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Tough on Toys

Author: Andrea Miller | Date: February 20, 2013

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 the picture on the left.

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.

Adele monkeyI 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 this picture on the right 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 the before picture:

Ultimate Dog Bone Before








Here’s the after picture after Boz had it for a few weeks:

Boz bone











And here’s the after picture after Adele had it for a mere week:
Ultimate dog bone After










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.

Tire BiterMy 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.

Jive BallOne 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.


chewzieI 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.

nylaboneOne 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.


    1. Jennie says:

      My mom recently bought my pup Fezzik a Starmark Everlasting Treat Bento Ball. You can buy disc-like treats to insert for your dog to chew on, but I’ve also noticed it’s something Fez plays with during the day, just as something to chew on and keep him busy. Also, if you don’t put the treat disc in on the 1 side of it, the bouncy side has a hole where you can insert treats (or meals as I do with Fez in the morning to keep him occupied while I’m making breakfast) and it’s a challenge for him to get the food out. This toy seems pretty durable, we’ve had it over a month, and I still haven’t found any bits of plastic laying around. It’s a little pricey ($20ish), especially with the gamble of your dog possibly ripping it up in a matter of minutes, but it’s been a huge payoff for Fez.

      • andreamiller says:

        Thanks, Jennie. I’ll have to try this one. I’d gladly pay $20 for a toy that lasts over a month. Good boy, Fez!

    2. Meg says:

      My boyfriend has a rescued pitbull mix that he’s housing until he can find a home for her–she has been destroying every toy he gives her, and he’s about to try the goughnut.

      I’m not sure how well it works, but maybe it could help Adele and Boz too?

      • andreamiller says:

        Thanks, Meg. That’s pretty cool technology that tells you when the toy has become unsafe and when to take it away. Thanks for sharing. We’ll give it a shot!

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