How to Choose the Right Dog Games & Toys
In choosing the best dog games and toys to play with your pet, three of the most important factors that you have to consider are the size and breed of your canine friend, as well asyour dog’s individual personality. Here are some tips to guide you:
Does size matter?
When playing with small dogs, experts say that you must remember that they are dogs. They may be small, but they are still dogs, and as such must be allowed to walk, and not be carried around all the time. Another recommendation is to choose the same games that you would for larger dogs, but make sure to downsize the game. If a larger dog can do an obstacle course, so can a small dog – only, it has to be a smaller one. If a larger dog can play hide and seek, so can a small dog – just make sure you cover a smaller area in choosing hiding places. This will help prevent your small dog from tiring too easily. Also, consider that a smaller dog is more fragile than a larger one, so take extra care when engaging him in physical activity.
Some breeds have demonstrated marked intellectual abilities and would benefit in particular from the mental and physical challenges of obedience training, tricks, and dog games. These breeds include the German Shepherd, Doberman Pinschers, Border Collies, Rottweilers and Labrador Retrievers. On the other hand, there are “working breeds” such as Doberman, Rottweiler, Great Dane,Akita, German Pinscher and St. Bernard that are especially suited to carrying weight. These usually have huge supplies of energy and would benefit from running beside you as you rollerblade or ride a bike, or playing a game of “Pull the Wagon”. You could also pad extra weight onto his dog harness so that he is carrying a heavier load. Note that a working dog that is not able to get enough physical activity may become lethargic, restless or neurotic.
Specific toys can also be chosen by your dog because of characteristics of their breed – for example, Jack Russell Terriers can be very tenacious; pit bulls have very large heads – so be cautious about giving a larger dog a smaller toy. Tendencies within certain breeds, such as a tendency towards chewing, need to be taken into account when choosing toys and games for your dogs. Although of course there can be tremendous variation within breeds, it’s important for owners do their research about and take into consideration known tendencies in particular breeds when selecting toys and games for their dogs. To learn more about your dog’s breed-specific tendencies, visit the American Kennel Club website for a wealth of information.
What’s personality got to do with it?
Camilla Gray-Nelson emphasize that like humans, dogs have different personalities, and will prefer some toys over others. Your dog will tell you what he or she likes and what she couldn’t care less about. Sometimes, your dog’s choice of toys and games has more to do with your dog’s personality than their breed – as you’ll see on the videos with Tango and Sparky!
Lastly, rough-housing is neither appropriate nor safe for any size or breed of dog. Dogs must always be treated with kindness and consideration, whether at home or when playing games with your dog.
Check out this awesome video of some dogs with very specific talents and preferences for the activities that they love!
Camilla Gray-Nelson is a dog successful dog trainer and owner of Dairydell Canine, the fastest growing dog training center in Northern California. For more information about Camilla, please visit her website at: http://www.dairydell.com/media/About_Camilla.html