How to Make Toys for Dogs in the Backyard

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If you leave Gromit in the backyard and find he's destroyed it, try enriching his environment. Your pet companion is most likely acting up because he's bored and has pent-up energy to burn. He might resort to digging, barking and inappropriate chewing to entertain himself. Providing your dog with toys to play with in the yard can keep him entertained. Instead of buying toys, save your money and make the toys yourself. Rotate Gromit's toys periodically so he doesn't get bored with them.

Treat-Dispensing Toy

Step 1

Cut small holes in an empty, plastic water bottle with a pair of scissors. Make the holes large enough so treats can fall through them. You can make many holes for easy release of the treats or you can make only a few holes for a greater challenge.

Step 2

Remove the cap from the bottle and fill it with a variety of dog treats. Put the cap back on the bottle and secure it with duct tape.

Step 3

Give your dog the bottle when he's in the backyard and let him play with it. As he rolls and pounces on the bottle, the treats will fall out and serve as an instant reinforcement of his good behavior.

Sock Toys

Step 1

Wash and dry a pair of old tube socks.

Step 2

Line the socks up and knot them together or partially fill them with some dry dog food. Alternatively put one or two tennis balls in a sock and make a knot in the end.

Step 3

Show the sock toy to your pet companion and encourage him to play with it in the backyard. You might have to throw the sock toy to encourage your dog to go after it or hold one end in your hand and allow him to tug the other end.

Kiddie Pool Toys

Step 1

Fill an empty kiddie pool with water if it's hot outside and your dog enjoys playing in water. Select an area of the yard to put it in.

Step 2

Get your dog's attention and drop an apple, pieces of carrot or dog treats in the water. Your pet companion will bob for the treats.

Step 3

Fill the kiddie pool with about 6 inches of sand instead of water if your dog has a digging fetish. Shallowly hide dog bones and treats in the sand and encourage your dog to dig for treasure. Redirect your dog to the digging pit each time you catch him digging in an inappropriate area.


  • As an alternative to the treat-dispensing toy, scatter Gromit's dry food in the backyard as if it's chicken feed. He will have a ball scavenging for it.

Items You Will Need

  • Water bottle
  • Scissors
  • Dog treats
  • Duct tape
  • Tube socks
  • Dry dog food
  • Tennis balls
  • Kiddie pool
  • Apple
  • Carrot pieces
  • Sand


About the Author

Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.

Photo Credits

  • Kane Skennar/Digital Vision/Getty Images