toy, know that it's more than a plaything – it's a source of comfort, joy, and companionship for your four-legged friend.