Toys are essential for your dog and should be offered from a very young age. Toys are especially important for puppies because they help them develop social skills and promote independence.
Developing physical abilities
A simple ball toy will help your puppy become more agile and practice different movements, thereby promoting muscle and skeletal development. If your puppy is the only pet in your household, playing with a ball can replace the games he used to play with his mother and siblings. A ball can be used in many different ways: a game of fetch, rolling it around the yard, jumping around to catch it, or simply letting your puppy play by himself. Make sure that your puppy doesn’t damage or destroy the ball, otherwise he may swallow small pieces and possibly choke on them. Other toys that may also help develop your puppy’s physical abilities can be found in specialty stores or online.
Developing social skills
You may have already noticed that dogs love to play, regardless of their age. Starting when they are very young, puppies amuse themselves by scratching, play-biting, sniffing around: they are discovering their environment using their senses and learning about the world around them. When playing with their siblings or with other animals, they may get reprimanded by their playmates if the play goes too far. Barking and growling are means to communicate so that they learn the limits to social interactions.
Toys are not always necessary for puppies to learn how to behave in social settings, unless your puppy spends alot of time alone. Toys can keep your puppy entertained when you are not home, but they cannot replace social contact. Combine playtime with training sessions. This way, your puppy can learn the right behaviours when interacting with people.
Reducing stress and aggressive behaviours
Bouncing balls and chew toys can be very helpful to decrease your pet’s stress. Play with him regularly, particularly if your dog spends alot of time alone. Some aggressive behaviours can be related to frustration or boredom, and play can help your pet expend excess energy and relieve stress. These types of games can be very useful for growing puppies with boundless energy.
Promoting behavioural well-being
A simple chew toy or squeaker can be a great companion for your puppy. Watch how he can play with the same toy for days in a row!
Your puppy needs to play every day as these games are essential to his behavioural development. Try out different types, shapes, and textures, and you will soon notice that your puppy has particular favourite toys. Spend time together playing, and build the bond that will last a lifetime. Offer him toys to keep him occupied when you must leave the house. These toys will keep him busy, and therefore less likely to make a mess.
A simple game
Have fun by holding a ball in your hand as your puppy tries to catch it. Every once in awhile, let your puppy catch the ball and praise him. This simple game can be an early introduction to training.
Your veterinarian can give you more great tips on how to play with your puppy, and can help you choose the best toys for puppies of his breed and personality.