Why Dogs Greet You With Their Toys

It's endearing when a dog excitedly fetches a toy to greet their owner. But what drives this cute toy greeting?

Adorable habit

Animal experts have several theories to explain why dogs bring toys when owners return, but there's no consensus.

Multiple theories   

Some believe presenting a toy demonstrates a dog's affection and attachment to an owner as a valued social ally.

Showing affection

Dogs may have learned that retrieving objects elicits praise, so they gift toys hoping to bond with gift giving.  

Gift giving  

Dogs also love carrying toys in their mouths, so greeting with one may be the dog saying "look at me and what I have!

Look what I have

Dogs could be inviting pet parents to play by presenting the toy in hopes of engaging in shared play they enjoy.

Shared play time

Less bonded dogs may bring toys seeking comfort from uneasy reunions with unsettling departures.

Comfort behavior   

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