Darth Vader, Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet and Dark Lord of the Sith, lay motionless on the floor. His end was swift and brutal. No mercy was shown by his assailant, a 4 year old Springer Spaniel called Bradley. Another dog toy bites the dust.
When you decide to buy a puppy or give a rescue dog a forever home, you immediately head off to the pet store to stock up on essentials. Bedding, food bowls, brush, collar, leads and more will fill your shopping basket as you walk up and down the aisles looking for the things you need.
Then you spot them. The dog toys. An entire aisle will be completely dedicated to puzzles, chews, balls, frisbees, toy bones and things that rattle or squeak.
Some of these toys will be described as tough or durable or even indestructible, while others on closer inspection will be cheap, nasty and fall apart because they were not designed for dogs, but humans to make us laugh.
We learnt a long time ago that tough rubber toys are more durable that cute fluffy ones. As a puppy, our Bradley adored his fluffy toys, carrying them around in his soft mouth like precious cargo. But as he got older, the animal instinct in him to destroy rather then a gentle lick and chew grew stronger.
Rather than getting joy from a squeaky toy, he began to seek and destroy the squeaker. We now try and encourage friends and family to avoid buying him soft squeaky toys, as we worried we wouldn’t be fast enough to take it off him before he swallows something dangerous. Oddly, he still has some older toys that he adores and will not chew, but new ones just don’t last.
Some people buy Bradley toys from the ‘bargain bin’, blissfully unaware that the toy will be in my dustbin before they get home. Others think the words ‘tough’ and ‘durable’ on the toys they bring him mean they are helping, but many of them just don’t stand up to a determined dog either.
Recently some friends came to visit and sweetly arrived with treats for Bradley. My heart initially sank as I assumed they would present him with something cute and squeaky that would, as usual, end in tears. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Having both grown up with dogs, they proudly revealed a tough rubber bone and a thick tuggy rope. Bradley was thrilled, but not as much as me! And I’m pleased to report that both items are still going strong.
Bradley is not a destructive dog and is not a heavy chewer, but he does enjoy a bit of rough play with his toys as well as a good old gnaw. Here is a list of some toys he has failed to destroy:
- Kong Extreme Black Goodie Bone
He has had this for around 3 years. It has been left outside, used, gnawed and thrown about. It looks as good as new.
- Kong Classic
This has been thrown in paddling pools, stuffed with treats and thoroughly enjoyed, still going strong after a number of years.
- Nylabone Power Chew
You will throw this away after a long and faithful service. Your dog will enjoy many a happy chewing session on one of these bad boys. Bradley has even trained us to hold it for him so he can get a better grip!
- Mammoth Flossy Chew
Don’t be fooled here. Buy a cheaper tuggy rope and your furry destroyer will shred it in no time at all. This product will stand up to a good game of tuggy, some enthusiastic games of fetch and help clean their teeth.
- Babble Ball
This is not something that can be left with your dog, so keep this for a treat. The look on your dog’s face is priceless when they play with a Babble Ball and they are tough enough for some rather interactive and enthusiastic games.
Movie makers took 9 films to destroy The First Order and Galactic Empire. They should have borrowed my dog, Bradley. He was able to despatch the enemy with far less effort, ripping Darth Vader’s throat out in less than 10 seconds.
Which dog toys last in your house? Who have your furry warriors fought and lost against? Share your recommendations with us in the comments.