How to teach a rescue dog to play with toys – Simples Steps

Create a positive environment

Give your dog a comfortable and safe space to explore and play. Remove any distractions or potential stressors that may hinder their ability to focus on the toys.

Choose the right toys

Select toys that are appropriate for your dog’s size, age, and preferences. Different dogs have different preferences, so offer a variety of toys such as plush toys, chew toys, puzzle toys, tug toys, squeaky toys, or interactive toys to see what captures their interest.

Introduce the toys gradually

Begin by introducing one toy at a time to prevent overwhelming your dog. Place the toy near them and allow them to sniff and investigate it. Encourage positive associations by praising and rewarding them with treats or verbal praise when they show any interest or interaction with the toy.

Play together

Dogs often learn by observing and imitating. Demonstrate how to play with the toy by engaging in interactive play. Tug-of-war or fetch games can be great ways to spark their interest and teach them how to interact with toys. Be patient and give them time to understand the game.

Incorporate training commands

Integrate basic training commands, such as “take it” or “drop it,” while playing with toys. Use these commands to teach your dog how to interact with the toys appropriately and encourage positive behavior during playtime.

Make it rewarding

Associate playtime with positive experiences. Offer treats, praise, or a favorite food item as a reward when your dog shows interest or engages with the toy. This positive reinforcement will create a positive association with playing and motivate your dog to continue exploring and interacting with toys.

Be patient and consistent

Every dog learns at their own pace, so it’s crucial to be patient throughout the training process. Consistency is key to reinforcing desired behaviors. Set aside regular play sessions each day to help your dog establish a routine and develop a stronger bond with their toys.

Gradually increase difficulty

Once your dog is comfortable playing with basic toys, you can gradually introduce more challenging toys or puzzle games. These toys can provide mental stimulation and help build problem-solving skills.