8 Types of Dog Toys: An Overview

There are hundreds of different toys on the market today, all of which serve a unique function and have different benefits for your pooch. Toys can help developing puppies gain confidence and learn new skills; help promote their natural dog instincts, like fetching, chasing, and exploring; help them burn off energy and feel more relaxed; and provide a great bonding experience between you and your pooch.

Toys can help promote good behavior and habits, allowing for appropriate chewing, and are useful in training. Dog toys can also give your pooch comfort while you’re away and help ease separation anxiety.

It can be overwhelming to choose the right dog toy from the sea of options. We put together this overview of the types of dog toys available to help you make the right decision for you and your pooch.Divider 8

1. Chew Toys

chew toy
Image Credit: AnnaD, Pixabay

All dogs love to chew, but certain breeds take chewing to another level! If your pooch is a heavy chewer, buying them a robust and durable chew toy will save you many pairs of shredded shoes! Chew toys come in various forms with different levels of durability. The toughest and longest-lasting ones are the best for larger breeds, while smaller rubber toys and even plush toys are usually fine for small dogs and puppies.


2. Throw Toys

golden retriever playing fetch with ball throw toy
Image credit: Katrin B., Pixabay

Almost no dogs can resist chasing a ball, and throw toys are an ideal form of exercise and stimulation for your dog. A ball is a classic throw toy and even better when they bounce erratically for added excitement. Certain ball toys are made hollow to allow them to travel farther when thrown and help your pooch breathe properly while it’s in their mouth. Launching sticks also help launch balls farther and save your arm from stiffness!

Frisbees are another classic throw toy, and the way they fly erratically through the air is super exciting for your pooch.


3. Puzzle Toys

white dog playing puzzle toy
Image credit: Lenti Hill, Shutterstock

Puzzle toys are a perfect way to mentally stimulate your pooch and help keep them entertained while you’re away. They are usually designed to hide treats inside, and your dog will need to solve varying degrees of difficult puzzles to get to the hidden treat. Some puzzle toys have complicated designs with levers to pull and flaps to open and will keep your dog entertained for hours.


4. Treat-Dispensing Toys

German Shepherd puppy with treat dispensing toy
Image credit: pryzmat, Shutterstock

Similar to puzzle toys but simpler, treat-dispensing toys are an interactive way for your pooch to get a snack. These can come in the form of balls that need to be turned a certain way to release the treats or chew toys or balls that have treats stuffed inside. Some of these toys have varying difficulty levels, so once your pooch figures out how to get a treat, you can turn the difficulty up a notch. These toys are great if you are away frequently and are ideal for crates while traveling.


5. Plush Toys

Welsh Terrier with plush toy
Image credit: Needpix

Ranging in almost infinite varieties of colors, shapes, and sizes, plush toys are made with different fabrics and textures to keep your pooch occupied. Some also have squeakers and other sounds built in and are typically made to withstand chewing. Usually made from soft fabric, plush toys will retain your dog’s scent after a while and can become a source of comfort for them while your away.


6. Water Toys

Jack Russell playing in water with water toy
Image credit: Veronika Gaudet, Shutterstock

Most dogs love swimming and playing in water, and water toys are a great way to add to the fun on summer days. From rubber “skipping stones” that float to retrieval toys and even floating beds, water toys for dogs come in a wide range of different forms. Basically, as long as it floats, it’s good to go in the pool! There are fun toys that attach to garden hoses too, and your pooch will be highly entertained running around the spraying water.


7. Tech Toys

Corgi playing with tech toy dog
Image credit: Xolodan, Shutterstock

Dog toys have come a long way since the humble tennis ball, and some of them are surprisingly hi-tech. From vibrating treat dispensers with timers to balls fitted with cameras and speakers to play with your dog via an app, there is no shortage of hi-tech pet toys.


8. Rope Toys

rope toy
rope toyImage Credit: Didgeman, Pixabay

Dogs love to play tug-of-war with ropes and this game is a great way to exercise your pooch too. Rope toys come in many forms, with multiple knots, attached balls, and even freestanding ones with stakes to put in the ground so your pooch can tug all on their own.

Divider 2Final Thoughts

There are a wide variety of toys to choose from for your pooch, and we recommend trying a few different types to see what they enjoy most. It’s a great idea to have multiple different toys for your dog and switch them up for variety.

Dog toys are a great way to burn off energy, provide mental stimulation, and best of all, strengthen the bond with your canine companion.


Featured Image Credit: AnjaGh, Pixabay