Tough On Toys

Uh, no, not that.  That’s not tough on toys.

This, however, is tough on toys.

That’s Tempus, the borderjack.  Or as we like to call him “RUN!  RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!”  Tempus leans a little to the crazy side of things.  And at agility class, Tempus requires some kind of toy distraction to keep him from going postal, biting the heads off chickens, and sacrificing newborns to some dark overlord.  And from screaming at top volume.  This toy must be tugged with endlessly, or nobody can hear themselves think, plus he might just redirect his insanity on an innocent bystander.

The problem is, no toy can outlast Tempus.  And there have been, believe me, MANY toys.  Today I did a search for “super tough tug toys for dogs” and came up with a whole bunch of images of toys I have seen this 20lb dog demolish in mere minutes.  In fact, last night’s toy lasted (we timed it, with a stop watch) one minute and 15 seconds.  He decapitated it.

Got any ideas to stump the borderjack?  The only thing that works somewhat reliable is a Kong-tube-on-a-rope (I dunno what they’re really called) but he will eventually peel the rubber off that thing like a banana.  It’s surreal!

In other news, there is an evil force lurking on my farm.  It has slithered up from the depths of Hell (no, it isn’t Tempus) and it eats tails.

Bryce has developed a keen interest in taking out my other dogs by their hindmost appendage.  He waits until they go whipping by and he lunges out rattlesnake fast to grab a tail in his mouth and snap-the-whip the poor dog off its feet.  He has received multiple beat-downs for this behaviour from a variety of canine sources, but refuses to be deterred.  I am thinking the only thing that will cure him of this bad habit is to send him to live with several ill-tempered Australian Shepherds for a few days.

On Wednesday, he grabbed Spring by her bum handle and tossed her in the air.  She got up snapping like a pissed off crocodile and sent him running … but she got up on three legs.  She tri-podded back to me and put her front legs in the air and said “Mommy.”

I haz an owie.

I crated her off to work with me, with visions of ACL tears dancing in my head.  By noon she had only the slightest hitch in her giddyup.  By dinner time she was right as rain.  She even went to agility class last night, where she successfully weaved 12 poles multiple times and ran a pretty fast standard course. Good girlie!

Feeling smug that we had skirted disaster, I was therefore totally stymied when Dexter came in from his morning potty break on three legs.  Holding one hindleg up in the air.

I. Could not. BELIEVE. this could happen twice.  Seriously?  I lamented to Auntie Fiona today that people were going to start thinking I suffered from Munchausen-By-Proxy-Dogs.  She cheerfully suggested I do blog post titled “If you don’t love me, one of my dogs will die.”  Because Fiona is unhelpful.

I kinda held out until noon to see if the magical cure that put all four of Spring’s legs back on the earth would work for Dexter as well, but alas, he continued to tripod throughout the day.  I was pretty sure the universe was punishing me for crying wolf with Spring and that this time, Dexter’s ACL was in a thousand pieces dancing around inside his knee chanting “take that bee-otch.”

But as time went on, I began to feel that it was not his knee that was bothering him, but rather his foot.  So we toddled off to the vet clinic where the vet tugged on his toes and made him cry.  She declared his knees “fantastic” and agreed that is was an issue with his toe. A couple x-rays later and it turns out Dexter has hyperextended the fourth digit (in laymens’ terms this means the dumb ass f*cked up his middle toe) and there might be even be the slightest of fractures.


“Tape ’em together” she said and sent us on our way.  If I keep him quiet for a few days and keep his toes stabilized with some vet wra for a couple of weeks, he should be good as new in time for Regionals.  Of course, with no time to practice, just to ensure our performance is complete tomfoolery.

Dog feet HATE The Food Lady.  And there is no small irony in the fact that Mr. Woo has never had a foot injury, despite the things that happen to HIS feet.

*sigh* (I seem do this a lot lately).

“You never take photos of Piper,” Dave says, “How come poor Piper’s never featured on the blog?”

THAT’s why, Dave!!!!


  1. Your description of the new doggie made me laugh.

    I’d definitely look into curbing that chomping asap. If the other dogs aren’t deterring him, might be time to step in? LAY DOWN THE LAW, woman! Mebbe same deal you put Wootie through – as soon as he misbehaves, he gets removed from the fun.

    As for toys: have you tried frozen kongs?
    Just plug up the end with a kibble, fill the sucker up with ice, freeze. Might make it a little harder to rip apart?

  2. I’m helpful!! You’re just unappreciative.

  3. Kong has these new stick toys. Warning, they look like something thats supposed to be hidden from the kids, but I know some folks who’s mastiffs like’em

  4. To keep Kane from chomping on Ryder’s butt (no tail to grab) I have sprayed Ryder’s butt with bitter apple – stopped the ass tasting pretty quick.

  5. The Food Lady says:

    Oh my – Bryce doesn’t give a flying fig about my human “laws” and how I lay them down… Bryce doesn’t care much for people in general. They are simply tools to get him food, apparently ;-)

    A frozen Kong is not tug-able, and we’re looking for indestructable tug toys. Tempus has mad-crazy rip-em’up skillz!!

    Mary, that’s a fine idea … I may just try this!

  6. Ah, Piper. Is that your crazy lady look or are you glad to see us?

  7. Bonnie, Beep and Poppet says:

    I have a couple with jaws of steel too called Cousin Nub the Jack and Big Beep the BC mix. The only thing that they haven’t been able to destroy is the rubbery chuckit balls. The glow in the dark ones have two holes that you could stick a rope through and knot it so you could tug with it. I’ve thought they would make a good tug toy.

    Good luck!

  8. What about Tuffies?

    My dog can destroy anything in no time flat, and his favourite chew toy is a log. Literally.

    We have 2 tuffies, and neither one has been able to destroy the tuffies. I’ve had them for 2 years.

    Good for tugging, and their strongest toys:

  9. Go to a good Will and find cheap old jeans. Cut off the legs and then cut the side seams out of them leaving you 4 strips. Tie 2 or 3 knots along each strip and they are 4 very inexpensive tug toys that can be washed and usually all 4 cost only a dollar or less. I like them for pups but get 8 per pair as I cut the long pieces in half. The whole litter can join in and they are washable. It usually takes 3 puppy strips for a litter.

  10. Reading your blog posts is always a treat! They read like mini sitcom episodes, haha.

    As for toy suggestions, I am at a loss there as well. My pittie foster destroys everything! It’s so frustrating and poor Ru’s toys have been in hiding for 3 months now….

  11. Fire hose!

    No, not to beat Tempus with — to play with! I work at a zoo, and it’s a common practice in “the community” (heh) to make toys, etc. from old fire hose for lions and tigers to play with. (Tip: Weave together a bunch of firehose into a pouch, then stuff it with raw meat. It’ll keep African Painted Dogs entertained for hours!)

    If you don’t have a local firehouse that will donate old damaged hose, I’m under the impression that there are a few toy companies that make tugs and bumpers out of the material.

    Good luck!

  12. A quick Google search turned up this place:

    Good place to start! :)

  13. Janice in GA says:

    Someone once recommended Udder Tugs to me. I never got around to getting one, so I can’t vouch for their durability. But might be worth a try.

  14. Weasel Puppy says:

    My dogs have destroyed Tuffies, Kongs, jolly balls and any number of “tough” toys. The only kind that last, that are tug toys, are braided fleece. They destroy them, eventually, of course, but it takes awhile. They are cheap (just get fleece, cut it into strips, braid it.) and washable. I wouldn’t leave them out for Tempus to gnaw bits off of, but for tugging, they’re good. Just make sure the fleece isn’t chemically treated to be fire-resistant or some other weird thing. There are also these sort of boiled wool felted tug things that one of the dogs on the flyball team has. It has lasted for years.

  15. Melissa says:

    Thor likes to tug and he likes to destroy stuffies but he doesn’t destroy indiscriminately. He’s an 84 lb German Shepherd though, so he can destroy lots of stuff. His teeth are big and his jaws (and the rest of him) are strong.

    Toughest tug-able toys I’ve found: 1) Bumi (can be hard for them to grip it though), 2) the large size Holy Roller ball (we tug with this multiple times a day and is still around ~6 months in. But Thor isn’t trying to destroy it) 3) Katie’s bumpers are pretty tough EXCEPT for the nylon handles. Thor can chew through a handle in about 5 minutes, but the tugs themselves last a good long time. We had the double-tug and it only took one unsupervised chewing session for him to gnaw through all the handles. The Big Tug is holding up well but it’s too wide for him to get a good grip on.

  16. big time chewers will continue to try their owners…one of mine hasn’t touched that “hollee” thing and it looks like an easy chew. We have an extra large braided rope knot/ball tug from a dog show. it weighs at least 5 lbs. it’s been around for at least a year now. I wanted to get another this year but guess due to the economy that vendor didn’t show up. not sure how to get another.
    I can say that those “udder tugs” were gone in less than 30 seconds in our house. Certain tuffiestoys have weak spots along the joints so get the plain single piece if you want to try. They are not as indestructible as they claim but they do last longer than a regular stuffie. Nylabone makes a tug toy outta that nylabone plastic. I’ve always wanted to try it but would think that it might break my dog’s teeth? perhaps you can add a denim or fleece braided rope to it?

  17. suzanne says:

    go down to a store which sells equestrian equipment and buy a lunge line for bryce. they are long enough for him to do his business away from your feet and for him to be able to play “nicely” with the other dogs but you’ll be able to shorten it up in time to prevent him from hurting your other dogs. Vanilla is a very nasty flavor to put on a tail as well.

  18. industrial water hose pieces for the chewer?


    My “has destroyed everything else on the face of the earth” dog can not scratch this thing, AND if he DID: IT HAS A LIFETIME REPLACEMENT GUARANTEE.

    They also have a few other toy designs (my boys like the stick best), but the ring is the best for tough chewers.

  20. I have tried EVERYTHING with my dogs. One has bitten the tip off a black Kong, one ripped the center out of a blue puzzle cube, they both destroy the “indestructible” toys in less than 10 minutes. The only thing I can give them are these white dinosaurs from Petco. They still munch on them, but it takes months before we have to get new ones. Oh, and these cheapie plastic orange or blue colored-centered bones from the grocery store. But one isn’t into tugging and the other is just too wild for it. If anything works, let me know. Our tugger likes to eat cloth, including braids so those are out.

  21. Danielle says:

    Have you tried bone type toys? I bought an elk antler for my dog and she’s barely made dents in it…though she is pretty soft-mouthed.

  22. I can attest to the durablity of the Dog Go Nuts toys. Our Airedale has destroyed every toy within a matter of minutes. She’s had her Go Nuts Ring toy for over two years and while there are teeth marks on it, she’s never been able to shred even the tiniest piece off of it. Highly recommend!

  23. I like the Tug Eez tugs… they are made from wool. When they start getting a little out of shape’ish you wet them down some and remold and put in the dryer.

  24. Well, my sister’s crazy-ass Aussie with chomper jaws has had this for over a year now and it’s only dented.

  25. The Food Lady says:

    Tempus killed one of those Bumi toys in less than two classes ;-)

  26. What about just buying a garden hose and sawing off longish sections of it? He could chew off pieces at a time. Start with two feet and he could take off 2-3″ or even 6″ per class. Ha.

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