Dogs are animals who are exuberant when outdoors. They have a variety of activities and games to play when outside. The most popular being fetch followed by the tug.
While some dogs get excited about just fetching things others are happy chewing just about anything that comes in their line of vision. A healthy dose of exercise is important for your dog, to help it achieve that, you need not get bored.
A tug time playtime is a dog’s favorite part of the day. Your choice of the best dog tug toy could be using a soft or hard tug toy, you could even use a furry or fabric one, but your pet would really enjoy it.
For the safety purposes of your dog, one needs to invest in a quality toy because the cheaper ones may be toxic, easily broken in the mouth amongst others and cause you a run of the major bills.
Best Dog Tug Toys 2020 [Reviews]
1. Otterly Pets Puppy Dog Pet Rope Toys
Otterly Pets puppy dog pet rope toys are a set of 5 rope toys that are differently designed. These are the best dog tug toys for those dogs who don’t like boredom, have dental issues or chew a lot. These are extremely chewing resistant. If your dog is a chewer, this is safe. Though not for aggressive chewers, this is not an indestructible product.
The variety which this offers is a favorite with all pet parents. The custom color assortment pack comes with a 4 knots 22.5-inch rope, it has a 6-inch ring, 3.5 diameter monkey fist rope ball, a chewable rubber ball attached to a figure 8 design and a 4.25-inch diameter rope ball which is attached to a 20 inch handled thicker rope.
Because it is made of 100% natural cotton fibers, it is extremely safe for your pet and you. This cotton use makes it tough and very durable. While they are not just strong, they are extremely good for the gums by massaging it and also helps floss your dogs’ teeth. This is a toy for medium to large dogs. It is accompanied by a 1 year no hassle warranty.
It is an extremely versatile toy to play with and will keep your dog busy and happy.
- Made with 100% cotton
- Has a variety of 5 toys
- Helps with the dental and oral hygiene of your dog
- Not for aggressive chewers
2. The Natural Pet Company Two Fantastic Quality Dog Toys in Beautiful Gift Box
Just when you thought nothing could beat the high-quality durable rope toy for your pet, think again. The best dog tug toy could also be a pack of 2 rope toys as good as The Natural Pet Company toys. The gift boxes it is accompanied by also acts as the storage space for keeping these toys safe. This toy is age-appropriate for medium to large dogs.
If you are a dog owner who is wary of his dog chewing down anything and everything in his sight, then you need these robust and durable ropes that stand tall with even aggressive chewers. Aesthetically designed to please both the dog and the owners’ senses, this is a toy with which you could play for hours.
One of the toys in this pack can also be used in long-distance games of fetch and sit amongst others. The one end is attached to a ball, while the other has an easy-grip, helping you to be able to aim your throw at a distance which will give your dog a good run.
The other rope is the tugging war that your dog needs to release his frustration. This is made with high-grade materials and doesn’t include plastic or other toxic materials.
- Two ways to play with your dog
- Comes with a storage box to store it
- Highly durable and designed to last
- Not made of cotton
3. KONG Tug Toy
An attractive toy which not only captures the dogs’ attention but also is an excellent tool for exercise and training can thus be categorized as the best dog tug toy very easily. It is a toy that the dog can notice even from a distance. This toy is constructed with multiple layers of fabric and stuffed with twisted rope handles.
Not only is this toy a cute and suitable toy for training and development purposes, but also an excellent tug toy. When you are trying to train your dog by giving it the tug of war training, this toy will prove a boon. It is minimally stuffed, which enables it to be easy to chew and bite and have an equal distribution of weight.
It is very difficult to find toys that are as durable as this. The colorful toy is a good toy which can be given without supervision. It is a fine toy for puppies and small dogs as it resists chewing and biting.
The Kong toy has handles to hold one end of the toy while you pull on the other end.
- Suitable for small breeds and puppies
- Attractive design
- Variety of designs
- Not for aggressive chewers
4. K9 to 5 GEAR Dog Tug Toy Bite Pillow
If you believe that your dog needs a toy that is robust, can be easily gripped and will last long against your dogs chewing, then the best dog tug toy for you is K9 to 5. It is not your ordinary toy, it is as good as a professional trainers toy. Not only is this toy good for tug games, but it is also handy for fetch and other games. Some use this even as a reward for training well.
This toy constructed with jute has a bite pillow along with rope handles. These handles provide the user with a better grip which gives you better control over the dog.
The jute exterior makes it very robust for aggressive dog behavior and doesn’t rip at any chewing intensity. This is an extremely light toy that you can easily control.
This is a good toy for dogs who are medium to large-sized. It just doesn’t train the dog, but it also helps you bond with the dog. Used as a part of the dogs’ exercise, this could provide adequate strength training and enhance the dog’s exercise routine.
- Jute construct which makes it very durable
- It has sturdy ropes to withstand aggressive tugging
- It is lightweight and hence used in many games
- It is not for extremely strong dogs
5. Outward Hound Squeaker Matz, Squeaking Plush Dog Toy
This tug toy is the best dog tug toy for those squeakers and canines who bite on soft surfaces. This is an attractive toy that makes the dog want to chase it. This Alligator from Outward Hound is a squeaker toy that shows how attractive toys also have their benefits. This has multiple squeakers that help your dog have a near-natural play habit or behavior. This is soft enough to go in a puppy’s mouth.
This toy is designed in a no-stuffing manner whereby it is packed with squeakers that excite a dog. This enables a dog to freely and easily chew, bite and tug the toy without the fear of tearing the toy apart. It is not a feeble construct.
The tough material construct is robust enough to withstand chewing from even the toughest of dogs. The seams are steadfast that incessant tugging also doesn’t break it. The long fluffy body acts as a great tool for tug play games.
The bright and vivid colors capture the dogs’ attention for a long time. The shake and flap characters become irresistible for a dog. Available in 3 sizes, this is a friendly tug toy option for dogs of any size.
- Squeaky toys fascinate the dog
- Very bright and attractive
- Is good for dogs of all sizes and breeds
- May not last long with extremely active canines
6. West Paw Zogoflex Bumi Tug of War Toy
If you want a toy which can be engaging and flexible and keep your dog involved at tugging for a long period of time, the West Paw Zogoflex Bumi is your best choice of tug of war toy. This toy has a unique and unconventional S-shaped design.
It is quite flexible and has the ability to stretch till almost double its length. It encourages an interactive session of tug of war with the dog thanks to its stretchy characteristic, yet is gentle and easy on the gum and teeth of the dog.
This extreme elasticity comes from Zogoflex, a patented plastic material of West Paw. Not only are they extremely elastic, but they also are nearly indestructible, have very little weight, yet are extremely soft.
Zogoflex brand of plastic is non-toxic, BPA free, Phthalate free and adheres to all FDA rules. Not just this, it is washable in your dishwasher while being completely green. The bright colours make this toy easily spottable from a distance even if it is hidden in shrubs or bushes.
This floats in water, so your dog can swim and fetch for you. The Zogoflex also has a chewy feel, which makes the toss and fetches exciting for the dog. Normal playtimes are made fun with this stretching twice its length. This can be used for dogs of all sizes and breeds.
- It is extremely durable
- It can stretch twice its length, hence attractive tug toy
- This is dishwasher friendly
- It is not a chew toy, it will damage if chewed upon aggressively
7. PlayfulSpirit Durable Natural Rubber Ring
In case you have a dog who doesn’t like playing with rope or fabric tug toys and you are worried about training or engaging them, then this is the best dog tug toy for you. The Playful Spirit Durable Natural Rubber Ring is designed in a circular shape for fun and games.
This is a pet friendly, semi-hard natural rubber construct which while maintaining durability, is also a parameter for mouth safety and comfort. The non-toxic lightweight rubber makes this toy ideal for those dogs who are hyperactive and aggressive, tug of war games don’t damage it and it is strong enough to be resilient.
A dogs’ natural tendency is to grab things with his mouth and stretch and pull it. Chewing and tugging become important for the dental and oral hygiene of the dogs, whether in puppy stage or as adults. The 6-inch in diameter and 1-inch in width ring allows your dog to have a good grip when catching the ring.
This comes with a free ebook, which guides you in the possible gameplay options and helps your medium to large breed of dogs to play well.
- Pretty durable and robust tug toy
- The texture of the ring is appreciated by dogs
- The weight makes it carry it far
- Heavy for some dogs
8. Charming Pet Cuddle Tug
If you are looking for a plush tug toy which can withstand tug and chew by your dog’s strong teeth, yet looks cute, then this is the best dog tug toy for you. This toy has 2 orientations- one folded and one ‘unfolded’.
This cuddle tug toy extends to 26-inch length making it perfect for toss, tug and fetch. It has a squeaker pad and paper crinkle sound which is irresistible to a dog. This noise makes the dog enthusiastic about playing and games.
The look of cute and cuddly is deceptive to its strength and its durability. The resilient product is made of non-rip canvas. It is fortified with nylon on places that are susceptible to fraying and tearing and has double stitched to prevent it from breaking while the dog tugs on it.
The dogs’ attention is captured by the corduroy sections and the internal squeaker which bring to the fore the dogs’ natural instincts of predation. These are toys which work extremely well as tug toys, but can also double up as fetch toys.
Like kids some dogs also need a snuggle buddy while sleeping, this can act as a sleeping buddy while they need to snooze. This has a K9 Tuff guard technology for better durability.
- Comfortable to hold onto
- Cute toys that dog-like
- The squeakers don’t get out as much as the dog tugs
- No warranty or replacement assurance
9. GoughNuts MAXX Black TuG Toy
The Goughnuts are designed like the figure eight. The construction of the USA made natural rubber, which is great for tugging but terrible for chewing. Natural rubber is a resilient option which is by far one of the toughest materials to make a dog toy. This is a unique design for tug toys. It is one of the most amazing pieces for your dog to hold on to.
The strength and toughness of the rubber don’t make it rock as hard. This toy still has some flexibility and has the ability to stretch. The dogs are as heavy as they can be and tug on it hard but it still doesn’t get any bumps or tears.
The Goughnuts products are the best dog tug toy because of their safety indicator. This is basically a multi-layer system that says that every time the dog chews and exposes a layer you know the damage done. When it reaches the red layer, it needs to be replaced.
This is a heavy and largish tug toy which is 11 inches in length and 6 inches in breadth, weighing 1.6 pounds this heavy toy might injure you. This toy will stand up to hours of being destroyed and destroyed and yet remaining in shape for much of the time.
- This is by far the most durable toy
- Figure 8 is great for tugging
- Dogs have a good mouthfeel to it
- It is an expensive product
10. Grubber Rugby Ball, Bounce, Fetch & Tug Dog Toy
These are an innovative version of a toy and a fetcher shaped like a rugby ball. They are the durable toys that every dog enjoys having. It is a toy which not only is all games, it also is a good oral hygiene tool. Constructed completely from natural rubber, this mimics the age old toys of rubber balls and tuggers.
This rugby ball has ridged edges. Which is good for flossing of the dog teeth, they not only clean the teeth, they also help with conditioning and easing of gum trouble in dogs. The edges have also known to make a difference to the plaque buildup and dislodging the food debris stuck in the teeth.
It is easily gripped by dogs and has been designed to fit in their mouth. This is a great product for dogs who love to play outdoors, who constantly need to be engaged in a tug of war or in fetch, this is a good robust toy that stands the test of time.
- Shaped like a rugby ball
- Robust build, this goes far
- Provides dental and oral hygiene
- Durability may vary as per use
Advantages of playing Tug of War with dogs
This is a popular game choice with most of the dogs. While we say most, there are a few dogs who may not warm up to this game, you could look for other games for them. Most of the dogs are aggressive by nature. They have a mean streak in them and it is best if that streak is exercised.
The tug of war game brings to fore the aggression in the dogs. But this also helps you train them to control their excitement and aggression. It becomes easy to calm a dog once this aggressive tendency is trained.
Another advantage of this moderate form of play is that it is a good exercise for the canines teeth and jaw muscles and while helping with oral hygiene. If not played moderately it may cause harm to the jaw.
Better dental hygiene is achieved because some toys help floss the teeth of the dog, remove plaque buildup, clean the food debris stuck in their mouth.
There need to be some rules that should be followed for this form of play. When your dog has the toy in his mouth and has been tugging on it for some desired length of time, you should command it to let it go.
The dog must obey this command. When the dog lets it go, it must be given a treat, if not then after a short period of time, say, thirty seconds or so, the command must be issued again.
Contrary to the belief this form of play doesn’t make the dog aggressive but brings out the excitement and helps stimulate a bond. It also causes you to be able to teach your dog obedience and following commands.
What to look out for while buying a dog tug toy?
It is impossible to expect any toy to last a lifetime, more specifically, a dog tug toy will not last you forever. What one should aim though is to find a tug toy that lasts beyond the opening of the package and for some playdates. This being said, material, quality of construction, even the type of toy have a play on the durability of the toy.
You wouldn’t want a toy which rips on its seams or tears as soon as it goes in your dog’s mouth, neither would you want something that could potentially harm a dog.
- The material used for construct
A tug toy is expected to be bitten, chewed upon or pulled by a dog. The material used for construction has to be strong and sturdy enough to hold up for some time. Tug toys that have parts like rope or handles should be stitched tightly and hard to avoid it being ripped off while the aggressive play takes place. The material needs to be soft enough to go in a dog’s mouth and yet should be toxin-free to not damage the dogs’ system.
It is a matter of choice whether one needs a handle or not, but when it comes to tugging toys most pet owners like having a handle to be able to hold on to. The handles are basically for the owner’s comfort, to be able to hold onto and catch up with their pets when they are free and running. The dog is least affected by it.
- Size of the toy
Every dog physically is different from the other. So there can be no one size fits all type of a toy. Small toys for large dogs may be a potential choking hazard, whereas large toys for smaller dogs will not be able to fit in their mouths. You need to check the size of your dog. We have tried our best to suggest what the best dog tug toy is for which size of the dog.
Nothing can assure anyone of any toy safety, but it is imperative that you select a toy that can fit into your dog’s mouth and meets some basic parameters of safety. As discussed in the size, there is no one size fits all type of toy. Choosing a toy that is the correct size for your dog, which is non-toxic, doesn’t have materials that can cause choking is very important. Discard toys that have small broken parts.
How to have a safe tug of war game?
Tug of war is a simple game where you tug at one end of the toy and your dog tugs at the other end and the game plays on. Though there is not much you can do, keeping some timely tips in mind will help your playtime-
- To not jerk on the chew toy- Even though the dog dentures are stronger than humans and other animals, they are still not unbreakable. In case you jerk too hard on it, you could damage and pull off one of the dogs’ teeth! Avoid playing these layoff games if your dog has weak teeth or developing teeth.
- Play in an area which is safe- always take note of what is behind you while running and playing, because in the event one of you ‘win’ the other person has a high possibility of falling down and hurting his head. For safety purposes, one should only play in open areas.
- Prevent your dog from chewing on a tug toy- If you read reviews on the places which sell these toys, you will be surprised to realise that most owners complain of damaged toys due to chewing by dogs. They make an error while leaving a tug toy unsupervised for chewing. In case you let the tug toy be chewed upon, it becomes harmful for the same.
- Don’t lift your dog off the ground while playing- one should not get carried away in the play and lift the dog off the ground. This could cause injury to the dogs’ jaws or dental and even cause spinal injury to the owner.
What is the different type of tug of war toys available?
The best dog tug toys come in a variety of shapes and sizes, the experience of each differs from the other. Every type of toy is a good tug toy, whether it is suitable for you and your canine will be a choice you need to make.
These are the most popular types of tug toys available in the market which are pet friendly and loved by the canines. The tug games with this are always fun sessions.
- Most of the tug toys have a knot towards the bottom of the toy. This knot prevents the toy from slipping from one’s hands and gives a good grip.
- Rope toys are mostly made from fabric hence are lightweight, non-toxic and safe.
- They are also lightweight, strong and have a softer mouthfeel.
- They don’t cost much so are easily replaceable if and when they get damaged.
These are more commonly used as fetch toys, but can easily double up as strong tug toys. The bumpers can be made from jute or canvas bag types which are stuffed with sand or other fillers; while some are made of high-quality plastics.
- Bumpers can be made with a variety of materials. There are a lot of options for you to choose one on the basis of your dogs’ characteristics.
- Bumpers more commonly have handles attached to them. These handles enable a better grip while playing.
- Bumpers are designed for durability. They tend to stay put in case of aggressive play or moderate chewing.
Some of the toys have the shape of a ring. They are a basic ring which is hollow in the center, mostly made of rubber, sometimes of plastic, whereby you tug on one end of the ring and the dog tugs on others.
- If you are playing indoors or in a space that is small, this is the best toy to use as it reduces the distance between you and the dog and keeps you close to him.
- You can alternate between a game of fetch and tug.
Get a proper sized ring and watch your dog slobber all over it. It would help if you choose one which is dishwasher friendly. It would save you the hassle of cleaning up.
Some of the toys are in shapes of animals, or plushy or a ball or other interesting shapes which don’t fall into any category. They are constructed with any of the materials, be it fabric, jute, plastic, rubber amongst others. The only thing typical is the presence of a handle, which makes it handled.
- They are easiest to grip in the form of toys. This is a pivotal factor if you’re playing with larger dogs.
- The versatility on offer will help you always find one which would fit your dogs needs.
- These are generally extremely durable and can even withstand a dog’s chewing.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is tug of war a form of exercise for dogs?
It is an all-round exercise for the dogs as it not only exercises their limbs, but it helps them let out trapped energy and aggression, which normally doesn’t get an outlet. They also help form healthy bonds with the owner and form a training exercise in obedience.
2. Will tug of war harm the dogs’ teeth?
As discussed earlier, it is contrary. A good session of tug of war is good for the dogs and their dental hygiene. It helps floss, clean and maintain dental conditions. That being said, tug of war should be avoided for small puppies with sensitive teeth or dogs with pre-existing dental issues
3. Are rope toys worth the effort?
In our humble opinion very much so. Any toy which the dog might eat or get ingested is harmful but in case you are able to monitor your dog with a rope toy, it is a fabulous toy for him to have. The fibers act as floss and help promote oral hygiene.
All pets are happiest when they are playing and especially if the toy they are playing with happens to be their favourite toy. To derive the most for the dog from that toy, the toy needs to be interactive, attractive and mentally stimulating.
A game session of tug not only helps release energy and aggression, but they also exercise the jaw muscles and provide dental welfare. Dogs are visual animals hence enjoy the thrill of being captivated by a toy and chase after it, chew it, jump it.
If you are a novice you should know that a few tug toys will not only help your training sessions become easy, but it will also enhance the bonds that you will make with your dog. Go ahead and invest in some quality toys to increase the bonding time with your dogs.