..We are often asked about toy choices for our young Miniature Schnauzer puppies. Each Schnauzer puppy does have their own preferences, but there are a few recommendations we can make.
Toys can be broken down according to the age of the Schnauzer. Young, Miniature Schnauzer puppies prefer to have a wide variety of toys. A shotgun approach to buying toys is strategic as you zero in on the preferences of your Schnauzer. Toy choices in this age group can be lower in quality. That’s because young Schnauzer puppies are not yet strong enough to destroy or pull apart a moderate, quality toy. Stuffed animals, ropes, blankets, and squeaker toys are all great choices for Schnauzer puppies within the 8 to 14 week age range. These types of toys provide comfort that matches on some level the physical contact of littermates. We recommend avoiding any stuffed animal with sewn-on buttons or removable objects as they are possible choking hazards. Many a Schnauzer puppy has needed surgery to remove swallowed objects from their intestines.
As your Miniature Schnauzer puppy reaches 14 weeks and older upgrades in toys are appropriate. High-quality brands such as Kong design toys can face the strength of a growing Schnauzer. We particularly like the Kong Classic and the Kong Wubba.
Around 16 to 20 weeks of age your Schnauzer puppy will begin teething. This is the process where they lose their baby teeth and their adult teeth begin to come in. Moderate swelling and low-level discomfort are typical of a teething Schnauzer. Schnauzer puppies will also begin to increase their chewing levels during this stage. There are several different toy options for a teething Schnauzer puppy. For instance, our go-to toy for a teething puppy is the Kong Puppy Goodie Bone. Unlike other Kong toys, the Goodie Bone is softer and allows a puppy to really sink their teeth into the toy. The softer rubber eases the pain of teething and provides a basis for proper chewing behavior when the desire to be destructive is the greatest.
We also recommend deer and elk antlers for the teething phase. Antlers have come under fire in the past five years as being possibly dangerous to a young puppy. This has not been our experience. You shouldn’t lump a real high-quality antler into the same discussion as rawhide or other dangerous chew toys. Sometimes, an antler is the only toy that will work for a really uncomfortable puppy. Antlers are also strong enough to withstand even the most determined chewing habits of a Miniature Schnauzer puppy. It is important to watch your Schnauzer to ensure their teeth are not damaged from antler chews.
Hopefully, these tips provide you with an understanding of the changing toy preferences of your Schnauzer puppy and how to prepare for them!