Who Owns the Dog Toys?


Who Owns the Dog Toys?You might think I’m going to be talking about dominance or toy possession, but what’s really on my mind today is the perception of who owns the dogs toys. If that sounds a bit confusing, let me explain.

Here’s a common routine that tends to happen on nights when I’m particularly tired. Haley arrives at my side with a toy. I smile at her and say, “In a little bit,” which means the same thing as when a mom says, “In a minute,” to their child. My oldest son used to ask me, “Is that a real minute or a mom’s minute?” haha! Anyway, Haley will disappear with the toy after a few moments and then return with a different one. If I don’t respond, she’ll try yet another toy until I’m so amused with her method of trying to tempt me with toys, I surrender the laptop and get down on the floor to play with her.

The reverse scenario can happen too. If Haley’s in a lazy mood and I try to entice her with a toy, I may have to try a couple of different toys before I peak her interest. This sometimes makes me wonder how she perceives the toys. Does she know the toys belong to her or does she think the toys are mine when she teases me to play? After all, she watches me carefully select them when we’re at the pet store. I check their squeakers and make sure they pass my inspection for durability. I also rotate the toys occasionally and keep the extra ones in a zippered bag inside my closet.

When Haley brings me a toy and I don’t respond right away, maybe she thinks, “Mom’s not in the mood to play with her rope toy today but I’ll see if she’s interested in her stuffed rabbit.” When I start to play, maybe she’s amused by how silly I am when playing with my toys and how funny it is to watch me chase her around the dining room table trying to reclaim my squeaky ball. When her eyes light up, she might be laughing on the inside about how gullible I am when I’m getting teased with one of my toys as I try to snatch it away.

So Really, Who Owns the Dog Toys?

I can only answer that question by saying that deep inside that zippered bag of toys inside my closet is one very special dog toy, a black and white cow. You see, Haley’s first toy when she was a puppy was a miniature version of this exact cow. Dog Cow ToyShe loved it so much but it met an early demise from those sharp puppy teeth. Years later, I was thrilled to find a bigger version of the same toy at a nearby store. I was so excited to find it but not nearly as excited as Haley was to see it again. I swear she remembers the toy from her puppyhood and every time I unzip the bag of toys, she forces her head deep inside, rummages around and emerges with the cow as her favorite toy from the bag. The problem is, I’m very sentimental about the cow so I usually don’t let her play with it very long. It may sound a little morbid, but it was her first toy and maybe I also want it to be her last. So, I’ll let Haley own all the other toys and I’ll own this one…at least for now.

These are just a few of my random, silly thoughts when I try to think from Haley’s perspective. Over the years, I’ve been able to solve a lot of training and behavioral issues by putting myself in her four-footed shoes and trying to see things from her point of view but sometimes it’s just amusing to imagine what she might be thinking.

Who owns the dog toys in your house? Do you ever have fun trying to think from your dog’s perspective?

45 Comments on “Who Owns the Dog Toys?”

    • Hi Elaine,

      I’mm not ‘hopping’ tonight – doing some writing instead as I’ve been falling behind with my new effort.
      I love the idea that dogs have ‘favourite toys.’ I see this quite often with the dogs I walk, especially big Benji, the boxer. His is a plastic, squeaky Christmas tree – must be something to do with the shape I reckon.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Thanks for stopping by Colin and good luck with the writing. Let me know if you have a new book or project coming out soon. ?

    • Bailie is our toy lover, and she has a couple favorites. I have my Bunny, and that is the only one. Now that you mention this you have us wondering. We also love to show off our toy or a stick if we find one, but we never thought of it as tempting Mom because it might be hers. Very thought provoking angle!

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        That bunny must be very special to be your only toy, Emma. I think your other toys might be those pesky squirrels, lol!

    • oh my dog
      Cole loves his fleece ball, the one in tatters, the one repaired and re squeakered so many times I have little fabric left. It is the one he goes for each time I put it away. He owns it.
      LeeAnna at not afraid of color

    • Harley was never one to favor a toy – to be honest – he’s never really played with toys much. Leo and Jaxson love toys, and they both had/have their special toys to drag all around the house. I love their individual styles.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        That’s so interesting about Harley. Is he more of a socializer with other dogs and people? It’s funny how they can be so different with their personalities and preferences.

    • In our house most of the toys are Bailey’s. He will try to push a few toys until he finds one that primes the human to play. Katy does have a couple that are “her” toys, but she uses those mostly to get Bailey’s attention when he’s ignoring her.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        I bet it’s so amusing when Bailey does that. When Haley baits me with toys, sometimes I’ll pick the squeakiest one if it’s been a stressful day, haha!

    • What a sweet post, especially how Haley tries different toys to entice you to play, that must be just adorable & so funny! What a doll she is! I’m pretty sure my Husky thinks she owns all the toys, much to the dismay of my other dog.
      Love & Biscuits,
      Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Haha! I can imagine Icy gathering up all of the toys. Poor Phoebe will have to take a course in assertiveness training. ?

    • Good question, and I don’t know! I guess they probably don’t think much about “who” owns the toys? That is adorable that Haley brings you different toys until she thinks she’s found one that makes you interested. So adorable! Haha!

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        I have to admit, some toys are more adorable than others and when I’m stressed out, it feels pretty good to take it out on the squeakiest toy in her basket, haha!

    • Rita doesn’t seem to have a favorite toy. So cute that Hailey dives in the bag for her favorite. I think Rita knows her toys are HERS because I have some stuffed dogs (that really look no different from some of her stuffed toys) and they are on a shelf within her reach, but she never tries to pull them down. She’ll ocassionally sniff at them, but that’s it. Same with her angel sister’s toy rabbit which she could totally grab if she wanted to – but I think she knows it’s not hers.

      And, yes, the hubs and I always try to figure out what the dog is thinking. 🙂

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Aw, Rita’s such a good girl and so respectful of things that don’t belong to her. It would be interesting to know what they’re thinking, at least most of the time. I do get that occasional dirty look from Haley, haha! ?

    • Buzz is the toy lover in our pack! His favorite ones are the chuck-it balls, followed closely by balls from COLLAR. Missy doesn’t care too much about toys – she’ll grab one out of our toy chest every now & then and carry it around the house for a little while, but then she just drops it and leaves it behind. Until Mommy picks it up and puts it back in the chest 😉

      While Buzz can busy himself playing ball FOREVER, Missy is equally happy getting her belly or chest rubbed or simply hanging out on the couch next to me. So interesting how different the pups are, although they’re brother & sister from the same litter.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        It’s fascinating how different Buzz and Missy are. I wonder how much of it is the male/female difference and how much is just their unique personalities.

    • I can’t tell you how many times I’ve moved to get up from the couch or a chair and spilled dozens of tiny toys onto the floor. Sinead tucks toys around me and under me and beside me, without making a sound or touching me at all. I think she wants to play, but she also might be trying to barricade me with stuffies!

      Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Oh my gosh, Sinead is so funny!! ? I’m imagining one of those group pictures of stuffed animals with someone’s real head in the middle of the bunch. Maybe that’s what she’s trying to create, haha!

    • Ruby has a very special toy called “purple man”. It’s basically looks like a purple ginger man cookie shape – the face and details are gone. When we adopted Ruby a few years ago, her foster parents bought her purple man. She arrived with purple man and was so attached to him. It was her first toy and still is her favorite. The first half of her life was rough and she was severely neglected. I imagine (and maybe I am reading into this too much) that purple man was her very first toy of her very own and that’s why he is so special to her.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Aw, that’s so sweet! I’m glad she still has purple man and maybe you’re right. Maybe it was her very first toy. ?

    • So cute.

      Mia doesn’t have a favorite indoor toy, but every now and then, she picks up whatever’s nearby and squeaks her little heart out. Mia owns all the toys. Even the ones we meant to give Leo.

    • Hi Elaine! I love this post…especially because I can relate to it. I talk to both my girls like they are children anyway, so I try to think like they do every single day! LadyBug has never shown any interest in toys whatsoever…and she is a rescue so I do not know what her former life was like. Chloe has her favorite teeny, tiny squirrels that live in a tree trunk…but as she is now 12 years old…her love of toys has dwindled. It is so sad to see my girls get older. Wouldn’t it be great if our furry kids lived longer!

      • I know what you mean, Jeanne. It’s hard to watch them get a little older but then there’s also something really special about senior dogs. They’re so easy to be with and comfortable with life. It kind of reminds me of how old, married couples feel about each other, lol.

      • It’s interesting how some toys motivated them more than others. I’m guessing Mr. N probably loves the squeaky toys.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        I think I read about that before, where some female dogs will substitute a toy for a puppy during a false pregnancy.

    • Unfortunately, Mary is not a toy dog. We are working on that however. Now that she is a senior, the best I have been able to do is have some interaction with puzzle games. She’s not quite as sharp as she once was, but I suppose when I get to 91 years old I might not be as sharp either. I am sometimes doubtful about it now BOL! We have recently started a little hide and seek game. Toys are a no go, but the games seem to be working. So I’m happy with that 🙂

    • You would think I had small children, I have puppy toys all over my house. She’s now learning how to pull toys out of her toy bin…I wish she knew how to put them back.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Oh my gosh, I know exactly what you mean, lol! I think we have toys in every room of our house right now. Picking up the toys is one trick I haven’t taught Haley yet, but I think I should start working on that one! Thanks for stopping by. ?

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