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Instinctual Dog Toys

Updated on April 15, 2015

Toys Your Dog Was Born to Play With!

What exactly are instinctual dog toys? Simply put, they're dog toys that satisfy a dog's inner craving or, sheesh, even to make a dog feel like a dog again (and not an accessory that hits the town inside a Louis Vouitton pocketbook). They're dog toys that typically appeal to a dog's heightened sense of smell or strong desire to chew. But, these aren't your ordinary bacon-scented this or beef broth infused that. No, no, no. Think of instinctual dog toys as toys that take your dog back to the days of his dog-pack-roaming ancestors. Back before Oscar Mayer even existed. Think tumbleweeds rolling around, wild west shootouts and that sort of thing. So, instinctual dog toys are a bit more real, more rustic than the oh-so-common pocketbook or beer can shaped squeaky toy. So, instead of bacon flavor these dog toys are made with real sheepskin or wool or even buffalo or rabbit skin or fur. Something your dog's great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather would have been proud to chew on.

Buffalo Bar Tug
Buffalo Bar Tug

Inner Dog Instincts huh?

Before dogs became human pets and companions, they roamed the earth free, using their instincts to survive. And, while the couch-lounging, treat-eating dogs of today have it easier than their ancestors, and are certainly more domesticated, they still have those same inner dog instincts. Instinctual dog toys are toys designed to calm and pacify a dog's natural instincts. For example, back in the day, dogs would chew on pretty much anything they could get their canine teeth on - their most favorite chew things being bones and sticks. Not only did all that chewing feel good, it kept their teeth clean and sharp. True, dogs today aren't doing much hunting and don't need razor-sharp teeth, but that doesn't mean their desire to chew on something hard but a little soft has gone away. So look for dog toys that are tough but still plyable. Like the West Paw Hurley or Bumi for instance. Another type of instinctual dog toy focuses on a dog's sense of smell. It's been said that a dog's sense of smell is a thousand times more powerful than that of a human. But, in fact, dogs have 220 million olfactory receptors their noses, while humans have only 5 million. Wild dogs used their sense of smell for various reasons: to find food and prey, to detect visitors, to find members of their pack, etc. Nowadays, pet dogs still have a keen sense of smell and it excites them when they encounter an instinctual smell, like that of another animal. The Sheepy Bar Tug, Buffalo Bar Tug and Bungee Bar Tug are great examples of this type of instinctual dog toy

Let's face it, dogs love to play, chew, smell, run and fetch. It's as simple as that. Providing them the dog toys that allow them to do what comes naturally to them is one of the best gifts you can give a fun-loving pooch. Instinctual dog toys go just a step further in providing a way for dogs to release that instinctual desire that all dogs have inside of them (Yes even the ones that drink bottled water and wear rain booties).

Instinctual Dog Toys - See if your dog lets out his "inner howl" with these...

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Bungee Bar Tug. Filled with Real sheepskin. Made in the USA.Sheepy Bar Tug. Made from real sheepskin and real sheep fur (we know, otherwise known as wool). Made in the USA.Buffalo Bar Tug. Made from real buffalo skin and real buffalo fur. Made in the USA.West Paw Hurley. Made from Zogoflex - a tough yet plyable material that's safe, non toxic and made in the USA.West Paw Bumi. Zogoflex makes this a good feel on dogs' teeth. It's hard(ish) yet still bendable.West Paw Tux. Made from Zogoflex with a hollow center that you can fill with your dog's favorite treats or toys.Vibram K9. Made from a natural rubber that's a good feel on dogs' teeth. Can definitely withstand some serious chew cravings!West Paw Stick. Made from Zogoflex which is a great material, not only to chew on but to fetch too. Yes, we know, back in the day dogs were fetching actual sticks or boomerangs. But, dogs have learned a thing or two over time... like a rubber stick iRabbit Tuffy. This made in the USA fleece tug toy actually has real rabbit run weaved within to drive your dog's senses wild.
Bungee Bar Tug. Filled with Real sheepskin. Made in the USA.
Bungee Bar Tug. Filled with Real sheepskin. Made in the USA.
Sheepy Bar Tug. Made from real sheepskin and real sheep fur (we know, otherwise known as wool). Made in the USA.
Sheepy Bar Tug. Made from real sheepskin and real sheep fur (we know, otherwise known as wool). Made in the USA.
Buffalo Bar Tug. Made from real buffalo skin and real buffalo fur. Made in the USA.
Buffalo Bar Tug. Made from real buffalo skin and real buffalo fur. Made in the USA.
West Paw Hurley. Made from Zogoflex - a tough yet plyable material that's safe, non toxic and made in the USA.
West Paw Hurley. Made from Zogoflex - a tough yet plyable material that's safe, non toxic and made in the USA.
West Paw Bumi. Zogoflex makes this a good feel on dogs' teeth. It's hard(ish) yet still bendable.
West Paw Bumi. Zogoflex makes this a good feel on dogs' teeth. It's hard(ish) yet still bendable.
West Paw Tux. Made from Zogoflex with a hollow center that you can fill with your dog's favorite treats or toys.
West Paw Tux. Made from Zogoflex with a hollow center that you can fill with your dog's favorite treats or toys.
Vibram K9. Made from a natural rubber that's a good feel on dogs' teeth. Can definitely withstand some serious chew cravings!
Vibram K9. Made from a natural rubber that's a good feel on dogs' teeth. Can definitely withstand some serious chew cravings!
West Paw Stick. Made from Zogoflex which is a great material, not only to chew on but to fetch too. Yes, we know, back in the day dogs were fetching actual sticks or boomerangs. But, dogs have learned a thing or two over time... like a rubber stick i
West Paw Stick. Made from Zogoflex which is a great material, not only to chew on but to fetch too. Yes, we know, back in the day dogs were fetching actual sticks or boomerangs. But, dogs have learned a thing or two over time... like a rubber stick i
Rabbit Tuffy. This made in the USA fleece tug toy actually has real rabbit run weaved within to drive your dog's senses wild.
Rabbit Tuffy. This made in the USA fleece tug toy actually has real rabbit run weaved within to drive your dog's senses wild.

Quick List of Some Instinctual Dog Toys

Lots of great dog toys to calm your dog's inner wildness.

  • Bungee Bar Tug - Filled with real sheepskin.
  • Sheepy Bar Tug - Made with real sheepskin and sheep fur.
  • Buffalo Bar Tug - Made with real buffalo skin and buffalo fur.
  • West Paw Hurley - Made with Zogoflex and a tough chewer's dream toy.
  • West Paw Bumi - Made with Zogoflex and a perfect chew, tug and toss toy.
  • West Paw Tux - One of the toughest Zogoflex chew toys. Has a hollow middle to be filled with treats or a favorite toy.
  • Vibram K9 Natural Rubber Stick - Soft yet firm rubber feels good on a dog's gums and teeth when they chew.
  • Vibram K9 Ball - Made from natural rubber - soft on a dog's teeth and easy to carry around too!
  • Rabbit Tuffy - Made in the USA from tough, durable fleece and with real rabbit fur weaved within.

More Instinctual Dog Toys

These dog toys are lots of fun for dogs to chew and play with.

Dog Instinct Question

Does Your Dog Ever Bury Treats or Toys?

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What Special Toy Lets Your Dog Find His/Her "Inner Dog"?

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