The decimated dog toy collection lies in ruins, in and out of the house.

When Duke moved in last July, we were fifty-fifty on toys still sort of in one piece, which is to say mostly intact with maybe just an ear or leg missing. At this point, we have probably four or five toys in one piece — all of them by Kong. I remind everyone that Kong toys seem to make toys that even Duke cannot instantly destroy. Unfortunately, all the toys that are in one piece are outside in the leaves and the mud.

Sometimes, Garry or I go out there and with two fingers delicately pick them up, bring them in, rinse them in the sink and throw the yucky things in the dryer. After which the dogs say “Thanks, Pal,” and take them right back out.

Lone survivor in the dog v toys war

Everything that wasn’t a Kong toy is a scrap. Literally a piece of fabric that has some kind of markings on it indicating it was, at one time, a tiger. Or a zebra.

Scraps and remnants

I bought them three new Kong toys for Christmas and it would be nice if they didn’t drag them outside before we fully remove the labels. The tearing and rending? Well, that’s where the fun is and I have done my best to buy the most indestructible toys available. Anything more indestructible fits into the category of “toys in which the dogs have no interest.”

New toys, awaiting their big day!

If you make them hard enough with nothing that makes them want to bite and fight, they’d rather go outside and pull up a baby tree and eat it. They do that, by the way. Duke pulls little trees out of the ground and somehow — no idea how — drags them through the doggy door. Into the living room. He is one tough dude.

Then he eats them. Also, a messy eater, but it’s probably better than the coffee table.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

41 thoughts on “THE TORN TOYS OF DOGDOM”

        1. And he doesn’t seem to understand that we really don’t want the trees IN the house. How he gets them through the dog door which is only 8-1/2 inches wide, i don’t know, but I can hear him out there trying to find an angle that will work.

          Yes. Dirt, clods of dead grass, old crunchy leaves, and all.


                1. I guess they just like dirt. I wouldn’t mind dirt if more than half the time, it’s closer to black mud. Good we don’t believe in light-colored ANYTHING in this house. People sometimes ask why it’s so dark. Ha. It’s not dark ENOUGH.

                  And we love them anyway. The consensus seems to be that Duke is a weird Japanese Chin X Border Collie mix. That had to be an accidental mating by a breeder because those are not dogs you find wandering loose. A number of people have thought about it and said — “That’s a really high energy combo” and oh, yes, it really IS.

                  Duke is also still growing. I thought he was done, but he’s getting taller and broader in the chest.


                  1. Sounds like Duke is still a youngster with a lot of mischief in him 🙂

                    I thought the nice wooden floors here would be easier to keep mud-free than carpets… I only have the one big rug. She heads for that…and I spend all my time on my knees washing the flooring…


  1. All of us who own or are owned by dogs have the same problem. To keep my pooches safe, any toy he destroyes if promptly throw away. Who can afford a $6,000 surgery to remove whatever they decide to swallow whole! I have several hard, rubber bones that my Jackie enjoys “killing”. Unfortunately, when he is in the midst of shaking them, he often lets go…and I have the bruises to prove it. LOL


      1. I also learned the hard way about stuffed toys – though they love them! And I no longer give rawhide chews. Pig ears are much safer.


  2. I don’t have experience with dogs and I am sure you care for their needs, but could it be that they might have a vitamin deficiency that only toys can compensate?


    1. I think he really likes chewing. If I could give him bones, that would be great and might keep him away from the furniture. But bones cause fights — and I won’t do it.

      Duke is young. He’s strong and probably likes the roughness of wood. Many dogs do, which is why you see so much chewed up furniture, leather, and other hard items. They usually grow out of it, but some will keep at it for a lifetime. We have owned a few of those lifetimes chewers. It makes life for humans difficult.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We buy ours the flat “stuffed” toys with crinkly stuff inside. They seem to like them, and it takes longer for Poptart (our chewer) to destroy them.


    1. The flat ones do pretty well, especially when compared with the stuffed ones. Bonnie and Duke like to play tug of war with them, so most of them have gone from crinkly to shredded … but they lasted a reasonable amount of time before finally dying.


  4. Cindy is pretty good with most toys and they last a long time with her except those long limbed soft toys with no stuffing. Twice she’s been given those and she adores them to pieces in hours. She’s not getting another.
    Kong do make great toys but not cheap.


      1. Just a thought: if Duke is heavy into trees and lumber, maybe a small tasteful bag of kindling, or cordwood? Seriously. Barring that, what about those hard rubber bone type toys? The other two might not be interested, but with Duke, he obviously has a need to chew…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. He has zero interest in the rubber bones. OR the big rope toys. I don’t mind the wood on principle, but it’s a godawful MESS when he’s done. There isn’t a great solution to this, but so far, he hasn’t reduced the entire table to kindling YET. I’d happily give them bones, but the fighting that ensues … no, I don’t think so. If I could find wood that didn’t break into a million pieces. If there IS such a thing.


  5. The squirrel toy from a few months ago did not survive? My cat Parker’s favorite toy? The strings on my drawstring pants–with me still in them! Nothing like having her climb up my leg to grad those strings!


    1. Funny how those string come out, but never go back in again.

      Squirrel toy could be resewn, but why bother? It barely survived Bonnie and I think it wouldn’t last a minute with Duke.

      I’m still hoping the coffee table lives through the winter!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I know that squirrels (as well as most all rodents) have to chew on things to keep their teeth pared down to a manageable size since they never stop growing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an explanation for why dogs need to chew on things so much… I wouldn’t think it;’s for the same reason, but I really don’t know.


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