5 Great Dog Toys Your Greyhound Will Love
How to Pick the Perfect Toy
Whether you're looking for a great new dog toy to amuse your own beloved greyhound, or a gift for a new owner, here's an easy way to make sure to choose the right plaything for this unique breed.
Tap into his deepest canine instincts to pick out the toys he'll truly love!
If you consider the background and physical characteristics of the sighthound, chasing prey is his whole reason for being.
This is even more true for greyhounds than with many other dogs. Give him something to chase or something that looks like a critter he'd catch in the wild, and you're on a roll.
Play Into its Nature
What is a greyhound born to do?
In the wild, many many generations back, the greyhound would run, chase, hunt in a pack of other hounds, speed across the open savannah after small prey . . . take apart the captured critter . . . eat . . . then sleep.
And as a retired racer, that's pretty much what he was raised and trained to do in his previous life, isn't it? Only, on a track and with a fake bunny.
So, there's your clue — the perfect toys are the ones that remind him of prey.
Here are five ideas for types of toys that are most popular with the retired racing greyhounds I've trained and loved—both my own and the various foster dogs who have lived with us.
Which of these pup-approved toys will win the heart of your hound?
#1: Soft Dog Toy
You saw this one coming . . .
Greyhounds love stuffed toys of any kind, and a one with a stuffed rabbit is just classic. This will ignite their prey instinct!
It's almost like American Classic had a greyhound in mind when they designed these toys. They are soft and cute and fairly realistic.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) licensed American Classic large rabbit has been one of our top toys for ages.
Sadly, the rabbit is so popular that it goes in and out of supply faster than a greyhound can chase a bunny . . . but I'm certain your dog will find a realistic AKC plush squirrel, duck, or one of the other toys an acceptable alternative for prey play if you can't score a rabbit.
When it comes to choosing a brand, I also have only good things to say about any of the Jakks Pacific dog toys my greyhounds and their furry friends have enjoyed.
Squeaking Plush Dog Toys
They also like soft fluffy toys with squeakers. Of course you will supervise your hound when he's playing with a squeaky stuffy since any dog who is determined enough can get that squeaker out.
Plush squeakies are not chew toys! If your hound is super-destructive with his toys, though, you may want to look for a no-stuffing plush toy (see below) or check out Furballz, a fluffy ball-shaped toy which is designed to be extra tough.
I recommend standing by with a camera in your hand, as there's nothing quite so funny as watching a greyhound play with a stuffed toy that squeaks, flinging it around and pouncing on it with his front feet and chomping on the toy to make it squeak, just so very delighted with his big bad doggie self - too cute! You will want to take pictures, or better yet, a video.
And here's one more I have to let you know about - the long squeaky snake.
If your greyhound loves to grab a toy and prance around with it, tossing his head as if trying to shake the life out of his plush prey, he's going to love this toy.
Its extra length seems to make our dogs feel like they're taking on a bit of a challenge in conquering this one.
Its length makes it hard to carry around without trailing and stepping on it, so one of those 6 squeakers is bound to squeak at surprising moments. This is great for the easily bored-with-toys greyhound.
Our dogs like to pounce on it with their front feet, too, trying to make it squeak.
#2: No-Stuffing Plush Dog Toys
For greyhounds who like to get right down to ripping the stuffing out of their stuffed toys before you can leap to the rescue, consider an unstuffed toy.
I have yet to meet a dog of any breed that doesn't go mad for a Skinneeez toy.
Great for greyhounds who are talented at un-stuffing a stuffed toy in no time flat, Skinneeez plush toys don't have any stuffing in them at all, so Mom and Dad don't have to worry about the toy's innards getting eaten if they turn their back for two seconds.
Floppy and fun for the dog, and easy enough to tuck one in your bag or pocket to entertain your greyhound when you're out visiting.
The little flat fox is my greyhounds' favourite, but there's an unstuffed skunk that I think might be our next one - very soft touchable plush!
In fact, there are a great many different animal shapes in the Skinneeez line of unstuffies, so you may have a very hard time picking out just one!
#3: Squeaky Tennis Balls
Squeaky tennis balls are very popular around here, both with the hounds and with the humans. They're great to chase.
They're small enough to tuck into a pocket, ready to play a game of fetch at a moment's notice - or, in the case of greyhounds, to play a game of "you throw the ball and I'll chase it and grab it and run mad high-speed circles around you as I chomp down on my trophy and enjoy the squeaking noise it makes."
Greyhound owners, you know exactly what I'm talking about here!
#4: Wild Rope Dog Toys
Rope toys in general are a good choice for greyhounds, as they are easy for them to get those narrow muzzles latched onto and are great for use in training the all-important "leave it" command. This will put your hounds hunting drive to play.
I like the Dog Toy Rag Rope Ball from Petstages because it really keeps a greyhound's interest, with lots of floppy bits that flap around when you toss the ball. Some of the pieces make an intriguing crackling noise, too, which will make those little rosette ears perk right up!
I also like that it can double as a throw toy for the greyhound with a strong chase instinct who prefers to chase down his toys rather than simply find them lying around.
Basic Rope Toys
You'd be surprised at how much a greyhound can enjoy a knotted rope, and the little strands of cotton can help clean his teeth at the same time - bonus!
I do suggest that you keep the ropes as an outdoor toy, until you see how much your greyhound throws it around.
Some dogs will lie down and chew away happily, but other dogs like to flip their rope toys in the air and send you scurrying to rescue your breakables.
One of my greyhounds seems to aim for the television, every time, so she only gets to play with the coveted rope toy when we're out in the fenced yard.
Your dog may be more calm . . . or not. Either way, these toys are a popular stand-by among greyhound owners I know, as well as in our own home, and they last practically for ever.
#5: Food-Dispensing Dog Toys
From a dog's perspective, what's not to like about the Kong Wobbler? You paw at the toy and it wobbles wildly all around in unpredictable directions, dispensing yummy treats all over the floor. Hours of fun!
If your greyhound gets bored at home while you're at work, or tends toward "separation anxiety," the Kong Wobbler is often a wonderful solution.
It's a tough and durable piece of wobbly food-dispensing fun to keep the dog from looking for ways to "get in trouble" by entertaining himself . . . like playing with your best shoes.
Now, with a greyhound who is relatively fresh off the track and still in that "spaced out" state of mind in his new home, there's a chance that the Kong Wobbler may start out just a bit weird and freaky to him.
Tip: Put a dab or two of peanut butter on the toy, and he'll soon get interested!
Easy to wash, and a very durable "interactive feeding puzzle" your greyhound will come to love.
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