Dog Toys for Tough Chewers

The little bugger pretending like he doesn't destroy every toy we give him.
The little bugger pretending like he doesn't destroy every toy we give him.

It seems like there are two types of super-destructive dog chewers. One type will nibble and tear at a toy until he shreds it to pieces (this is my dog), and the other will chomp down as hard as he can until the toy yeilds and shatters.

They both need the same types of toys, though: durable through the toughest of times.

I feel like we've tried most everything out there trying to find something that Prucha won't try to ingest. (For the record, we found out early that ropes and plushies don't do great with him, so most of these toys are neither of those things.) So here's a review of the toys that we've tried for my destructo-pup and why they've worked... or haven't.

Deer Antlers

Not processed, and nothing is slaughtered. Deers shed their antlers, hunters pick 'em up, and your dog chews on them! They have calcium and other great nutrients, and they seem to last forever. You can even find them for free if you hike in an area that deer frequent!

They naturally won't splinter or anything, but if you get the pre-cut kind, be careful about how your dog deals with the sharp corners on the edges. Otherwise, they're the perfect toy for a strong-jawed pup to exorcise some energy!

Bully Sticks

Also called: twizzles, bull chews.

Basically? I love 'em. They're much safer than rawhide (which causes blockages, often contains bleaching agents, and is unnecessarily processed), and they seem to last longer.

Bully sticks are dried bull penises (I know). I've never heard of a dog that didn't love them, and even though they're more expensive than other "disposable" toys (if you have a hardcore chewer, do not expect these to last long!), you can buy them in bulk for much cheaper.

Air Kong

While most Kong-brand toys are excellent for big-time chewers (we'll look at other toys Kong makes later), I wasn't overly thrilled with the Air Kong toy we got. But there's an important reason why:

Prucha likes to nibble and tear at toys, and since the Air Kong toys are like tennis balls, he tries to eat the fuzz off of them. This toy became a mommy- supervised- playtime- only toy very quickly. When I leave him alone with it, he tries to eat it, molecule by molecule!

Hurley and Huck Dog Toys

These have been spectacular, and I think they'd be perfect for both "categories" of destructive chewers. The company offers a lifetime guarantee that your dog won't destroy their toys, or your money back! Seems like it's worth the risk to me, as we've had these for months now, and they still look just like the day we got them.

The only (small) complaint I have is that they are heavy for rubber toys (no doubt part of the indestructible structure). I live in an apartment, so we don't let Prucha play with these at night because he drops them on the floor, and they're loud!

Kong Extreme

While Prucha has a regular red Kong, he loves his black Goodie Bone Kong toy, and if his chewing ever progresses, we'll switch to a regular "black Kong," too.

Kong has developed the greatest, simplest dog toy, and though I've heard of terrible chewers destroying a black Kong, I've never seen it myself. I say it's worth a try. They stand up to chewing and they're intellectually stimulating. I don't know what more you could ask from a dog toy, really.

Prucha knows he'll destroy this toy with no problem.
Prucha knows he'll destroy this toy with no problem.

Tuffies Toys

I imagine these toys would work great for the chomper chewers -- the ones who bite down hard with big, indiscriminate bites.

But it didn't work for Prucha. He carefully ripped out the durable stitching on one of the claws (I imagine with one of his tiniest, most precise teeth) and pulled all the stuffing out of this toy. The rest of the toy was untouched, but we had to throw it out so he wouldn't ingest the stuffing.

Other than that, these seem durable to the dogs that just want to bite hard. And they squeak!

Wubba Kong

A great toy for playtime, but not something I'd leave with your dog for more than a few minutes. While we still use it, Prucha has chewed open the end of his Wubba so the edges of the canvas are frayed. We left him with it when we weren't supervising, and he found some way to undo some more tight stitching. Is someone teaching these dogs an anti-sewing class or something?

Nylabones

Nylabone is another great brand with a lot of good products for light- and heavy-chewers alike. You might want to opt for the edible brands if you have a chomping chewer because some of them can bite through even the toughest inedible Nyla. Prucha gets both edible and inedible because he doesn't destroy and ingest the edible ones. I would supervise the edible ones especially, though, because dogs can bite off chunks that are too big to digest and swallow them.

Cuz Balls

Another favorite amongst power-chewers is the Cuz balls. They're made of very thick rubber and have a squeak in them, and they seem to last forever.

Be warned, though, that some dogs seem to be intent on chewing the feet off of these toys. You don't want your dog to ingest that rubber, so some people just cut the feet off before they even give them to their dogs. They don't last as long this way, but it's much safer for your dog!

Orbee Balls

Made by Planet Dog, these balls are great. They come in all shapes and sizes, and there's not much for a dog to chew off or anything (especially on the smooth ones).

Keep in mind that this will stand up to your chewer because there's not much they can chew on (or chew off...), so it won't allow them to exorcise their need to chew. It'll last forever and is a great toy to play with that you don't have to worry about, but if you gave your chewer only these toys, you'd probably end up with a chewed-up shoe or two.

Doggy Hoots

These tough canvas tug toys are durable and great if your dog's jaws seem to tear through average ropes or other toys like that.

I wouldn't get these for Prucha, though, because I know the outcome would be similar to that of the Tuffies toys. For dogs that nibble and nibble until they can finally ingest parts of the toys, these are a supervision-only toy. But for a dog who just has super strong jaws, these are sure to last though plenty of games of tug.

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A Few More...

Here are some great tips from other owners of destructive-chewer dogs that I haven't tried myself but sound great!

  • Frozen marrow bones (from your local butcher) and knuckle bones will tire out any destructo-dog. Just make sure you're not feeding weight-bearing bones, which are too hard for most dogs' teeth.
  • In the summer, stick a tennis ball or some treats into a water-filled tupperware container. Freeze, punch out the frozen block, and let the dog go at it! (Obviously this is an outdoor activity.)

Any Suggestions?

As I try more products, I'll keep reviewing them here. Have any product you love that you think I should try? Anything you've tried and recommend I avoid at all costs? Leave a comment and let everyone know!

More by this Author


Comments 48 comments

Charity 8 years ago

You for got Planet Dog/Orbee toys, and Cuz Balls with the feet cut off :) They're the only thing thats gotten me through


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan Author

You're right, Charity! I'll add those right now. Thanks!


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia

The Doggy Hoots Yanker dog toys are great too. My APBT chews holes in everythng. Although, she's chewed the feet off, the body is still intact and fine.


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan Author

Just looking at those on Amazon, I'm positive Prucha would nibble at one edge until it came completely apart, but they look very tough for the other type of super chewer to destroy. I'll add them to the list. Thanks, Whitney! Valuable input, as always. :)


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia

They're really neat. Stuffed with cotton belt- type material. I'm not sure how long the snake one would last because it's a little thin, but the alligator has lasted longer than I thought it would. Minus the legs of course.


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan Author

I'm definitely going to order one next time I get some stuff from Amazon.. they sound great!


cvaughn570 8 years ago

My dog is both a nibbler and a chomper depending on the day and the toy...lol

Thanks for the Good information.

Carol


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan Author

Hey Carol, never forget that you're not alone, haha! Hopefully some of these toys can help you out.


Sara Algoe profile image

Sara Algoe 8 years ago from Phoenix, Ariz

My dogs have taste for organic compounds they only chew on live kills squirrels, bird you name them and no matter how much i try to train them they get wilder and wilder and they always bring dead animals to my porch.


Jenna 8 years ago

Nearly all of those toys have been torn apart.... I have a doberman who chews EVERY toy to pieces. It takes him 4 min for the Wubba Kong. What I have found that he LOVES but has not destryoed is the ToyShoppe dog in the larges size. Also by Toyshoppe is the bowling pin. His first toy was the Toyshoppe dog, and it took him 9 months to finally rip it in half. Another good one is ToyShoppe ribbed dumbell the the Orka clear blue Jack (shaped like a jack). Those I have found to be indestrutible and finally saves me money from having to buy toy after toy (and they aren't cheap!)


Anne 7 years ago

I have a dane puppy 10 months that destroys everything and have found that racquetballs and lacross balls are two things that last. cheaper than most dog store balls and far tougher! thanks for the listing. shunka was bored with nylabones, and killed every kong that we tried including the huge black ones. He brings home huge branches and logs and destroys them in the yard.


Anne 7 years ago

totally forgot about Squirrel Dudes. they work and keep him busy. My trainer suggested putting his food in them and it works. 20 minutes of free time while he plays and eats.....


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

Dane puppies can be a handful! Good point about the lacrosse balls; those things are tough. Remember that in another 9 months or so, he'll be the lazy giant his parents were. :)


Katie 7 years ago

Our dog loves the Orka clear blue jacks, but also tears them up. It last him 6 months before we have to throw it away. That is pretty good compared to most who only take less than 24 hours to be destroyed. He tears the ends off the jacks. His current one is down to 3 ends instead of 6. Good ideas though!


Eternal Evolution profile image

Eternal Evolution 7 years ago from kentucky

I had a boston terrier that would demolish any toy her got a hold of lol. my pit bull however is surprisngly gental on toys, he had a squeeky toy and as soon as it squeeked he droped it lmao.


Susan 7 years ago

Have you ever tried the Himalayan Edible Dog Chew? Yak or cow's milk and lime dried into a very very hard chew shaped like a biscotti cookie. They're not cheap, $7 - $10 for one, but they last longer than anything else edible that I've found. Fully digestible too. Holly Belle, my 15 lb terrier mix pound puppy has chewed through many toys (and non-toys). Bully sticks last for about one day. Gnawing on one of these over a week or two seems to puts her in a trance-like state and give her immense chewing pleasure.


Laurel 6 years ago

I have only a few toys that have lasted for several months. The Kong Extreme goodie bone, the Kong Solid Ball, and the inedible Nylabones The Air Kongs only usually last a few days for me (I had an Air Kong tennis ball last a month once). The toys by JW Pet Company survive for a good while, but my dog kills the squeaker within a couple weeks to a month. I would highly recommend the Other Good Cuz for a very powerful chewer. It has no feet (just stumps for legs), and no ears or wings (which my little girl chews off right away). The JW Pet Company iSqueak toys are a great addition or alternative to the Cuz, as they squeak, too and don't have anything to chew off. I've had a Kong Wubba for about a month, and it does have a hole in the top of the canvas. My dog child tore out the very day she got it, I think because I wasn't paying attention to her. I think she may have used her dew claws. Since then, it has survived, but we don't use it without supervision anymore. I really wish Kong made more toys in the Extreme Line (they had a black Goodie ship for a while, but it supposedly was no stronger than the red one). If you buy the regular red Kong toys for a power chewer, definitely size up. It might even be a goodie idea with the black ones, if you find dents appearing afteer a short period of time. I'm planning to test the Tuffies Mega Ring with my baby soon. I don't think the Ultimate level Tuffies would last very long with her. Also, the Orbee Tuff bones and Zogoflex Hurley only lasted us a month before Little Chewzilla (a 60 something pound lab) cracked each in two. Well, that's better than her Goodie ship at two weeks or her Pup Treads tire (two hours gave it four large holes). My best advice? Research, research, research! Find out how the manufacturer rates their toys, and try to buy the toughest ones they have. It can be pricey at $10 to $15 for the average power chewer toy (the Tuffies Mega Ring is $20 on Amazon as of this writing), but it's worth it. At this point, I'm looking at only needing to replace hard rubber squeak toys every month, which is good. The JW Pet Company toys are half the price of Nylabones and Kongs (on Amazon right now), so it doesn't bother me to have to replace thos eoften. Another bit of advice--plush toys are risky! Even if your chomper doesn't kill the squeaker quickly, he or she could choke on the fibers or get them trapped in the intestinal tract. Rawhide is also a choking hazard, and I've heard it can give dogs diahrea. I've seen dogs who do wfine with rawhide, and I've seen dogs who want to "kill the evil squeaker". So definitely know your dog, not just chewing style, but temperment, relief style, etc. Also, don't buy cheap toys; they are usually made cheaply, which is reflected in the price (exceptions do exist, i.e. JW Pet). Even tennis balls come in a variety of quality--they make great toys if you buy sturdy ones.


Michelle R. 6 years ago

My wiemaranier is 1 yr old and distroys most toys before the sunrises again! I have found the Jolly Ball will last about 3 wks. I got the 6 in size, so his mouth is really extended when he puts it in there! Sadly, not much else has lasted. I have an antler, and a nylabone- but that one makes his teeth bleed. So far I think the monthly toy bill is bigger than the food bill!!


Maryann 6 years ago

I've tried EVERYTHING for my 95 lb shep mix Brooklyn, and have not found a toy yet that she cannot destroy ! She just enjoys opening them up, pulls out the stuffing and spits it out, then rips them apart !


sarah 6 years ago

I have a lab, and she is definitely a chewer. The hurley is a great toy, but there are a bunch of other toys made by west paw design that are just as awesome! The guarantee isn't a money-back one though, it's a one-time replacement, if your dog manages to destroy it. They're fully recyclable, made from eco-friendly materials, come in plenty of fun colors, and float for land and water fun. I've had Bailey's hurley for about a year now and it doesn't even have a scratch. I just bought the bumi for her last week, and it seems to be just as great as the rest of the line.


Jennifer 6 years ago

My dog is a nibbler. He shreds every toy we've given him, he especially loves feet and ears (or stuff shaped like that on toys). I bought Petstages Orka Jack with rope, even though he chewed the rope in half the toy has lasted longer than any of his other toys. It's also very versatile (it floats & you can hide treats).


Harley 6 years ago

I pit bull is both too. He nibbles, and some how he never fails to completely destroy all the toys I get him. So I stopped buying toys. Now I get hand me down toys, and let him destroy as many as he wants.


Aaron 6 years ago

I just bought a "Hurley" from www.IndestructbileDog.com

Finally found something my German Shepherd couldn't chew through


scott 6 years ago

got an apbt and haven't found any toy to last fer more then 30 min


Gabriela 6 years ago

Great post, covering most of the tough toys on the market. You might want to try and add Vibram toys. The balls particularly are near indestructible and Kansas City Zoo uses them for their African Wild Dogs. http://www.vibramk9.com/

I think it's also important to note that playing interactively with your dog can reduce their need to destroy things. Dogs can learn that a destroyed toy can't be played with and that keeping it intact means more games with the owner. So play with your dogs!


Ashley 6 years ago

My dog (a whopping 26 lbs) just chewed through his black Kong. He had it for almost 2 days. The only thing I can be thankful for is that he only full out chews on his own toys. To date (his own things aside) he has only ruined one sock, but he seems to tar through things that are made for dogs. I'm so glad I've found this list I had no idea there was a dog toy manufacturer that actually gave a lifetime garrantee. Thanks so much.


taty96 profile image

taty96 6 years ago from Ecuador

Great article, hope you read my posts on dogs. If you want free tips for dogs send me a private message.


Amy Rockwood 6 years ago

I sure wish my GoughNut Black was on your list. Your readers here sound right up our alley. Thanks for your great review.


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toneyahuja 6 years ago from India

Great hub on tough dog toys. It is simple to buy online toys now Pretend Play toys, dolls, action figures, baby toys, building sets, video games, http://instantoys.com


Susan 5 years ago

Thank you for posting. We have a 1-year old Golden named Cooper that has destroyed all of my shrubs in the yard. We are looking for both inside and outside toys to keep him occupied.


Amy Rockwood 5 years ago

Love the chew toy discussion. I may have missed it but where are the GoughNuts?


Dog Chew Toys 5 years ago

Wow, these are some nice dog chew toys. Also this is nice hub.


Amanda 5 years ago

This is a fabulous list- thank you so much! I have a wee little one (weighing in at only 8 pounds) but she can chew through any toy we give to her! It's always funny to see her running around with a "big dog/heavy chew" toy that's nearly the size of her : )! Thanks again!! Headed out to get some new toys noww!


Matt Terpck 5 years ago

great list although i have a black lab beagle mix that has destoyed a kong extreme in a week i dont know what else to get her that is still a rubber toy? any thoughs


Sinea Pies profile image

Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

My yellow lab has even destroyed the super kongs in the matter of an hour. Super jaws! I buy real marrow bones from the meat dept of my grocery store. I pick the thick, big ones with smooth edges so she can't break off pieces. If she does get a piece off, it goes right into the garbage.


Sheri 5 years ago

I have two Amstaffs and have yet to find anything that last more than 20mins lol. Great info.... I'm off to get some Hurleys. Gave them a Nyla bone, was completely

GONE in 5min!!!!


Shannon 5 years ago

I have a dog that has chewed through everything you can think of................


L A Dreamin profile image

L A Dreamin 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

I love the Antler idea! Also Prucha is adorable! Kong toys are the very best I have found for our really tough chewer (Torry). Nice job Helenathegreat!

http://www.puppyanddogs.com


Dana  5 years ago

Do not give your dog antlers to chew on!!!!!!!!!! I was just at the vet with my incredibly destructive lab and asked her about good toys my dog won't be able to get through in less than 5 mins.. when I brought up the idea of deer antlers she said ABSOLUTELY NOT. They are too hard for their teeth, and can easily fracture them when they bite down, leaving the dog in severe pain, and you with a hefty vet bill. I'm sure there are people who haven't had a problem with antlers, but for a heavy heavy heavy chewer like my dog, I'll definitely be staying away from them.


Thunder 5 years ago

My name is Thunder I'm a pug and I can chew on any stuff animal and get the stuffing out. Even them squeaky toys they show on tv like the raccoon, I can destroy them also. I love stuff animals I get sad when I loss my buddies. Please help I muss stuff animals


Teagon's Doggy Mom 5 years ago

We have a similar problem with our dog, Teagon. She LOVES the toys, but can go through them in minutes. She skins the kong footballs (any ball with fuzz), and even destroyed one regular kong. We have found the Nylabones with interesting shapes (zig zag bone & dinosaur are favorites!), huck toys, antlers, and an occasional rubber ball have been successful. Always looking for new toys to try (but it does get pricey when they don't even last a day). Thanks for putting out the options, I wish I'd found this before I spent a small fortune trying it out myself. We still run into a problem where she rips up her bedding in her kennel, but HATES her kennel without bedding. I'd love suggestions! Thanks again


Teagon's Doggy Mom 5 years ago

I did forget to say, the antlers do NOT last forever. They last about a month in our house (she chews them up and they get smaller and smaller) but have been one of our favorites (both Teagon and myself!).


Basset Mom 5 years ago

I have one powerfully aggressive chewer and the other is just aggressive. They are both bassets. Beauford can bite a wolf sized nylabone in half. We have gone to the Soupers and big chews and haven't had a problem since. He can eat a 4 ft pizzle in 20 minutes. He ate a jumbo deer antler in about 6 hours. We have taught him that the stuffies all get put up if he is destroying them instead of playing with them. Don't forget Nylabone Dental dinosaurs. They also make these new great chunky line of toys. So far we have the ring and both boys LOVE it. In their minds kongs are for stuffing and destuffing not chewing. If you can teach them not to destroy the stuffed animals, the best ones are tuffies, huggle hounds and go dog with chew guard technology. They will not hold up to a dog trying to destroy it, but they will hold up to being pounced on and killed and being tugged on by two bassets and going in the washer and dryer every week. We also love the orbee balls and strawberry and artichoke. I wouldn't want the dog to sit and chew on the strawberry and artichoke but my dogs take turns throwing them to each other and pouncing on them and killing them. Great article by the way. Got some ideas!


Me 4 years ago

i think kong wubber is a good one 4 dogs because my dog hasn't chewed it up yet. other toyz like ropes and stuffed animals just go too quickly. ps yes it is k - o - n - g w - u - b - b - e - r u can searh it if u want to


mike 4 years ago

well it seems like i can't find a dog toy that my boy can't wreck he has destroyed every toy that i have bought him he eat the big black kong in 3 days there was nothing left to it


Diana 4 years ago

my dog has chewed through everything even the kong wubba. The only one he hasn't got through yet is the big Nylabone. He has been through all of the kong canvas toys and other ones that were recommended by the pet stores. There doesn't seem to be much that he cant get through.


bully moma 4 years ago

We strugled try to keep toys around our APT are really tuff on everything. One always plays with logs. We searched and found a new product by Unbreakoball. Can you say awesome? These big daddy Unbreakoballs are the best thing since sliced bread. We googled indestuctible dog toys and they came right up. Can't say I have ever purchase a more durable dog toy. The web site they sell them at is www.unbreakoball.com


kong hater 3 years ago

Just spent about 2,ooo dollars on a vet bill to remove a chunk of Kong toy from my puppies intestines. Only try the black Kong, don't do the 'puppy' version.

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