You may be thinking that your dog may not be able to play with the dolls in the toy aisle at Walmart, but that’s not always the case.
In fact, dogs can play with other toys as well, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The study examined how well dogs responded to various toy play scenarios.
While dogs have been known to respond positively to toys made of cloth, it was not known how they responded to a toy made of paper, according the researchers.
The researchers were able to determine that dogs play with toys made from cloth, plastic and even cardboard.
“It turns out that we can use toys made out of cardboard, cloth and even plastic as a way to promote toy play,” Dr. Michael Berenson, the lead author of the study and professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a statement.
“This study is the first to investigate the role of play-related behavior in the development of toy play behavior in a dog population,” he added.
“Dogs play with their toys differently depending on their environment, which is a common theme in the literature.”
While the study does not show that dogs are capable of playing with dolls, the researchers did find that dogs tend to play in a “bouncy” way, which can help them get toys to play on, as they don’t necessarily have to hold the toy in their mouth or push it toward them.
“Dogs’ playful behaviors are important to understanding the role play plays in human health,” the researchers wrote.
“To learn more about the role played by play in health, the authors propose a new developmental paradigm called the toy-behavior paradigm that allows us to investigate a variety of behaviors that may underlie these important health benefits.”