11 of the Best Toys for Big Dogs
From extra-durable frisbee discs to supersized chews and tug-of-war ropes, these toys were designed to keep your large dog busy and engaged.
If you're the parent of a large dog, then you already know how difficult it can be to find reliable toys. "The most important elements to toys for big dogs are that they are safe and indestructible," explains Mary R. Burch, PhD, certified applied animal behaviorist and family dog director at the American Kennel Club. "Safe means the toy should not be so small that the dog can swallow it or have it lodged in the throat, which can result in an intestinal obstruction, or worse."
And since bigger dogs have much more strength than smaller breeds, it's important to find toys that are both large in size and made of tough materials. "Look for toys that are large enough for your dog to carry, but not completely get their mouth around it," advises Katie Lim, director of industrial design for super chewer at BARK. "If your dog has a more destructive play style, you'll want to avoid standard plush toys and opt for rubber or reinforced plush constructions."
Of course, it also helps to have a toy that excites your big dog, too. "A good dog toy should engage your pet," Lim explains. "Whether it's a bouncy ball, scented tug toy, or a treat puzzle, it should provide amusement and, if possible, mental stimulation."
In the market for a sturdy yet mentally stimulating toy? With the help of Burch and Lim, we searched the market and rounded up the most indestructible, big breed-friendly dog toys we could find.
Any dog loves a good game of tug-of-war. Wild One's Triangle Tug boasts two shapes, two textures, and is perfect in a household of multiple pets. The triangle is comprised of natural rubber with a reinforced core for added strength.
Shop Now: Wild One Triangle Tug, $24, wildone.com.
Arguably one of the most popular dog toys on the market, Burch says KONG toys are beloved by big dog owners for a reason. "KONGs are durable and can be used to exercise both the dog's mind and body," she explains. "Along with playing fetch, you can stuff a treat or peanut butter inside the KONG to keep your dog busy when you're away."
Shop Now: KONG Classic Dog Toy in X-Large, $19, chewy.com.
If your big dog is a fan of stuffed plushies, then we have found the perfect toy for you. "This jumbo plush toy is part of our Big Tois for Big Bois collection and is great for dogs who like to tug, thrash, or just carry a soft toy around," Lim says. "It is extra-stuffed and includes two large squeakers inside."
Shop Now: BARK Rocket Pupsicle Dog Toy in XL, $14, target.com.
A big dog deserves a big bone, and this supersized one is designed for power chewers. Composed of durable nylon, this Nylabone bone is infused with natural chicken flavors and will help clean your dog's teeth while they gnaw at it.
Shop Now: Nylabone Dura Chew Chicken Monster Bone Dog Chew, $17, petco.com.
If your dog loves chasing tennis balls, then Burch recommends purchasing a toy that allows you to play fetch without overextending yourself. "The Chuckit! Launcher features a ball holder and a long handle that lets the person throw the ball faster and at a greater distance," she explains.
Shop Now: ChuckIt! Pro 26XL X-Large Ball Launcher, $38, amazon.com.
Tied in Knots
A little rope goes a long way in a dog toy. If your dog loves to chew, consider an extra-long rope toy with multiple knots that's great for cleaning their teeth while you play tug-of-war.
Shop Now: Max Bone Large Twisted Rope Toy, $16, maxbone.com.
According to Lim, a toy designed for mental stimulation is a goofproof way to help your extra big dog expend energy. "The Nebula has two small holes to dispense treats or kibble and an outer rim that creates unexpected movements across the floor as an added challenge," she says. "When treat time is over, your pup has a fun, bouncy ball to play with."
Shop Now: BARK Nebula in Large, $14, barkshop.com.
Dogs of all sizes love frisbees, which is why Burch suggests investing in a quality disc for your big pooch. "A favorite game for many large dogs is chasing, catching and fetching a disc," she explains. "The Booda Tail-Spin Flyer is a soft, durable disc that's designed to not hurt your dog's mouth, teeth, or gums and can be used on the ground or for water retrieves."
Shop Now: Booda Big Daddy Tail Spin Flyer, 12", $17, entirelypets.com.
If your big dog loves to swim, then consider a pull-style toy they can bring in the water with them. "This toy was designed for tug and fetch," Lim explains. "The double-layered nylon strap with reinforced stitching holds two large natural rubber pieces that are treated to float in water. They move along the loop so you and your dog can choose to grip the strap or rubber."
Shop Now: BARK Swimming Pull, $14, barkshop.com.
The only thing better than a durable disc for playing fetch is one with built-in squeakers. Composed of seven layers of materials and multiple rows of stitching that make it harder to chew through, this ring-shaped squeaky toy is light enough to float on water but tough enough for a big dog to play with.
Shop Now: Tuffy Mega Ring Dog Toy in Blue, $23.52, bedbathandbeyond.com.
Searching for a durable toy that will keep your dog entertained for hours? This award-winning nylon toy is designed and built to engage dogs weighing up to 80 pounds that love to chew.
Shop Now: Soda Pup Pipe Wrench Nylon Toy, $10, sodapup.com.