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How to Make Your Dog Love Their New Toy: 5 Great Ways

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 17, 2024 by Dogster Team

owner using dog toy to play with his pet

How to Make Your Dog Love Their New Toy: 5 Great Ways

You might notice you’ve bought your dog plenty of new toys, but they just don’t seem interested. They might run over to the fancy ball you got, squeak and all, but they’ve sniffed it once and walked away. Is it something you’re doing wrong, or do you have a super low-energy dog? Well, there could be a few great explanations for this, and ways you can easily have them zipping around for hours in no time!

Continue reading to learn how to make your dog love their new toy.

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The 5 Ways to Make Your Dog Fall in Love With Their New Toy

1. Fill It with Treats

Image By: anetapics, Shutterstock

One surefire way to at least get your dog more interested in their new toy is to fill it with their favorite treats. If they seem interested in their Kong but don’t seem to stick around long enough, try filling it with peanut butter or their favorite treats! When dogs see that they get something yummy from playing with their toys, they are more incentivized to use it. There are many different toys to choose from as well, like treat dispenser balls and pet puzzles.

Pros
  • Great way to give treats
  • Reusable
  • Long-lasting
Cons
  • Messy cleanup
  • Could overeat

2. Get Excited

Another great way to get your dog excited about their toys is for you to be excited too! When you buy them a new toy, introduce it to them with excitement to show that it’s something positive. Present it as a great new activity for both you and the dog, rather than come in from the pet store and throw it in with the rest of their toys. Your dog may not notice it, or not recognize it as anything special.

Bring the toy in with a smile on your face, wave it around in front of them a few times, and show them that it’s a new present for them.

Pros
  • Fun for you
  • Better engagement
  • Positive reinforcement
Cons
  • Can spoil your dog
  • Can teach bad behaviors (i.e., coming home = new toy)

3. Interact with Them

Dog playing with his fleece toy
Image By: Josh Sorenson, Pexels

Interacting with your dog and their new toy means rather than laying out a bunch of toys and leaving them to it, try playing with them right away. Interact with your dog by bringing their new rope out in the backyard and playing tug of war. Or play fetch with their ball after letting them sniff it and getting acquainted quickly. Show them that this is a fun way to play with you and that it’s a positive way to bond and build your relationship.

Pros
  • Builds relationship
  • Interactive play
Cons
  • Could build on bad behavior

4. Use It as a Reward

A great way to get your dog to love his new toy would be to present it to them as a reward. You can bring in your toy and even hide it for a while rather than give it to them right away. Wait until they listen to a command, or use it in training, then give it to them as positive reinforcement. You can use a toy that dispenses treats so they recognize it as something they get when they’ve been a good dog.

Pros
Cons
  • Might be expected

5. Find the Right One

white dog playing puzzle toy
Image By: Lenti Hill, Shutterstock

Sometimes when it comes to new toys, the reason your dog might not love it right away could be because it just isn’t the toy for them. It can take some trial and error to find what suits your dog’s play style, personality, or energy level. For example, maybe you have a dog with a bit of an aggressive personality who chews on your shoes, then getting them a chew toy might counteract your intentions. Try turning to something that will positively reroute their behavior.

Pros
  • Supports good behavior
  • Helps to find a lifelong favorite
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Time-consuming

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Conclusion

Finding a way to get your dog to love their new toys can be a process. Whether they seem to turn their nose (or snout) up to the expensive, high-end, and highly rated toys or seem to destroy some way too easily, it could all come down to the one you’re choosing or how you give it to them.

Be patient with your dog and try not to force toys on them or throw them in a pile with the rest. Learn their behavior patterns to find out which toy will work best for them.

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Featured Image Credit: Alena Veasey, Shutterstock

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