The Chewing Dilemma
If your dog is like most dogs, he loves to chew, tug, and pull on anything and everything. Dogs chew for a variety of reasons. Puppies are much like babies in that they go through a teething stage in which everything looks good enough to chew. For adult dogs, the reasons for chewing can vary. Dogs perceive the world around them through their senses, and taste is one of those senses. This is why rawhide bones are favorite chew toys for dogs.
However, there are other more serious reasons that dogs chew. Often, loneliness, boredom, and/or anxiety play a huge role in a dog's behavior. It's not that he wants to destroy your house or your yard. It's just that he doesn't know how to manage his behavior in a good way.
Purpose of Toys
What can you do? Spend as much time as possible with your dog. This means playing with him, grooming him, and simply loving him. The more time you spend with your dog, the better adjusted he'll become.
While spending time with your dog is great, you obviously can't spend 24 hours a day with him. You may not always be able to stop your dog from chewing, but you can provide him with some great toys to fill this need. Knitting dog toys is a simple and inexpensive alternative.
Knitting Dog Toys
Need a great way to spend a rainy or cold afternoon? Why not spend it knitting dog toys? Before you begin your project, consider what sized toy would be suitable for your dog. If he is a golden retriever, he may be able to destroy a toy in a hurry. If he's a poodle, the toy may last a little longer. Some people take plastic or rubber dog toys and make them more inviting by simply knitting a cover for them. Dogs love the feel of cloth, and the holes in the knitting make great surfaces for them to sink their teeth into.
Sure, you can buy knitted toys at pet stores, by why not try your hand at knitting one instead?
- Knitting for Dogs: Irresistible Patterns for Your Favorite Pup-and You!: This book is full of great illustrations and patterns.
- The Cat & Dog Lovers' Idea Book: This book is perfect. The site description boasts "With Gail Green's newest book, cat and dog lovers will learn to create toys, collars, treats and wearables for their pets and unique items such as hats and jewelry for themselves! Easy to follow instructions cover a multitude of crafting techniques such as rubber stamping, counted cross-stitch, knitting, crochet, fabric appliqué, decorative painting, decoupage and basic sewing. The many patterns, templates and drawings included help crafters create dozens of lovely projects with ease. Most projects can be customized to fit a specific pet."
- Pet Crafts: 28 Great Toys, Gifts and Accessories for Your Favorite Dog or Cat: This book offers fun projects for the whole family to celebrate and pamper their beloved family pets. Sure to delight both discerning canines and finicky felines, Pet Crafts features over 25 fun projects including toys, beds, costumes, picture frames and more!
Look for patterns online and at your local bookstore. You may be able to find patterns at a pet supply store as well. If not, try to model a knitted dog toy after toys that are for sale. If your dog loves a particular toy, see if you can recreate its pattern and shape. Additionally, check out the Ravelry Fetch Toy pattern. This pattern is easy to use, but the site does state, "This toy is designed to be enjoyed WITH your dog. If you believe your dog is likely to chew the toy, destroy it and eat the small pieces, you should not leave it with them because eating yarn is not good for dogs!" The skill level for this pattern is beginner. The toy will be approximately 12 inches long when finished.