The Best Interactive Dog Toys: Why collaborative play rules
Dogs are naturally curious and playful creatures, but they can also get bored easily. A bored dog may start to engage in destructive or problem behaviours, such as chewing on furniture or barking excessively.
But boredom is easily solved when you have interactive dog toys at hand that will perk your dog’s spirits up and give them something fun to do.
Tug-E-Nuff toys are designed to be played with together - because that’s where the magic happens. Your bond grows stronger, your training results turbocharge, and you both bask in the benefits of collaborative play.
What are interactive dog toys?
Interactive toys are designed to satisfy your dog’s natural instincts, desire for connection, and to keep their mind stimulated. Some are designed to be played with alone, but in our expert opinion the very best are created to be played with TOGETHER.
Some of the most popular interactive dog toys include:
- Puzzle toys: These toys are filled with treats or food that your dog has to work to get out. Puzzle toys help to stimulate your dog's mind and keep them occupied when you’re unable to give them attention.
- Chew toys: Chewing is a natural behaviour for dogs, so it's important to provide them with safe and durable chews or toys to satisfy this need. Natural chews can help to keep your dogs teeth clean while giving them an outlet for this natural behaviour.
- Fetch toys: Fetch is a classic game that is enjoyed by dogs of all ages. Fetch is a great way to get your dog some exercise, to work on their recall, and to build your bond. You can play fetch with a ball, a frisbee or our unique powerball tuggies.
- Tug Toys: Tug is a team sport, so it’s a brilliant way to introduce interactive play to your dog. Playing tug together is proven to make dogs more confident, more responsive to their humans, and more amenable.
- Scentwork Toys: Dog treat balls, snuffle mats and scented toys (like our sheepskin and rabbit fur tug toys) are ideal for tapping into your dog’s olfactory system and putting their nose to work.
4 reasons interactive dog toys are important
- Interactive play helps keep your dog's mind active and engaged. This can help to prevent boredom, low mood, and reduce problem behaviours.
- Interactive toys can help improve your dog's cognitive skills, enhance their problem solving abilities, and boost their confidence.
- Interactive toys help strengthen the bond between you and your dog. A strong human-dog bond is the foundation of good behaviour, solid engagement, and a desire to listen to you!
- When owners initiate play with their dogs, their dogs are proven to be more cooperative and less aggressive. You can read the study on how play affects the dominance and attachment between dogs and their humans here.
How to choose the right interactive toy for your dog
Some dogs are more interested in chasing balls, while others prefer to engage in tug of war. Some like to chase and others like to use their brains. Consider your dog's interests and preferences when choosing an interactive toy.
To find the best interactive toy for your dog, think about the things your dog naturally finds rewarding.
- Does your dog like to chase and run around? Our chaser toys will be a natural hit with your fun-loving dog.
- Does your dog have powerful jaws that they love to put to the test? Our tough tug toys with bungee handles are designed especially for strong dogs.
- Do you have a small dog who appreciates a smaller bite area - check out our top toy picks for puppies and small dogs.
- Is your dog a ball obsessed hound who can’t get enough of fetch and retrieve? Our dog ball toys take fetch to another level!
- Does your dog like to put their brain and their nose to work? Our food toys are perfect for scentwork games and mentally enriching activities.
How to use interactive toys with your dog
The best way to use interactive toys with your dog is to start slowly and gradually increase the difficulty level as your dog gets more confident playing with their new toy.
Here are a few tips for getting started with interactive toys with your dog:
- Start simple: If your dog is new to interactive toys, start with simple toys that are easy to figure out. As your dog's confidence grows you can progress to more stimulating dog toys.
- Be patient: It may take some time for your dog to learn how to play with interactive toys. Start slow and in a familiar environment free from distractions. Don't get discouraged if your dog doesn't get it right away.
- Make it fun: Interactive toys should be fun for both you and your dog. If your dog is not having fun, they are less likely to want to play. Be playful, be silly, and be enthusiastic and your dog will soon get into the swing of things.
- Praise your dog: When your dog plays with an interactive toy correctly, be sure to praise them. Positive reinforcement is the number 1 way to help your dog learn that playing with interactive toys is a good thing.
Meet the 5 best dog toys for Interactive play
1. Best Chaser Toy
Perfect for dogs with a high prey drive that LOVE to chase! Our sheepskin chaser tug toy is one of our bestsellers, said to be an utter game changer for recall around distractions.
2. Best Squeaky Dog Toy
For dogs who go crazy for the squeak, our rabbit skin squeaker will not disappoint! The scent and texture of real (responsibly sourced) rabbit fur combined with a puncture proof squeaker is a recipe for motivation that’s unmatchable!
3. Best Fetch Dog Toy
Our Pocket Powerball Bungee takes fetch to a whole new level! Your dog will love the unique dual texture and easy-grip grooves of our PowerBall toys that provide canine sensory stimulation, dual play opportunities and hours of fetching fun.Unlike conventional tennis balls, our PowerBall is made with non-toxic and non-abrasive materials, making it the ultimate choice for ball lovers everywhere. It’s tuggable, bounceable and perfectly weighted for throwing.
4. Best Strong Dog Toy
Meet The Big Twizzler, our biggest and toughest dog toy ever! It boasts tightly hand-braided strands made of resilient faux fur and fleece, giving the toy an exceptionally alluring texture.
This tuggy is designed to satisfy even the largest and most enthusiastic dogs. It’s a champion pick for teaching recall, engaging in exciting chase games, and it’s the ultimate interactive reward during training.
5. Best Small Dog Toy
Our Rabbit Pocket Squeaker goes down a treat with small dogs. It’s perfectly sized to take everywhere and has the same enticing rabbit fur and puncture proof squeaker as the longer chaser version.
It’s small enough for diddy jaws and exciting enough to encourage hours of interactive play with your little one. Yep, small dogs get a buzz out of tugging too.
6. Best Food Toy
Have you met the Clam yet?! It was our best selling toy at Crufts this year - it positively flew off the shelves! This interactive dog treat ball might look simple, but it unlocks a wealth of play opportunity…..
From scentwork games to fetch, to confidence building games and more - The Clam holds the secret to interactive play for foodie dogs. Pop your slow feeder to one side and give your dog something special to get excited about!
7. Best Outdoor Dog Toy
You probably know that playing with your dog on walkies will be beneficial for both of you. But if the idea of carrying your dog’s favourite toy with you puts you off, then let us introduce you to the Pocket Fauxtastic!
This small yet mighty tug toy is perfectly sized to slip in your pocket for interactive play on the go. Its bright fleece bite area is easy to clean, so you don’t have to worry about mud, slobber or dirt.
And above all, it’s tough, durable and captivating enough to hold your dog's attention even around the most exciting distractions!
Final top tips for unleashing interactive play
Interactive dog toys are a great way to keep your dog entertained, banish boredom. By following these tips, you can choose the right interactive toys for your dog and help them to have hours of fun.
Here are some additional tips for keeping your dog from getting bored:
- Take your dog for walks or play fetch in the park. Exercise is a great way to tire your dog out and prevent boredom.
- Give your dog plenty of mental stimulation. This could include training, playing games, or hiding treats around the house for your dog to find.
- Spend time with your dog. This could mean playing with them, cuddling with them, or just talking to them.