When it comes to purchasing toys for dogs, how can I determine whether or not it will last just by looking at it or touching it? Websites that sell toys typically include reviews, but they are rarely helpful since any given item will have just as many glowing reviews (it lasted for months!) as it has negative reviews (my dog destroyed it in an hour!).

  • Tuffy Toys have the best reputation for being durable and it took my dog (who can destroy an average toy in about ten minutes) a year to destroy one.
    – rlb.usa
    Sep 25, 2015 at 18:56

3 Answers 3


My dog is a Shiba Inu, and I would classify him as a destroyer of toys. Here are my general guide lines:

  • What's on the inside is going to be on the outside in a very short time (applies to plush/stuffed animals)
  • If I can cut it with scissors, he's going to shred it with his teeth
  • It's not a good sign if the packaging specifically warns against letting the dog play with it unsupervised
  • If it is brittle or if I think even I could break it with my bare hands if I squeeze it just right, he's going to break it pretty easily
  • The more seams it has (rubber, cloth, or faux fur), the more points there are for the item to fall apart
  • There is such a thing as too firm, which may vary depending on the size of the dog (Kong food toys and rubber balls are too firm for my guy)

Types of toys I avoid

  • Stuffed animals
  • Squeaker toys
  • Any rubberized toy that's very thin (~1/4" thick or less)
  • Kong squeaker balls

Types of toys I've found to be fairly durable

  • Most toys designed to put food inside of them (Kongs, etc.)
  • Rope or floss toys (usually 1/2-1 1/2" thick), typically tied in knots
  • Nylabones are specifically designed for chewing
  • Skinneeez (a stuffed animal without the stuffing -- my dog doesn't feel compelled to rip it up any further once the squeakers are out)
  • Tennis balls

My dog's oldest toys that he still plays with regularly and are in decent to good condition:

  • Crazy cat track (belonged to my cats long before we got the dog 13 months ago)
  • Skinneeez fox (1 year old)
  • Chuckit! Erratic ball (6 months old?)
  • It's not a good sign if the packaging specifically warns against letting the dog play with it unsupervised Unfortunately, that legalese is on pretty much every dog toy I ever saw on sale. Very good answer though. Also, just to add more anecdotal evidence as to the unpredictability of how long dog toys last: My dog can happily shred a tennis ball in under ten seconds if he puts his mind to it, but he also has three that have lasted forever. No difference between the balls other than him not taking a liking to killing some of them
    – ThomasH
    Jan 12, 2014 at 0:08
  • I agree with most of this, though my dog will destroy a tennis ball in a few games of fetch. I use solid rubber balls now. Also a kong to which I have tied a rope for throwing
    – Mark W
    Jan 31, 2014 at 19:22

My friendly pet accessories shop owner told me there is no guarantee on toys for dogs. I was looking for a ball for our dogs and asked this same question that you ask now. The shop owner is herself a dog owner and has been selling these things for ages. I trust what she says. She said: "Any toy can last anything between a lifetime and five seconds. There is no such thing as a durable toy for dogs."

This is also my experience from over six years with medium size dogs. No matter how durable the toy seems to be, it may be broken in five seconds.

  • After numerous balls had got punctured I finally bought a very robust round ball specially designed for dogs. That was the moment when I asked about a guarantee, since that special ball was quite pricey too. No guarantee, but I did buy that ball. And it got punctured in under 30 seconds. Whereas a normal teddybear (for children) has lasted over a year with the same dog. Dec 27, 2013 at 8:58

I have two maltipoos, approximately 14 pounds. When apart, they aren't destructive with toys. But together, they love playing tug-of-war with every squeaker toy until they rip or come apart.

From my experience, squeak toys and stuff animals have a very short life when the two dogs are together (Less than a week).

Anything with a rope lasts substantially longer than the squeak and stuff animals, but will eventually come apart (Around a month)

Any heavy duty puzzle toy, has a much better chance of survival, and can withstand many scratches and bites, such as Starmark Bob-a-Lot.

I avoid toys designed to be chewed and slowly fall apart, like nylabones or other hard snacks that require chewing. These can be potential choking hazards if the pieces break off in the wrong way.

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