Wendy Elliott of San Antonio, Texas, searches the dog toy aisle at her local pet-supply store. Finding just the right toy for her 3-year-old Pug Fenway is fun, but also challenging.
He doesn’t like squeaky toys, and he is not a ball dog, she says. He is often more partial to my kids stuffed animals than some of the dog toys I buy.
But Elliott obviously enjoys searching for toys that appeal to her and her dogs unique sense of play. Oh look, a cute little stuffed hedgehog, she says. If its cute, then its appealing to me. But I also look for toys that will last and are size appropriate for a Pug. Fenway can’t play with a toy designed for a Labrador Retrievers mouth.
Thirty years ago, most dog owners were not as savvy, and dog toys reflected that less-sophisticated culture. Balls and chew toys were about it in that era. And most toys were one size fits all.
Today, toy trends follow consumer demands for high-end, high-tech toys that entertain and alleviate boredom, appeal to both people and canines, and come in as many sizes as there are dogs.
*Pick up this month’s issue of Dog Fancy for the full story.