With the weather getting colder and occasionally more stormy, Rawley can easily become bored while stuck indoors. So today we want to share with you a couple games that he loves to play, along with the toys that have stood the test in our household. When we first got Rawley, we assumed every single dog loves to play fetch. Well we were wrong. Throw anything, a ball outside or a toy indoors, and Rawely gets bored super fast. He may fetch it once, twice if he's really outgoing, then he's done. We learned really quickly that Rawley prefers a bit of a challenge and loves to have to seek things out. There are two games that are his all time favorites and are typically played at least once a day in our household.
Ask him if he wants to play find it and he freaks out!
When he was a puppy he was crate trained, and as he got older we wanted to allow him free range of the house when we were gone. We had read that it's typically in the first 30 minutes after you leave that you'll dog do house damage, chew the furniture and rip up a pair of shoes ~ basically as punishment for leaving them. A friend suggested to hide a couple treats around the house right when we leave, this would help distract him and keep him busy for a bit. So we gave this game a shot and it's become a favorite ever since. We started out by leaving kibbles in obvious places and as he's gotten older and smarter the game has become quite challenging. Brian and I break small milk bones in half and hide them in hard to find places ~ hidden under his blanket, behind curtains, on low shelves, in the bathtub, behind doors, under our bed, etc etc. We don't hide them in furniture cushions or anywhere that would encourage digging, but we do try to place them in not so easy to find spots. But we also take into account safety, we wouldn't want him to get hurt trying to get to one. So whether we're leaving the house for a bit, or he just needs some afternoon stimulus, we'll tell him to sit and have him stay while the pieces are hidden. Then we say Find It and he goes tearing through the house like this:
Rawley's other indoor favorite is good ole fashion Hide & Seek. It works best when Brian and I are both home. One of us hides the other stays with Rawley and counts to 10. Rawley loves this game, like over-the-moon happy! He'll methodically go through the house ~ he now knows the typical hiding spots and will check those first, Brian and I are now getting insanely creative with where we hide. I'm sure there's times when the neighbors wonder: what in the world is going on in that house?! When Rawley finds you, he lets out one bark of joy and that tail wags faster than I've ever seen! It's actually quite exhilarating, I find myself trying to stay as still as possible and holding my breath, because this pup hears EVERYTHING!
As far as toys go, I'll tell you we've just about tried it all!
For a long time we kept buying the cheap plush toys, they would only last for a few minutes as Rawley would rip them to shreds. So we've finally gotten smarter in investing more money into more durable toys. That being said, the main thing I've learned is that one toy may work great for one dog and not for another. So be sure to know what temperament and personality your dog is and unfortunately when it comes to store bought toys sometimes it's trial & error.
These are the top five store bought toys that have been the best bang for our buck!
This has been the longest lasting toy of all time in our household. And it's Rawley's favorite. All you do is unscrew the two pieces apart, insert treats, screw it back together and give it to your pup. I will make one note, we made the mistake of putting larger treats like milk bones inside, and Rawley quickly started to try to demolish the thing. So be sure to put small kibbles inside that easily dispense. Rawley will happily toss and roll this thing around the house trying to get treats to appear.
Plush toys and Rawley just don't work. He chews them up quicker than quick. That being said the one plush toy that seems to last the longest (by longest I mean 30 minutes) is this one. He gets so excited for this thing, that now when I bring one home he'll gently carry it around the house. Then after about 30 minutes he can no longer resist to tear the thing apart. If you have a dog that likes plush toys these are great. Unfortunately, Rawley only rarely gets these guys.
3. Kong Classic
Hat's off to this thing. It's strong, it lasts. Rawley's favorites are either peanut butter or american cheese placed inside. While this doesn't keep him occupied for a long period of time, it's a great way for him to get rewarded and is a great afternoon snack.
This was our most recent purchase. And I have to admit I've been passing this thing up for a long time due to the price. I just couldn't justify the cost, then a month ago Brian's cousin was gracious enough to house sit and watch Rawley. Because she saved us money from having to board Rawley, I splurged on this item for Rawley and Ava (Brian's cousin's dog) to play with. I'll admit, while pricey this thing is great. It's weighted at the bottom and forces your pup to nudge the thing around for kibbles to be dispensed. It took Rawley a bit to figure it out, but once he did he loves this thing!
This was the first toy we ever bought where we said, "Well that was worth the price". It lasted and lasted and lasted. I think for almost 18 months, which for Rawley is a lot!! Again, kibbles are inserted in each end then dispensed by dropping it or rolling it around.
Are you starting to see a habit with Rawley? If the thing gives him a treat he'll stay occupied for hours at a time :) These are just a few of the things we do to entertain our pup. We've also come up with some DIY and homemade dog toys and treats that I'll share with you another time.
What games or toys do your pups love?