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Best Dog Toys of 2020

Arlo loved carrying the Paraflight Flyer around  the multilayer nylon interior even held up to some serious chewing.
By Nick Bruckbauer ⋅ Review Editor
Wednesday September 9, 2020
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The dogs of GearLab and their parents got together to find the best dog toys. After researching the 2020 market, we bought and tested 12 top-rated products on the market for head-to-head comparisons. With so many choices out there, it's challenging to figure out which toy is the most durable, the right size and material for your dog's breed, and will be the most engaging for your particular pooch. Our canine testing crew includes nine dogs of different sizes and breeds that chewed, fetched, and snuggled these toys, while their human companions paid close attention in order to help you determine the best option for you and your four-legged friend.

1

Best Overall Dog Toy


Kong Classic


Editors' Choice Award
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$12.99
at Amazon
See It

Ideal for: Food-oriented chewers | Squeaker: No
Durable rubber build
Multiple sizes perfect for different breeds
Hollow center for treats or food
Fun, unpredictable bouncing
Dishwasher safe
Hollow center can be tough to clean by hand
May not hold up to most powerful chewers

The KONG Classic is a versatile dog toy that provides various uses as a fetch toy, a chew toy, or a treat holder. Available in five different sizes and rubber densities, there is a KONG suitable for most dog sizes and breeds. The asymmetric shape causes unpredictable bouncing around, making it a very enticing toy for high-energy fetchers or prey-driven dogs. The durable rubber construction is great for powerful chewers, and the hollow center is excellent for stuffing treats, kibble, or peanut butter (try freezing it, too, for more prolonged engagement). Stuffing it with treats or other goodies can be a great attention getter and problem-solving task to help occupy even the most high-maintenance pooches. The KONG is dishwasher safe, to help keep things fresh in case leftover treats or peanut butter get stuck inside some of the inner nooks and crannies.

While the rubber material found on the Classic model is plenty durable for most average chewers, it may not withstand prolonged abuse from the most powerful canine jaws — a pitfall of nearly any toy. KONG also makes a heavier-duty Extreme version with denser rubber for more powerful chewers and a softer Puppy version and Senior version for less powerful and more sensitive mouths. With its variety of sizes and material densities, durable build, and versatile uses, the KONG is a classic toy that will likely be appreciated by any four-legged friend.

Available Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large

The KONG Classic triples as a fetch toy  a chew toy  and a treat dispenser.
The KONG Classic triples as a fetch toy, a chew toy, and a treat dispenser.

2

Best Ball Launcher


Chuckit! Ultra Ball Launcher


Top Pick Award
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$13.79
(31% off)
at Amazon
See It

Ideal for: High-energy ball chasers | Squeaker?: No
Launches balls with minimal effort
Hands-free pickup keeps dirt and slobber away
Works with any tennis ball
Comfortable handle
Included felt ball is not very durable
More durable rubber balls are sold separately

The Chuckit Ultra Ball Launcher is a vital tool for dog parents of ball-obsessed pooches with boundless energy for games of fetch. The simple yet proven design makes it easy to collect and load a ball without getting your hands dirty or slobbery, and the flexible slingshot design allows you to continuously fling and launch balls with minimal effort. We tested the 26-inch length with a size Medium launcher with the Ultra ergonomic rubber grip, which was perfect for collecting balls off the ground and for comfortable long-distance launches. Several shorter lengths and handle designs are available for easier carrying and travel, as well as a variety of launcher and ball sizes to comfortably suit your pooch. The size Medium launcher includes a 2.5-inch diameter felt ball and is also compatible with a standard 2.7-inch tennis ball.

It's hard to think of any noteworthy downsides to owning a Chuckit, especially for parents of high-energy ball chasers. It makes endless games of fetch achievable and keeps your hands clean and your arm intact. The standard felt ball that comes with the launcher isn't very durable against more destructive chewing and biting, so we'd recommend picking up a few of the heavy-duty rubber balls available separately from Chuckit to complete your arsenal. The effectiveness of the Chuckit is apparent in its popularity. We see several different sizes and shapes in action on most trips to the beach or dog park.

Available handle lengths: 12", 14", 18", 25", 26"

Available launcher/ball sizes: Small(2"), Medium(2.5"), Large(3.0"), X-Large(3.5")

The Chuckit! Ultra Launcher is a classic toy that should definitely be in the arsenal of any high-energy fetch lover.
The Chuckit! Ultra Launcher is a classic toy that should definitely be in the arsenal of any high-energy fetch lover.

3

Best Puzzle


Trixie Flipboard Level 2


Top Pick Award
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$12
List Price
See It

Ideal for: Intelligent and curious dogs | Squeaker?: No
Three puzzle types for various challenges
Simple design is easy to clean
Dishwasher safe
Might be too small for larger dogs
May not provide lengthy challenge once mastered

For intelligent pups that always seem to get themselves into mischief, the Trixie Flip Board puzzle is a great tool to harness and focus their curiosity in a safe and productive way. The simple design comes with three different types of puzzle challenges, including discs to slide to the side, cones to lift straight up, and levers to flip to open a lid. Filling a few or all of the compartments with treats or kibble provides different levels of challenge for your pup.

While we appreciate the Trixie Flip Board for its versatility with three different puzzle challenges, smart pups may still master it pretty quickly. The duration of the challenge and entertainment might dwindle as time goes on. The Flip Board puzzle that we tested is considered Level 2 in difficulty, and Trixie makes different puzzle products at difficulty Levels 1-3. The small overall size and smaller features are ideal for puppies or small dogs but might be more difficult for larger paws to maneuver. It should also be noted that the puzzle pieces are not indestructible, so it's recommended to keep an eye on your pet as they work through, not chew through, the puzzle. As far as dog puzzles go, though, our canine testers showed the most signs of mental stimulation and engagement with this model over any other.

Available difficulty levels: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3

Trixie's Flip Board Puzzle has three different types of challenges to keep your pup on his or her toes.
Trixie's Flip Board Puzzle has three different types of challenges to keep your pup on his or her toes.

4

Best Flying Disc


Chuckit! Paraflight Flyer


Top Pick Award
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$10.15
(8% off)
at Amazon
See It

Ideal for: Athletic and agile dogs | Squeaker?: No
Flies and glides very well
Soft, flexible design is gentle on mouths
Bright colors make it easy to find
Soft foam edges can get worn or chewed up
Lightweight build struggles in the wind

The Chuckit Paraflight Glider is our favorite flying disc for dogs. With a flexible multilayer nylon interior body and soft rubber edges, it is gentle on gums and teeth and is easy to throw and catch. With most of the weight around the perimeter, the unique lightweight design floats in water and allows the disc to smoothly glide through the air and gently descend for easy grabbing. The bright colors also make it easier to spot once it gets dirty or caught up in trees or bushes.

While we love how the Paraflight Glider is easy to throw and floats through the air, its lightweight construction can struggle when it's windy. The soft materials that are comfortable in your hand and in your dog's mouth also can get torn up pretty quickly if the disc becomes a chew toy, so we recommend close supervision if you intend to keep it for a while. The gentle padding and excellent flight charicteristics make the Paraflight Glider our favorite flying disc.

The lightweight Paraflight Flyer glides exceptionally well and is gentle on sensitive mouths.
The lightweight Paraflight Flyer glides exceptionally well and is gentle on sensitive mouths.

5

Best Plush Toy


Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Squeaky Puzzle Plush


Top Pick Award
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$14.59
(42% off)
at Amazon
See It

Ideal for: Prey-driven pooches | Squeaker?: Yes
Cute plush animal designs
Stimulates problem-solving skills
Doubles as both a puzzle and chew toy
Plush animals can be destroyed easily

One of the cutest plush toys that we've seen is the Hide-A-Squirrel Squeaky Puzzle. A unique combination of a puzzle game and a soft chew toy, the Hide-A-Squirrel includes three small stuffed squirrels (with squeakers) housed inside a plush treehouse. It provides a fun challenge to see whether your pup will use delicate finesse or brute force to pull the animals out of their home, and can activate his or her hunting and prey instincts. Once the squirrels are liberated from their log, they each become a squeaky chew toy or can be quickly returned to their home to reset the challenge. This cute toy is available in four different sizes and a handful of different animal types.

While this is a fun and cute challenge for your pup, the entire set is made from soft plush material, so dogs with destructive tendencies can tear through it pretty quickly, if given the opportunity. These little squirrels will likely tempt dogs that like to remove squeakers from toys. However, this cute set can be a great problem-solving exercise and includes a handful of cute little plush toys, making it a great combination.

Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large

Available characters: Squirrel, Bee, Bird, Doug the Pizza Pug, Hedgehog, Rainbow

The Hide-A-Squirrel is an adorable plush puzzle that satisfies the curiosity of prey-driven pooches.
The Hide-A-Squirrel is an adorable plush puzzle that satisfies the curiosity of prey-driven pooches.

6

Best Synthetic Bone for Power Chewers


Petstages Deerhorn Antler-Based Chew Toy


Top Pick Award
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$16
List Price
See It

Ideal for: Power chewers | Squeaker?: No
Dogs are intrigued by traces of antler material
Durable nylon construction
Textured surface good for dental health
Surface can get very rough after chewing
Potential for small pieces to be chewed off and swallowed

Several of our canine testers immediately went crazy for the Petstages Deerhorn Antler-Based Chew Toy. A synthetic product made with traces of naturally shed antler, this chew toy seems to have a taste and smell that intrigues our pets' primal intuitions. Durably built to withstand power chewers, the Deerhorn also has textured nubs that the manufacturer claims are supposed to help clean your dog's teeth. Many of our test pooches loved the hours of chewing satisfaction provided by this toy.

While the Deerhorn Antler-Based Chew Toy is extremely durable, there are some potential cautions with this and any chew toy. After a few chewing sessions, the surface texture can get pretty rough and scraped up, which might be abrasive or uncomfortable on your pup's gums and teeth. Also, although this toy is designed not to crack or splinter, small bits of material can get chewed off and might end up on the floor or in your pup's belly. We and veterinary professionals recommend supervising your dog with any kind of chew toy, and consulting with your vet if you have any questions or concerns. Among the dedicated chew toys in our lineup, our fleet of test dogs tended to prefer this one.

Available Sizes: Petite, Small, Medium, Large

The natural antler flavor and scent of the Deerhorn chew toy are irresistible to most of our pooches.
The natural antler flavor and scent of the Deerhorn chew toy are irresistible to most of our pooches.

7

Another Versatile Puzzle Toy


Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Interactive Puzzle Toy


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$24.99
at Amazon
See It

Ideal for: Intelligent and curious dogs | Squeaker?: No
Available in a variety of sizes and configurations
Multiple compartments add to the challenge
Large capacity can be used for feeding
May not be challenging once mastered
Somewhat difficult to clean

The Outward Hound Tornado Puzzle is another unique puzzle to challenge and stimulate curious pups. With three layers of spinning compartments and a spinning top lid, the Tornado has plenty of space for treats or kibble, and could even double as a feeder to help slow down fast eaters. You can also increase the challenge by adding in the white dog bone lids over some of the trays. Our two-year-old Weimaraner, Nala, mastered the spinning trays pretty quickly but took a few minutes to figure out how to lift the dog bone lids. The Tornado Puzzle is considered difficulty Level 2, and there are other puzzles available with difficulty Levels 1-4.

The several layers and treat compartments that challenge your dog can also be a challenge to clean. Luckily, the whole thing is made of plastic and can be submerged in soapy water for cleaning, though the manufacturer has not indicated whether or not this is dishwasher safe. The Tornado puzzle is also intended for puppies or smaller dogs and is slightly on the smaller side. Larger noses and paws might have a little more difficulty maneuvering through some of the tight spaces. However, several other sizes, styles, and difficulty levels are available to find the perfect challenge for any pup.

Available difficulty levels: Level 1 (Easy), Level 2 (Intermediate), Level 3 (Advanced), Level 4 (Expert)

The Tornado puzzle is a reasonable challenge for most pooches and can be used to help slow down fast eaters.
The Tornado puzzle is a reasonable challenge for most pooches and can be used to help slow down fast eaters.

8

Plush Toy With a Rope Skeleton


Kong Wild Knots Bear


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$15.90
(21% off)
at Amazon
See It

Ideal for: Tug of war lovers | Squeaker?: Yes
Cute bear design
Internal rope skeleton withstands pulling and tugging
Rope can be used as a tug toy after being extracted from bear
Internal rope and squeakers are easily removed by tough chewers
External material is not very durable

The KONG Wild Knots Bear is a cute plush bear with minimal stuffing and an internal rope skeleton. More durable than a basic plush toy, the Wild Knots Bear is ideal for tug of war lovers who quickly tear apart other toys without internal reinforcements. In our experience, some dogs prefer to clamp down on plush toys with a somewhat rigid, tough center core, like the rope skeleton here, over soft stuffing insides.

Our canine testing team had mixed results with this toy's longevity. One pooch who loves tug of war liked the furry texture and the feel of the rope reinforcement, while another pup who is a ripper and a tearer quickly removed the internal ropes and squeaker. It appeared to our dog parents that the presence of the more rigid interior rope skeleton intrigued and compelled some dogs to rip into the toy to find the hidden treasure inside. Like with most toys, we recommend monitoring your dog's play in case they remove the ropes or squeaker so that they don't ingest them. Depending on your dog's tendencies, this could be a great and durable option or could present an extra temptation to extract the goodies from the inside.

Available sizes: X-Small, Small/Medium, Medium/Large, X-Large

Most of our test dogs loved the Wild Knots Bear  but some curious hunters were able to extract the internal ropes pretty quickly.
Most of our test dogs loved the Wild Knots Bear, but some curious hunters were able to extract the internal ropes pretty quickly.

9

Also Great for Power Chewers


Benebone Maplestick


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$17.41
(3% off)
at Amazon
See It

Ideal for: Power chewers | Squeaker?: No
Synthetic material is extra durable for strong chewers
Shape, texture, and smell simulates real wood
Designed not to splinter or break like real wood
Surface texture gets very rough after chewing
Small pieces could be chewed off and swallowed

The Benebone Maplestick is an innovative synthetic stick with the smell and flavor of maple wood without the splintery mess of a real stick. This durable chew toy is popular with our stick-loving canine testers, and its durability withstood even the most powerful chewers.

Like with any chew toy, we recommend monitoring your dog's use of the Maplestick. Once it gets worn down, it can get a rough and sharp surface that can be abrasive to your dog's mouth or paws and human bystanders. Small little bits can also get chewed off and could end up on the floor or getting swallowed. We recommend consulting with your vet if you have any questions or concerns.

Available Sizes: Small, Medium, Large

Available Flavors: Bacon, Maple Wood

The real Maplewood scent and flavoring of the Benebone are pretty enticing for Nala.
The real Maplewood scent and flavoring of the Benebone are pretty enticing for Nala.

10

An Adorable Plush Toy


Multipet Duckworth Plush 13"


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$12.61
(10% off)
at Amazon
See It

Ideal for: Hunting dogs or snugglers | Squeaker?: Yes
Durable for a plush toy
Cute design that dogs seem to love
Long enough to be a tug toy
Built-in squeaker
Can get worn and dirty like any plush toy

From hunting breeds that instinctually shake it like their prey, to gentle giants that snuggle it like their baby, the Multipet Duckworth Duck is one of the favorite plush toys of nearly all the dogs on our testing team. There seems to be something about its generous size and plump shape that gets their attention, and the cute duck design created several awwwwww moments during our testing. Although it's designed a plush chew toy, the generous 13-inch length, and durable build also make it suitable for rough play and tug of war lovers.

While no plush toy will be indestructible with most dogs, the Duckworth holds its own as one of the toughest that we tested. Like any stuffed animal, it tends to get dirty, slobbery, and worn down after it is well-loved by your pooch. This toy would be an excellent option for nurturing dogs that like to be protective over a snuggle buddy, or hunting breeds that want to practice stalking and shaking their prey. Our testing team includes a variety of breeds, and they all seemed drawn to the Duckworth in one way or another.

The Multipet Duckworth is a cute sidekick for pooches looking for a cozy companion.
The Multipet Duckworth is a cute sidekick for pooches looking for a cozy companion.

11

A More Durable Flying Disc


West Paw Zogoflex Zisc Flying Disk


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$16.95
at Amazon
See It

Ideal for: Athletic and agile dogs | Squeaker?: No
Durable rubber withstands tugging and chewing
Bright colors are easy to locate
Maintains flight in windy conditions
Dishwasher safe
Heavier weight can be rough on sensitive mouths
Doesn't fly and glide as well as lighter discs

One of the heavier-duty flying discs available on the pet market, the West Paw Zogoflex Zisc Dog Frisbee is made from a soft, pliable rubber that is both durable and comfortable to handle. The heavier weight helps maintain flight in windier conditions and helps withstand wear and tear from tough chewers or tuggers. The deep rim shape means that the disc can double as a food or water bowl and is even dishwasher safe, and the bright colors make it easy to find in the grass or bushes.

While we appreciate the Zogoflex Zisc for its rugged durability, it isn't our favorite flying disc because of its heavier weight. In most conditions, it's more difficult to throw with accuracy. A harder throw is usually required to get an accurate flight, and this can be a little intimidating to catch for dogs' mouths. While this extra weight is an advantage on windier days, it's harder to maintain the glide and flight you want in most conditions.

Available sizes: Small (6.5 inches), Large (8.5 inches)

The bright colors of the Zogoflex stand out among bushes and foliage.
The bright colors of the Zogoflex stand out among bushes and foliage.

12

Squeaky Plush Animals For Smaller Dogs


Zippy Paws Skinny Peltz No Stuff Set


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$9.99
(38% off)
at Amazon
See It

Ideal for: Squeaker lovers | Squeaker?: Yes
Three squeakers in each animal
No messy stuffing to be removed
Strong construction withstands tugging
Squeakers are easily removed by dogs
Not as interesting as other toys

The ZippyPaws Skinny Peltz plush toy set is a cute animal trio that includes a squirrel, fox, and a raccoon. Each toy contains three built-in squeakers and no stuffing that is usually tempting for many dogs to remove. Each animal's thin profile is ideal for smaller breeds with smaller mouths and is easy to grab and hold onto.

The overall durability of these animals is only average for plush toys, and some of our test pups were able to disarm or remove the squeakers immediately. Since there isn't any stuffing to protect them, they can more easily be crushed or removed for especially curious or destructive dogs.

Available sizes: Small, Large

All three Skinny Peltz lined up  ready for play time.
All three Skinny Peltz lined up, ready for play time.

Why You Should Trust Us


This dog toy review is brought to you by GearLab Editor Nick Bruckbauer. Nick has been with the GearLab team since early 2019 and is an expert across a wide variety of consumer and outdoor products. As a proud dog-father of a 2-year-old Weimaraner, Nala, he is very experienced with high-maintenance and high-energy dog breeds, having previously also had a German Shepherd mix and a Husky. Nick is very analytical with a background in engineering and has a habit of analyzing his own personal expenditures on everything from big-ticket items to everyday household products.

Helping Nick out is a diverse testing team of colleagues and their furry friends, giving us nine different dogs to test these toys. Our pack includes everything from sub-10-pound lap dogs to 130+ pound mountain dogs and everything in between. We have cuddly gentle giants, prey-driven hunting breeds, and high-energy ball chasers. We gave each pup a variety of toys and compared how each breed and personality responded to each product. After weeks of running, chasing, biting, chewing, cuddling, and puzzle-solving, we have a comprehensive evaluation of the best options for you and your four-legged friend.

Our lineup of dog toys ready for action.
The Skinny Peltz trio is ideal for smaller dogs with smaller mouths.
The Paraflight Flyer was really easy to throw and had great range for long distance games of fetch.

Analysis and Test Results


Our crew of canine companions happily put our lineup of dog toys to the test under our close supervision and curious observation. Our diverse pack of nine testing hounds showed us which toys are the most durable, most fun, provide the best mental stimulation, or the most physical exertion. We rated each dog toy across four critical performance metrics and highlight which options we think will be best for you and your pup.

Interest and Mental Stimulation


It's fun to see how different dogs with different personalities have different preferences regarding their entertainment. Some are obsessed with chasing and fetching balls, while others couldn't care less. Some love to simply cuddle a cute stuffed animal while others have instincts to pull it, tug it, or rip it apart. Some are driven by food or treats, and others just like to chew on anything they can get their paws on. By having a canine test crew of nine different dogs with different interests and personalities, we found trends in which toys are the most popular and most interesting and stimulating for different temperaments.

Curious dogs love a challenge  like investigating the inner workings of the Hide-A-Squirrel plush puzzle.
Curious dogs love a challenge, like investigating the inner workings of the Hide-A-Squirrel plush puzzle.

For curious pups who otherwise like to snoop around and might generally get themselves in trouble, puzzle toys are a great option to challenge them and keep their minds occupied. The Trixie Flip Board and the Outward Hound Tornado Puzzle are intermediate-level options with an assortment of different treat compartments with varying methods of solving them. The Flip Board puzzle has containers that are opened by sliding a cover, lifting a cone, or pushing a lever, and the Tornado puzzle has compartments that are reached by spinning a tray or lifting a lid. Both puzzles can be played at different levels of difficulty, depending on how many of the compartments you include in the fun.

The Outward Hound Tornado Puzzle provides three layers of treat compartments and a handful of bone-shaped covers to increase the challenge.
The Outward Hound Tornado Puzzle provides three layers of treat compartments and a handful of bone-shaped covers to increase the challenge.

Similarly, the KONG Classic is a great option to keep curious pups occupied by filling its hollow center with kibble, treats, or peanut butter.

An insider secret is to add peanut butter to the inside of the KONG Classic and then freeze it before sharing it with your pup for an even longer-lasting session.

Stuffing the KONG Classic with treats  kibble  or peanut butter is a great way to keep your dog's attention.
Stuffing the KONG Classic with treats, kibble, or peanut butter is a great way to keep your dog's attention.

Another exciting toy that is a stimulating blend of a puzzle and a squeaky plush animal is the Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Squeaky Puzzle. This adorable puzzle game places a handful of small plush squirrels inside a soft log and challenges your dog to remove them. Some dogs carefully and methodically extract each squirrel form their home, while others use brute force to pick up and shake the whole thing. The challenge of hunting these animals can stimulate the prey drive in particular dogs, making the game irresistible. Once the squirrels are removed from their home, it's easy to put them back in and reset the game. The little squirrels are pretty cute, so some dogs might want to hang out and cuddle with them, while others might be tempted to remove the squeakers.

The tiny squeaky squirrels inside the Hide-A-Squirrel puzzle are cute companions for your pooch  or might end up being his or her prey.
The tiny squeaky squirrels inside the Hide-A-Squirrel puzzle are cute companions for your pooch, or might end up being his or her prey.

The rest of the dog toys in our lineup may be interesting to your pup, depending on their energy level and personality. Power chewers will be drawn to the natural scents in the Petstages Deerhorn chew toys, while frisbee lovers will enjoy chasing the soft gliding Chuckit Paraflight Flyer. Ball-obsessed pooches will find endless joy with the Chuckit Ultra Ball Launcher, and gentle giants will love snuggling with the Multipet Duckworth Plush Duck.

All of our test dogs went crazy for the scent and flavor of the Deerhorn.
The Zogoflex Zisc is a great durable option for pooches who are rough on flying discs.
The Duckworth is one of our pack's most popular plush toys.

Durability


Almost any toy or stuffed animal theoretically could be used as a dog toy, but as many of us dog parents with high-energy rippers and tearers have found, most toys simply don't last very long. Curious dogs love to chew, pull, and rip things apart, so durability is quite crucial for the longevity of a fun and exciting toy. In this testing metric, we let our dogs have at it. We gave them free rein on these toys (with appropriate supervision) and watched how long each product lasted under normal and reasonable use before it needed to be retired.

We strongly recommend closely monitoring your pet's use of any type of dog toy. Bored dogs may tend to destroy their toys, and even the safest looking options could present a choking or swallowing hazard if they are taken apart. Monitor your dog's play to ensure that they are appropriately using their toys, and consult with your vet if you have any questions or concerns.

A well-used Deerhorn (left) compared to a new one (right). Even the toughest dog toys are not indestructible  so we recommend monitoring your dog's play and chewing.
A well-used Deerhorn (left) compared to a new one (right). Even the toughest dog toys are not indestructible, so we recommend monitoring your dog's play and chewing.

The most durable options that stood up to our toughest testers' teeth are the KONG Classic, the Benebone Maplestick, and the Petstages Deerhorn. The KONG is made from durable rubber while the Maplestick and the Deerhorn are made from nylon with traces of natural materials. All three are quite robust and are built to help satisfy the urges of the most powerful chewers. While these products have some of the most robust materials of the options in our lineup, please note that they will still show some wear and tear, so your chewer should be supervised to reduce any choking or swallowing hazards.

The KONG Classic makes a great chew toy in addition to being a treat holder.
The KONG Classic makes a great chew toy in addition to being a treat holder.

Of the plush toys that we tested, the Multipet Duckworth seems to be the most durable because of its overall size and bulk. Most of our pups loved to carry around or snuggle the duck rather than destroying him. We had mixed reviews with the KONG Wild Knots Bear. One of our tug of war lovers enjoyed the texture and the strength of the internal rope reinforcements, while one of our hunting breeds made quick work of removing the ropes, stuffing, and squeaker. The Zippy Paws Skinny Peltz trio doesn't have any stuffing to be removed, but that made the squeakers more easily accessible to be crushed or extracted.

A well-loved Duckworth (left) is still holding up after a few years of use  compared to a brand-new one (right).
A well-loved Duckworth (left) is still holding up after a few years of use, compared to a brand-new one (right).

For the rest of the toys in our lineup, it's more important to use them correctly in order for them to remain durable. The Trixie Flip Board Puzzle and the Outward Hound Tornado Puzzle will likely last longer if you clean them regularly and don't let your dog treat them like chew toys. The West Paw Zogoflex Zisc flying disc is much more durable than the Chuckit Paraflight Flyer, but both should provide plenty of throws when used properly as a flying disc and not as a chew toy or tug of war toy. The Chuckit Ultra Ball Launcher is also well constructed, although the stock felt balls themselves will likely wear out and can be replaced with more durable rubber balls.

The West Paw Zogoflex is made of durable rubber and is heavy enough to withstand a good amount of tugging or chewing.
The West Paw Zogoflex is made of durable rubber and is heavy enough to withstand a good amount of tugging or chewing.

Physical Exertion


Let's face it, a tired dog is a good dog. We love our furry friends, but curious, nosy, or restless dogs can often get into mischief. Sometimes they just need to get the wiggles out, and having the perfect toy for active play can increase the fun and quality of life for your high-energy pooch. Our canine testing team has several high-energy breeds that can seemingly play forever, and we evaluated which toys are the best way to harness their energy.

A tired dog is a good dog after playing fetch with the Chuckit.
A tired dog is a good dog after playing fetch with the Chuckit.

The Chuckit Ultra Ball Launcher is the classic fetch toy that should be in the arsenal of any parent of a ball-obsessed dog. The Chuckit is available in various handle lengths and balls sizes to help you find the perfect match for you and your pet. The simple design allows you to pick up the ball without bending over too far or getting your hands dirty and lets you effortlessly launch it for an endless game of fetch. The Chuckit Ball Launcher is a staple at dog parks and is the favorite of our lead test dog, Nala.

Nala has been jealous of all the Chuckit Ball Launchers she's seen at the dog park  and was thrilled to be able to test one for herself.
Nala has been jealous of all the Chuckit Ball Launchers she's seen at the dog park, and was thrilled to be able to test one for herself.

For athletic and agile dogs that like chasing flying discs, the Chuckit Paraflight Flyer is our favorite choice. Its lightweight design is easy to throw and glides exceptionally well, making for a smooth, gentle descent and easy catches. While the Paraflight Flyer's lightweight construction struggles in higher winds, the heavier-duty West Paw Zogoflex picks up the slack. The Zogoflex doesn't glide as smoothly and gently as the Paraflight Flyer, but cuts through the air better when the wind picks up, and is more durable. However, not all pups are fans of the Zogoflex, because to throw it accurately, you have to throw it with some force. Not all dogs we enthused to catch it in their mouths due to the combination of the heavier weight and the faster throws.

Sometimes, games of fetch with a flying disc can turn into a tug of war competition or a chewing session. Bringing two discs is a great way to get your pup to drop the first disc and preserve the lifespan of both.

The Paraflight Flyer is light and flexible  allowing it to glide very well  and making it gentle on mouths.
The Paraflight Flyer is light and flexible, allowing it to glide very well, and making it gentle on mouths.

The KONG Classic gets an honorable mention in this category since it can be used as a fetch toy, and its asymmetric shape makes it bounce around unpredictably for a fun game. The Benebone Maplestick and Petsages Deerhorn chew toys also get a mention since they have natural scents and flavors that activate some dogs' natural primal instincts and seem to occupy their attention and energy pretty well.

The Benebone Maplestick has enough natural wood flavor and scent to stimulate powerful chewers and give them a good workout.
The Benebone Maplestick has enough natural wood flavor and scent to stimulate powerful chewers and give them a good workout.

Special Features


Some dog toys have standout features that may not be reflected in other performance metrics but made a particular impression on us or our furry friends. For example, we think that the Multipet Duckworth Plush Duck and the Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel toys are just ridiculously cute. Many of our test dogs agreed and loved to carry them around and snuggle them. The Hide-A-Squirrel is also available with other plush animals like bees or hedgehogs that are equally adorable.

We think that Multipet Duckworth is simply adorable.
We think that Multipet Duckworth is simply adorable.

The Trixie Flip Board puzzle is unique because it has three different types of puzzles that each challenge and stimulate your dog differently. You can use one or all of the compartments to vary the challenge and the overall degree of difficulty. The KONG Wilde Knots Bear is an innovative plush toy with a rope skeleton that adds extra durability to help withstand rough tug of war games while keeping a soft and cuddly exterior. The KONG Classic is a simple yet versatile toy that can be used as an unpredictable fetch toy, and durable chew toy, or a handy treat holder.

The inner rope skeleton of the KONG Wild Knots Bear can still be used as a tug toy even after being extracted from the bear.
The inner rope skeleton of the KONG Wild Knots Bear can still be used as a tug toy even after being extracted from the bear.

Conclusion


Our experienced testing crew and their canine companions had a blast bringing you this review of the best dog toys. Our nine different test pups come in all different sizes, shapes, breeds, and personalities, and gave us a diverse audience to help you find the best options for you and your furry friend. We hope that this guide helps lead to many happy and healthy days with your dog.

Our team of dogs and their parents tested and compared a wide range of high-quality dog toys to help you make the best choice for your beloved pet.
Our team of dogs and their parents tested and compared a wide range of high-quality dog toys to help you make the best choice for your beloved pet.

Nick Bruckbauer