“Indestructible”? Hah!
August 5, 2018 1:04 PM   Subscribe

My 8 month old puppy, Gatsby is a serious chewer. Please help me find soft dog toys that will last more than a day!

He’s got a kong and an everlasting treat ball and a snoop, all of which he loves, but he also wants to chew on soft things and if I don’t provide them, he’ll eat my couch.

I’ve tried the Outward Hound Invincibles snake (ripped the edging “protective fabric” off in an hour) a Kong-branded stuffed animal with rope inside (lasted a while, but eventually ripped the fabric covering the head off), various “super tough” toys from PetSmart (ha!), toys that purport to have “chew guard” technology, etc. I’ve tried stuffed things and crinkle things and unstuffed things. If there’s any bit of fabric to grab onto, he’ll tear any toy to bits.

He gets a BarkBox every month, the fabric covered liberty ball in the photos lasted the longest, but once the fabric was off, he destroyed the ball in seconds (it’s designed to tear the fabric off and then be a ball toy). I’m about at my wits end after he destroyed the lasted “indestructible” toy in an hour.

I’ve seen previous questions, but the most recent was from 2014, so, have there been any advancements in dog toy technology (please, god, say yes...)?
posted by Weeping_angel to Pets & Animals (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: My dog is a major chewer, and I love the Tuffy brand of dog toys. He can eventually pull out the stuffing and squeakers, but it takes a while. The stuffing is made of long ribbons, rather than individual pieces of fluff, so it's easy to clean up when he finally extricates it from the toy.
posted by radioamy at 1:14 PM on August 5, 2018 [5 favorites]

We had to use rope toys for that, not the super-stiff ones but the slightly softer ones. Our destructo-puppy was a knot-un-tier and the knotted ropes would sometimes last two weeks because he was distracted by the knots. And then he'd get it untied and I'd have to take it away before he started eating the strings.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:16 PM on August 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: After finding out that monthly bison knuckles were damaging my dogs' teeth, I bought them these wood Gorilla Chews. Amazing, last forever, no splintering for my Husky and Malamute. As with all chew toys I observed them for a few days but I'm confident in them. Yes, you're buying a stump (!), but it works, there's no mess, and mine haven't gotten through one yet.
posted by mireille at 1:26 PM on August 5, 2018

We used ropes too. It's the shredding they enjoy and there is a lot of shredding in a rope. Logs and wood are good too but strictly outdoors unless you like splinters.

No actual toys have ever held up to chewing by the husky pack. The fire hose toys lasted the longest by which I mean maybe a week if sustained attacks on the squeaker. They got into a rack of deer ribs once and ate them like potato chips. I can't imagine anything that would hold up to that level of determined destruction.
posted by fshgrl at 1:30 PM on August 5, 2018

Sorry, I realized that you asked for soft toy recommendations but these do address the "must destroy something" moods mine get into as I've never found a soft toy that worked for them.
posted by mireille at 1:30 PM on August 5, 2018

Best answer: I bought 2 Kong Squeez Crackle Sticks for Murphy, because he also wanted a soft toy but destroys fabric. (He also rips the fuzz off of tennis balls and then throws it up.)

It's been a good 2 months and they are still in great shape. We are shocked.

Gatsby is a handsome boy!
posted by kimberussell at 1:30 PM on August 5, 2018

We’ve found good success with the WestPaw zogoflex toys. One of the few that holds up to our pup’s dedicated, focused chewing
posted by RunRunRunRun at 1:38 PM on August 5, 2018

Best answer: Seconding the Tuffie toys. I felt a little ill about the cost of the first one, but they're seriously great and held up for MONTHS. They're also constructed in a way that if the dog chews a hole in one part, it's not immediately done for, which was a plus. We've had the most success with the mega ring, but anything rated a 7 or higher on the "tuff-scale" lasted at least a couple of months. They also have many options on their website.
posted by vakker at 3:19 PM on August 5, 2018

This is the soft plush toy that lasts at my house with my German shepherd. Lasts is variable - we go through about three a year, and they do occasionally need some mild mending - we use upholstery thread - but it is the best way to save your sanity and keep a beloved toy.
posted by corb at 4:11 PM on August 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Gatsby is so cute!

As a fellow terrier owner, I sympathize. We once got ours an "indestructible" soft toy MADE OF KEVLAR and it lasted 15 minutes.

He did come to our home as an older puppy equipped with this goDog Baby Dragon, which is very cute and has lasted quite a while. It doesn't squeak anymore, but it's one of the toys he came with that has survived mostly intact.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:51 PM on August 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

As RunRunRunRun mentioned, the WestPaw Zogoflex toys are great. My dog doesn't do a ton of chewing on them, but yours might, and they're good ones to have around for playing fetch and tug-of-war.
posted by radioamy at 6:02 PM on August 5, 2018

Best answer: Nthing Tuffy brand toys. My dog will rip them in half after about a week, and slowly pull the squeakers and stuffing out over the next two.

I've also resorted to just giving him fat quarters of faux fur I get in the scrap bins at the fabric shop. He just likes to pull stuff apart and he doesnt really care if it looked like a cute bunny or raccoon to start with.
posted by ananci at 6:46 PM on August 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Mine destroyed an "indestructible" plush monkey in less than 5 minutes on Christmas morning.

YMMV, but I realized mine is really just trying to get at the squeakers, and then she mostly loses interest. I've found two toys that she doesn't seem inclined to destroy. The first is a pink bunny from the dollar store. It is not a dog toy and it has no squeaker, but she still carries it around and likes to gnaw on it - but she doesn't try to tear it open. The other is the ZippyPaws Hedgehog Burrow. It's three stuffed, squeaky hedgehogs and a plush shell you can shove them all into. Because the hedgehogs are smooth and round, I think pulling them out of the burrow and squeaking them satisfies her that she's done her job. ZippyPaw makes a ton of variations on this, but she quickly tore the limbs and ears off the pigs before I switched to the hedgehogs. That being said, I recommended them to a friend, and her dog got into a hedgehog pretty quickly, so I think it depends a lot on what your dog is getting out of the destruction.
posted by natabat at 8:48 PM on August 5, 2018

Best answer: So I am not sure a truly indestructible soft toy exists, but we just quit buying dog toys altogether. Instead every other week or so I hit goodwill and grab an armful of dog-safe stuffed animals from the toys section for a quarter each. Nothing with beads inside or glass eyes. I don't care if they get destroyed cause they are cheap, and the quality is usually better with regards to the fabric and seams. I suspect it is in a dog toy company's best interest to not truly be indestructible.

The dog gets to be happy and scratch his destructive itch, I am out a quarter and the two minutes it takes to pick up all the fluff. Also! He bonded with a stuffed Santa who he carries all over and doesn't destroy so there is that unexpected bit of cuteness.
posted by Syllables at 6:43 AM on August 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

Our basset has a super-strong mouth (he'll disintegrate those cow knuckles in a matter of minutes), and Nylabone toys are the only thing that really slows him down. They're not soft, but they should last longer, plus there's not the "toy = couch" issue.

The basset loves the sound of "tearing" though, so we will demote an old terrycloth bath towel to "toy" once in a while and he is allowed to pull that apart all he likes.
posted by AzraelBrown at 8:11 AM on August 6, 2018

Response by poster: Thanks guys! I’d seen the Tuffy brand toys, but was hesitant to try them since they’re pricy and might only last a day. But I’ll give one a whirl! And the gorilla chews, while not soft, seem like a great idea, since he LOVES sticks when we’re outside. I have high hopes for the Kong crackle stick and the hedgehog burrow (well, medium sized hopes for the hedgehog burrow, but it was SO CUTE!). I should have a bunch of new toys delivered tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it went!
posted by Weeping_angel at 12:33 PM on August 6, 2018

My little jerks slaughter absolutely everything.... but they cannot kill this squeaky ball.

These squeaky balls have survived for 3 years, totally intact.
It squeaks for it's entire life, and it is a bit chewy, and they just can't kill it.
We have tried literally everything - this is the only thing I'm willing to buy them at the pet store now, apart from ropes.
posted by NorthernAutumn at 2:27 PM on August 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

There is a line of Petstages stuffing free toys that is soft on the outside but has a hard plastic interior. My Schipperke is the destroyer of my two and while he eventually got into them, it took longer, and was at least significantly less messy than stuffing filled toys.

My other dog loves the hedgehog burrow mentioned above and has only taken off some of the eyeballs. All of the zippy paws are so cute.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 8:50 PM on August 7, 2018

Response by poster: Okay, results!

The Tuffy gear ring seems to be holding up, though it’s getting frayed rather quickly. (It’s rated as a 9; I’m willing to try one of the toys rated as 10 next.)

The Gorilla Chew (read: hunk of wood) is a HUGE hit. He loves it!

The Kong crackle stick was sadly destroyed in like 5 minutes.

The hedgehogs are still going strong! I got worried when I saw that they have feet, because he usually rips those off in minutes, but I think that because they’re smaller, he’s fine with pulling them out of their burrow and squeaking them. I stuffed some treats in there with the hedgehogs the other day and he managed to get the treats without disturbing the hedgehogs at all. Yay!

Thanks, guys!
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:51 AM on August 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

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