Durability Rating: (2.5/5)
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.
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.” 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!