Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Importance of a Good Toy Collection

So a couple weeks ago, the Hubster and I were lamenting Hurley's love of shoes. And socks.  And undies.  And anything else small enough for him to grab and do the Contraband Dash back to a kennel.  As we were wondering how we could solve this without just being the most immaculate housekeepers in the entire world and always leaving doors closed, I looked around.  Hmmm...somehow along the way, all of Hurley's puppy toys had found their way to the trash bin.  While we had plenty of kongs of various sorts and tennis balls, our toy selection was rather sparse.  And the size of a puppy's toy collection is directly proportionate to how much trouble they get in.  More toys = less trouble.  It's kind of sad that a dog store owner like myself, who prides herself on carrying the best selection of toys around, allowed her own puppy's toys to be whittled down to nothing.  What kind of momma am I??

The next day I headed home with a new assortment of toys and a cute little basket for them to go in.

Overnight the shoe stealing stopped.  Completely stopped.  Before, he stole our shoes on a daily basis.  I have caught him with all of two shoes in the last couple weeks.

The first few days we had the new toy basket, he was slightly confused by the basket itself.  Not understanding that all of this treasure was really his, he would grab one and do the Contraband Dash back to a kennel.  After a few days, he settled into the realization that it really truly was all his and now he and Maggie have the best of times playing bitey mouth over their abundance of toys. 

P.S.  For those unfamiliar with puppy antics, the Contraband Dash goes something like this:  Puppy gets something he thinks or knows he should not have.  He tucks his tail, lowers his butt and does a mad dash towards his "safe zone".  This can be a bed, blanket, kennel or even the back yard.  Somewhere where he *mistakenly* believes he may enjoy his stolen contraband in private, at least at first.  See, the thing with puppies is that as soon as they realize they are always going to get caught, then enjoying the stolen contraband no longer is the point of the mad dash.  Getting chased now becomes the game.  And then the end of every Contraband Dash concludes with the puppy standing triumphantly over his stolen goods, waiting for you, his trained beast, to come a-running.  That, my friends, is the Contraband Dash.


  1. Oh I see! I didn't realize the contraband dash had a name! :) What are Hurley and Maggie's favorite toys? I am always on the lookout for the coolest new toys!

  2. The Contraband Dash makes me laugh every time. It's the butt tuck that does me in. :)

    The dogs love any toy they can destroy; I do not. So we've compromised on the following selection that both of us can enjoy:

    Planet Dog's Orbee on a Rope and Recycle Ball. The Recycle Ball is great for dogs who love to fetch but tend to destroy their tennis balls. And Hurley's favorite toy is anything on a rope. He loves to carry them around and try to beat his sisters up with them.

    A Cheerful Pet's Tugzee - 6 feet of tug fun. And if 6 feet are too much for you, their Tugzee for 2 is a lot shorter. The best part of these boiled wool toys is that as your dog starts to shred them, just put it in water and wash & dry. The felted wool will pull back together, giving you a toy that's as good as new.

    I am also a huge fan of fleece toys; I found the one pictured above on etsy. Their shop is called Pittador Pets.

  3. I have also been neglecting adding to the toy collection. Sinatra is a Destroyer of Toys, and it seems senseless to keep fueling the fire until he goes to a new home.

    Side note- The first picture of Hurley looks just like my friend's Cane Corso. I'm adding that to my breed ingredient list for Hurley.

  4. Wow, that's pretty amazing! I thought a dirty sock was always preferable to any number of shiny new toys--but apparently your pup is more well-behaved than certain others!

  5. The dogs have a bin of toys and that still does not stop Delilah from weaving her trail of destruction.

    Word on the street is she is making her own agility course at daycare today. :-)

  6. Our pooches aren't as into toys (except for Mr. B and his stuffies, but only he gets to touch those) so I think we might be in for another refill for foster dog Levi. Except he keeps getting bored and choosing new toys every few minutes. I think we just need to do more rotating.

  7. @ Of Pitbulls - I googled images of Cane Corso's just cause I wasn't that familiar. Yup, another Hurley possibility. He's the dog of all dogs, I've come to conclude. As an aside, it is absolutely shameful all the ear-docking that goes on. :(

    @ Kirsten & Jodi - One way we have lucked out with Hurley is that so long as he is occupied with his sisters and his toys, he hasn't been really destructive. He doesn't destroy toys and Maggie is so pre-occupied keeping toys away from him that she doesn't have time to destroy them either.

    @ Two Pitties - Sadie, our getting-there Elderbull has zero interest in toys like Miss M. She did get a bit of an interest at first with Hurley but she's back to prefer a nap and a cuddle.