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Holiday Toys for Dogs

What did your dog get this year? We look at top toy choices.

If there's one thing most dogs agree on, (aside from the fact that food is awesome), it's that toys are one of the best things in life. Pet owners enjoy giving their dogs gifts along with their other human family members. What are some top toy gift ideas this year?

Business Insider lists several options such as Frisbees, interactive balls and food-filled toys. Other ideas found on online lists include squeaky donut toys, plush knot toys, strong chewer toys, and puzzle feeder toys.

When choosing a dog toy, it's a good idea to think about your own dog's personality and play style. If your dog is an aggressive chewer, soft plush toys probably are not a good investment as they won't last very long. Likewise dogs that enjoy interactive play with people are going to gravitate toward toys that can be tugged or thrown and fetched. Scientists have actually studied dog toy preference. In an article in the research journal Animal Cognition, dogs were given toys of a certain time period to record their interactions. They found dogs were most engaged by toys that made noises and/or could be torn, chewed and ripped apart. This is most likely due to a dog's prey drive and how this play behavior simulates this instinctual behavior.

Toys can also be used to do more than just engage in fun playtime. They can be a powerful training tool. For some ideas on using your dog's newest toys to train for agility success, check out Susan Garrett's toy training tips and suggestions from Karen Pryor Clicker Training.


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