Dog ToysLarge Dogs

Dog toys for large dogs. What do I need to know?

Dog toys make playtime fun

Larger dogs have a whole new set of considerations when it comes to toys. Just like smaller dogs, safety will be the number one concern and let’s face it, larger dogs are likely to have a more aggressive relationship with their toys. This doesn’t mean your dog is aggressive, but just through their sheer power and strength, particularly in their jaws, the toys are likely to come off second best. So what’s best when thinking about dog toys for large dogs? dog toys for large dogs

Ultimately it will be safety, durability and functionality that will lead your decision and these will all be different depending on you as an owner, and your individual dog (or dogs, if you are lucky enough to have more than one).

So, here are my suggestions:

  1. Primarily, any toy for a large dog needs to be big enough that it doesn’t pose a choking hazard if they catch it in their mouth.
  2. If it’s not tough enough, don’t expect it to last for any length of time – and remember for any dog toy, if it starts to fall apart, it’s time for it to go in the trash. Many of the toys on the market will have undesirables on the inside – synthetic stuffing, plastic parts etc – nothing that is good for your dog’s stomach!
  3. What do you want the toy for? If it’s a large dog you have, it’s possible that you want to take some of the onus off your own legs without sacrificing your dog’s level of exercise. There are lots of fantastic toys available for this purpose:
  • Throwing & retrieving toys
  • Floating toys for swimming
  • Tug toys – for example rope toys, although your own arms may suffer a bit here!


One last point to note…

Beware of the squeaky toy. Apart from the noise wearing on your nerves if your dog is hellbent on destroying the squeaker, it may not be enough for your large dog to silence it – it’s also likely they will keep “worrying” at it until they get the squeaker out, which then in turn becomes a choking or swallowing hazard. My advice would be to steer clear for very large dogs, as it’s just not worth the risk.

Sorry, this truly is the last one for now…

Remember that just because you have a puppy of a large dog breed, they may not be at a developmental stage that warrants large dog toys. So please take extra care to think about what your puppy might need at different stages, and leave the large dog toys for when they are grown up.

As always, your comments and feedback are very welcome below.


8 thoughts on “Dog toys for large dogs. What do I need to know?

  1. Hi Mara,
    Do you have any recommendations for a 5 year old male husky? His name is Zorro. Zorro was never a toy lover, even since he was little 🙁 I have bought him different kinds of toys such as Kong, rope, squeaky ones and many more. He shows curiosity at first, but he gets bored with it after playing twice. He is not a ball or frisbee chaser either. Whenever I throw something, he looks at it and looks at me like “why would you do that? now you gotta go get it yourself”. I walk him every morning. That’s the only thing he seems to enjoy the most. Rest of the day, he seems very bored, but I don’t know how else I can help him.

    1. Hi Young,
      I am starting to get a feel for Zorro, after the request for your help over his diet. I think on the surface it sounds like he is a fussy dog, but underneath I still think it’s because huskies are not as far removed from their wolf ancestors as some other dog breeds. It sounds like you have already tried a lot of different types of dog toy – and it may be that Zorro just does not have any motivation for toys. (I came across this video of a husky playing that might make you laugh!).I think it sounds like he wants his activities to be exercise based – do you have an agility center nearby to see if he enjoys that? I also came across a special sport that is likely to appeal to a husky – but it depends on your climate, or perhaps you could incorporate roller blades. It’s called Dog Joring – here is a link to more information for you. I think if you can find an exercise-based activity he really likes, and try a raw food diet, you might find he will eat more than he is currently. Let me know how you get on – I would really like to hear of his progress. Mara

  2. Hi 🙂 I’m gonna be paying close attention to these articles you post about large dogs lol. Larger dogs are much more aggressive during playtime compared to smaller dogs. I was playing with mine earlier and my hand overlapped with the toy and he got me good! My mistake of course, puppies don’t know any better.
    My large dog has removed just about every dang squeaker from the toys in the house so I’ll have to keep this advice in mind when buying a new toy soon. Need a large dog toy!!

    1. Hi Rob,

      Hope your hand is OK! You are right about larger breed dogs – they are naturally more powerful in the jaws and puppies don’t know their own strength either. I really like the Multipet Nuts for Knots heavy duty rope toy – it’s just like a rope toy that we have for our fully grown German Shepherd and he never destroyed it! You can see a review on this page of my site:

      Hope that helps – and please do come back and visit again 🙂


  3. Hi Mara,

    I have owned both large and small breed dogs. I know exactly what you are talking about. Living in a house with mixed breed sizes, you see first hand the destruction that large dogs and do to small dog toys.

    I have had the experiences of having to take smaller toys from the larger dogs just before they could get the squeaky noise maker out of the toy.

    I have also seen many dog toys with stuffing treated by the large dogs.

    I am thankful that unstuffed toys are now readily available.

    Thanks for this great information.

    1. Hi Ron,

      Thank you for taking the time to share your own experiences and I’m grateful that you think there is value to what I’ve said.

      Best wishes, Mara

  4. Hey Mara, love it. Very easy site that makes you feel very comfortable. All soft and cuddly so to speak.
    It took me a little while to discover categories and posts at the bottom of the page. Maybe because I am so used to seeing them on right margin. Just saying.
    Because we travel a lot we don’t have pets and probably won’t for a few more years, so it was a real pleasure to see your gallery. Well done.

    1. Thanks Rhys – great to receive your feedback and I’ll have a look at adjusting where the categories/posts sit to make it easier for readers. Happy travelling, Mara.

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