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Ruff Toy Recommended

Archive for Ruff Toy Recommended

17 Nov 2010

Double Action® Chew by Nylabone

2 Comments Chew Toys, Nylabone, Ruff Toy Recommended

Durability Rating: [Rating:5/5]

My first dog Seamus, could care less about Nylabones.  He wasn’t much of a chewer, although he loved real meat bones and Greenies.  Seamus was a Rough Collie and a very mellow boy.  His trainer, and my good friend, Gerilyn Bielakiewicz of Canine University used to tease us that Seamus was a reincarnation of a gentleman, and not a real dog.  So, when Cassie came along, I finally had a “real dog” and she is very INTO chewing.  She loves Nylabones, and so does Moxie.  It took a while to figure out how to shop for the right Nylabone, but it was worth the effort.

When Cassie was six months old, we took her on a two week sailing trip to Rhode Island.  I was asking a lot for a puppy to be confined to a 32′ sailboat and to curb her enthusiasm while at sea, especially when we were under sail, or in rough conditions.  We kept her safe with a good life jacket and flexible tether so we could harness her to the boat while we were underway, and she did great.  To help keep her occupied during times when she needed to stay low and quiet, I brought a variety of Nylabones.  Cassie must have been at that pivotal period between puppy chews and adult chews, because the Nylabones I bought for her weren’t lasting any time at all!

At one point in the trip, I gave her a rubber Nylabone, and within 5 minutes we had to take it away from her when she ripped a corner of rubber right off the bone.  Another time, when we were motoring through the Cape Cod Canal in fog so heavy, we couldn’t see either side, I gave her a standard Nylabone to keep her busy for the time when we all had to be on watch duty.  The bone barely lasted 20 minutes!  What the heck!?!

So when we got home, I sent a note off to Nylabone and got a great email back from them suggesting I return the packaging and rubber bone back to them, and in return, they would send me some bones that were more appropriate for her.  NICE!  What we got were all labeled “Non Edible for Powerful Chewers” in the Wolf size.  These bones made all the difference, and lasted for months until the “nubs” were worn down and the bones got replaced.  Kudos to the great Customer Service at Nylabone.

The Double Action Chew is a favorite in the Nylabone family

Now on to the Double Action Chew.  The one pictured here is our second in three years.  We’ll need to replace this soon.  This is a very hard chew on the ends, with a rubber center that is perforated.  Cassie likes to carry the bone in her mouth while playing with the rubber part (she likes that it squeaks a little from the rubber friction on her teeth), but she chews on the ends, which gets rough with splinters as she chews, and satisfies her need to gnaw.  This bone is well chewed already, and as soon as we see the hollow core in the center, the bone will be replaced.  Nylabones don’t replace real meat bones, but they are a lot cleaner than real bones, and if you want bones that are allowed in the living room, Nylabones are great.

So, when looking for the right Nylabone, follow the guidelines on the packaging… Edible means the bone is made to be digested, and these bones won’t last long at all.  We choose the ones labeled “for aggressive chewers” and also look for ones that match our dogs’ weight.  We also really like the DuraBones and will review them later.  Unlike some of the specialty toys we’ve reviewed, you can get Nylabones almost anyplace that sells pet products, even the grocery store.   Plus you can print out a coupon for $2.00 off your purchase by going to http://www.nylabone.com/about/coupons/.  The coupon featured now (expires 12/31/10) is for their new line of Dura Toys, which we haven’t tried yet.  We’ll let you know how they do!   I also signed up for their “Club Nylabone” newsletter to get more coupons and offers while at their site.

If you are already using Nylabones, tell us which ones you and your dog like best.

01 Nov 2010

Mega Square Ball by VIP Products

1 Comment Ruff Toy Recommended, VIP Products

Durability Rating: [Rating:5/5]

My dogs love soft, stuffed toys, especially Cassie who carries toys around in her mouth like a security blanket.  Unfortunately, they also love to dismember their stuffed toys, pull out the squeakers and shred them, then distribute the toy stuffing all over the house.  I’m sure many of you can relate!  Most dog toys, especially the stuffed kind are short lived in my house, so I look for toys that will last or toys that are cheap enough to be considered “disposable”.  I’m willing to pay extra for a tough dog toy, but I get pretty annoyed when manufacturers make false claims that their toys are tougher than my dogs.

Mega Square Ball by VIP Products

As advertised, this toy is tough and fun!

Well VIP Products is restoring my faith that tough toys do exist!  I recently got a “Tuffy Mega Balls” square ball, and am very happy with how this product is holding up!

VIP’s product description reads: ”

Mega Construction: Seven Rows of Stitching Each toy’s seven layers of material are sewn together with two rows of linear stitching and two rows of cross stitching. The four rows of stitching are protected with an industrial grade luggage material that is sewn 3 more times. Seven Layers of Material Three layers of 600 Denier industrial grade material, three layers of plastic coating and finally one layer of soft fleece. All seven layers are rolled together and then sewn with a one inch cross pattern to prevent layer separation. Protective Webbing Additional industrial grade luggage material is sewn around the outside edge with three rows of stitching to cover and protect the first four rows of stitching. Squeaker Safety Pockets Each Squeaker is safe and quiet because they are sewn into a nylon safety pocket beneath seven layers of material. These toys are machine washable (air dry) and float.”

This toy’s tuff-scale is ranked 10, meaning it is “MEGA STRONG – the Tuffest!” We put this toy out for the dogs and they are having a blast with it.  The toy has been in play for about 3 1/2 weeks so far and the only damage we can detect is the cloth hang tag that is sewn into the toy for store display… they did chew that up into a small mound of fuzz.  The rest of the toy is completely intact… no stuffing has been strewn over the house and the seams are going strong.

Mega Square after 3 1/2 weeks of play

Mega Square after 3 1/2 weeks of play

The label states that there are squeakers in the toy.  To be honest, I can’t remember if it squeaked when we first got it… but it doesn’t seem to squeak now (at least I can’t get it to squeak! Maybe I should ask Cassie.).  However, they didn’t puncture through the toy, so it could be that the squeakers are so well protected, they don’t squeak.  That’s fine with me, in fact, I like that the toy doesn’t squeak, because the squeakers are just too tempting for them.  Perhaps there’s a correlation that the toy doesn’t squeak, and it’s still in one piece!

Another interesting point is the square shape of this toy makes it harder for the dogs to get a super fast grip on it, meaning their tug-o-wars are not as aggressive.  This toy makes a great soccer ball for inside use, and it’s too big to get stuck under the couch (a pet peeve of mine since Moxie complains loudly if she can’t reach the toy she wants).

We have not used this toy as a pool toy, so I can’t comment on it’s floatability.  Besides the idea of a wet, dripping toy coming back in the house is not pleasant, so we’ll keep it as a house toy, thanks.  Maybe somebody can comment on that point.

In short, I’m really happy with this toy.  The dogs love it, it’s strong, and I’m a believer.   Looking forward to more Mega Tuff products from VIP.

18 Oct 2010

Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Zoom Flyer

Comments Off on Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Zoom Flyer Planet Dog, Pool Toys, Rubber Toys, Ruff Toy Recommended

Durability Rating: [Rating:5/5]

This is another great toy from Planet Dog. For toughness and durability, you really can’t go wrong with Planet Dog toys, and this toy is no exception. We have this toy for the pool, and it is definitely a favorite with the dogs, both in and out of the water. Yes, it floats, yes, it is soft on the mouth and yes, it is durable!

As a pool toy, the Orbee, challenges dogs to think, because depending on how it lands in the water, the disc might be slightly under the water. The dogs tend to push it underwater as they enthusiastically try to grab it up… then the action of their legs treading water keeps it out of reach.

We have taught the dogs to “leave it” and swim away from it to allow the toy time to float back to the surface. Then we reward the dogs with an “okay go get it” so they can try again to grab it.

Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Zoom Flyer - Long lasting and super tough!This toy is so enticing, it was the one that got Cassie to first dive in off the diving board. It’s also great for competitive dogs who can both grab onto the Orbee and swim together. Once out of the pool, it makes a great tug toy.

We’ve had this toy for at least two years. It is finally showing a bit of stress where the blue, stiffer center is coming apart from the outer ring… however, so long as it floats and doesn’t completely come apart, we’re keeping it in the arsenal.

Definitely recommended and worth the money. We’re thinking Moxie might be a frisbee dog, so we’ll also use this once the pool is closed to teach her to play frisbee.

15 Oct 2010

Tuffy’s Ultimate Tug-Of-War

2 Comments Ruff Toy Recommended, Stuffies, Tugg Toys, VIP Products

Durability Rating: [Rating:4.5/5]

This toy is awesome… it’s a big toy, about 22″ long, and when we bought it two years ago, we paid about $25 for this toy.  Now you can get it online for $12.50, and we think it’s worth every penny! VIP gives this toy a Tuff Scale rating of 9, meaning “Extremely Stong – Extremely Durable”.  Their website describes the toy’s construction as follows:

Ultimate Construction: Each toy is made with 4 layers. 2 layers are made of industrial grade luggage material, 1 layer of plastic coating, and the other layer is made of soft fleece on the outside. All of these layers are sewn together to make one super strong layer of material.  Each toy is sewn together with 2 layers of cross stitching and then 2 layers of linear stitching.  After the toy is sewn together an additional piece of black trim is added to cover the four rows of stitching. This extra piece of black trim is sewn with 3 linear stitches to give the product a total of 7 seams! These toys are machine washable (air dry) and float.”

Tuffy's Ultimate Tug-Of-War Toy

This might look like it's in rough shape, but it's two years old! We definitely got our money's worth from this toy.

Cassie loved this toy from the start, but did tend to chew on the center section and did some damage there.   However the majority of the toy is still intact, and since we’ve had it now for over two years, we find the Tuff Scale rating to be true.  In fact, this is one of the oldest “stuffed” toys still in the bin plus one of the only toys that is still recognizable!  Even after we got Moxie, who loves to play tug with Cassie and is very enthusiastic and LOUD about her game of tug, the toy is still intact and going strong.

This toy is almost never left in the toy box.  Now that Cassie has the center of the toy nice and floppy, she loves to shake it and toss it in the air.  She actually likes it better now that it’s a bit “worn in”.  Of course all that shaking is too tempting for Moxie, who comes running, and then the game really begins.  They will play with this toy for a good long time and it is definitely a favorite for them both.  After two years, it is getting a bit worn, so this will definitely be a toy we will buy again.  You can’t beat it for durability, price and fun!

The Ultimate Tug-Of-War toy is a keeper and we recommend this toy!

03 Oct 2010

Zanies Ripstop Training Dummy

1 Comment Pool Toys, Ruff Toy Recommended, Zanies

Durability Rating: [Rating:4/5]

We bought two of the Zanies Ripstop Training Dummies, thinking that they wouldn’t last very long.  Cassie loves to jump off the diving board to retrieve toys, so we wanted to try this out as a pool toy, but didn’t have high expectations based on the fairly inexpensive price.  Well, price and durability don’t always go hand in hand, and this toy is a wonderful example.

We have been delighted with the durability of this toy!  It has lasted a full summer of both dogs retrieving it out of the pool, so it has been left out wet, exposed to chlorine and sun.  It still floats, hasn’t gotten moldy or smelly and is still the hands down favorite pool toy.

The Zanies Rip Stop Dummy is a pool toy favorite

The dummy has also been used extensively as a tug toy, especially when both dogs vie for the same toy… they’ll both grab onto the same toy and swim back to the edge of the pool, climb out and hang on for dear life… the first dog to shake loses!

The material is a durable nylon exterior with a foam interior for floatability.  After a summer of use, there are some small punctures and a definite decline in the stability of the fabric, but both toys are still useaable.  We recommend this toy for pool dogs.  It is a bit expensive to try bringing to the beach, however.  We’ve had dog toys wash away in the surf, so for the beach, we stick to very cheap tennis balls or sticks.