Training Your Dog With A New Homemade Toy

Maisie with homemade toy - the towel burrito

Maisie with homemade toy - the towel burrito

Dog toys can cost big bucks, reason enough to make your own.

In my house, the favorite toy for chasing, tugging, gnawing—and even to cart around as a security blanket—is the Towel Burrito.

These are my own invention, and I got the idea when I was reading about working dogs who sniff out bombs and drugs. Their reward for a “find” is to play for a few minutes with a towel rolled up like a burrito. So I figured that if it was enough praise for those hardworking dogs, the towel was probably attractive to all dogs.

To make one, take any hand towel (or an old bath towel that you’ve cut up) and roll it into a sausage. You can also use a bathmat. Secure with duct tape, wrapping it a couple of times around the middle and about three inches in from the ends.

If your dog is a heavy chewer, and tends to ingest his toys, the Towel Burrito is not the right fit.

My dogs chew off pieces (easy to add more tape), but they don’t swallow any.

It’s a great toy, also, for mouthy dogs who instigate play by chomping. Subvert the behavior by giving them a Towel Burrito—to go!

Tracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

One thought on “Training Your Dog With A New Homemade Toy

  • Rosanne Hillock
    February 4, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    I make something similar, a towel with several knots tied in it. We have a new Japanese Chin puppy so she got a small version made from an old thin towel.

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