Dogs and their favourite toys

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When dogs arrive to board in our house they bring along one or two favorite toys from home. I always find it interesting if they will treasure these prized possessions while staying with us, or ignore them altogether. What makes a toy or stuffed animal so special?

Is it the person who buys the toy that makes it special? Or is a toy special because it has favorite characteristics that the dog enjoys? For example, a squeaker, a certain smell, or how it moves.

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We have discovered that Abby’s most prized possessions are always stuffed animals. She prefers them to not be too fuzzy as she “gums” on them in a rhythmic sequence which often puts her to sleep! Sometimes she shoves so much of the stuffed animal into her mouth that she makes funny noises as she exhales through a mouthful of teddy bear. This behaviour started around the time she was six and I have no idea what started it. She may have observed another dog “in action” gumming a “lovie.” In the five years or so she has been observed using her lovies as perfect pillows too.

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Quite often the fur gets “crunchy” from her mouthing so I toss her lovies into the washing machine to soften them up. I have wondered what she thinks of this as I have caught her bringing the clean ones back out from the laundry room when seeing them on the floor.

I do rotate her treasured stuffed animals as there we have quite a big collection. Some were gifts, while others were purchased over her almost fourteen years. She has never chewed holes in them or ripped pieces off. Her two most favorites are both grey in colour which I find interesting. One had an arm ripped off when a couple of boarding dogs decided to play tug-of-war. I stitched it up knowing how special it is to her. So far it seems like she doesn’t mind!

As I previously mentioned, when dogs come to board they often bring their own toys. I always smile when I see that a specific toy has made it through another year at their home. Some look pretty beat up and give us a good laugh. We had a toy arrive recently that was originally a stuffed squirrel by the looks of it; however, currently all of the inside fluff is gone. Ember, our other Labrador, takes great delight in visiting dogs’ toys. She especially loved what was left of this toy.
Ember is always the first to give visiting dogs’ toys a sniff or to carry them around. Penny, a sweet Golden Retriever, arrived tonight with her “baby,” a pink stuffed toy which to me looks shaped like a ginger bread boy. This toy has come with Penny to visit for over a decade! It still looks pretty good; I may have to ask if they have purchased others over the years or if the “baby” just washes well!

Leo, a fun-loving Portuguese water dog, arrived to board with us with a stuffed animal that he treasured. I think it was a stuffed monkey. We thought the toy was a cute and burst out laughing when it started to play out a tune when squeezed in Leo’s playful mouth. “Dling, Ding, Ding” played in succession at least three times in a row loudly as Leo ran around our living room. We gave it a couple of days then put it away to give us a break from the repetitive noise! All was well as he was happy to play with our assortment of other dog toys instead.

I always write down what toy our visitors bring so I can search for it when they head home.

Does your dog keep their loved possession in one room or near their bed? Or does the treasured item travel outdoors or maybe on holiday with you when your pooch comes along too?

Please share your dog’s “true love” and why it seems so special.

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About dogstwentyfourseven

Becky White is a dog walker.She and her husband live in Toronto with their two daughters.Becky has been a dog lover all of her life and feels now is the right time to share her stories, experiences and adventures!
This entry was posted in Dog Boarding in Home, Dog Sleeping and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Dogs and their favourite toys

  1. teece - patrice. says:

    gaylen – who is the AKC champ – did not know how to play when she came home. she must have just worked hard her entire life. when we bring new things home she is filled with such delight. of course everything is hers. she loves toys that crinkle and loves to play now but on her terms. she has her favorites but no one claims any for themselves. she is just as happy to shake a throw rug as a toy. they share. chico brought a long blue squeak toy dog from his home with him and at first he slept with it and we made sure no one took it from him. now they all play with everything. myron had to learn to play as well because he was from a puppy mill. now he loves to fetch tiny things and run with the bigger boys. most often myron likes to chase cars back and forth across the fenced in yard. chico and harvey wrestle and chase and grr at each other. gaylen follows them with a strict attitude and if it gets too rough she grr’s. it is interesting to see who will play with who.
    gaylen and harvey played until chico came to us. those 2 bonded and now when she does the play bow and foot stomping harvey is not sure what to do. my daughter made a toy for harvey at christmas and he and gaylen share it. (because everything does belong to the alpha princess) they use it as a pillow. today harvey used it as a pillow. i got some cute pics i will post. mostly they have their blankies. gaylen has several. and pillows. oh my goodness gaylen has pillows. she is certainly the queen here. who they play with is also who they sleep with. no one sleeps with the queen, but they all want her spot on the bed and all her pillows and blankies!!

  2. I love stuffed toys. I keep my toys in a basket, and sometimes I dig way down into the basket and pull out something that I haven’t played with in ages. My humans have no idea what makes me decide to find and play with a long-ignored toy. It’s my little secret!

  3. Litchi adores stuffed toys. Unfortunately, she’s not allowed any, as she simply tears them apart and swallows vast quantities of material. Kongs for her, I’m afraid. Of course, she’s now found out that cat toys are fabulous. The cats are not impressed!

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  5. kopeksorun says:

    My dog had this little tennis ball he would never let go of- no matter how many houses we hopped when we travelled with him. He even got a number of allergies from the coating on the ball, but even that did not stop him!
    Sometimes, I really wonder why he is so attached to those balls, but hey, we’re never meant to solve some mysteries, right?

  6. Mel says:

    My chihuahua has 2 favorite toys – they’re both grey and they’re both toy raccoons. It’s so strange. He has 10 stuffed animals and only ever plays with these two. Makes me wonder what makes them so special. If I buy a new toy in the future, it will only ever be toy skunks /grey stuffed animals because out of everything that’s the only stuffed animals he plays with.

    He also loves chewing a toothbrush and a coat hanger. He’s so strange.

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