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5 Great Dog Toys Your Greyhound Will Love

Updated on February 18, 2016
Retired racing greyhound
Retired racing greyhound | Source

How to Pick the Perfect Toy

Whether you're looking for a great new dog toy to amuse your own beloved greyhound, or a gift for a new owner, here's an easy way to make sure to choose the right plaything for this unique breed.

Tap into his deepest canine instincts to pick out the toys he'll truly love!

If you consider the background and physical characteristics of the sighthound, chasing prey is his whole reason for being.

This is even more true for greyhounds than with many other dogs. Give him something to chase or something that looks like a critter he'd catch in the wild, and you're on a roll.

Play Into its Nature

What is a greyhound born to do?

In the wild, many many generations back, the greyhound would run, chase, hunt in a pack of other hounds, speed across the open savannah after small prey . . . take apart the captured critter . . . eat . . . then sleep.

And as a retired racer, that's pretty much what he was raised and trained to do in his previous life, isn't it? Only, on a track and with a fake bunny.

So, there's your clue — the perfect toys are the ones that remind him of prey.

Brindle greyhound at rest.
Brindle greyhound at rest. | Source

Here are five ideas for types of toys that are most popular with the retired racing greyhounds I've trained and loved—both my own and the various foster dogs who have lived with us.

Which of these pup-approved toys will win the heart of your hound?

American Classic Rabbit
American Classic Rabbit

#1: Soft Dog Toy

You saw this one coming . . .

Greyhounds love stuffed toys of any kind, and a one with a stuffed rabbit is just classic. This will ignite their prey instinct!

It's almost like American Classic had a greyhound in mind when they designed these toys. They are soft and cute and fairly realistic.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) licensed American Classic large rabbit has been one of our top toys for ages.

Sadly, the rabbit is so popular that it goes in and out of supply faster than a greyhound can chase a bunny . . . but I'm certain your dog will find a realistic AKC plush squirrel, duck, or one of the other toys an acceptable alternative for prey play if you can't score a rabbit.

When it comes to choosing a brand, I also have only good things to say about any of the Jakks Pacific dog toys my greyhounds and their furry friends have enjoyed.

Squeaking Plush Dog Toys

They also like soft fluffy toys with squeakers. Of course you will supervise your hound when he's playing with a squeaky stuffy since any dog who is determined enough can get that squeaker out.

Plush squeakies are not chew toys! If your hound is super-destructive with his toys, though, you may want to look for a no-stuffing plush toy (see below) or check out Furballz, a fluffy ball-shaped toy which is designed to be extra tough.

I recommend standing by with a camera in your hand, as there's nothing quite so funny as watching a greyhound play with a stuffed toy that squeaks, flinging it around and pouncing on it with his front feet and chomping on the toy to make it squeak, just so very delighted with his big bad doggie self - too cute! You will want to take pictures, or better yet, a video.

And here's one more I have to let you know about - the long squeaky snake.

If your greyhound loves to grab a toy and prance around with it, tossing his head as if trying to shake the life out of his plush prey, he's going to love this toy.

Its extra length seems to make our dogs feel like they're taking on a bit of a challenge in conquering this one.

Its length makes it hard to carry around without trailing and stepping on it, so one of those 6 squeakers is bound to squeak at surprising moments. This is great for the easily bored-with-toys greyhound.

Our dogs like to pounce on it with their front feet, too, trying to make it squeak.

#2: No-Stuffing Plush Dog Toys

For greyhounds who like to get right down to ripping the stuffing out of their stuffed toys before you can leap to the rescue, consider an unstuffed toy.

I have yet to meet a dog of any breed that doesn't go mad for a Skinneeez toy.

Great for greyhounds who are talented at un-stuffing a stuffed toy in no time flat, Skinneeez plush toys don't have any stuffing in them at all, so Mom and Dad don't have to worry about the toy's innards getting eaten if they turn their back for two seconds.

Floppy and fun for the dog, and easy enough to tuck one in your bag or pocket to entertain your greyhound when you're out visiting.

The little flat fox is my greyhounds' favourite, but there's an unstuffed skunk that I think might be our next one - very soft touchable plush!

In fact, there are a great many different animal shapes in the Skinneeez line of unstuffies, so you may have a very hard time picking out just one!

#3: Squeaky Tennis Balls

Squeaky tennis balls are very popular around here, both with the hounds and with the humans. They're great to chase.

They're small enough to tuck into a pocket, ready to play a game of fetch at a moment's notice - or, in the case of greyhounds, to play a game of "you throw the ball and I'll chase it and grab it and run mad high-speed circles around you as I chomp down on my trophy and enjoy the squeaking noise it makes."

Greyhound owners, you know exactly what I'm talking about here!

#4: Wild Rope Dog Toys

Rope toys in general are a good choice for greyhounds, as they are easy for them to get those narrow muzzles latched onto and are great for use in training the all-important "leave it" command. This will put your hounds hunting drive to play.

I like the Dog Toy Rag Rope Ball from Petstages because it really keeps a greyhound's interest, with lots of floppy bits that flap around when you toss the ball. Some of the pieces make an intriguing crackling noise, too, which will make those little rosette ears perk right up!

I also like that it can double as a throw toy for the greyhound with a strong chase instinct who prefers to chase down his toys rather than simply find them lying around.

Basic Rope Toys

You'd be surprised at how much a greyhound can enjoy a knotted rope, and the little strands of cotton can help clean his teeth at the same time - bonus!

I do suggest that you keep the ropes as an outdoor toy, until you see how much your greyhound throws it around.

Some dogs will lie down and chew away happily, but other dogs like to flip their rope toys in the air and send you scurrying to rescue your breakables.

One of my greyhounds seems to aim for the television, every time, so she only gets to play with the coveted rope toy when we're out in the fenced yard.

Your dog may be more calm . . . or not. Either way, these toys are a popular stand-by among greyhound owners I know, as well as in our own home, and they last practically for ever.

#5: Food-Dispensing Dog Toys

From a dog's perspective, what's not to like about the Kong Wobbler? You paw at the toy and it wobbles wildly all around in unpredictable directions, dispensing yummy treats all over the floor. Hours of fun!

If your greyhound gets bored at home while you're at work, or tends toward "separation anxiety," the Kong Wobbler is often a wonderful solution.

It's a tough and durable piece of wobbly food-dispensing fun to keep the dog from looking for ways to "get in trouble" by entertaining himself . . . like playing with your best shoes.

Now, with a greyhound who is relatively fresh off the track and still in that "spaced out" state of mind in his new home, there's a chance that the Kong Wobbler may start out just a bit weird and freaky to him.

Tip: Put a dab or two of peanut butter on the toy, and he'll soon get interested!

Easy to wash, and a very durable "interactive feeding puzzle" your greyhound will come to love.

What's your greyhound's favorite dog toy?

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    • aliciadonley profile image

      aliciadonley 3 years ago

      He's an italian greyhound mix but he loves all of these toys! How funny! I wish I had one of those things he could chase!

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 3 years ago

      @tazzytamar: Thank you, Anna. Glad to hear your ex-racer found a lovely home with you, and that he gets to enjoy a Kong in happy retirement!

    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 3 years ago from chichester

      These are all great suggestions - my boy loves his KONG treat dispenser. He's an ex-racing dog and I can't believe the cruelty of the people that use these wonderful creatures and then abandon them as if they were garbage! Makes me so angry! Your lenses are wonderful :)

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 3 years ago

      What great ideas. I love the squirrel.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 3 years ago

      Actually, I have a cat. I checked this list to find out if she was on it (she's not). So now I can tell her to come out from under the bed.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      great selection here, I have a small dog, a shih-tzu (she's older too, but she still likes to play, she'll carry a big stuffed animal in her mouth, it looks hilarious!)

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 3 years ago

      @ThreeQuarters2Day: I've got a death-to-stuffies toy-unfluffer in my pack, too. Fortunately he is also mad for unstuffed toys and anything with a rope attached. Your Brody is a clever good dog! Hope that Leah appreciates his self-restraint. ;)

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile image

      Dawn Romine 3 years ago from Nebraska

      My Jack Russell unfluffs all his toys, but my Boxer just loves on them. If I give one to her and tell Brody, "No, it's not your baby" he actually leaves it alone and recognizes it as Leahs toy

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 3 years ago

      @John Dyhouse: Lovely! I have a fondness for lurchers.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 3 years ago from UK

      Sqeaky toys go down very well, but I am surprised how many soft toys my son's dog has at home. Saying he is part of the family is an understatement, my son has even set up a FB page for him under the name Dante The Lurcher

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 3 years ago

      There are something that my dog would like to play with! I have 2 squeaky tennis balls and my dog likes playing with them.

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 3 years ago

      @Diana Wenzel: Oh, but rope toys are awesome! Count yourself lucky. Toby is flossing his teeth as he plays, and not disembowelling stuffies all over your living room while you're in the shower. :) I am a big fan of the rope toys, as are my pups. We have an exciting variety.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

      My dog only plays with his rope toy. Toby has not shown much interest in any other toys. Weird, huh?

    • profile image

      dudexyx 3 years ago

      Looks like all dogs like Stuffed Squirrels. :))

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 3 years ago from Europe

      I didn't know you could get stuffing-less toys. Whilst not a greyhound, the Irish rescue in my life does like to gut a plushie, so that looks like a good choice.

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 3 years ago

      @x10dit lm: Two words for you & Eric - "replacement squeakers"!!

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 3 years ago

      @JimHofman: That's a fun trick for dogs to learn - and doesn't it always impress your friends? :)

    • JimHofman profile image

      JimHofman 4 years ago

      Our hound mix loved her stuffed toys! She knew them all by name and would fetch them. She had a squirrel toy like the one you highlighted above...you squeeze it and it says, "Got acorns?"

    • x10dit lm profile image

      x10dit lm 4 years ago

      Eric's favourite is his plush toy giant bone. It was more fun before he killed the squeaker in it but it's still his absolute favourite!

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I recently saw a movie that had a greyhound in it, what an amazing looking dog. Lots of muscles that need working out, for sure. I can see why quality toys would be important.

    • Dusty2 LM profile image

      Dusty2 LM 4 years ago

      There were several toys the greyhounds liked to play with. The other thing the greyhounds liked to do was run around whenever they could. Even though they were retired, they got out each day, exercised and played. This lens is well done and Thanks for sharing this lens and the other lenses about the retired greyhound racing dogs. Again, Thank You for everything as I appreciate it. Have a Great Day! (^_^)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have 3 retired greyhounds. They love sqeaky furry toys !!!!!

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      @ae dc: The Labradors I know are as crazy for the squeaky tennis balls as the Greyhounds are, and with a Lab you also can't go wrong with any toy that dispenses treats, such as the Kong Wobbler. :)

    • ae dc profile image

      ae dc 5 years ago

      i don't have a greyhound but a labrador :-) i wrote a lens about her. i'm sure she's also going to enjoy these toys.

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Oh, I know the ones you mean - a grey friend of ours has the Beaver, too cute!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Those are some great ideas! My grey happens to most enjoy the non-stuffed animal toys that have a velcro opening to put squeakers in!! They're made by Kong, and when a squeaker looses it's squeak, you can just replace it, and the puppy thinks it's a whole new toy. Genius!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for the great ideas.

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      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      @SandyMertens: I hope you do get a greyhound some day, Sandy!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 5 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Great gift ideas for your dog. I would love to own a Greyhound.

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      @freyalou: Is it your lovely Freya the Lurcher who's the rope toy fiend? She reminds me so much of a shorter-legged version of my little female greyhound - and may I say, Freya is so lucky to have found you!

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      @ShariBerry: Can't go wrong with a Kong, we always say! :)

    • freyalou profile image

      freyalou 5 years ago

      Some great ideas here - lovely photos too! My greyhound cross is partial to rope toys, whereas my first foster greyhound loved anything with a squeaker.

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 5 years ago from Michigan

      I don't have a greyhound but my dogs love chew toys. The problem is they destroy them within seconds. The only thing that survives in our house are the Kong toys. Kudo's to you, another great lens.

    • flycatcherrr profile image
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      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      @darciefrench lm: Morkie... that would be a Maltese+Yorkshire Terrier, I'm guessing? Yep, nothing like a terrier for doing a fast "squeakectomy" on a stuffed toy! :)

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 5 years ago

      Pretty Lens.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 5 years ago

      I used to have a Morkie who was 5.5lbs soaking wet - she could tear open a stuffed doggie toy in seconds flat :) Good quality rubber toys were the only ones that lasted.