*notcot in playful , 18:30

Rugged Dog Toys- 11.10.12

thepuppy0.jpg Phew* what a few days it has been! On Tuesday, we added a new addition to our NOTCOT family - Bucky (short for Buckminster, naturally) the 8 week old black labrador retriever puppy! (My first puppy!) This awesome little guy is a ball of non stop energy, and we’ve been lucky that he’s magically house broken, sleeping through the night, and great with other people, dogs, machines and more… but it also means he learns crazy fast, can get sneaky, and can’t get enough play time sprinting throughout the house and yard when not sleeping or eating! It has also become clear that this little guy is going to get HUGE! And since Shawn has a big, older, 120 pound lab back home in TN - i’ve been getting caught up on what toys will and will not stand up to the hardcore, persistent chewing of a lab in full force…

So we’re starting Bucky off right - and trying to find the most fun, chew-proof toys that will last (besides the usuals we already have at home that he’s loving - tennis balls, hockey sticks, etc) - and aren’t too hard on the eyes (it’s been mind numbing seeing how much terrible stuff there is out there - both in aesthetics and quality!)… On the next page you can see some of the things we’ve bought, as well as some i’m curious about…

P.S. Do you have a dog? What are his/her favorite toys that have been exciting and lasted well?

You can see a bit of what life with Bucky has been like the last few days… thepuppy.jpg (Follow us on Twitter or Instagram to see more!)

godog.jpg Go Dog toys with Chew Guard Technology - so tough they even guarantee it! “If your dog destroys his goDog toy, we will send you a free replacement. Send a photo of the destroyed toy to info-at-quakerpetgroup.com.” Shawn’s older, HUGE lab is quite the chewer - extracting the squeakers of most toys in MINUTES - but these have been holding up amazingly well! Bucky’s loving the little dragon so far… and just can’t destroy him yet as hard as he’s tried!

chuckit.jpg Chuck It - Kick Fetch and Launchers and the amazing variety of Launcher Compatibles - especially the silly Duck Divers and Gators that float upright! Running around the yard with him chasing us has become the best way to tire him out at night before bed - the Kick Fetch ball is perfect! As fun for us as it is for him…

holee.jpg Dogs iN Action - DNA that you can stuff with treats and the Hol-ee Roller - from JW. You can squeeze tennis balls (and lots of other things) inside the Hol-ee Roller, and it’s a good tug of war toy…

hyperpet.jpg HyperPet Ball Launchers - super slingshots for tennis balls, with easy re-load and ball pick up. They can hold 1, 2, 4 balls. We first found one of these in a massive Hunting Store - they are so fun, launching tennis balls (up to 220 ft supposedly)!

orbee.jpg Planet Dog - Orbee Balls, Glow In The Dark Whistle Ball, the Wood Chuck line (from the bamboo ball tosser to the various ones that fit inside), Orbee Tuff Mazee

zogoflex.jpg West Paw Designs Zogoflex Toys

kong.jpg Everyone has been recommending Kong - so many options, but lots are vouching for their classic Kong!

ruffians.jpg A menagerie of creatures from JWmade of tough natural rubber and a squeaker designed not to fall out. Here’s the Elephant and Chicken, Frog, Fish, Turtle, and Octopus

mighty.jpg Mighty Dog Toys - these also have super durability…

thepuppy1.jpg Here’s BUCKY! (and the Dragon)

… and separately - these were so cute, i had to share! kong1.jpg Kong CHEW BUDDIES - there’s a variety pack, and bigger ones…

petprojekt.jpg Another one we just ran into… Pet Projekt - from Squeakie Tikis to lots of fun geometric forms to chew and chase!

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10 Notes

Congrats on your new addition!! I’m a little late to the puppy party here (I *just* saw your adorable puppy posts on the Twitters…) As a fellow black lab owner, I felt compelled to leave some toy tips! My Charlie’s 1 1/2 now and looves his Mighty Toy seal and Hear Doggy whale (it’s got a silent squeaker!) I’ve found that once his teething was over, he has been much kinder to his stuffed animals. He was quite rough with his first whale and Kong Braidz giraffe. Definitely a deer antler is a wonderful thing. He used to chew rawhide rolls to satisfy his insatiable chewing needs when he was little (they aren’t all that healthy for them plus they need to be supervised) but with the antler you don’t really have those worries. Plus there’s little to no mess. He’s on his second one (a really big one this time) and he carries it around like a tusk. It’s so cute! Umm, what else… he loves his JW Crackle ball (he loves the crunchy water bottle sounds) and his Cuz ball. He loooves playing soccer outside in the yard with a basketball! (We did have soccer balls but he liked chewing the vinyl off, but again, this was when he was little and couldn’t stop chewing things.) The basketball’s not fully inflated so he can run around and carry it in his mouth. When we go out to a field off-leash, he loves retrieving Chuckit whistler balls. And for the beach, the Chuckit bumper is awesome. Oh yeah, you can’t go wrong with Orka products… the tennis ball, flyer and puck have been all great hits with my guy. And lastly, a good ol’ fashioned rope. He’s gone through a couple of Flossies so far. Oh, and it’s good to invest in the Kong Wobbler to feed your lil’ guy. It slows them down as labs love to gobble their food! Enjoy puppyhood! It goes by fast!

----- Julie 23.11.12 23:22

Once again, I must recommend the JW football. My Old English Sheepdog, Lola, is now 11 months old and has had her football since she was 7 weeks old. She literally carries it with her EVERYWHERE (puts it between her feet while eating, holds it in her mouth while going potty and sleeps with it). Because she was so attached, I bought a second football ‘just in case’, but we haven’t needed it because 1) she ALWAYS knows where hers is and 2) it is indestructible!!!

----- Anne 15.11.12 07:03

I’ll vouch for the StarMark products (mentioned in the second comment): http://starmarkacademy.com — I have a one-year old 85lb pit mix that destroys every toy… he can shred a Kong toy in minutes. But something about the rubber the StarMark toys use makes them indestructible. They aren’t cheap, but he has had one for months that he plays with daily. It’s dirty, but there’s no visible damage. I’ve tried *everything* with this dog, and it’s the only thing he likes but can’t destroy. And I’ve seen him break chunks off a freakin’ brick. Seriously.

----- Heath 12.11.12 20:58

My dobermans loved the Kong and the hol-ee roller, they would just eat anything stuffed animal or squeaky. They would suck on the plush toys and then use their tiny front teeth to rip the fur off - and then eat the fur. Will look out for more reviews from your cutie cute puppy as I’m sure he’ll be MASSIVE!

----- Jen B 12.11.12 15:15

We have a pit lab mix who destroys most toys. This is the first he has yet to destroy and it is multi-use! You can stuff treats into the little pockets and he will sit for hours licking it instead of chewing. It also smells really good (like lotion?) even after being outside and in his mouth for several months. He takes it with him wherever he goes and sleeps with it most of the time he is in the living room. when you come home in the afternoon he greets you with it in his mouth. because of this toy we often call Gus - Pickle.

Treat Dispensing Pickle

----- Andy 12.11.12 10:56

Deer antler or a cow femur bone. The antlers last forever and they love them so much that they won’t just stray and chew, say, the couch cushions. The beef femur is enormous, but softer bone. Your dog will destroy it in a day or so, but leave behind a ‘pipe-bone’ that he’ll be working on for ages.

Also, these things: http://www.petmountain.com/product/plush-dog-toys/11442-526465/skinneeez-tons-o-squeakers-assorted.html

Its the only cloth toy my pit/rottweiler mix hasn’t shredded. Had it 4 months now.

----- Carl 12.11.12 00:07

The classic Kong gets my vote - and not just due to their great returns policy (do they still do this?)- destroy in 30 days and they replace. Haven’t bought one for awhile as current canines are not that way inclined - but previous dear friend and cattle dog Blanco could reduce the classic black Kong to tiny pieces in 45 minutes flat - got embarrasing taking them back for a replacement the next day. Wrote to the company (who have polar bears and seals on their website that don’t do that kind of damage) - apparently some dogs just got the knack. Resorted to a hockey ball!

----- Lisa McKenzie 12.11.12 00:07

Love your blog. Love the toy roundup. But especially love this sweet critter. Adorable! Re: toys, some pups don’t like the taste of rubber. But with lab puppies (big time chewers as I’m sure you’ve already discovered) I’ve found Nylabones a good choice. Sometimes you may need to smear them with a bit of peanut butter to get your pup interested, but I like them because they cannot chew off big chunks, which makes them safe for avid chewers. And my dog have found them satisfying to chew. I’ve also had a ton of luck with Fluff&Tuff toys. Extremely tough, especially for a soft-squeaky toy. But you’ll still want to monitor Bucky whenever he has any toy with a squeaker. Good luck! And congratulations!

----- Kimberly Wang 11.11.12 21:38

Well I have a black lab also. She will be 2 years old in January.
She is the second lab we have had.
Same experience. None stop energy. They love to play until they pass out.
Labs are the best and most loyal breed to own. They are absolutely fantastic with kids and Grand Kids :-)
However the best thing to invest in, if you don’t know already, is obedience class. As our instructor has taught us with both dogs is that obedience class is for the owners :-O
We have run the gambit on dog toys. The only manufacturer that I have found for consistent quality and durability is Kong. I will not mess with any other manufacturer. The soft plush toys should be banned. If they last longer than 4 hours, it’s a miracle. The other toys we avoid is anything that is hard plastic or nylon. The dog will chew on it forever but the toy develops sharp burrs which will cause bleeding gums if you don’t take it away.
Good luck with Bucky. Pictures make me want to get another one :-)

----- Turbo 11.11.12 14:38

Deer antlers. You NEED chewies. Need.

----- Lewis Moon 11.11.12 06:51

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