Dog toys! Perhaps an under-discussed topic? My boy Sherlock is a border collie and he is two and a half years old. He’s generally well behaved, doesn’t chew up the house like when he was little. Steals the odd sock but usually just to be chased, not really to rip up. We do have trouble getting him suitable dog toys though. When shopping most dog toys on the shelf can be dismissed straight away, anything soft or stuffed won’t last a minute. He just chews a little hole and starts pulling the fluff out. Even very expensive stuffed or soft toys marketed as being super tough don’t last long. Eyes get plucked out, ears gnawed off, it’s like a bar fight in Sin City. The few soft toys we do buy for him require supervised play and even then they don’t live long.

Tougher plastic / rubbery dog toys last fine, he doesn’t tend to chew through those but he hasn’t the same interest in them either. He’ll lose interest in them pretty quickly. Rope toys are a winner, they last a reasonable length of time and he loves to play with balls made of rope or to violently shake lengths of soft rope and play tug of war. Only problem is the mess, they will fall apart and he does like to chew and pluck the rope.

Cheap tennis balls are a no-no, he peels the furry lining off them. Expensive branded ones for actual tennis are fine, they don’t peel. I guess they use better glue or maybe are manufactured differently.

Sherlock has only one toy from when he was very young. A rubber frisbee I bought for him just over two years ago and is in as good a condition now as then. It has seen a massive amount of use in that time. Probably been thrown, caught and returned – sometimes, maybe 7000 times or more. Before getting it we played with regular plastic frisbees but they occasionally hurt his mouth and could split. The soft rubber one does neither of those things and is a little heavier so is easier to throw when there’s a bit of wind. It is by far the best dog toy I have bought for him and I would recommend it to anyone with an active dog that enjoys exercise in the park.


Does anyone else have trouble when choosing a toy for their pet?

Let me know if you have any suggestions for good quality toys that last and are fun.