I'm looking for an inexpensive way to make toys for a lot of hounds (hunting dogs). Any ideas? Thanks.
By RinRin from Gloucester, VA
I put a tennis ball into the toe of an old sock and my puppy went wild for it. As he got older I used two socks for added strength. He's nearly two years now and gets excited when a new one surfaces! Tennis balls can be bought cheaply at sporting good stores, but you can easily pick some up at your local college or high school. Tennis players will leave balls that aren't responsive anymore and your dog doesn't care.
I saw a toy in the pet store that should be very easy to make at home. It looked like a sock. You crushed a 20 oz. plastic soda bottle and inserted it into the sock and tied the top into a knot. It makes a noise when the dogs play with it and the sock protects them from any sharp plastic edges.
Cut up bits of an old pair of jeans into strips, and braid a few pieces to make rope toys..they last well as they are tough material.
Great idea daisychain, I will try that.
readingiggits; I'm scared to use any kind of plastic bottles because they may cut their gums or even eat the plastic. These are hunting dogs that stay outside in pens. I'm looking for something that they can't get hurt playing with. They are unattended most of the day. But thanks for the suggestion.
For toys - you can get a kitchen roll core (the cardboard bit) put treats / kibble in the middle, stuff a ball of screwed up card / paper into each end, another layer of treats / kibble after each ball of paper, etc until the roll is full. They will tear the roll apart to get to the treats but it's great fun for them and it lets them be destructive in a way that protects your belongings and furniture.
I've also seen a DIY puzzle toy: Get an open-topped box (could be cardboard or plastic, whatever you have) fill it with plastic cups some right way up, most upside down, place treats / kibble under cups and into cups, let dog investigate and figure out how to get the treats.
A game that hounds in particular really love is sniffing out treats. Put them all in one room (or kennel, or just keep them away from the hunting ground for a while). Then hide a bunch of treats of different types (some kibble, some cubes of cheese, some cubes of bacon / ham or anything else you have that's safe for them to eat) all over the place. If you're playing this outside you can dig some into the soil, hide a few under leaf piles, put some around the base of a tree, put some in a hollow log etc. If you're doing this inside, scatter a few around the floor, hide small piles under furniture, in corners of the room, under their own bedding / blankets, under a rug etc. You can even bring cardboard boxes and put treats under those too. Hide the smelliest treats in the best hiding places, and put the less valuable treats (e.g. kibble) in open view. Then let them go to investigate and find the treats and tell them a command as you let them go (e.g. "Find" or "search").
Have fun :)
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