How to Make Your Dog Play with Toys: 7 Top Strategies


    Sometimes dogs don’t want to play with their owners at first or won’t play with toys given to them. It could be because they haven’t spent much time with people, like if they were kept in a breeding kennel. Some dogs might have had bad experiences with humans, or they might just be shy puppies. If your dog seems nervous or doesn’t want to play with you, you can help them feel better by spending time together and being patient. Once they trust you, they’ll probably start playing and having fun. But the best way to start is to teach your dog to play with toys.

    The Importance of Play and Getting Your Dog Interested in Toys

    Playing with your dog or puppy isn’t just for fun; it’s important for their happiness and your bond with them. Here’s why:

    • Playing keeps them sharp and helps them burn off energy.
    • It strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend.
    • It’s a way to reward them for learning new things.
    • And most importantly, it’s just plain fun for them!

    Remember, patience is key. It might take time for your dog to trust you and learn how to play nicely. Make sure everyone in your home knows the rules for playtime to avoid confusion. For example, if you don’t want your dog growling while playing, make sure everyone understands that. Consistency helps your pet learn what’s okay and what’s not.

    How to Teach Your Dog to Play with Toys

    Have you ever bought lots of toys for your dog, but they ignore them and choose your shoes instead? You’re not alone! With some training and encouragement, your dog can learn to love their toys and play with them happily.

    Distract with Toys

    When your furry friend starts chewing on things he shouldn’t, like your sofa cushions, gently interrupt him with a quick “eh” sound. Guide him away from the couch and offer him a toy to chew on instead. This way, you’re teaching him what’s okay to chew and what’s not. Remember, consistency is key!

    Show You’re Excited

    When your dog starts playing with his toys, get excited! Show him how happy you are by cheering and praising him. You can even give him a pat on the head. This makes him feel good and encourages him to keep playing with his toys. Dogs love making their owners happy, so when they see how happy you are, they’ll want to do it again and again!

    Bribe with Treats

    Fill your dog’s toys with treats to encourage playtime! If your furry friend seems uninterested in toys, putting treats inside can make them more appealing. Look for toys made of strong rubber that you can hide treats in. When your dog discovers the treats, it becomes a fun game for them to figure out how to get them out. This not only keeps them busy but also teaches them to enjoy playing with their toys. It’s a win-win!

    Play with Him

    Playing with your dog is important! Don’t just give them toys and leave them alone. Buddy loves spending time with you and wants your attention. If he seems uninterested in his toys, show him how fun they can be! Squeak a toy to catch his attention or throw a ball for him to chase. When you play together, he learns how to have fun with his toys. Plus, it’s a great way for you both to bond and have fun!

    Slowly Incorporate Rules

    Teaching your dog to play games like fetch can be fun but also involves some steps. It’s not just about throwing a ball and waiting for them to bring it back. Your dog needs to learn other commands too, like “come” and “drop it.” If they don’t know these commands, the game can become chaotic, with your dog running away with the ball instead of bringing it back. So, before playing fetch or any game, make sure your dog understands these basic commands. That way, the game can go smoothly and be more enjoyable for both of you!

    Play Games Based on What They Like

    Every dog is different, so choose games that match their personality. For example, a retriever might love playing fetch, while a terrier might enjoy tug-of-war. Herding dogs like border collies and Australian shepherds often excel at agility and Frisbee. By picking games that suit what your dog was bred to do, like fetching or herding, it’ll be easier to teach them to play and more enjoyable for them too!

    Proofing Their Newfound Skills

    Proofing means making sure your dog can do the tricks they’ve learned in different places and situations. It’s hard for dogs to remember how to play properly when they’re in new or exciting places, or with new people or animals.

    To help your dog get better at playing in different situations, you can:

    • Take them to the dog park to see if they can still follow the rules when other dogs are around.
    • Ask other people to play with your dog using different toys or tones of voice.
    • See how they respond when a young child gives them commands.

    If your dog doesn’t seem to remember the rules, you might need to:

    • Make sure your dog feels comfortable and trusts you and others.
    • Teach them the commands again, like “drop it” or “come.”
    • Practice playing in different places with different people until they get it right.

    Keep in mind, training takes time and patience. If you rush it, your dog might get confused or lose trust in you.

    Get Your Dogs to Play with Their Toys

    Remember, building a strong bond with your dog through play is essential for their happiness and well-being. Take the time to understand what games they enjoy and patiently teach them to play. With love, patience, and consistency, you’ll create a joyful and fulfilling relationship with your furry companion that lasts a lifetime. Start playing and bonding with your dog today!