This month, I was offered a very special opportunity to work with Chewy.com as a part of their blogger program. Each month, they have a handful of cat and dog friendly products in need of blogger reviews. I chose to spoil our dog Tarot with two new Kong Squeezz Toys and Wellness Trufood treats.
I figured Tarot would absolutely LOVE playing with a new toy… especially the Kong Squeezz Toys because they come with a squeaky ball attached to a solid chewing rope. We actually received two different kinds: The Kong Squeezz Ball with Handle & Kong Squeezz Double Ball with Rope.
Turns out, my dog’s slightly dumb… When I tossed the ball, it hit him in the face. He barely even looked at it before he walked the other way. Seriously?! What dog doesn’t like these kind of toys?!
Here’s what to do if your dog is stubborn at playtime.
I guess some dogs need help learning how to play with their toys. After a few play sessions, he eventually got the hang of it and started having a ball…
1. Play with your dog when he is most active.
The best times are when your household is most active or when you just got home after a long day of work. Most dogs desperately seek attention after not seeing you for a
minute couple hours, so that’s a great time to work with your dog on tricks or introducing new toys.
2. Make sure your dog is hydrated.
If your dog is thirsty, he’s not going to play ball with you. If it’s too hot, make sure there is water available for occasional drink breaks. (Simple enough.)
3. Get your dog excited and fired up!
This is the biggest key in teaching your dog to play. If he’s all happy and crazy, he will want to play with you!
Call out his name repeatedly. Jump up and down. Run around him. Roughly, but playfully, pat his head and body. Yell out some cat calls – “Who’s a good doggy?” – “Good boy, come here!”.
Whatever you have to do to get your dog barking and jumping around with energy.
4. Show him the toy.
Swing the ball around in all directions. Over your head. To your sides. Swing the ball over your dog’s face. (Don’t hit him…) Make sure your dog is paying attention. Squeak the ball. This might be all your dog needs to decide that he wants to play with the toy.
5. Put the toy in his mouth.
If he still won’t play with his toy, try gently putting it in his mouth. If he latches on to it, praise him! It’s easiest to get my dog to hold onto the rope rather than the ball… but that’s because he’s still learning.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 until he starts tugging and playing.
If your dog holds the rope or ball in his mouth, you can teach him to play tug of war with it. My favorite dog toy to use for tug of war is the Kong Squeezz Ball with the handle. I like to get all crazy and dance around him while we are tugging. You can try tossing the ball to see if he will run after it and play fetch too. I have a long ways to go before I teach my stubborn dog to retrieve the ball…
7. Repeat the process several different times each week until he learns.
Eventually, your dog will learn that he is allowed to chew and play with his new toy. Some dogs catch on really quick because they simply don’t care what they chew on… They love to play! My dog, however, took several tries because he knows he is not allowed to chew on children’s toys in the house. Once he learned it is okay and actually how to play, he loved it!
Overall, we love buying the Kong brand of dog toys because they hold up very well. We are big fans of the Kong rubber toy (pictured above) that you hide food inside. Dogs can chew that toy for days and days and it will hold up.
If you are looking for new dog toys or pet supplies, be sure to check out chewy.com for all your needs. Stay tuned for my next post on cat and dog wellness treats, featuring the same superfood ingredients we are all crazy about right now!