Tough on Toys

AnimalSense Canine Training & Behavior Trainer Andrea Miller provides a list of toys she has given her tough chewer terrier puppy and how they stood up to the test.

I have a dog that loves to destroy toys. Bosworth can get to a squeaker in a plush toy in a matter of seconds, proudly displaying the stuffing all over the living room like his prize trophy. You’ll notice just a sampling of the graveyard of toys he has gutted in one of these pictures.

So, we moved on from plush to plastic. This was even worse, because he ate the little bits of plastic he succeeded turning the basketball and other toys into. My friend’s dog, Celia, will tear up a toy into a hundred little pieces of plastic and not swallow one. But not Boz. Since surgery for intestinal blockage is not in my budget these days, the search for toys continued.

I recently resorted to buying brands of toys for tough chewers.

This is when I began thinking, just how true are the claims for indestructible toys? Not very, according to a non-scientific study done with Boz and my sister’s Malamute puppy, Adele. As you can imagine, the monkey in the picture didn’t last long.

When one thinks of a tough dog toy, Kong comes to mind, and I have used Kongs with remarkable results. However, Kongs are reserved as a special treat when Boz goes into his crate, so I’m not really factoring these into the experiment. Boz has not (yet) destroyed a Kong, mostly because he’s too busy getting the frozen meat-flavored baby food out of it (a great idea if you need an idea for Kong stuffing). Once the food is gone, he could care less about the Kong.

Adele, however, has damaged both the traditional red Kongs and the black ones made for tough chewers. She’s popped a Kong sport ball with a few chews and once she cracks any type of tennis ball, she can rip the felt and eat the rubber pretty quickly. Fortunately, my sister Jillian is a veterinarian and knows how to induce vomiting. Unfortunately, she has to do it often because Adele is a destructive machine: she has taken down rugs, dog beds, ottomans, slipcovers, snow boots, and the list goes on. You name it and Adele has eaten it. So, it’s that much more important to find her a proper chew.

The Ultimate Tuffy Bone Dog Toy by Red Paw is a popular toy for tough chewers. Let’s see how it stood up to the Terrier and Malamute test.

Here’s a before picture.


Here’s an after picture after Boz had it for a few weeks.


And here’s an after picture after Adele had it for a mere week.


It’s definitely held up better to Boz’ mouth. It’s a good size for playing fetch in the house and miraculously, the squeaker is still intact, at least in Bosworth’s toy.

My sister tried the Tire Biter Rope Toy by Toy Shoppe but Adele doesn’t like it because the appropriate sized one for her is really heavy. Instead, she’s working on unraveling the rope part.

One toy Adele has not yet managed to destroy is made by Westpaw. The “Jive” dog ball is heavy duty rubber and comes in three sizes. The company guarantees it to stand up to dog destruction. In fact, they offer a one-time free replacement or refund if your dog can damage it.

I was intrigued by a toy made by Chewzie Dog which looks like a barbell. You unscrew the ends and insert four rings of natural rawhide for “longer lasting playtime”.  Not only was Boz able to remove the rawhide rings pretty easily, he was able unscrew the ends of the toy, which became dangerous loose pieces of plastic. Needless to say, that one went in the garbage pretty quickly.

One chew both Boz and Adele can agree on is Nylabones. They make specific types for powerful chewers (like the DuraChew Plus) and both dogs seem to like the chicken flavor. Boz would much rather chew on a bully stick or a pig ear, but the Nylabone will work in a pinch. It also seems to help control his natural urge to chew as he usually goes for it in the mornings. The ends are pretty torn up as you can see in this picture but he doesn’t seem to mind the rough edges. An added bonus is Nylabones help clean teeth and control plaque and tartar.

Do you have tough chewers? If so, what toys have stood up to your dogs’ teeth? Share them here.

AnimalSense Canine Training & Behavior offers group dog training classes at Glenview Animal Hospital and private in-home training throughout the North Shore.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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