Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Why Do Dogs Bring You Toys? 6 Possible Reasons

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Yorkshire terrier puppy standing on the floor of the house and asking the owner to play

Dogs have lots of interesting habits. Some of them are adorable and endearing. Some are less desirable. Others are positively puzzling. One habit that a lot of dogs share is bringing their toys to their owners. Typically, a dog bringing you a toy is a sign that they are excited, or they want to play. It can also be seen as a sign of affection, and it may be an indication that your dog is trying to strengthen the bond that exists between the two of you.

Below we look at the most common reasons that your dog brings you toys.


The 6 Possible Reasons Dogs Bring You Toys

1. Showing Affection

First and foremost, your dog bringing you a prized possession like a toy is a sign of the affection and love your dog holds for you. Dogs don’t have a lot of possessions. They essentially just have a bed and their toys that belong to them.

That your dog is willing to share one or more of those items with you is a surefire sign of the affection it holds for you.

Cute dachshund dog is bringing ball in mouth for his owner
Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock

2. Building a Bond

As well as being a sign of affection, a dog bringing you its toys is also a show of the trust it holds. It trusts you to look after the toy and it is bringing you a gift to strengthen the bond that exists between you.

If your dog didn’t trust you, it would be less inclined to bring you its possessions.

3. It’s Playtime

Dogs that love to play will bring toys in a bid to encourage you to play a game. They are effectively saying it’s playtime and we should play with this toy. You are many things to your dog, including a feeder and protector. You are also your dog’s primary source of fun and play so it makes sense that they would bring you a toy.

Funny Beagle dog playing with toy on sunny sunny day
Image Credit: Przemek Iciak, Shutterstock

4. Attention Seeking

If they bring a toy and then run away with it before you can grab it, your dog might just want a bit of attention. And, because you reached for the toy, and probably made some comment as your dog took the toy away, it got the desired result.

5. Showing Off

Their toy is your dog’s favorite possession, and some dogs are extremely proud of their toys. They will parade them in front of guests and show them off to other dogs. They will also come and show the toys off to you.

Dog run beagle jumping fun in the garden summer sun with a toy
Image Credit: Przemek Iciak, Shutterstock

6. Learned Behavior

When puppies mouth or bite, we tend to give them a toy to chew on because it is less destructive. Some owners give their dogs a toy when they walk in because it discourages them from jumping up. In time, your dog learns that it is encouraged to grab a toy when it gets excited and, eventually, it will do so of its own accord.

Your dog may be grabbing a toy because it is over-excited or because it knows that you take a toy out in the yard to play with.


Why Do Dogs Bring You Toys When You Come Home?

Your dog might be bringing you a toy when you get home because they’ve learned that you want them to chew a toy rather than get excited and jump up. They could be happy to see you and are bringing a toy as a show of love, affection, and trust.

They could also be indicating that they have been sitting at home bored and are ready to play now you’re back.

Bichon Frise dog bringing his toy to his owner
Image Credit: belefront, Shutterstock

Why Does My Dog Bring Me a Toy but Not Let Me Take It?

Your dog could be encouraging you to play or, by taking the toy away, they could just be after some attention. Your dog might feel that you haven’t paid them enough attention recently. By getting up to grab the toy, you’re giving them the attention they crave.



Dogs have lots of interesting habits. One such habit that a lot of dogs display is to bring a toy or other favorite item to their owner. This can be a sign that they want to play, or they could be showing you affection and highlighting the amount of trust they have in you.

Featured Image Credit: AssiaPix, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database