Whether chocolate, black, or yellow, few dog lovers would be surprised to hear that the Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed in the United States. Despite the breed’s reputation for being food-obsessed and a bit lazy (and as a result, prone to obesity), the Labrador Retriever is actually one of the world’s most athletic, intelligent, and loyal canines. After all, it takes brawn and brains to succeed as a hunting partner, water rescuer, trained service animal, and more.
If you’re lucky enough to have a Labrador Retriever in your life, then you know how highly the breed values its favorite toys. But in order to keep up with this dog’s seemingly endless need for puppy-like play, not just any toy will do.
We’ve put together a brief list of the best dog toys for Labs that will keep them moving and entertained every day. To start, let’s take a look at our favorites:
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Pet Qwerks Babble||
|Best Value||Nerf Dog Squeak||
|Premium Choice||Monster K9 Durable Football||
|KONG Extreme Goodie Bone||
The 7 Best Dog Toys for Labs — Reviews 2021
1. Pet Qwerks Babble Ball Dog Toy — Best Overall
Because the breed is so deceptively smart, Labrador Retrievers thrive on interactive, mentally-stimulating toys. The Pet Qwerks BLBB1 Babble Ball Dog Toy is a simple yet effective option for owners who can’t be around to entertain their dogs at all hours of the day. It comes in three sizes, but we recommend the Large for a Lab.
While your pup might think this is a normal ball at first, they’ll quickly learn otherwise. The motion-activated lights and sounds offer sensory stimulation and entertainment whether your dog is playing by itself or with you. This particular model features 18 different sounds: barks, squeaks, a doorbell, and more!
As with any noise-making toy, there are a few drawbacks to the Babble Ball. First, there is no off switch, so you’ll need to make sure your dog doesn’t get a hold of it in the middle of the night. It is also quite hard and heavy, leaving some owners worried that it will damage their floors or walls.
2. Nerf Dog 6999 Squeak Ball — Best Value
If you’re in the market for a classic dog toy, one of the best dog toys for Labs for the money is the Nerf Dog 6999 Squeak Ball. This rubber ball measures 4 inches, larger than a tennis ball, and has a durable squeaker inside for added entertainment. It is available in red or green.
The plastic exterior of this ball features ridges and a textured surface, making it easy for both you and your dog to get a good grip during fetch. It is also weather and water resistant, so your dog can take it to the lake or out in the rain or snow without worry.
Unfortunately, the durability of this toy seems to be hit or miss. While some owners claim that their dog destroyed this ball in a matter of minutes, others have had no such issues. Also, there are a few reports of the squeaker separating from the rest of the ball, which may present a choking hazard.
Labs might be the quintessential family dog, but there’s no denying that the breed is also big and strong. The Monster K9 Dog Toys Durable Football Chew Toy is designed for aggressive chewing, harsh terrain, and hours of rough-and-tumble fetch. This chew toy is made of FDA-approved rubber that is described as “virtually indestructible.”
The football-shaped design is small enough for your dog to chew and carry while being easier to throw than a traditional ball. The rubber material offers just enough bounce to keep your dog engaged and constantly on their toes. Each chew toy comes with a manufacturer-backed lifetime guarantee.
Because this ball is made of solid rubber, it is also quite hard and heavy. While it works well for traditional fetch, some owners are concerned about the potential for injury if their dog tries to catch the ball in mid-air.
To conclude, we think this is one of the best chew toys for labs.
4. KONG 10015 Extreme Goodie Bone
On the subject of chewing, there’s no bigger name in canine chew toys than KONG. If you have a large, chewing-obsessed Labrador, then the KONG 10015 Extreme Goodie Bone is likely one of the best choices. This large bone measures 8.5 inches long and is made from KONG’s toughest material for heavy wear-and-tear.
While some dogs are content with a plain, old chew toy, this bone also features two holes that can be filled with dry treats, peanut butter, cream cheese, or one of KONG’s sprayable treats. Filling your dog’s toys with treats can also help boost mental stimulation and fight boredom.
According to KONG, this bone is recommended for dogs from 30 to 65 pounds. Because of this, some owners may find it too small for their Lab. Also, some owners reported a bad tire-like odor coming from the material.
5. Chuckit 32306 Fumble Fetch Toy
Whatever your Labrador Retriever’s favorite activity is today, the breed was designed to fetch — it’s literally in the name! The Chuckit 32306 Fumble Fetch Toy is a great alternative to standard tennis balls, especially if your dog enjoys nighttime or waterside fetch sessions. Its football-inspired shape even offers an aerodynamic boost.
The durable rubber material floats in water, and the cut-out shape of this toy provides plenty of nooks and crannies for your dog to grab during play. One unique thing about this toy, however, is that the etched channels feature a glow-in-the-dark coating that lasts up to 30 minutes.
While the design is great in theory, it does sacrifice durability for other features. Many owners reported that their dog ripped apart the toy at the seams. The glow-in-the-dark coating, while cool, is also a bit disappointing in action.
6. West Paw Zogoflex Dog Chew Toy
Another option for the Labrador who just won’t stop chewing is the West Paw Zogoflex Dog Chew Toy. This durable rubber toy comes in two sizes, with the Medium version measuring 6.3 inches long. Unfortunately, this is the largest size available. You can also choose from three colors: aqua blue, granny smith, or tangerine.
This chew toy features three “lobes” that provide a variety of angles for your dog to get their teeth into. It’s made from non-toxic, FDA-approved rubber that floats in water and rolls around on the ground for mental engagement. Each toy is made in the U.S. with recycled, dishwasher-safe materials.
Of course, there’s no such thing as a 100% chew-proof toy. Depending on your dog, this toy may not last longer than a day — some owners also reported their dogs biting off small pieces of this toy, so supervision is recommended.
7. StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy
The StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy doubles as more than just entertainment for your hungry Lab. Available in two sizes — we recommend the Large for a Labrador or similar-sized dog — this toy is also a great way to distribute treats or entire meals. The Large version holds up to 3 cups of dry food at once.
There are many treat-dispensing toys on the market, but it can be hard to find the perfect match for your dog’s favorite treats or kibble. While you can adjust the holes on this toy to fit different sizes, some owners still found it too small for their dog’s treats or dry food.
This toy can be disassembled for easier cleaning, and the hard plastic material makes it easy to soak and scrub away dried food. However, the plastic is definitely not chew-proof, and this toy should only be used with human supervision.
No two dogs share the same personality, even when they’re of the same breed. While we can help point you in the right direction when it comes to finding the ideal toy for your Labrador Retriever, no one knows your dog’s likes and dislikes better than you!
Here are a few things to ask when shopping for a new toy for your loving Lab:
Is your Lab destructive?
It’s a fact of dog-owning life — some pups just love to destroy their toys. While some owners are totally fine with the reality of going through toy after toy, others don’t want to deal with the mess (or the cost).
If you’re looking for a toy that will stand up to your dog’s destructive habits, at least for a little while, then you have several options. Personally, we recommend the Monster K9 Dog Toys Durable Football Chew Toy or the KONG 10015 Extreme Goodie Bone.
Is your Lab easily bored?
Some dogs can keep themselves entertained with something as simple as a tennis ball. Others require constant stimulation to keep away boredom. Since you can’t be there to play with your dog every minute of every day, you may want to consider an interactive dog toy instead.
Both the Pet Qwerks BLBB1 Babble Ball Dog Toy and the StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy offer interactive entertainment, just in different ways. While the former stimulates your dog’s brain with interesting lights and sounds, the latter keeps them busy with every Lab’s favorite thing: food.
Does your Lab live up to its “Retriever” name?
Like many other breeds, the Labrador Retriever was literally designed to fetch items for its human companions. While some Labs still practice this job out in the field, especially during hunting season, others are compelled to play games like fetch.
Technically, you and your dog can use any toy to start a game of fetch. However, if there’s nothing else your dog would rather do, you might as well invest in a toy specifically designed for the game. The Nerf Dog 6999 Squeak Ball and Chuckit 32306 Fumble Fetch Toy are both great options to upgrade your dog’s favorite game.
As dog owners, we all know the joy of buying a new toy for our pups. But if you’re going to spend your hard-earned money on a ball, chew toy, or puzzle, you’ll want to know it’s a good fit for your dog’s size, temperament, and play style.
If your Labrador is easily amused by interesting lights and sounds, the Pet Qwerks BLBB1 Babble Ball Dog Toy is a great investment. The unique mental stimulation offered by this toy could even help lessen separation anxiety in some dogs.
For hard-core fetchers, the Nerf Dog 6999 Squeak Ball is our top suggestion. It’s larger than a tennis ball, is textured for a better grip, and lets out a satisfying squeak whenever your dog bites or shakes it.
Or, if you’re afraid your dog will destroy one of the toys above, you might want to check out the Monster K9 Dog Toys Durable Football Chew Toy. This toy is designed specifically for dogs that enjoy playing rough — it even comes with a lifetime replacement policy.
Choosing the right toy for your Lab can ensure hours of productive, non-destructive fun, and we hope that our reviews have helped inspire your next purchase. Be sure to let us know how your dog likes their new toy in the comments below!
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 7 Best Dog Toys for Labs — Reviews 2021
- Buyer’s Guide