Durable Dog Toys: Tough, Tested, and Trainer-Approved
Last updated 07/08/2020
If your dog destroys all of their toys, you need this list of indestructible, trainer-approved picks.
Play, play, play. Playing and engaging with your dog is such a wonderful way to bond with your dog and truly make a lasting connection. Did you know that regularly playing with your dog also improves his social connection with humans and reduces negative interactions? (1) It’s more than just fun and games!
If your dog enjoys playing with toys, you are probably looking for durable ones that are tough and indestructible. When you and your dog find a tough dog toy that you can toss around or tug, you are connecting with your pup on his level. He’s interacting with you and learning just how fun you truly are.
But what about those dogs that just tear apart supposedly durable dog toys? What is the best way to choose a dog chew toy for your extreme canine friend?
Indestructible Dog Toys: What to Look For?
First, let’s discuss the concept of finding the best durable dog toy on the market. First, let me be clear—indestructible dog toys do not exist.
Even the most durable dog toys can be destroyed by your canine’s set of canines if your dog is out to kill his toys. You may be surprised to learn that even a small dog can chew up an extremely tough dog toy. However, there are definitely durable dog toys that are better than others.
As a professional dog trainer, I’m always on the lookout for the toughest toys for my dog-training clients. Here are a few things that I take into consideration:
It puts product safety first. Yes, I’m looking for durability, but I’m also concerned with a pet’s safety. If a tough dog toy is too hard, then it can cause injury to a dog’s teeth and jaw.
It passes the shred test. I don’t want dog toys that will shred to bits after being chewed on or played with a few times. The last thing I want to encounter is a dog eating the bits and pieces of a toy.
The company offers transparency about manufacturing. If the origin of your dog’s toys is important, then you will want to know where the manufacturer sources the materials, not where the toy was made. For example, made in the USA does not mean the raw materials used for your dog’s squeaky toy came from the US.
How I Ranked My Top Durable Dog Toys
Durability was my #1 ranking factor in this dog-toy roundup. I looked at how a toy held up during fetching and tugging.
I also took into account my past history with the toy. A lot of my recommendations are toys that have been in my dog’s toy box for years or that have been successfully used by my dog training clients.
Next, I took the toy’s safety and precautions into consideration. If a product isn’t safe, I would never recommend it.
Finally, I gave bonus points to those pet toy brands that use eco-friendly manufacturing and provided quality sourcing information for their raw ingredients.
Most Indestructible Dog Toy: Overall Winner
Choosing a one size fits all was no easy task. When it comes to longevity, thick rubber tends to be more durable than other materials. I also have a long history with this brand’s interactive dog toys. Actually, the product line was originally created by a dog trainer and manufactured under another brand some 15+ years ago.
What I like about the Squeak ‘n’ Treat Booya is the design and shape of the toy. It reminds me of a bowling pin. This allows a dog to grab the top and toss it around.
It also doubles as a durable squeaky toy and triples as a dog puzzle toy. The bottom of the toy allows you to toss in a few healthy dog treats. The little rubber prongs make it a pretty challenging rubber dog puzzle toy. If your dog finds it too challenging, you can cut the rubber tips to make a bigger hole, allowing the treats to fall more freely.
Cleanup is a breeze with a little soap and water.
- Made of durable rubber.
- Available in two sizes: medium and large.
- Doubles as a squeak toy and food puzzle.
- It floats in water.
- It’s easy to clean.
Things to Consider
- It’s manufactured in China. Many pet products are, but it’s something to note if you’re looking for American-made dog toys.
- Some reviewers say it has a strong, rubbery smell that you might find unappealing.
Best Durable Plush Dog Toy
My Pick: goDog Skinny Dragons with Chew Guard
Almost a decade ago, when my dog Dexter was a puppy, I came across my first goDog dragon toy. I was on the hunt for tough and durable plush dog toys. The impressive display of cute dragons and dinosaurs also highlighted goDog’s Chew Guard Technology. Chew Guard offers added durability to help toys stand up to tough chewers.
Their combination of durability and design was—and still is—impressive. Dexter and I tugged the Dickens out of his new dinosaur without so much as a tooth mark or seam rip. These toys were even washed numerous times and the squeakers never failed. I liked these tough, soft dog toys so much, I went back and bought him three more!
Dexter had his goDog line of toys for a few years until he decided he wanted to just chew and chew them like an ear of corn, and that is when they finally bit the dust. As with any soft dog toy, if a dog is set to chew one piece over and over, his sharp teeth will eventually win.
Now, Dexter has the goDog Skinny Dragon, and he loves it when we play fetch and toss together. When we are done playing, I place the toy in my closet, where it remains until our next game of fetch.
- Offers trade-marked Chew Guard Technology, which really does make it chew resistant.
- Comes in a variety of sizes.
- Manufacturer offers one free replacement
- Squeaks—and the squeaker doesn’t break in the wash.
- Simple cleaning, with a quick trip in the washing machine.
- I’m a little obsessed with the dragon-themed design.
Things to Consider
- Keep in mind that this is a plush toy, so it’s not as resistant to heavy chewing as more durable materials. Pay extra close attention to the wings and tail as some online reviewers said these were the first pieces to go!
- Again, this dog toy is manufactured in China.
Durable Plush Dog Toy Runner Up
My Pick: Fluff & Tuff Swimmers & Splashers
The Fluff & Tuff brand also lasted in Dexter’s toy box for many years. Dexter really enjoyed playing and tugging on these shark and fish-shaped toys. Now he’s loving his playtime with his plush turtle dog toy.
The Fluff & Tuff swimmers and splashers offer a durable inner liner covered with a very plush long-lasting outer fabric. All the seams are generously folded then double stitched. With all of Dexter’s tugging and fetching and me washing the toys frequently, a seam never failed.
As with all plush toys, if a dog decides to continually gnaw on one corner, their razor-sharp teeth will win. Dexter’s durable turtle comes out for interactive play, but I put it away when we are done.
Best Durable Squeaky Dog Toy
My Pick: KONG Squeezz Toys
KONG is a brand of durable dog toys that has been around since the 1970s. Just that statement should give a dog owner a sense of what this brand brings to the pet industry for our extreme chewers.
My 27-pound dog is an extreme killer of dog toys. I’m continually on the lookout for the best durable squeaky dog toys for him and my dog-training clients. Whenever I’m in a pet store I always look at the KONG display. About five years ago I came across KONG’s Squeezz Toy line. I purchased the ball, dumbbell, and bone.
All three of these durable squeaky toys have stood up to Dexter’s chewing and fetching. They are so durable and strong that they always get to stay in Dexter’s toy box. He has not been able to chew through these dog squeaky toys. His favorite is the bone shape. I think he likes how it’s thinner and easier for him to grasp, compared to the ball and dumbbell shapes. Cleanup is easy with this squeaky toy—just use a little soap and water.
- Kong brand is known and trusted for its durability.
- The Squeezz line comes in various shapes and sizes, making it easy to find the right one for your dog.
- It squeaks—obviously. Or it wouldn’t be our durable squeaky toy pick!
- It floats, which makes it fun for the pool or bathtime.
- It’s simple to clean.
Things to Consider
- These toys are manufactured overseas.
- Some online reviewers said that these toys from Kong are difficult for some dogs to squeak—which is likely due to its durable nature and materials. My dog never had a problem!
Best Durable Chew Toy for Small Dogs
West Paw has been manufacturing pet products since 1996. I’ve always heard great things about their product line, but it wasn’t until about five years ago that I purchased my first West Paw product for Dexter. Now that I’ve seen their toys in action, I can’t get enough!
The Jive Zogoflex ball is the most durable toy they make. It’s a super tough dog toy that has an incredible unpredictable bounce that Dexter goes crazy for. And it’s not just a hit with Dexter—I have three other dog training students who are hooked on the Jive Zogoflex.
This ball is perfect for small dogs. It’s always a challenge finding durable chew toys for small dogs, especially in ball form. West Paw’s Jive Zogoflex hits it out of the park.
- It’s a super tough dog toy with great bounce.
- The size makes it easy for small dogs to handle
- It floats, making it a fun option for water play
- It’s latex-free and FDA-compliant (meaning it’s safe to eat off of)
- It’s 100% U.S. sourced and made in the USA
Things to Consider
- Some online reviews mention that this ball is “hard as a rock” and “heavy.” My dog never had trouble playing with it, but it’s best to be careful when using this ball indoors.
Best Durable Chew Toy for Large Dogs
My Pick: Chuckit! Breathe Right Stick
I chose the Chuckit! Breathe Right Stick as my favorite durable chew toy for large dogs for a variety of reasons. First, the width of this chew toy is the perfect size for large breed dogs. This fetch stick is made of a pliable material with lots of holes so that a dog can breathe while fetching.
And don’t let the flexibility fool you—this durable chew toy for large dogs stands up to some good chomps.
As an added bonus, the Chuckit! Breathe Right Stick floats and with the bright orange color, is easy to see in the water.
- Size and shape is ideal for large dog breeds.
- Stands up to rough play.
- Offers air holes for easy breathing when running and fetching.
- It floats and it’s easy to clean.
Things to Consider
- If your dog is a chewer who doesn’t like to fetch, this might not be the best option. It’s durable and great for interactive play, but online reviewers say their determined chewers can rip this up.
- Like many other dog toys, this one is made in China.
Most Indestructible Dog Puzzle Toy
Once again, West Paw is leading the pack with my favorite dog puzzle toy. I fill my dog’s Zogoflex Tux puzzle toy with snacks every evening. I don’t just fill the Tux with healthy, crunchy treats, I actually fill it with pureed fruits, vegetables, and bone broth. Then, I freeze this durable dog puzzle toy overnight. The next day, my dog has a long-lasting and healthy snack. In my home, we call this Yappy Hour.
This tough dog puzzle toy has been getting chewed and gnawed on by my dog every evening for the past three years. It is so tough, it barely has any wear. And Dexter really goes to town licking and chewing on his puzzle toy.
Not only is this a great way for canine enrichment, it also doubles as a great fetch toy.
- It’s highly interactive and can be used with loose treats or you can freeze it for longer-lasting engagement.
- It boosts brain power as pups try to get the treats out.
- Comes in two sizes and a variety of colors
- BPA-free, latex-free, and FDA-compliant (safe to eat off of)
- 100% US Sourced and made in the USA
Things to Consider
- Some online reviewers claim that the hole for the treats is too large, making tough to use with small treats.
- The three nubs or arms are NOT hollow, so treat storage is only in the middle of this toy.
Durable Dog Puzzle Toy Runner Up
My Pick: Planet Dog Orbee Balls
I’ve been buying Planet Dog toys since the brand emerged in 1997. The company takes great pride in the environment with their eco-friendly pet products and manufacturing standards. As someone who is conscious not only about durability but a dog’s safety when interacting with a toy, this makes Planet Dog a top-notch company.
My dogs have always enjoyed Planet Dog’s Orbee-Tuff balls. Dogs really seem to enjoy the way these balls bounce and float in water. But, they are more than just a durable dog ball—they are a great dog puzzle toy.
These balls have a hole in the center that you can fill with your dog’s favorite healthy treats. The tough, yet soft material makes this ball a great interactive toy for any dog breed or size.
- It’s both a fun ball AND a puzzle toy—a win-win.
- Comes in various sizes and colors
- It floats, making it fun for water play.
- It’s BPA-free and phthalate-free
Things to Consider
- Some online reviewers say that the outer material picks up “everything”—meaning dog hair, dirt, and more. You may need to clean this more than some other balls.
Safety Practices for Extreme Chewers
Please remember that dog toys should really be an interactive activity with you and your dog. Supervision is truly important if you have an extreme chewer on your hands.
If your dog has a history of trying to eat his dog toys, please remove the toys after playing.
Also, if your dog’s toy is showing wear such as tears, or pieces are missing, discard the toy. Replacing your dog’s toys is less expensive than an emergency visit to your dog’s veterinarian.
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Tonya Wilhelm is a dog-training and cat-care expert who has traveled the US promoting positive ways of preventing and managing behavior issues with a holistic approach. Named one of the top ten dog trainers in the US, twice, she has helped thousands build happy relationships with their dogs with humane, positive training methods. She has written numerous books on dog training and dog nutrition. Tonya offers private dog behavioral services locally and via phone nationally. You can learn more about Tonya on her popular blog RaisingYourPetsNaturally.com