Tugger Knots by KONG

Durability Rating: [Rating:2.5/5]

KONG Tugger Knots

KONG sent us two Tugger Knot toys for Cassie and Moxie to review and we were happy to put them to their Ruff Toy testing. These toys are two knotted loops of 3 strands of twisted rope, surrounded by a non-stuffed plush toy body, and a stuffed face and squeaker. Both dogs loved to play tug-o-war with them and bring them to me for tossing.

For the first few days, the toys held up well and I had high hopes for these as a ruff toy contender. After a few days, though, the faces got torn into from all the tugging.  The stuffing for the faces seems to be real cotton, which got wet and stayed wet, and made a linty mess on the carpet.

Cotton stuffing and loose strands of rope from the Tugger Knots

Next, the seams holding the neck and head together tore loose from tugging, exposing the rope knots.  The knots soon got loosened, and the rope unraveled and deteriorated at the ends.  Once I started seeing piles of long strings of shredded rope, the toy had to be taken away for safety.

The toy tag rightly states:  “Not a chew toy.  Supervised use only.  Remove all tags and hangers.  Discontinue use if worn, loose or torn pieces occur.”

The KONG Tugger Knot seems to be designed as a tug toy, which suggests it should hold up to rough playing, but because it is wrapped in a plush toy, which is the  weakest link, this quickly exposes the rope to fast deterioration. The rope is not very rugged, and easily shredded.   In our case, the Tugger Toy didn’t make the cut, and had to be tossed away before any parts were ingested.

This toy could be really great if a few changes are made to the design and structure. If the animal casing was made from a tougher material, with much tighter seams, it would last longer. Also for our dogs, the squeaker is just an invitation to “kill the animal.KONG Tugger Knots after a few days of play”  Dogs hear that squeak and it sounds like a small animal they need to finish off, which results in chewing the toy to get to the squeaker.

For dogs less prone to destruction, these could be a fun and long-lasting toy.  For homes with only one dog, this might work better, but we would recommend it only be used as an interactive tug toy, and never left out for the dog to play with unless closely supervised by an adult watching for signs of wear.  For multiple dog homes with dogs that love to tug, it is imperative that this toy be closely monitored.   Because rope toys can be very dangerous if ingested, this is a safety concern for any rope toy.

Although we can’t recommend them as a ruff toy, they are really cute and the dogs loved them… to death!

Top 10 Durable Dog Toys for 2010

Here is Ruff Toy Reviews 2010 Top 10 Durable Dog Toys List of the most durable, safe and fun dog toys out there for dogs who love their toys to death.  We have personally tried all of these toys with our dogs, and wanted to share the top dog toys under $20 that would make a great holiday gift for any dog that loves to play rough! Here are our favorite dog toys… in no particular order.

  1. Zanies Rubber Chicken

    The Zanies Rubber Chicken is a surprisingly durable toy that is silly and floppy.  Stands up to shaking and tugging.  We’ve had this toy for about a year, and it’s still going strong.  The dogs love it.  Beware of slobber.  Full review

  2. Nylabone Double Action Chew

    The Double Action Chew by Nylabone is a very long lasting chew that doubles as a rubber toy.  As with all Nylabone products, look for the “for aggressive chewers” label for the toughest chewers. Full review

  3. Planet Dog Orbee Bone

    The Planet Dog Orbee Bone is a wiggly rubber bone that is soft on the mouth, but very durable.  You can fill the hollow center with treats. This bone also floats and makes a great pool toy. Full Review

  4. Tuffy’s Ultimate Tug-O-War Dog Toy takes a lot of abuse in our house, and is still going strong after two years of rough play.  This is a big toy at 22 inches long, and the dogs love carrying such a big toy around.  This one is on our own list for replacement this year.  Shh, don’t tell the dogs! Full review
  5. KONG Snugga Wubba Dog Toy

    The Snugga Wubba Dog Toy by KONG was one of the first stuffing free dog toys out there, and it was a big hit with the dogs and with me because it lasted a long time without leaving a stuffing mess all over the house. The Snugga Wubbas are fleecy soft, although they also come in classic rip stop material.  But our dogs love the Snuggas best.  This is one Cassie’s security blankets. A great tug toy and snuggie. Full review coming soon.

  6. QT Dog Deer Antler Chews

    QT Dog All Natural Chew Toy Antlers Deer Antlers are an all natural chew that you can feel good about. It’s not made from dead things, so if you are squeamish about pigs ears, hooves and other nasty sounding (and smelling) chews, deer antlers are a great alternative, plus they last a long, long time. These are harvested from from 100-percent naturally shed deer antlers, and are not smelly or slimy at all even after a good long chew.  Full review coming soon.

  7. Chuckit Ball Launcher

    Chuckit! Ball Launcher Your best friend if you have a dog that needs to run! When we go to the beach, there are so many people there with Chuckit’s, I’m pretty sure we never come home with the same tennis ball.  Moxie will chase a tennis ball until the cows come home and the Chuckit makes my arm almost bionic when it comes to really getting a long and accurate throw.  You can’t go wrong with this toy.  Get extra balls, though.  You will need them. Full review

  8. Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Zoom Flyer

    Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Zoom Flyer
    We think Moxie was a Frisbee Dog in another life and we’re hoping to teach her to catch this fun toy like a pro. This toy is soft on the mouth, but very tough, and it floats, making it a favorite pool toy. Full review

  9. Tuffy’s Mega Square Ball

    Tuffy’s Mega Square Ball Our dogs love stuffie toys, but they tear them to shreds… except for the Mega Series from VIP products. We now have several of these toys and the dogs love them. Equally important, I love them because they really do hold up. They are more expensive than other stuffed toys, but you really do get your money’s worth out of them. Full review

  10. Zanies Rip Stop Training Dummy

    Zanies Ripstop Training Dummy We got two of these for pool toys, thinking they wouldn’t last very long. We were wrong! Both of them are still going strong even though they are hands down, the absolute favorite pool toy. They float of course, but they are also easy to through and you can swing them around to get a nice long toss from them. An all around great throw toy. Full review

All of these products are available online and we’ve provided links to purchase. If you already have these toys, let us know what you think. And please tell us your own top durable toy favorites too, for future reviews. Happy holidays!

Kong Braidz

Durability Rating:[Rating:1/5]
Kong is well known for it’s great rubber products and chew toys, and we’ve used Kongs for our dogs to help keep them occupied when they are teething and during crate training and other times when we want them busy but quiet.  Our original Kong, which is over 15 years old, is still in the toy crate.  Now that’s a durable toy!

The Kong Braidz, however are a totally different story.  To be fair, they are not billed on their tags as being tough, but their website states they are for dogs who “like to tug, shake and squeak their toys.  Their soft but strong material is tightly braided for strength creating the cutest tug toy on the market.

Kong Braidz: Not at all tough!

The sales staff at the pet store recommended this toy as a good choice for dogs that are tough on toys, so I decided to give it a try, although I had my doubts.  The toy has not lasted at all, and within a week of play, it is ready for the trash can.  The toy is in many pieces, some of which have already been tossed, the braiding is unraveling quickly and this toy will very quickly be gone.  For $10.99, I was expecting more!

While we love the original Kong products, the Braidz Toys are not recommended for the tough dogs.  Save your money.