Resources For families with dogs and babies!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dog toy vs. baby toy? Avoiding the confusion.

Every family asks me how to avoid toy confusion once a baby arrives. There are many ways to do this.
1. Provide your dog with a very limited number of toys that are available at any given time to them and name them. Ex. My shepherd only had his ball. I could always say Moose....go get your ball and he would be hunt for that one ball. This is a huge benefit as nothing else was an option...only his ball.
2. You can use a scent to identify the baby toys from the dog's. Reward the dog for choosing their toy vs. the baby's toy. This is good in theory but....I have not found it as practical as it sounds. This requires a great deal of consistency, patience and time to build the association with the scent.
3. Identify and know what textures your dog likes and plan accordingly when you purchase your baby toys. Choose toys that do not have the same high value textures.
4. Management.....Keep high value textures and interesting new items out of reach. it will be awhile before baby will be exploring on the floor. This will allow the items to be in the home and to not smell so new to your dog once they do hit floor level.
5. Get only toys that are nothing like kid toys.
This brings me to a neat toy I found today created locally. I believe in promoting other neat creative ideas and this is one of them. The Dog Nasty Dog toy My female shepherd/husky mix loves stuffed toys but they don't last long! So, needless to say we do not purchase them often for this very reason. Why bother. We also stopped purchasing them prior to the arrival of our daughter being born in an effort to decrease her interest in stuffed animals in anticipation of the confusion. The texture and durability of this toy is very good as well as the overall concept being quite unique. I love the fact that this toy can be washed and reused and stuffed within itself to create new shapes and sizes for your dog to enjoy. You can make a more compact toy or a loose toy they can shake like crazy and toss about. My 4 dogs enjoy the challenge of getting their kibble out and believe it or not it has survived! So, if you are the proud parent of a dog that enjoys a soft plush toy....I highly recommend checking this one out as it is not quite like the others and does not look like a kids toy! It truly is a dog toy and one with a great history behind it.

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