I’m still learning what kind of toys Makiko likes and what ones are good for her. GDB sent us home with three: a kong, a nylabone, and a tug of war toy. Before we went on a long car trip to Colorado I bought her a different kind of tug of war toy and a circular cool textured nylabone. I had also bought her a different colored Kong after hers kept disappearing. So this is what we think of all of them:
Kong: Makiko loves her Kong, even if I don’t have anything inside of it just throwing it around is really fun to her. The other day though I put a little peanut butter around the sides of it, put a few kibble inside, filled it with water and froze it overnight. The next day she played with it for a little over an hour. It was great fun! I find this a great way to really reward her after she has been out all day with me and/or after doing really amazing work.
Regular Bone Shaped Nylabone: This is a great toy. I have an extra that I bought at GDB. The one that she came home with has gotten chewed quite a bit but the person who did our field visit said I don’t really have to worry until she chews it down way more or there are super sharp edges. This is good for her just to take when she has to kind of be calm but still wants a toy. I was watching a show with my roommate the other day and I was laying on the bean bag. Makiko was laying on top of me chewing on her Nylabone. It was great.
Tug of War Toy from GDB: This toy would be great for Makiko if she actually wanted to play tug with it most of the time. However, she really likes just to chew on it and that has started to become a problem. It has two straps on either end of it for the human to gold while they play tug of war with the dog. The center is this fabric with stuffing in the center. Makiko likes to just chew it to where the stuffing starts to come out and one time she choked on it a bit. She hasn’t since. This tends to be the toy that she goes towards though so I’m hoping I can find something similar but that won’t be dangerous. When we were at my aunt’s in Colorado, her schnauzer’s toy basket had some stuffed animal type toys that Makiko found fun but she was too rough with them so I’m not quite sure what a similar toy is that I would get to replace this. I’m thinking though.
Tug of War Toy from PetSmart: I thought because the center of this one was plastic it would work out a lot better. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case and I did end up throwing this one out. She started to chew the plastic to where little corners would come off and she would ingest the green plastic. She had some indigestion/diarrhea issues after that. So I hid it and let her play with other toys and she never seemed to have a problem with missing it.
Circular Textured Nylabone: This is right up there with the regular nylabone. She loves to just chill and chew on this, often while cuddling with me. I really like this toy.
At my apartment now that I have a roommate, under one of the end tables that has our living room lamps there is an open cabinet area. I have started putting all of Makiko’s toys there and she knows that when it’s chill time she can go get a toy out of there. It’s so fun for her to dig for the toy she wants right then. Unfortunately a lot of times she goes for the tug of war toy that I don’t really want her playing with that much but when she does I watch her closely. At some point when it really gets damaged I’ll just throw it away when she’s not looking but for now I don’t “have the heart” to do that because it hasn’t been dangerous to her yet.
The Kong Tracker… it needs to be invented. As I mentioned above, Makiko LOVES playing with her kong. I try to use the red kong most of the time so I have at least some chance at finding it. However she’ll be playing with it and sometimes I’ll be doing something else and then she’ll come over to me without the Kong. I’ll tell her to find her toy and she can’t find it. So then I’ll have to go looking under the couch, behind the chair, etc. to find the Kong. This happened just a few days ago and I was sitting there thinking about how a Kong tracker would really be beneficial, haha.
Here are pictures of the two toys from PetSmart. The other ones I’ve posted in blogs from when I was at training: