Shopping for a dog toy can be overwhelming. There are so many options, and many of them are quite expensive, which makes it all the more frustrating when your dog rips them apart in seconds.
What’s even worse than seeing your pooch demolish a beloved toy is watching them refuse to interact with it. Nothing makes you feel like a bigger failure than being unable to make your dog’s tail wag.
Finding the right toy can feel like nothing short of a miracle, so in the reviews below, we’ve outlined which toys we think your dog will love. We’ve ranked them based on factors like durability, versatility, value for the price, and safety, so you can be sure your dog will find something to love about each of them.
Remember, even if your dog hates the toy, we can guarantee that they’ll love destroying the packaging it came in.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||KONG KXL Classic||
|Best Value||Chuckit! 245301 Launchers||
|Premium Choice||Goughnuts TuG Interactive||
|Chuckit! 251201 Kick Fetch||
The 7 Best Toys for Big Dogs — Reviews 2021
1. KONG KXL Classic Dog Toy — Best Overall
It’s hard to imagine how a toy could be much simpler than the KONG KXL Classic — after all, it has no bells, whistles, or moving parts. Then again, it’s hard to imagine how dogs could be more enthralled by any other toy.
Made of super-strong rubber, it’s hardy enough to stand up to serious chewers. It has plenty of give when gnawed on, but not so much that it comes apart, providing hours of endless munching. If you toss it, it will bounce irregularly, making it a fun and challenging fetch toy.
One of the best things about it, though, is the giant hole on the end. It’s perfect for stuffing treats inside, or you can fill the whole KONG with peanut butter and freeze it for a nutritious, long-lasting treat that’s perfect for a summer day. This challenges your dog’s mind too, as it can take forever for them to figure out how to clean out every last bit of peanut butter.
Just be aware that if you fill it, you’ll have to clean it out — and that can be a pain. It must be done, though, or else mold will start to grow inside.
At first glance, it’s hard to see why dogs love the KONG KXL Classic so much, but they clearly do, which is why it’s a shoo-in for the top spot on this list.
2. Chuckit! 245301 Launchers — Best Value
For some dogs, fetch isn’t just a game — it’s a way of life. Of course, those pups seldom take into account the toll that throwing a ball over and over can have on your shoulder.
That’s what makes the Chuckit! Launcher such a great toy. It relieves a great deal of the strain on your joints, while still letting you fling the ball as far as possible. It also saves you from having to touch the ball once it gets soggy and nasty.
You can get serious distance with this thing too, so unless you used to be an outfielder in the big leagues, chances are that the ball will get more air if you use it. That means your dog will have to run farther, which means they’ll get tuckered out faster.
Of course, that also means you need a large amount of space to use this thing, so it’s best reserved for wide-open areas like parks and beaches. It’s not a great backyard toy unless you like asking your neighbors for help every five seconds.
The Chuckit! isn’t the most durable toy, but it’s fairly inexpensive, making it the best toy for big dogs for the money.
If your dog loves to chase things, you absolutely need to stash one of these launchers in your car or utility room. They’re incredibly fun, but they have a few limitations that prevent us from awarding them the top spot here.
Many big pups love to play tug-of-war, but doing so can quickly turn hazardous for your fingers, as they have to stay uncomfortably close to the action. Enter the Goughnuts TuG Interactive, a pull toy that keeps your hands a safe distance away from your dog’s overzealous chompers.
The toy is shaped like a figure-8, allowing you to grab one end while your dog latches onto the other. This gives your hands plenty of clearance, allowing you to play vigorously without fear of getting hurt. This makes it great for multi-dog use as well.
It’s made of incredibly thick rubber, so it should last quite a while, even if your dog is a determined chewer. It’s incredibly heavy yet floats in water, making it a great toy for use at the lake.
You’ll pay a premium price for this toy, though, and it does have a strong rubber odor that lasts for weeks. However, if you’re tired of seeing your dog demolish a supposedly “indestructible” toy in seconds, the Goughnuts TuG Interactive should guarantee that you finally get your money’s worth.
4. Nylabone NDD503P Dog Chew Toy
The Nylabone NDD503P isn’t a toy that will bring you and your dog closer together, but if you just need to occupy your pooch for a few hours while you get some work done, it can be a godsend.
Shaped like a real bone, it has raised nubs on either end and a corkscrew in the middle. These shapes help clear away plaque and tartar as your dog gnaws on them, helping keep their teeth clean and shiny.
It has a faint bacon flavor, so your dog should take to it immediately. It’s great for stashing in a crate, as it can help ease separation anxiety or reduce stress caused by fireworks and other outside influences.
You have to monitor your dog while they chew on it, though, because the ends can come unscrewed, posing a choking hazard. While it’s durable, pieces can break off eventually, and you’ll need to take them away before your mutt swallows them.
It’s not perfect, but if you need a durable chew toy to entertain your dog every now and then, the Nylabone NDD503P is about as good as it gets.
5. Chuckit! 251201 Kick Fetch Dog Toy
Chuckit! has already made this list with their launcher, but this Kick Fetch Toy has a different intended use. Rather than throwing it, you can punt it, which is often more fun for both you and your pooch.
Kicking it frees you up from having to bend over and touch gross, slimy tennis balls, and it’s easier to generate distance.
It floats in water, so it’s fun in the pool or at the beach. However, the reason it floats is that it’s made of lightweight rubber, so your dog can tear it apart in just a few minutes if they have a mind to.
There are grooves in the side designed to help your dog grip it, but they’re spaced in such a way that the dog’s jaws can sometimes get caught on it.
One other thing to keep in mind is that most people are less coordinated with their feet than they are their hands — which is to say, there’s a good chance that you’ll accidentally sideswipe your dog in the face. Hopefully, they will be understanding.
The Chuckit! Kick Fetch Toy is fun and a great change-of-pace, but it has several flaws that make it difficult for us to rank it over some of the other options on this list.
6. TUFFY MRBW Soft Dog Toy
The TUFFY MRBW is like a big, soft version of the Goughnuts toy; unfortunately, it lacks many of the qualities that set that other toy apart from the competition.
This thing looks like a giant donut, which may make it enticing for your dog. It’s extremely soft on their teeth, making it a good choice for animals with dental issues.
It’s not easy to grip unless you put your hand through the hole in the middle, and that exposes you to accidental bites. It might not take long for you to abandon playing with this toy, even though your good-natured dog did nothing wrong.
The outside fabric is strong but can only slow down an enthusiastic chewer for so long. Expect a determined dog to rip this toy up in an hour or two. Once it’s torn, the stuffing can get everywhere, and it’s not something you want your dog to eat.
The TUFFY MRBW looks fun, and it certainly has its uses, but it simply has too many issues to earn a strong recommendation.
7. Pets&Goods Rope Dog Toy
There’s nothing special about this Pets&Goods Rope Toy — it’s just like any other rope toy you’ve seen in every pet store you’ve ever been in.
Of course, there’s a reason that these toys are so ubiquitous, as many dogs love them. However, there are so many superior versions of this tug toy on the market nowadays that it’s hard to recommend this outdated model.
This one has a loop handle at one end, which many rope toys lack. This gives you a place to keep your hands away from your dog’s mouth.
Beyond that, though, there’s not much here to get excited about. It can get shredded easily, and it’s an absolute pain trying to get all those individual rope fibers out of your carpet.
The big knot in the middle can trap your pup’s teeth as well, so you need to be careful when playing rough with it. Also, it’s so thick and heavy that if you have a dog who likes to shake their toys, you’ll need to stand clear because this thing can hurt.
This isn’t to say that the Pets&Goods Rope Toy is a bad toy, per se, or that you should never buy your dog one of these. It’s simply hard to find a reason that you should spend your money on this thing when there are newer and more improved models available.
It’s not high-tech, but the KONG KXL Classic is nevertheless the best toy for big dogs that we found. It’s versatile and durable and can engage your pup’s mind as much as their body.
Coming in a close second is the Chuckit! Launcher. This toy can be a lifesaver for owners of fetch-loving dogs, as it saves your shoulders from excessive strain while still allowing you to generate impressive distance on each throw — and it’s fairly cheap to boot.
Buying dog toys is an inexact science, but we hope that these reviews have made it easier for you to find something your pup will love. However, remember that for your dog, you’ll always be the greatest toy in the world (well, you and your most expensive shoes, of course).
Featured image credit: Chuckit! Launchers main, Chewy
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 7 Best Toys for Big Dogs — Reviews 2021