Invincibles Snake by Kyjen

Durability Rating: [Rating:3/5]

Before I had a dog of my own, I loved buying dog toys for my sister’s two German Shepherds.  They loved their toys and I loved to spoil them when I visited.  The toys they loved the best were LOUD ones.  Once, I found an awesome stuffed monkey that made a terribly loud monkey scream that went on and on for about 10 seconds. Eeeeeyah! Eeeeeeeeyah! It reminded me of those old Tarzan movies. The dogs went crazy for it!  And OH, my sister HATED me.

The Invincibles Snake from Kyjen reminds me of that toy.  This is 6 squeaker and one rattle, stuffing-free snake, which is great for playing tug, shaking and tossing.

As you can tell by the video, this toy is LOUD! Cassie went bonkers for it… so much we had to take it away from her when we needed a little peace and quiet.

The Kyjen Company states “our stuffing-less Invincibles™ keep squeaking, even after being punctured. No more short-lived squeakers! If you want to get more bang for your buck, buy a longer-lasting toy!”

That statement is a bit deceiving in my opinion. It gives the impression that it is a tougher than average toy, but I can’t say that was our experience. Although I did appreciate that there wasn’t a trail of stuffing left throughout the house, the toy did get chewed on, and the giant squeakers pulled out and torn. They were certainly not “invincible” at our house. Yes, I’m sure they still squeaked when punctured, but that doesn’t mean they are truly invincible.

The squeakers were not invincible

Not that I’m complaining, mind you! After listening to the cacophony of squeaking for a week or so, I was truly relieved when the squeakers started breaking down. Ah, quiet! The toy is now about two months old, and still a favorite, although now it is blissfully silent, devoid of squeakers and rattles… it just lies there… like a snake in the grass. My favorite kind of snake!

Bottom line: This toy didn’t quite hold up to its “Invincible” name, but it’s the type of toy that you’re sort of happier after it’s “killed”. And if you are a dog aunt, this makes a great dog gift. The dogs will LOVE you for it, but you won’t have to listen to all that noise once you go home. Besides, once the squeakers die out, your relatives will surely forgive you!

Cesar Millan’s 3-Ring Rope Toy

Nelly and Belle

Nelly and Belle

Cassie, Moxie and I have been a bit out of the blog loop lately!  The weather has finally warmed up and we are outside as much as possible, training for the Susan G Komen 3-Day for the Cure walk that is coming up here in Boston in July.  Cassie and Moxie are great walking buddies, and tired dogs are always good dogs.  We’ll be back though as more toys cross our paths.

Meanwhile, we received this email report from Jeff and Margaret H in Leavenworth, KS about the durability of the Cesar Millan 3-Ring Rope Toy:

“We are the proud owners of a pair of German Shepherd pups, Nelly and Belle (a little tribute to Roy Rogers). Got them a week ago and they just turned 8 weeks old today. We follow Cesar Millan on-line and on TV and thought we had discovered the perfect toys when we saw his products. Purchased the 3-ring rope pull toy and the covered water battle chew toys. While the water bottle toy with its ruff-tuff cover is taking a licking and keeps on ticking, the rope toys literally bit the dust in just a matter of days. Who says puppy teeth ain’t sharp! And shame on you Cesar for putting out a product that was not puppy proof.”

We have not personally reviewed this toy, but are interested in getting your feedback on this and any other toy in your dog’s toy box.

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!

Criss Cross & Toss by Schnoodleware

My friends who run Canine University suggested this toy for review. They have a large pack of active Golden Retrievers (including Cassie’s Mom, Cameo), and they love this toy. is a local company that makes fleece dog toys, blankets and dog coats. We decided to try the Criss Cross & Toss toy because the website suggested this toy for multiple dog households. That’s us!

Tuffy’s Ultimate Tug-Of-War

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!