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Toys and Tips for the Destructive Dog

Updated on May 10, 2012

Being a lifetime dog lover and working for my local dog rescue group for many years, I’ve had my share of personal property mistaken for dog toys.

What causes this type of behavior and what can you do about it? There are a number of reasons dogs hone in on your stuff and many things you can do to put an end to it.

Although training and excercise are essential, you must make sure you have the right dog toys, chews and acceptable activities available.

Lack of Exercise – Excess of Energy

Too much energy is the root of many “behavior” problems. Simply taking your dog for a walk every morning will help him release that energy. A quick game of fetch or a morning jog can certainly do the trick for many breeds, leaving them ready for a nap when you are off to work.

Play Frisbee

Extreme Flyer
Extreme Flyer

This is a destructive dog grade frisbee. Great for fetch or tug and chewing. Buy 2 so you can easily get your dog to drop 1 to get 1 in fetch.


No Toys or No INTERESTING Toys

A friend of mine was suffering from destructo-dog and losing shoes, hats and clothing to her energetic pitbull mix. When I visited their home, I was hard pressed to find a dog toy.

The dog begins sampling other items like stray socks or something out of the wastebasket to occupy her free time.

The best solution for boredom based destruction is to have a good selection and variety of toys for your dog.

Many dogs will have favorite toys that can keep them occupied for hours.

Great toys like Kyjen dog puzzles actually challenge the dog by mentally exercising him. These type of toys can have a much longer shelf life because it becomes less about “killing” the toy to remove the squeaker and more about removing each toy from the house, or completing a task to receive the reward.

A smart dog needs smart toys. Simple as that.

Too Easily Destroyed

Some dogs are just not meant to have a stuffed squeaky toy. $7.99 is gone in 60 seconds or less as your dog races to get every last bit of white fluffy stuffing pulled out of the limp plush.

Kong Squeez toys are probably one of the most indestructible toys on the market. They are very appealing to my dog and provide long periods of chewing and squeaking before she can finally get the squeak out of these heavy duty rubber toys. Even without the squeaker, they are still fun to chew and almost impossible to chew apart!

KONG Squeezz Toys

KONG Squeezz Ring Dog Toy. The toys also come in sticks and balls. They squeak, are good for tugging and throwing and that cannot be chewed apart at all.
KONG Squeezz Ring Dog Toy. The toys also come in sticks and balls. They squeak, are good for tugging and throwing and that cannot be chewed apart at all.

Buy positively indestructable KONG Squeez Toys on Amazon

The Indestructables

Squeaker Bone Large
Squeaker Bone Large

This bone will provide plenty of enjoyment for a large breed dog, but they come in sizes to suit all sizes of dogs.


Jax and Bones Dog Toys

Jax and Bones Rope Toy - Elton the Octopus will not be unstuffed.
Jax and Bones Rope Toy - Elton the Octopus will not be unstuffed.

See the full selection of Jax and Bones Rope Toys

Dura Doggie - Made in the USA!

Made in the USA "Dura Doggie" toys are also a hit with the aggressive chewer. Their Beba toy is squeaky and strong. It is made of FDA approved rubber and is also a treat dispenser. My dog is still not able to get the squeak out!

Dura Doggie Toys

Beba Toy by Dura Doggie squeeks, is indestructable, is made in the USA and comes in 4 colors!
Beba Toy by Dura Doggie squeeks, is indestructable, is made in the USA and comes in 4 colors!

Buy the "Dura Doggie" - Beba Toy

Trial and Texture

I learned with some of my beloved babies that certain textures simply appealed to them. The corner of my wood coffee table proved to be intensely satisfying to my lab mix. After offering a sampling of choices, I found that cow’s hooves (yes, I know – really gross!) were a suitable replacement. When I would catch her near that delicious piece of furniture, I’d quickly offer a hoof. Soon furniture gnawing became a thing of the past.

A Better Choice to Chew

Toy Studies 101

The bottom line is that we own many items that look, smell and feel like toys to dogs. Let’s face it, leather is part of a dead animal. If your dog has ever come across a dead animal, you know what a life changing experience this is for them and your boots are just as stimulating.

Spend some time training your dog with the approved toys and some of these off limit items. Each time they choose the toy over your purse, they are patted and praised. One lick of the purse gets a quick “no!” Put in a little time as the professor and your dog will get a passing grade.

Be Prepared and Pay Attention

All dogs are different and what is a must have toy for one dog, may never get the seal of approval from another. The key is to get involved with active play and pay attention to what interests your dog and what does not.

If your pup is starting to search for your new boots, take a look at her toy selection and see if it’s time for an upgrade.

With all the knowledge you have gathered, surely you can find something that will be much cheaper and more rewarding than replacing your coffee table or running shoes.

Also, if you set yourself up properly for a new dog you can avoid the destruction and disappointment completely and raise a discerning and clever companion who will almost always choose the right toy over your personal property.


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    • profile image

      Emily 3 years ago

      My dog is tears everything apart as well even the air squeaker KONG toys.. You can see the review of many durable toys at

    • profile image

      Chewy 6 years ago

      This info is great!! My pitbull loves to rip toys to shreds....even her bedding for the white fluff inside!! Ive tried a few kong products but she goes thru them suprisingly quick. Im thinking of trying the kyjen brand toy, maybe she just needs to be challenged more? Thanks again!

    • kkflowers profile image

      kkflowers 6 years ago

      Paper... at least you don't have to spend a fortune on toys! ;)

    • weezyschannel profile image

      Lisa 6 years ago from Central USA

      Great Hub and information. My dogs rip up paper of all things!! If theres a paper or a book, or cardboard and I walk out the door, they let me know they're ticked.

    • kkflowers profile image

      kkflowers 6 years ago

      Thanks! Yes - it is usually the expensive shoes or the new ones but she hasn't quite figured out how to open the closet and remove them herself. It takes a little (lack of) effort on my part to leave them strewm about! We've had a few talks about this and she has been really great about letting me get away with it for quite some time as long as I keep a steady supply of Kong squeakers :)

    • Safety for Pets profile image

      Safety for Pets 6 years ago

      He he he... great hub. I love how you say "my personal property mistaken for dog toys." I have finally embraced the fact that it's usually MY mistake when this happens. I know what my dog loves to chew, generally my most expensive shoes. I have to make sure he doesn't have access to them and has alternatives. Good info.

    • kkflowers profile image

      kkflowers 6 years ago

      Goughnuts looks like a great toy for the motivated chewer or puppies! I'd love to hear about your experience with it :)

    • laddriggers profile image

      laddriggers 6 years ago

      Great hub! You should really try GoughNuts. Not only is it supposed to be as indestructible as dogs toys can be, but it has a built in safety color change feature so you know if it's no longer safe. I've ordered one for my pups and I can't wait to try it out. It's guaranteed for life - they'll replace it if your dog ever destroys it.