In search of an indestructible dog toy

If my family was ever in an accident and the “Jaws of Life” were required, we’re all set.

Teddy, our sweet, tummy-rub-loving Lab could handle the job. His jaws seem to be made of steel.


» Teddy finds his voice

The pooch can shred most toys in a matter of minutes.

It doesn’t matter if the toy is soft and squishy or hard and firm. It doesn’t matter that the description on the toy packaging says tough, durable, or good for aggressive chewers

Teddy destroys them all.

According to the 2015-16 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owner Survey, pet owners spent an average $47 dollars a year on dog toys.

I’ve spent that much in one shopping trip.

Teddy loves to play. The pooch greets us and visitors with a toy in his mouth.

The lab loves to chew toys. Squeaky toys are a favorite.

It’s became a personal challenge to find a Teddy proof toy.

Where to begin?

The pooch’s toy box overflows with toys. Some in good shape and some missing pieces.

The webpage suggested limiting a dog to about five toys and switching them out weekly to keep a dog engaged in the toy.

But only five?

As a mom who loves toys almost as much as any kid, that was tough. Just ask my daughter, Jordan, about the lack of toys when she was a child.


» Karin Spicer on naming a dog

Teddy’s toy box was unceremoniously dumped out and the toys were put into three piles.

Ones he played with all the time. Ones he destroyed quickly and have been replaced with new versions. Finally, ones that have been ignored.

After way too much thought, Teddy’s toy choices were narrowed down to six.

The stressed the importance of supervising the play of aggressive chewers with easily chewed toys.

It was as if the warning was written for Teddy. More than once the pooch has ripped apart a toy and had attempted to swallow its pieces.

Those toys were shelved. Even though the pooch loved them, he would only get to play with them when supervised.

Once Teddy’s toys were organized, the challenge was to find a toy he couldn’t destroy in two seconds flat. explained that hardcore chewing was done in the back of a dog’s jaw.

Watching Teddy chew several of his toys both hard and soft confirmed this.

A ball the approximate size of Teddy’s mouth would make it difficult for him to maneuver it to the back of his jaw. Maybe that was the indestructible solution.

This new insight gave me hope as I searched for the right size ball.

Teddy was as excited to get his new ball as I was to give it to him.

Teddy’s nobody’s fool.

When the rescue couldn’t get the ball into the back of his mouth, he stopped playing with it.

So if Teddy ignored those types of toys, then what is the answer?

According to Your Dog’s dogs need something to do.

Teddy is happiest when he’s engaged.

He now has a puzzle that is shaped like a bone. It has multiple compartments to hide his kibble.

At first, he tried to chew off the round discs covering the compartments. Eventually, Teddy learned to push the covers off to one side to reach his reward.

I think he enjoys it. I’m positive he enjoys the kibble.

The indestructible toy is still elusive. But as a mom who likes her kids to have toys, I’m still on the search for one.

Karin Spicer, a magazine writer, has been entertaining families for more than 20 years. She lives in Bellbrook with her family and two furry animals all who provide inspiration for her work. She can be reached at

Top toys

Toys dog owners say their dogs like on the Cesar's Way (Cesar Millan) Facebook page:

1. Chew toys

2. Rubber balls

3. Ropes

4. Tug toys

5. Socks

6. Stuffed toys

7. Plastic Bottles

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