One million puppy toys on the market, one million toys… Take one down, shred it to pieces, 999,999 puppy toys on the market…
You walk into a pet store and it’s floor to ceiling toys. It’s pretty overwhelming, huh?
You buy something that looks great, cute as hell, all these things that are meant to entice your pup, and within an hour, it has mysteriously exploded.
Well … shoot.
And they’re not cheap either!
Or… worse… you get this wonderful new puppy toy home, eyes bright and shining with excitement for what your puppy is going to love and your pup plays with it for 5 mins and goes “Eh.” and goes and finds something else… Oops.
With all those choices, it’s hard to know where to go. What to do and where to invest your money.
That’s why I’m here, taking that guess work out for you – as always!
As a professional trainer, I’ve helped a lot of puppy parents go through puppyhood and I’ve helped a lot of them to find the perfect toys and learned what works, when and how. So, I’ve pulled together a shortlist of the best toys for your puppy; tried, tested and true.
Selection Process For The Best Puppy Toys
All of these toys have been selected by me, because I know they’re incredibly well made, that they last, and that they’re going to stimulate some part of your dogs natural desire to do certain things.
These are intentional puppy toys. Puppy toys with a purpose.
Just remember that whilst these toys are wonderful, most of them need the YOU Factor. You have to be involved in play. Otherwise it’s boring, understandably!
Note: This post includes Amazon Affiliate links! This is at no extra cost to you, but is just a way for me to cover the costs of running the website. This is how you support Rebarkable and keep the great content rolling. They’re also puppy toys I genuinely love and use myself.
2021’S BEST PUPPY TOYS!
Overall Best Toy For Puppies – Edsel The Elephant – Fluff And Tuff
Best Toy For Large Sized Breed Puppies – Edsel The Elephant – Fluff And Tuff
Best Toy For Medium Sized Breed Puppies – Wild Knots Bear – Kong
Best Toy For Small Sized Breed Puppies – CuteSeas – Kong
Best Tuggy Toy For Puppies – Crazy thing bungee tug – Tug-e-nuff
Best Rope Toy For Puppies – Hemp Rope Tiger Toy
Best Ball For Puppies – Ultra Ball – ChuckIt
Best Sniffing Toy For Puppies – Snufflemat – AWOOF
Best Slow-feed Toy For Puppies – Wobbler – Kong
Best Destroy-it Toy For Puppies – Hollee Roller Ball – JW (w/ felt strips)
Best Heartbeat Toy For Puppies – Snuggle Puppy Behavioural Aid Toy – SmartPetLove
Overall Best Toy For Puppies
Edsel The Elephant – Fluff And Tuff
Edsel was one of the first toys that I invested in for Indie. No toy seemed to cut it for him, and sure it was a little pricey, but it works. It’s a really robust toy. We’ve had ours for 3 years, and it’s still kicking – with a German shepherd puppy, and later two coonhounds – it even still squeaks (though it is starting to give up). This is the sort of toy that will see your puppy through their entire puppy cycle and out the other side. It’s a wonderful all rounder that’s good for light tugging, fetch, and satisfying the need to play!
It also (as puppy toys go) has a pretty nice squeaker. It’s not shrill or obnoxious and it’s not something that reverberates around your brain (unlike some!)
Best Toy For Large Sized Breed Puppies
Edsel The Elephant – Fluff And Tuff
For some pretty obvious reasons, Edsel also gets this award. Because he is literally perfect for the larger breeds of puppy. Edsel is a great size for carrying, for cuddling and there’s plenty to chew on! These are just a few of the reasons it makes Edsel one of the best puppy toys on the market.
As with all stuffed toys I do recommend de-tagging them (like the soft fabric tags, and the fluff and tuff come with a loop of string on the head) to prevent these extremities from becoming weak points.
Fluff & Tuff’s toys have a double outer layer, making it really hard for teeth to puncture of tear this. Over Indie’s life? We’ve had a few of the Fluff & Tuff toys, Sadie the bear, Big Daddy Gator (He’s still kicking!), Boomer the Tiger, and later the rabbit and the squirrel (whose names I forgot) and the only ones that have ever gone poorly?
Were 1 Sadie bear (where a friend puppy of Indie’s stayed around and ate the face off of it) and 1 other sadie bear that got tugged a little too hard. But they’re pretty darn robust! Let me tell you! They do cost a little bit more, but they’re a wonderful quality. And so long as you don’t over tug with them? They’ll last you a long, long time.
Oh! They also wash up great!!
Best Toy For Medium Sized Breed Puppies
Wild Knots Bear – Kong
This adorable puppy toy is great for medium sized woofs. Where Edsel can be a little larger, the knots bear is a little more accessible? It’s also a little cheaper and should stand up sufficiently to a medium breed’s chewing/throwing and play routines etc! He’s a nicely robust little fella, though not the cuddliest of toys. He’ll last through the chewing, teething and most of your games with ease! This is why we love this Kong Bear as one of the best Puppy Toys!
Best Toy For Small Sized Breed Puppies
CuteSeas – Kong
I love this little thing. It’s so cute, and the textures on him are great for getting puppy used to things that are a little different in their mouth, that mouth feel can be really important and is often undervalued in your puppy toys – but not with the CuteSeas range!
This little thing is surprisingly tough. He is built to last! And what more can you ask for? Light and small (in the smaller sizes), this little seahorse won’t leave you longing for something with a little more resilience. It’s a wonderful little toy that can hold up!
So, if you’re looking for the perfect little stuffed toy for your small breed pup? This will give you everything you need, and more. There are more in the range – but for a small pup, the small size is definitely needed!
Best Tuggy Toy For Puppies
Crazy thing bungee tug – Tug-e-nuff
I love tug-e-nuff’s stuff, they’re a fantastic brand that are really helping the world of dog training, but, that’s not the only reason I love this floopy, colourful, engaging and teasing – these toys absorb the tug on your arm with it’s bungee cord insides (great for stronger puppies!) and it’ll flirt, tease and tempt them into play with it’s fleece strands too!
They wash great, and they’re great for dogs who love to tug.
These wash up wonderfully too!
Best Rope Toy For Puppies
Hemp Rope Tiger Toy – Beco
I’m super cautious with rope toys around puppies, because as soon as they start to fray, or come apart, that’s it, they’re in the bin, because they’re too risky when it comes to swallowing string and the subsequent vets bill.
That’s not something anyone wants.
That’s something the Hemp Rope Tiger Toy from Beco solves. Cute as it is, this tiger rope toy is actually one of the safest ropes on the market. Where the rope is naturally sourced and hemp, it can actually be digested if accidentally ingested. Talk about game changing!
These are perfect for tugging, fetching and for even some more inventive games, if you want to think about it! As puppy toys go? This one is really safe, and is a responsible toy too!
Best Ball For Puppies
Ultra Ball – ChuckIt
So many dogs love balls. Puppies too. These would definitely rank in some of the highest all time puppy toys if there were such a thing.
And these? These are just the ultimate ball that you could ask for. They’re the single most resistant ball I’ve found that still bounces – bar none. And god do they bounce!! Don’t ever waste your money going elsewhere for the ‘true tennis ball’ or the ‘pet tennis ball’ or even those from Kong! Because they just do not last and don’t deserve a spot in the ranks of your puppy toys.
Even better? They come in a whole range come in a whole host of sizes meaning that you can pick one that fits your pup! The aim is to make sure they have a ball that cannot pose a choking hazard, and if you’re ever unsure? Go one size too large. Always better too large than too small.
Did you know dogs and puppies can see colour? It’s just a slightly limited palette! They see in shades of yellow and blue – which means that the Chuckit! Ultra balls and the tug-e-nuff tug really take advantage of that! Talk about clever puppy toys!
Best Sniffing Toy For Puppies
Snuffle mat – AWOOF
Snuffle mats of any kind are wonderful, but this one is fab for your puppy as it’s a real ‘start you off’ snuffle mat. It’s a bit of an alone-play puppy toy too, and doesn’t require you as much (though the set up definitely takes a little time!). And I love puppy toys that give you just a little bit of down time, because the puppy blues is real!
If you’re not familiar with the concept? The idea is that you hide treats within the folds of material and pop it on the floor and let your puppy forage around! To start with, I always suggest using something that your pup will smell nice and easy, that should act as a great lure – and don’t worry about getting dirty, because you can throw this in the washing machine!
Eventually, you can use regular kibble in this too – once puppy gets the hang of it!
Best Slow-feed Toy For Puppies
Wobbler – Kong
These are great for kibble fed dogs, check that your kibble goes through the hole first, but these will slow down the rate at which your puppy eats (meaning they’re likely to be less gassy, and they’ll probably eat a smaller volume of food, great if you’re trying to help them shed a few pounds!).
The premise is that your pup knocks the wobbler around and kibble falls out, meaning they get rewarded for interacting with it, giving you five minutes of peace, and making them work for their meal! These things are usually super rewarding for dogs and puppies, the only thing is that you may have to help them figure it out at first.
The Kong Wobbler might be a practical toy? But it’s a great thing to have in your box of puppy toys.
Best Destroy-it Toy For Puppies
JW Ball (w/ felt strips)
Some dogs love to tear things apart, like beds! Or toys, or maybe even your shrubs… well, if that’s what they enjoy, why not give your puppy that outlet in a way you’re okay with it happening?
This is where the Hollee-Roller ball comes in! These balls, when paired with some old cloth, strips of felt or something else that your puppy isn’t likely to try and eat, are wonderful to get puppy pulling and tugging at the fabric, pulling it out of the ball, and are even better if there are treats hidden within.
This is one of those puppy toys that makes the game both fun and rewarding, which means you may have just saved your ornamental grasses – hooray!
Best Heartbeat Toy
Snuggle Puppy Behavioural Aid Toy – SmartPetLove
As puppy toys go, this one is a little more practical – for you. Especially if you have a pup who might be more reluctant to sleep.
These can be great for crates, or for bed, or as part of a routine to help your puppy settle into their rest schedule. They are warm, and have a soft heart-beat emulator that helps puppy feel like they still have their mother and littermates with them, allowing them to feel calm and safe in a space and settle down for a nap easily.
This particular one is a nice example, it’s been well made and is soft and snuggly, and well sized for most pups! I’ve even known some dogs to find this little fella to basically become their security blanket – which is pretty darn cute if I’m honest!
We always supervise play, it’s never safe to assume puppy toys (or any toy or chew) won’t pose a hazard and it’s worth always keeping an eye on your puppy to prevent accidents from happening.
Puppy toys are so important for stimulating your pup, for encouraging that interaction and deepening the bond between you. Puppy toys are more than just toys to your pup, they’re often an opportunity to learn, to play, to engage and develop muscles, motor skills and reactions too. Puppy toys are often way more than just fun, and that’s what I’ve really focused on here.
A lot of these toys cover something we trainers call Enrichment. They give your puppy a little of what they need in a constructive way to stop them from finding outlets for their behaviour in less desired ways.
Picking your toys is often about understanding your puppies natural desires! Like terriers were often bred for ratting! So something with a squeaky in it, will be greatly satisfying and engaging.
Where as? Border Collies were bred for an eye-stalk (aka to keep their eye on things that move!) meaning a ball or a fun, flashy tuggy might be even better for them.
Try to consider your puppy’s innate needs and desires when choosing toys! That’s why i’ve labelled some as ‘destroy-it’ or “Sniffing” to help you target your toys at your pups natural desires.
These things contribute to a happy puppy, and a happy puppy is a puppy that will train easier, be more fulfilled and less destructive.
Happier puppies make happier puppy parents.
Set Up For Success
With all of this in your arsenal, how can you fail? Just remember YOU are the most important part. Engage and play and make sure to spend that quality time with your pup!
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