I felt like I’d hit a rut with playtime.
Buy new toys and see my dogs get excited about them, only for them to become forgotten at the bottom of the toy basket, topped with newer toys.
There really is not much you can do with dog toys. Your dog can chew them up, you can play fetch or tug… and that’s kind of it.
And while play is an effective way to manage your dog’s energy and anxiety levels, it’s useless if you can’t get your dog excited about their toys.
One day, I just turned over their toy baskets and scattered their entire toy collection across the living room floor.
Making a mess for once, instead of cleaning one up, felt really good.
I started tossing toys in the air so quickly that Matilda and Cow couldn’t choose which one to chase.
I squeaked them one-by-one, and then two at once, creating interesting harmonies.
I’d wave a toy around until Matilda or Cow grabbed it, and as soon as I got their attention fixated on it, I switched them to another toy.
The effect was pretty amazing. Especially compared to our usual playtime routine.
Matilda and Cow started to show interest in toys that I thought I’d have to give away or throw out.
There was newfound love for old toys, and excitement over finding some of the old favorites that they hadn’t played with in months.
I let them lead the rest of the party.
Matilda kept finding those stuffing-free tug toys and bringing them to me to play with her.
Cow found a new fixation on a toy that nobody had ever played with – this odd pink and green pill that contains a hard rubbery, spiky, nubby sort of thing.
I’d purchased it hoping they’d chew on it and help clean their teeth, but they hated it. Except now Cow loved it.
It felt so good to just pounce around after the toys with them. It felt so good to just “be a dog” with them.
It’s Hyper Toy Party Time!
I challenge you to start a Hyper Toy Party with your dog today.
Set aside just 15 minutes and scatter their toys all over. Throw them around. Squeak them like crazy.
Don’t even invite your dog, though. Don’t ask her to play.
Just have a crazy good time in a pile of toys.
Get your dog’s attention by having a heck of a time with all of her toys.
Then, see what she does. Does she get fixated on any particular type of toy? Or does she play with everything all at once?
It’s more than a silly activity, it’s a really cool way to let your dog lead playtime, renew their interest in toys, and make memories.
If you get any good photos or videos, tag @MatildaWoofWoof on Instagram, @LittleDogTips on Facebook, and use the hashtag #hypertoyparty. See you there!