The Toy Box

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dog toy box

The following has been adapted from material on the ASPCA pro website.

A toy box provides the opportunity for dogs and puppies to experience the opportunity to make meaningful choices.
Rotating toys through the kennels is an easy way to make kennel life more interesting for animal centre dogs. You can provide even more interest and entertainment for dogs and puppies by offering them their own toy box to choose from.

  • Plastic milk crate, cardboard box, or other container
  • A variety of dog toys, rubber bones, balls, plush toys, etc.
  • Other chewables, a stuffed KONG®, or treat dispensing toys
  • A few treats
What to do:
  1. Place toy box in kennel with a range of toys and treats to choose from. The act of helping themselves to something in the toy box is in itself enriching.
  2. Rotate toys once daily or more frequently if you have the time. For example, in addition to swapping toys during cleaning, you can replace the toys a second time when dogs leave their kennels for daily exercise. That way, when they return to the kennel, they find a surprise waiting for them.
  3. Hide a treat under toys to make the experience more engaging for the dog.

light bulb iconAn enrichment schedule can be very helpful! It allows you to:

  • Track the rotation of toys so that all dogs see a different toy each day. Staff or volunteers can swap out toy boxes as part of their daily kennel care and cleaning schedule
  • Record individual preferences and needs of each individual dog. Remember that it’s not enrichment if the dog doesn’t interact with the toy. If a dog doesn’t show interest in a certain toy or type of toy, remove it and try a different one

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