We all remember when the Joker saw all the great stuff that Batman had and wondered “Where does he get those wonderful toys?!”. Just like all of us, no matter what age, we all love toys. They allow us to escape from “real life” for a moment and enter a land of imagination and endless possibilities.
Toys are a tool of escapism for us. They allow us to act out situations without the burden of consequences. With that said, we all know that they are just “toys” and anything we may do with them have no meaning in “the real world”. Again, they are “just for fun”.
When we give our dogs toys, they do not reflect escapism or actions without consequences. Our dogs have no concept of toys. Although we may call them such, they are simply “stuff” to our dogs. They are used passively or actively in our interactions with our dogs.
Whatever we do with toys regarding our dogs, they consider our actions as part of our continued social engagement with them. This changes the entire scope of how we must view the use of toys with our dogs. They are not just fun things. They are tools that help us determine our relationship with our dogs.
With that said, it doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun with our dogs when engaging them with toys. What we need to understand is what are the appropriate toys to use with our dogs.
Robin and I have a great dog training article that explains all of this. Please take a moment to read our dog training blog titled “What Toys Are Good for My Dog”.