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How to Entertain a Dog Without Toys

How to Entertain a Dog Without Toys?

Dogs love toys. It nourishes and engages them. What if your dog hates toys? You might be worried that your pet has lost interest in toys, but there are other ways to keep him or her occupied. Additionally, if you want to unleash your dog or cat’s “inner puppy,” get creative with a toy.

What do you do if your dog doesn’t enjoy playing with toys? Add some fun to your regular dog activities by using toys.
  • Take your dog to the dog park and play with some fetch or tug toys.
  • Take some floating toys with you next time you go for a swim.
  • Try stuffing toys with delectable snacks.
  • In order to pique your dog’s interest and keep his attention, try playing with him some toys that move or make noise.
  • Take a seat and give your dog a break while you work on a puzzle toy for him. Inspire your canine companion to come along.

Let’s look at how to entertain dogs that don’t enjoy toys. How to keep your dog busy and engaged. We’ll also discuss how to get him/her interested in toys again, especially if he/she liked them as a puppy.

Continue reading to learn how to entertain a dog who doesn’t enjoy toys.

How Do You Entertain A Dog Who Isn’t Into Toys?

Make Mundane Activities More Interesting

I’ve compiled a list of activities that will keep your little one engaged and entertained.

Play While Walking

If your dog doesn’t like toys or treats, take them for a stroll. Any dog can enjoy walking. A walk might be enough stimulation for a dog, so they don’t require toys.

If your dog is young and doesn’t like toys at home, a walk may be the best opportunity to introduce them (and exercise). Catch, fetch, and tug toys can add fun to a dog walk.

Take Fido to the Dog Park

Dog parks are secure places for canines to mingle and exercise. If your dog isn’t interested in toys, try the dog park. This will keep your dog active and busy for hours while he or she checks out the area and other animals. When dogs get along with other dogs, it can be fun.

Pet Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are fun activities for dogs. Hide treats for your pet to locate. Mix easy and hard-to-find sites. This will entertain and stimulate your pet.

A dog that doesn’t like toys can still be kept busy with scavenger hunts around the house. Dogs have their own version of the treat-hiding area rugs. You can encourage your dog to snuffle with this method.

Giving Your Dog a Bone

It should come as no surprise that canines generally have a strong preference for dietary treats. Why not get your dog a bone or chew instead of a toy? Your pet will be entertained for hours as he or she attempts to crack open the bone to get the tasty marrow inside.

Introduce them to canine athletics.

It is possible to maintain your dog’s fitness, mental health, and sense of stimulation with a variety of outdoor “sports” activities. A dog with a higher degree of fitness will benefit more from these activities. The final two recommendations assume that you, the dog owner, are relatively fit.

Disc sports such as Frisbee,




and Skijoring.

If you’re still at a loss, we have compiled a huge list of activities that you can do with your dog.

The Top 10 Games to Play with Your Dog

The mental and physical stimulation provided by learning new games with your dog makes for a relaxed and content canine at bedtime.

Many of these games are simpler to teach with food prizes, but they’re still fun. Dogs love their owners and can’t resist a challenge.

Dog Games

Dogs enjoy the game of hide-and-seek just as much, if not more than kids do. Puppy play is a fantastic approach to strengthen “stay” and “come” for a reliable recall.

To trick your dog into thinking you’re not there, you can tell it to “remain” in one room while you sneakily disappear to another hiding place. Then have your dog come looking for you after you’ve called him. When he does, tell him excitedly, “you found me!” and give him a treat (optional).


Play the cup game with your dog. Based on the classic gambling game, your dog will love unearthing sweet prizes. Start with one cup to explain. Put a reward under the cup and lift it when your dog noses it. Add extra cups and actions to heighten the ante.

Of course, your dog can utilize his nose. If he gets the hang of it, try a small toy to see if he can still win.


Not only retrievers fetch. Even genetically inclined dogs need to be trained to fetch. It’s easy to educate a dog to chase a ball, but not to return it.

Working backward in short increments helps teach fetch. Toss a toy in front of your dog so they can catch it. Put your hand over his lips. Show him a treat to encourage him to release go, then praise him when the toy falls into your hand.

Soon he’ll realize dropping a toy in your hand gets him a treat. Then, toss the item farther and farther.

Some dogs can retrieve without treats. Throwing a toy can be fun. You may need to use treats to shape behavior, then gradually stop.


Tug-of-war exercises your dog’s whole body. Encouraged, most dogs will play tug. It boosts shy dogs’ confidence. Give your dog additional wins to make it more fun.

Your dog will appreciate a Tether Tug if he likes to tug.


So that Fido can feel like a real-life search-and-rescue dog, it’s possible to teach him the basics of coursework.

Have your dog “stay” while you take one of his favorite toys and put it somewhere conspicuous, like beneath a towel, to make him interested. Give him time to “discover it”


You can exercise your dog by doing laps around the house or yard and stopping periodically to call it. When they get up to you, tell them how great they are and then keep running.

Chasing games also improve recall. Ensure your dog chases. You may educate your dog to run away if you chase him.


Dogs can learn words when they’re paired with their favorite toys, rewards, and people. Many dogs can identify and retrieve toys and objects by name.

Chaser can name over 1000 toys. Chasers can learn new object names by assuming they belong to the newest object in the room.

Your dog may first distinguish between a ball and a leash. Slowly add new items. Your dog’s attentiveness may surprise you.


Start by teaching your dog to jump through a hula hoop. Encourage your dog to walk near and over the hoop. Hold it erect so your dog may walk through without jumping. When he’s comfortable walking through, raise the hoop. Your dog will be most comfortable jumping through a shoulder-height hoop.


Sally Hopkins designed SprinklesTM to help naughty pets. It entails spreading moist treats on grass and letting your dog hunt for them. It activates your dog’s natural instinct to search and explore for food for up to 10 minutes.

Here Are 6 Alternatives To Toys That Will Keep Your Dog Amused.

Most people believe that entertaining a dog is simple, and there are instances when that is the case.

It’s not so easy if you’re the proud parent of a dog who has no interest in toys.

So, how do you amuse a dog that shows no interest in his or her toy collection?

To keep your dog busy and entertained, focus on mental and physical stimulation instead of toys. Options include swimming, fragrance games, and food puzzles.

Why buy dog toys?

Dog toys seem apparent, but hear me out.

Toys are intended to keep our dogs occupied, but what exactly do we mean when we say “entertainment”?

Our dogs require mental and physical stimulation, so we must keep that in mind while considering non-toy options. Toys tire dogs psychologically and physically.

When you put it that way, you can conceive of hundreds of ways to replace toys.

Your dog’s favorite pastimes

First, I had to determine what Foxie loved.

Every dog is different; this isn’t just about Foxie. First, inquire about what your dog likes.

Question yourself:
  • Does your dog sniff during walks?
  • Does your dog spend walks looking for squirrels?
  • Does your dog love meet new dogs?
  • Water-loving dog?
  • Is your dog active?
  • Motivated dog food?

If you responded yes to a few, you’re on the right route to keeping your dog happy without toys.

Here’s a list of dog activities. Just complete the questions above to find the area for your dog.

Dogs Who Enjoy Sniffing Will Find This Interesting

Sniffing is in the blood of some dogs. Basset hounds, beagles, and other hound breeds are bred specifically for their keen sense of smell.

Foxie, a chihuahua-pomeranian mix, loves to smell even though she’s not a hound. Foxie spent much of her walks sniffing.

Let’s see what works with sniffing dogs like Foxie.
Snuffle mat

A snuffle mat is a treat-sniffing activity for dogs.

Some may call it a “toy,” but it’s not your typical squeaker toy, so I’d call it a toy-game hybrid.

Add treats to the snuffle mat’s layers, pockets, nooks, and crannies, then let your dog find them. Snuffle mats vary in difficulty and are wonderful for dogs that love to sniff and dig.

If you’re new to snuffle mats, check out AWOOF’s affordable alternative on Amazon. It has many alternatives for hiding rewards, depending on your dog’s ability level or how long you want to occupy them.

DIY Scent Game

Dog-smell games don’t require a snuffle mat. You don’t need toys or anything else unless you desire it.

Scents and treats can keep your dog entertained. Consider calming aromas like lavender, odd smells like coffee grinds, and scents used by hunters to attract animals, such as deer urine.

Make sure everything you use is safe and doesn’t harm your dog. The ASPCA offers a directory of dangerous materials you can use to ensure smell games are safe.

You can add scents to different rooms or areas on your walk. Your dog will love sniffing all the new fragrances.

Consider scent training with your dog to make the process more involved and engaging. This video explains how:

Engaging Prey-Drive Dogs

Your dog may have a high prey drive if it’s often seeking little animals.

If your prey-focused dog isn’t interested in toys, it may not be involved enough. Unmoved toys are “dead” prey for dogs.

That’s boring for a dog who wants to chase live prey. Sometimes squeaky toys help, but not always. Missing is an interactive element that turns “dead” prey into moving squirrels.

Thus, flirt poles. These are my favorite toys for pit bulls since they have so much prey drive, but they work for any breed. Flirt poles are giant cat toys for dogs, but they’re not like typical toys. Here’s how my fave Outward Hound flirt pole works.

Dogs who love company

Take your dog to the dog park.

It’s not always that easy, though.

First, dog parks aren’t always closed. Who else will be there?

Foxie, our toy-hating chihuahua, loves dogs, but a Great Dane isn’t her finest companion. You may go to the dog park and find a huge party of dogs. Rottweilers and chihuahuas can get along, although it’s not always ideal.

There’s definitely an app for this.

BarkHappy lets you build a dog profile and connect with other dogs. Any size or temperament dog can find the right playmate.

Many doggie daycares feature webcams so you can see your dog all day.

Fun Water Dogs

Dogs don’t need to be water-bred to enjoy swimming. Boxers, who aren’t natural swimmers, adore the water.

Finding a dog-friendly pool or body of water is the obvious choice, but it’s not always easy. Like dog parks, this can be time-consuming.

Kiddie pools can assist.

A kiddy pool is a good option for dogs. Smaller dogs can maybe swim. Bigger dogs may like this sprinkler pool combo from Amazon.

Some dogs may love the pool’s water bursts, while others will just relax. You know your dog’s preferences best.

Food-Lover Dogs

What dog doesn’t enjoy food?

You’ll need treats to train your dog for any non-toy activity, thus food is a vital aspect of most non-toy amusement options.

Food riddles can make dining entertaining on its own. Hide your dog’s next meal throughout the home. Making children labor to eat keeps them interested, mentally stimulated, and healthy.

You can use food puzzles to challenge or prolong your dog’s eating. Licki Pads are a great soft treat for wet-food-eating dogs. Simple food puzzles challenge dogs to lick through nooks and corners to obtain every crumb. You may buy them on Amazon by clicking here.

These simple Outward Hound toys are a terrific place to start with dry treats.

Food riddles can be included in daily life. They’re one of the few ways to entertain dogs that don’t enjoy toys without your interaction, which is wonderful when dogs are left alone.

Closing Thoughts

Toy-averse dogs might be difficult to entertain.

You may feel jealous of friends whose dogs can be entertained with an old chew toy. Your dog’s pickiness surrounding playing doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Keeping your dog entertained should be fun for you, too.

Everyone in the home will enjoy teaching your dog smell games, basic agility, or food puzzles.

Consider: What’s best for your dog?

Dogs that don’t enjoy toys can still be entertained. Take him/her for a stroll or to a dog park. Peanut butter on a once-loved toy may entice a dog to play with it again. Alternatives include animating a toy or playing with it yourself. Only trial and error will reveal what works for your pet.

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