Naming New Toys As They Are Introduced To Dog


Honored Member
This isn't much of a trick, really, but, Buddy can find and retrieve almost 20 toys by name, even if the named toy is in another room, or even if it is outdoors, he'll run to the door and paw at door to go outside to get the named toy!!!
One of his favorite games is,:love:
i take 3 or 4 of his known toys,
line them up on the back of the sofa,
or out in the yard,
and buddy sits facing me, (also challenging for Buddy to sit patiently while i line up the toys)
til i point to sofa and say,
"Get the froggy!"
"Get Ernie"
or whichever toy i ask for. I do use a clicker for this part.

this 'trick' or game,
is soooooooooo easy to train, BUT,
i have found,
to teach Buddy a toy's name------------------
i must name it as the NEW toy is first introduced.
If i tell Buddy what the toy is named, as he first meets the new toy,
from that very first moment he first ever sniffs the NEW toy---------
Buddy will learn that NEW toy name IMMEDIATELY with no effort.

I re-inforce the toy name several times a day, for many days, but, Buddy has "got it" right off, from 1st moment on. I say "give me Ducky" and as i tug the toy with him, "that is my Ducky!"
"Oh look, Buddy has his Ducky!" over and over, for several days. Super easy, he hears "Ducky" all day long, whenever he plays with Ducky. I don't even use a clicker to help him learn the toy name, he seems to learn the NEW toy name INSTANTLY, IF IF IF IF he hears the name right away when he FIRST meets the new toy.

BUT, if i take a toy he ALREADY owns, and try to assign a name to THAT older toy--it is very difficult, and wayyyyyyyy harder for Buddy to learn that. :sleep: This is hard for Buddy to retain in long term memory,( a new name assigned to an OLD toy.)

SO DO TRY ASSIGNING A NAME TO YOUR DOG'S NEXT NEW TOY, and re-inforcing that toy name over and over and over and see if your dog can't also learn NEW toy names!!!


Honored Member
For ppl on a budget, do look over the toys at Goodwill (many toys there are only 50 cents and come with interesting smells your dog might find interesting)
or second hand shops
or yard sales,
get a whole bag of new toys, hide them all.

Next rainy day, when dog is bored,
get out 1 new toy,
Give it to dog, "here is Charlie" or "Dolphin" or whatever name you give it,
and keep saying "dolphin" over and over and over, for a few days,
WA-LA! It now appears as if your dog knows what a "dolphin" is!!:ROFLMAO:


Honored Member
My dog wasn't much interested in toys when i FIRST got Buddy,
i tried many types of different kinds of toys,
i did rub parmesan cheese,
peanut butter
onto a few toys,
and then,
a toy aficiondo was born!

also, my dog will get bored with same ol same ol toys, week after week,
so i keep 2/3 of his toys hidden away,
and do rotate them now and then.


Honored Member
Lol, one of our pals who i like to tease, i named a funky looking toy rubber chicken after that pal, "John". When John was over, i said to Buddy, "Which toy looks like JOHN?" and of course,
Buddy brought me the rubber chicken.

John, of course, thought it was coincidence. so i dumped a whole pile of toys together, with rubber chicken now hidden under the pile,
and asked Buddy again, "Buddy, which toy reminds you of JOHN?" and Buddy pawed through the pile of toys til he found his rubber chicken and brought it to me.
"What can i say, John, dogs can't lie...guess you must remind my dog of a chicken??":ROFLMAO:


Honored Member
Over the last week or so I've tried training Zac to reliably identify two known items, Toy and Ball (any tennis ball). I was pretty sure he already knew the names but he wouldn't go to them on cue.

First I tried rewarding by throwing the named toy once he'd identified it. This didn't work because it was disruptive and he lost track of what he was supposed to be learning also he went through phases of wanting to play with one or the other and he go to that one whatever I said :eek:.

After that I just used click and treat as the reward for him nose touching the object I named. Today he finally got the idea. I KNOW he got the idea because all his body language said he wanted the ball but when I said "toy" he went over and touched the toy :).

Now we have to try in a different room and further away and hiding both but he has to find the named one etc. THEN I can introduce another old toy and a new object :D.


Honored Member
AWESOME!! So, these were NOT new toys??,
but toys Zac already had?

wow, see, i find that hard to teach Buddy.

New toys = easy cheesy, effortless, simple trick to teach.:D He learns it in one day, maybe in an hour.

but getting Buddy to reliably recall, long term, names applied to older toys, is a ton of work for *my* dog.:rolleyes:

wait til i tell Buddy about this!!:ROFLMAO:

Once your dog reliabley understands some toy names--you and Zac can try this game Buddy adores, just quivers when he sees me settting up the game,
i line up some toys across back of sofa, up on the area you would rest your head, see, so there is extra fun of having to jump up to get the toy........

and have him sitting looking up at me, (i had to train that sit&wait part in,
or else buddy quickly ran and started grabbing up toys BEFORE i'd asked for any, haha)

and then tell Buddy "Get the car!" or whatever. He runs across room, up the sofa, grabs the car, and brings it to me. Sometimes we play this game on the stairs, too.
and so on.


Honored Member
also, Buddy was never able to generalize "ball" to be ALL balls, to Buddy, "ball" is only 1 specific ball. rofl. :ROFLMAO: I've tried it, he doesn't get it. I can ask for a ball, and he will walk right by all other balls, to find THE "ball"...the one ball, that Buddy feels is a 'BALL'. TOO FUNNY, right?
no other ball means "ball", just the one ball.

He gets blank look when i try to tell him this other ball, is also a ball.


Honored Member
Buddy needn't feel bad, I'm sure Zac did know the names of these but I just couldn't PROVE that he did. This was more about teaching him the rules of the game. Zac DOES generalise tennis balls.

The next old toy I introduce will be the real test of how easy he finds it to learn new names to old toys.


Staff member
For Isis, "ball" is the last ball that she had. It's really weird, if there is a pile of tennis balls she will look through them to find the last one she played with to bring it back. I don't entirely know if it because she can smell it or if she just likes the ones that she used last.

For Jinx, however any ball is "ball" even if it is the one in Isis' mouth:D. The closest ball is the one that she looks for. I guess it just depends on the dog what they view as being a certain toy.


Honored Member
Shivon just knows "ball". She applies it to basically any ball.:) oh yeah... she also knows "foxy". That is the name of that stuffing-free fox she's had sice she was 3 months old.


Experienced Member
Lol Evie has a "stuffing-free fox" as well. It's her favourite toy out of all of them.

Teaching them the names of their toys is a great idea; I might have to try it buuuuuuuuuut i think i might need to go buy a new toy first :p


Honored Member
Evie, i buy bags full of low cost toys at goodwill shops, for only about 50cents each.:D Buddy loves them. I only introduce one new toy at a time, though, but i have a bag of cheap toys that i can use on boring days, etc.

One of Buddy's favorite toys, is a small ugly thing, which is an octupus, that Buddy removed alllllll the legs off of it. He loves that thing. Another favorite, is a raggedy duck, that had a lil bean-bag in it, which now hangs outside of the duck. He's had it for years, and never pulls the bean-bag off, and LOVES that raggedy toy.
My guy asked why don't i sew that duck and put the beanie-bag back inside the duck? and i said, "but Buddy loves it, just as it is.." He gnaws on this toy most every day for a lil while.
I think Buddy gnawing on his toys every day,

i had to use kikopup's "leave it" video, to teach Buddy to NOT EAT THE STUFFING, ha ha. Buddy only tears up his toys, "kills his toys" if he is bored outa his mind,:mad: or home alone way way too long, otherwise, he does not "kill" his toys. I'm just glad he only tears up HIS stuff and never ever ever MY stuff.


Honored Member
don't forget Evie, tell the dog the new toy name, RIGHT AS HE IS FIRST LOOKING AT IT, OR FIRST SNIFFING IT, and keep saying that toy name,
over for many days, eveyr time he plays with it.

also, if *i* show interest in Buddy's toys, and act happy when Buddy plays with his new toy, and join in, tugging the toy, etc,then
Buddy himself seems to "like" the new toy more.

i recently got buddy some stupid toy, that is NOT the kind Buddy usually loves but i praised Buddy every time he played with it, kept tugging at it, throwing it, holding it, etc, making big fuss whenever Buddy had it,
and doncha know, Buddy loves that goofy thing now. Even Craig said, "i can't believe he likes that thing so much." and i smiled and said, "it's cuz i fussed over him playing with it so so much."


Experienced Member
I laughed a lot reading your story about your friend John :ROFLMAO:.

Loved the tip on the naming - but I liked more the tips about getting your dog to like toys! My dog only plays fetch about a couple of times and he gets bored quickly :LOL:. It is true, though, that by making a fuss about fetching and telling him how lovely he is and getting excited every time he plays, he has gradually increased the amount of times he fetches the ball, before getting bored. I tried the peanut butter thing but he is still not very interested in toys. I don't allow him free access to toys now because I don't want him to get bored of them!

Your dog is so smart! And I bet you must be wonderful teaching him, haha!


Honored Member
Pawbla, i was able to get my dog to LOVE toys. Or, maybe i am falsely taking credit and my dog would have loved toys sooner or later all by himself,(?)
but my fawning over him, and praising him, a few times each week,:rolleyes: just for playing with his toys, seems to help my dog see toy-play as great.:D
Also, rubbing food onto toys can help a dog get started on liking that toy, too. And MY interest in that toy kind of helps my dog think that toy is great, too.
I'm also careful to keep his supply of toys "fresh".

I rotate his toys around, i hide 2/3 of them, and Buddy only gets to have 1/3 of his toys at a time. When he has grown bored with most of them, it is time to swap them around. Dogs can and do get bored with some toys after a while, and need some new ones, now and then.

But Lol, Pawbla, my dog also hates fetch. I know what you mean!!!
Buddy just hates it.
i was total failure in getting my dog to have even a slight interest in fetch. I've tried every kind of frisbee, soft ones, all kinds, i've even rubbed peanut butter on the frisbee,:ROFLMAO: i've tried every kind of reward and praise for interest in frisbees, but, Buddy is not having it.

you name it, i've tried it. My guy reeeeeeeeeeally wanted a frisbee dog, but Buddy absolutely refuses to chase a frisbee.........or a ball, or anything. Buddy doesn't care about balls, either.

well, Buddy WILL fetch an item three (3) times. And then Buddy is done.

after 3 times of fetching an item, Buddy refuses to move, sits there and gives us a most a droll, bored, slightly annoyed look:cautious: if we throw it a 4th time.

which is WHY we always throw the item a 4th time, is just to see THAT FACE:ROFLMAO: .......that look of utter if to say, "if you really do NOT want that thing, i'll stop bringing it to you!"
Pawbla if you ever DO find a way to get a dog to like fetch, let me know!!!


Experienced Member
I exchange the ball for food :ROFLMAO:. But even then, I don't always get the ball back! Hahaha.

I tried rubbing toys with dulce de leche, which is similar to peanut butter in consistency and tastiness, but no luck. Also tried his "doggie toothpaste" on his toys, but no luck either.

I got a Kong so I'll try with that :D. If food-filled Kongs and lots of praise don't get my dog into toys, nothing will!


Honored Member
ohhhh, Pawbla, you want to work on your "drop it" cue, then, ah ha. If you specifically focus on training that, daily, in increments, i bet you can teach your dog to release an item on cue.

see, i have a different problem than you do. My problem is, my dog will not even chase a 4th toss of fetch:rolleyes: . He even looks insulted we even asked him to go get it a 4th time.:ROFLMAO:
but Buddy can and will release any item in his mouth on cue....he just wont play fetch.

Pawbla, maybe some parmesan cheese? rubbed onto a toy?

or cheese spreads?

and try many types of toys, my dog has his favorite kinds, and some toys, not so much.


Experienced Member
No, I mean, he has the drop it cue. But if I give him food in exchange of fetching, itself, he will bring the ball over more times than if I do it without food. He drops it without food, too. It's just that he doesn't chase the ball so many times without it, haha.