A Dog Toy is for Life, Not Just for Christmas

Hands up how many of us treat our dogs to a nice new cuddly toy this Christmas? 

I see a few hands

Now hands up how many of our dogs chewed that dog toy to pieces in minutes.

I still see some hands.

Lastly who made a New Year’s resolution never to buy another toy their dog would destroy.

Not so many hands…

I joke a little because over the years I have done the same thing. I wasted a lot of money buying stuff that in hindsight really wasn’t suitable for our first dog, a mongrel called Flo who destroyed most things we gave her and definitely had a bit of terrier in her to boot! But we learn from our mistakes and hopefully don’t repeat them.

So why do we continue to buy toys that are not really appropriate for our dogs. I think part of it comes from when we get a puppy and we think and talk of them as being our ‘babies’ and so we tend to ‘baby’ them and buy babyish looking toys. In fact when you get to the puppy aisle in your large local pet supermarket you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Mothercare such is display of baby type soft toys on display. Now I’m not saying there isn’t a place for softer toys and I regularly use them play retrieve and tuggy games with the puppies I work with or in 'Find it' games with our older dog's, but in both these examples I am using the toy as a means to get the dog to play with ME and it is never just left to play with on their own.

Dogs can be pretty predictable and they usually repeat behaviours that they find pleasurable. These can be things we like them to do like sitting for a stroke, lying down for a treat or retrieving a ball but they can also enjoy doing things we really don’t like them to like to like barking at the TV, chasing buses and chewing our shoes. For me ripping up dog toys would list under things I don’t want my dog to do, start to enjoy doing and then get good at. Once your puppy or dog has chewed a toy to pieces in my opinion that should be the last time they are ever left alone with one, unless you happy to waste money and then you may as well just give your dog £5 notes to chew up.

Besides there are so many dog toys now available that your dog won’t be able to destroy, will really love chewing on and are really good value for money. I am course referring to treat dispensing chew toys. If you work and your dog spends any length of time alone then you will improve their quality of life considerably by feeding them from a treat dispensing toy. These types of toys will last forever and if you remember to fill them every day you dog will enjoy them forever too.

So ,y advice is to use the soft and tuggy toys to play, train and interact with your dog with then when you are out or busy leave them in the cupboard and give your dog a tough treat dispensing toys they can chew on till the cows come home, or more likely until they fall asleep and you return to play another game with them.

In the course of sourcing products for our online store we have tested and continue to test floating dog toys, dog treat dispensing toys, retrieving toys, chew toys, basically lots and lots of toys! We discard anything that we think doesn’t give good value for money and also anything our dogs have been able to destroy. Our favourites treat dispensing toys are Planet Dog and Kong Toys.

Dom has run Pack Leader Dog Adventures, a very popular dog walking/adventure business based in Sunderland since November 2011. He loves working in the great outdoors and loves it even more if there are dogs involved! The Pack Leader Dog Adventures store is the latest extension to the business. Always keen to try new products to help with the adventure business Dom thought he was in an ideal position to sell and promote the things his and his clients dogs love the most.

Dom can be contacted at dom@packleaderdogadventures.co.uk and positively welcomes feedback.

If you work with dogs and would like to submit a blog or have a product you would like us to sample and retail then please get in touch

For more blogs, product reviews and for help with training check out our store Pack Leader Dog Adventures Please check out our store here at If you work with dogs and would like to submit a blog or have a product you would like us to sample and retail then please get in touch



Dom Hodgson
Dom Hodgson


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