I’m beginning to run a series of experiments.*
First: a pile of beloved furry tug toys.
The winner had already been selected from the pile:
How is this toy different?
- Novelty! This fox was a Gotcha Day present last month, and Nala has only gotten to play with it a few times. (Actually, I let her pick this toy out in the store herself–does she remember? Did that affect her choice?)
- Animal shaped and floppy! This toy has appendages, a face, and a furry tail. Nala loves doing victory laps while performing killing shakes of toys, and I guess getting hit in the face by legs is a bonus.
- Fake fur instead of sheepy goodness.
- SQUEAKERS! There’s at least one squeaker in the toy’s body, and another in it’s floppy, fuzzy tail.
Initially, this choice broke my heart a little–she picked the toy that allows her to just run off and squeak and eviscerate the toy by herself? Is playing with me not worth anything?
Then Nala made a choice that mended my heart right up:
I’ll be doing more toy tests, going forward, but I definitely have some useful information: squeakers are king, but even squeakers are more fun with my company and help. I see more floppy, fuzzy, squeaky toys in Nala’s future, especially since one of our goals, once the weather cools off, will be to transfer some our play skills to the world outside of our house and yard.
*I’ve been meaning to get a better sense of what Nala’s toy preferences really are, and a post on one of my dog fora the other day inspired me to finally get started!
What’s your dog’s favorite toy? Why do they love it so?