There are a number of reasons your dog may bring his toys to you –
Adoration – If your dog brings you his toy and drops it at your feet but is not trying to rope you into a game, bask in his adoration for you. It’s quite a compliment to receive an ‘offering’ from a pooch and a sign of respect. If he’s brought you a toy be sure to reward him with your attention and praise.
Play – Presenting a toy is an ‘almost certain’ way to get an owner to engage in play with that toy. Whether you’ve taught him the behaviour or he has trained you well enough, this is an invitation.
Comfort – Any breed may carry a favourite toy around but herding and retrieving dogs are most commonly known for this. Dogs sometimes adopt an item as a type of ‘security blanket’.
If he cruises very close but plays ‘keep away’ with the item and doesn’t want to engage in play, he’s just showing off his prize.
On arriving home, an old dog of ours would find something (anything really – even a leaf if it was the closest thing). Whatever he grabbed would be on show as he walked around us to greet. A dog having a toy in mouth when you come home is a welcome habit as it’s not usually paired with jumping on anyone. If a dog finds it difficult to contain his excitement as his owner arrives, a toy in mouth will provide a different outlet.
Naturally, our positive reaction when the pooch brings us something special will reinforce the behavior. So whether your dog just wags his tail to say hello or brings you toys, every dog has his own greeting style.
Dog toys help alleviate boredom and give your dog a way to expend energy. They can provide entertainment, comfort, a ticket to playtime and even help satisfy prey drive. Remember to check all toys regularly for damage to help avoid trips to the vet.
Leah & Angela OMeara
Hound Dog Day Care (Specialists in Dog Minding & Dog Boarding, Pet Sitting Brisbane & Doggy Day Care Brisbane)