The Best Dog Toys for Bullies and Other Tough Chewers
Most dogs like to chew. Some dogs really like to chew.
For a regular dog, regular chew toys are perfectly fine. But for those dogs that really like to chew, or have stronger jaws, you need a more durable kind of toy.
This is a list of some of the best chew toys for dogs that need something just a little bit tougher to destroy.
1. The Hurley
The Hurley doesn’t look like it would be very durable: it’s an oblong, stick-shaped chew toy that a dog can chew much like a bone. However, unlike a bone, a Hurley won’t break apart and possibly injure the dog. They’re tough enough to withstand some heavy-duty chewing, and flexible enough to keep your canine’s attention for weeks to come.
2. Tuffy Brand Toys
The Tuffy line of dog toys don’t look like they would survive for long when given to an experienced chewer. They are bright and colorful, often shaped like animals or dinosaurs. And more importantly, they’re soft toys made of fabric. If you have a dog that likes to chew, chances are that you would immediately disregard the Tuffy line of toys just for that reason. But that would be a mistake.
The Tuffy toys are tough for a reason: they are constructed with durability in mind. The materials used to make the toys are tough, and the each toy has anywhere from 3 to 7 rows of stitching on each section of the toy. Even more impressive, the fabrics used are luggage-grade, meaning that they can take some abuse before tearing, and each toy can have up to four layers of this material, with protective webbing. Those toys which do have squeakers to keep a dog’s attention also come with protective pockets, meaning that it will take that much longer for your dog to get to them, and more than enough time for you to get to the toy and remove the squeaker. This company has your dog’s safety in mind when they produce their products.
If this doesn’t convince you, consider this: my dog (a 50 pound pit bull rescue) has three Tuffy products. While he does eventually manage to open up each toy and remove the stuffing, he has yet to lose interest in the toys. Even when the toy is an empty skin, he still brings them out to show to visitors and to play with. Of all my dog’s toys, these are the ones he likes the best.
Ropes seem like a no-brainer for most people with heavy-chewers. Yet in recent years, the humble dog rope has lost a lot of its appeal, and that is a shame. These toys, while simple, are more than capable of taking a ton of daily doggy attention. I have heard of people getting pieces of sea-toughened rope from boats and ships, but if you take the time to pick a good rope, the store-bought kind work great as well.
In my experience the most durable ropes for heavy chewers are those that have a large knotted center, with the remaining rope emerging from each side. The least durable, and the ones that require the most cleanup, are those that have a ball – usually a tennis ball – with the rope pushed through the middle.
Regardless of what rope you end up choosing, your dog will definitely enjoy chewing your choice. Some people (and dogs) enjoy playing tug-of-war with ropes, some (like my dog) just want you to hold onto the rope while they chew it.
An extra added bonus of choosing dog ropes for your dog to chew is that the rope helps to clean your dog’s teeth, because the strands of rope acts like dental floss!
4. The Staffy Ball
The Staffy Ball is a bit less known and harder to find outside of Australia, but boy, do these balls ever work!
The Staffy Ball (named after the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a breed very popular in both Australia and the UK and the smaller ancestor of the pit bull) is a very durable dog toy – and Aussie Dog Products, the company that produces them has the evidence to prove just how tough they really are.
They provided their Staffy Balls to captive zoo lions to play with. And the best part? Even the lions couldn’t break them. That’s right. These balls are so tough, so resilient, that even a pride of lions couldn’t destroy them. Did they scratch them up? Of course – they’re lions. But the proof remains that these balls are ridiculously strong.
Something that often gets overlooked with dog toys is that some dogs, especially strong chewers, like to do more than just chew. Some dogs like to play with balls. Not fetch necessarily – my dog refuses to fetch, but loves to play with balls on his own. However, he always destroys regular balls. For these dogs, the Staffy Ball is great – too tough to be broken, dogs who chew a little too rough with regular balls can still enjoy all the fun of a ball with a Staffy Ball. Some dogs really like to push a ball around, kind of like playing soccer with the ball. The Staffy Ball is great for those types of dogs as well.
The Kong is a staple in the arsenal of any dog-owner, tough chewer or not. Known for being very tough, a Kong is a rubber toy shaped like a smooth, hollow pinecone The best part about a Kong is that if your dog loses interest in the toy, you can put a food on the inside portion to keep the dog chewing and licking his way to bliss. Peanut butter is the standard filling, but Kong also offers a few different flavored fillings of their own.
However, while the regular-shaped Kong toys are tough, the other shapes can be fairly fragile. The Kong Frisbee in particular won’t last very long against a strong chewer.
6. Nylabone Galileo
The Galileo is a hard dog toy. If your dog likes to chew something that will not break, and is harder than a rock, this is a great toy. If your dog likes to chew something that has some give to it, then steer clear. Many people swear by these for tough chewers, but experience tells me that dogs who prefer fabric or rubber toys generally do not like these, because they find them too hard.
Like the Kong, the Galileo comes in a few different sizes, so make sure that you get the proper size for your dog. Safety first!
Much like bones, antlers are a calcium-based dog chew toy that come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.
Antlers are a newer addition to the dog toy family, and they have taken the chewing market by storm. Some people swear by them, saying that they are harder than bones, and claim that they will not splinter or break, but will only wear down over time. Like ropes and bones, antlers will clean dog teeth and gums, so are a solid addition to maintaining canine dental hygiene.
However, despite claims that the antlers will not break or splinter, there are indeed reports of the antlers splintering after prolonged chewing. My own experience with them was that after a week of chewing, the antler splintered, embedding itself in my dog’s gumline, requiring surgery to remove. So beware claims to the contrary.
Dog toys are a great way to entertain your dog and help maintain good dental health. Sturdy dog toys are hard to find, but this list has some great tough dog toys that your dog will love.
Never leave a dog unattended with a chew toy, no matter how strong and tough the toy producers claim their product is. Always engage in responsible pet ownership – if a toy’s integrity has been compromised, always remove the toy and dispose of it rather than risk your pet’s health.
Is your dog’s favorite toy not on the list? Is your dog a tough chewer? Do you love your pit bull, Rottweiler, German shepherd, or Lab as much as they love their toys? Let us know in the comments!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.