So cute! Every pet parent melts every time their adorable dog brings them a toy. If you have ever had a difficult day at work and opened the front door to find your pooch standing there with his or her toy in their mouth, you have experienced the moment of absolute joy. The stress from your difficult day magically melts away as soon as you see how happy your dog is to see you. If you have ever wondered why your dog behaves this way every time you enter the door, the following information will provide insight into your dog’s mind and emotions.
The Root of the Behavior
Your dog’s affectionate and sweet way of welcoming you home is natural for most canines. In the past, when dogs were mostly wild, their natural behavior involved carrying prey in their mouths and bringing it back to their den to share with their pack. This toy-carrying behavior is a variation of a dog’s natural instincts.
In today’s world, domesticated dogs have toys and often bring them to their pack leader or pet parent as a symbol of respect, even though you can’t actually consume the dog toy. Basically, it’s your dog’s heartwarming gesture to show you they are happy to see you or would like to play with you. It’s similar to receiving a gift. How special do you feel now knowing your dog welcomes you home with a prize every time you walk in the door? Surely, you feel extra special.
Can you imagine your human family bringing you a gift or cheering every time you came home? This is the exact experience your dog gives you when meeting you at the front door with a toy. As a pet parent, you probably enjoy this type of greeting and attention. However, what happens if your dog greets every visitor to your house the same way? Yes. You might be a little jealous because you want your dog to only make you and your family feel special, but what are the reactions of your visitors?
If visitors to your home are nervous or afraid of dogs, your pooch’s energetic greeting might be overwhelming. You might notice a variety of responses from visitors. Some of your family and friends might think your dog is cute and sweet for offering them a toy. Most people feel happy and adored when a dog gives a happy greeting. However, some visitors might avoid visiting you because they feel scared of the greeting.
Encouraging the Behavior
Pet parents have revealed they experienced quite a bit of embarrassment when their dog greeted their visitors with their underwear in their mouth. Sometimes dogs will grab any item, other than a toy when deciding to greet whoever is entering the door. Usually, dogs choose the item located closest at the time. If there are dirty socks lying on the floor next to your dog, you can assume one or both of those socks will be your dog’s first choice. This means if your dog is rummaging through your dirty laundry basket, chances are he or she will snatch an unmentionable for their greeting.
Greetings at the door with a toy or an unmentionable is harmless behavior. Dogs who greet their owners or visitors at the door with an object are only expressing their excitement and love for the person walking through the door. Pet parents usually enjoy this daily greeting and often encourage their dog by happily hugging them and kissing them as soon as they come home.
Pet parents who are concerned about their dog greeting visitors in this manner can take steps to avoid the situation. If you are expecting visitors put your dog in his or her dog crate so they feel safe. This will help avoid making your visitors feel uncomfortable at the front door. You can allow your dog to join the party by letting them out of their crate and guiding them to the area of the house where the visitors are located.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Dogs who greet pet parents and visitors with a toy at the front door are happy and excited. This behavior is natural and affectionate. However, pet parents who need to avoid the embarrassment of their dog greeting guests with their dirty laundry in their mouth need to take action to avoid the situation. An easy solution is to limit a dog’s access to dirty or clean laundry. While most pet parents don’t mind their dog greeting guests with a toy, underwear is usually unacceptable. Proper obedience training can also be helpful in this situation if the behavior gets out of control.
Generally, dogs show you their toys to express their emotions of happiness and excitement to see you or initiate play time. Most pet parents experience their dog greeting them at the front door with a toy in their mouth, while others experience this greeting throughout the entire house, it depends on the dog and the situation. This behavior is usually welcome by pet parents and further encouraged. Purchasing toys for your dog will encourage them to greet you with a toy rather than dirty laundry. Whatever object your dog chooses, just know it’s his or her way of cheering for you and loving you every time you walk in the door.
Written by a Cocker Spaniel lover Shellie Sutera
Veterinary reviewed by:
Published: 02/17/2018, edited: 01/30/2020