Seamus, the perfect gentleman

This blog is about dog toys.  We’ve been on a quest to find and test dog toys that will stand up to dog rough housing and chewing.  If your house is full of dog toys that just don’t cut it, then read on!  Maybe we can help.

My first dog, Seamus was truly a gentleman… he was a rough collie who lived to 13.  But he was never rough on his toys, and he had a large tub of toys he had played with almost his entire life, but never destroyed.  Even though he loved his toys, he was gentle with them.  I thought that was how all dogs were!  Silly me.

Cassie, toy destroyer extraordinaire

Then Cassie came along. Cassie is a golden retriever and loves her toys!  Poor old Seamus’s 13-year-old toys were no match for this rambunctious puppy!  Before she was six months old, she had destroyed almost all of his beloved toys, as well as the new ones we bought for her as a puppy.

As a typical golden retriever, she is playful and loves to have something in her mouth.  Often times, she’ll cram as many toys in her mouth as she can fit.  In Cassie’s mind, toys are meant to be dismembered. To Cassie, the squeaker is like the prize  in a box of Cracker Jacks, and she goes for that first. If she could, she would chew the squeaker to bits… we have to watch her and grab the squeaker as soon as she gets it out.  As soon as the toy stops squeaking, we’re on her!

Next, all the stuffing has to come out in chunks and strewn across the floor.  Then all appendages must be chewed and shredded off the body of the toy.  Between the maulings, Cassie loves to play hide and seek and catch with her toys.  We don’t encourage tug with her, and she is good about releasing a toy, in hopes that it will be thrown again… But needless to say, Cassie is tough on toys. Our house has become full of stuffing and toy bits that more resemble road kill than toys.

Cassie and Moxie -- partners in crime!

Earlier this year, we added a new member to our family.  Cassie finally has a full-time playmate and partner in crime.  Moxie is a rescue  — probably a sheltie/shepherd mix, and she is equally enthusiastic about toys!  The pair hit it off immediately, and have been best buds all summer.  The two dogs spend hours every day chasing each other, wrestling and playing tug and keep away with their toys.  They also love swimming in the pool and diving in for any toy we’ll throw for them.

Thus began our quest to find toys our dogs will enjoy, but won’t destroy too quickly.  Cassie and Moxie are only too happy to volunteer as product testers!  They love to test out all the toys that cross their path, and let you know which ones pass muster and which ones get thrown into the trash.

We’ve had some good luck and some not so good luck… I hope that our findings will help you in your own hunt for tough dog toys.  We welcome your comments and suggestions or send us an email.

Janet Merriman and Mike Merriman are the writers of this blog.  They live in Boxford MA.