Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Value of Toys

We live in a small apartment with a lot of electronic equipment, so it's important that Badger and Mushroom have something that they can chew on. Therefore, our floor is strewn with antlers, Nylabones, and Chew Gourmet bones. Walking through our living room without stubbing your toe on something is quite an achievement.

However, apparently not all chew toys are created equal. Even when I give Badger and Mushroom each an antler, they will decide that one of the antlers is clearly superior. They will race to the superior antler, knocking aside any humans or furniture in their way. If Mushroom gets it, Badger will grab another toy and chew on it enthusiastically. When Mushroom comes to check out what the big deal is, Badger will sneak behind her and grab the antler that he wanted all along. Then Mushroom will come over to the couch and sulk.

This big noggin is also full of brains and scheming

The game of finding the highest value chew toy is a funny one. On various occasions, we have confiscated toys because the dogs were getting too possessive. Immediately afterward, they would simply find a new "highest value" chew toy. Sometimes I wonder if a toy is only high value because the other dog wants it.

Though we have stuffed squeaky toys, we rarely take them out of the closet. Although Mushroom plays appropriately with them, Badger gets overly excited. One time he jumped over our couch while trying to get a squeaky toy.

He also gnaws excessively on them. As I was editing pictures for this blog post, Badger ripped open a squeaky toy and was eating the stuffing. We've tried teaching him appropriate toy playing skills, but every time we let him play with his stuffed squeaky toys, we'd have to take them away because he'd chewed a new hole in one.

I love you to pieces, squeaky shark! (Literally...)

I keep letting Badger have one last chance, but perhaps we really should write off stuffed squeaky toys for good.

What toys do your dogs like the most?

P.S. Thank you for all the suggestions on our previous post. We finally found the CD that came with our camera and installed the post-processing software. These photos were taken in RAW, and then I twiddled with some sliders.


  1. I love how with the 2 identical antlers...one is superior! (It sounds like me and my sister). Mr B is all about soft, plush stuffies, and Miss M likes bones (though she's not really a good chewer). I was going to tell you how great your photos look!

  2. I'm with Two Pitties...I was going to comment on how great these photos look too! The first one is awesome with Badger and the toys in the background! Love it!

    We have toy issues at our house too. They are all over the place and I trip over them all of the time. We are slowly teaching Athena how to put them back in her toy box.

    Athena often gets bored of her toys if they are left out all of the time, like her Nylabone which she used to think was the-bomb-dot-com, but now she rarely chews on it. So, we do toy rotations. Most of Athena's toys are kept up in a closet out of her reach. We will trade out her toys so that she always has a "new" toy that is exciting to play with.

    Athena reaaaallllyyyy loves stuffed toys, but she rips up every single one. Even the really tough toys, like the sharks you have, get destuffed pretty quickly. So, we don't buy those expensive ones anymore. We get pretty cheap stuffed toys that we don't care if Athena destroys. The funny thing is, Athena doesn't eat the stuffing, she just rips it all out and puts it in a pile. She will then run around and play with an unstuffed stuffie like it's the best toy on earth. We call her unstuffed stuffies her "rugs" because all that's left is a piece of fabric. These are her favorite things to fling around =)

  3. Awww, I love your dogs! :) Zoe is the same way... she'll rip up just about any stuffed or rubber toy we give her. Our best bet has also been antlers and bones. She also hasn't destroyed her Kongs.... :)

  4. Everything you wrote sounds SO familiar. My floor is covered in antlers, dog toys, cats toys and sadly, knuckle bones...but they are a favorite around here. And yes, there is always a favorite...even if it has spent 6 weeks in the corner and someone resurrects it, haha. If I give them 2 fresh bones or antlers they also swap several times, convinced the other one was actually the good one. And whoever gets theirs first, waits to see if someone better is coming along. Where is the logic?

    Love the first photo BTW!

  5. Awesome pictures!

    I have a bin of toys for Hank and generally he only takes a couple of the bin at a time. Most of the his toys stay in our room because that is where the bin is, minus balls I have them in every room in the house and found on in the dishwasher this morning and no clue how it got there...Hank likes to chew on his toys on our bed or on top of his crate which is fine until he drops said toy and it rolls under the bed. All hell breaks lose because that is the best toy every and there is no other toy like it, except for the fact that we have duplicates of almost of this toys, and he whines/barks/gets stuck under the bed trying to get his toy. We don't have much stuffies in the house, mainly because I don't like cleaning up the stuffing.

    He has also figured out where I hide his training dummies and if we leave the closet door open, he'll up the bin and get them out.

  6. That shark stuffie is very cute... our dogs have a snake that kind of looks like that, it's got a hole in it though!

  7. That first photo of Badger is stunning. You are seriously upping your photography game!

    Emily @ Our Waldo Bungie