12 Best Dog Toys for Hunting Dogs in 2019

Hunting dogs may be working dogs, but to keep them healthy and happy, they’ll still need toys. Toys can be great for training and excellent for keeping boredom down in between hunting season. They’re an essential part of cutting down on negative behaviors and keeping up wellbeing.

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Hunting dogs may not be house dogs necessarily, but they still have the same needs that all dogs do. They do have some special needs when it comes to toys because many of them are heavy chewers and hard on toys. These toys will have to have a purpose and be able to withstand some serious usage.

Hunting dogs come in a variety of breed types from small to large so a variety of toys that can handle the demands hunting dogs put on their things. These things are critical for keeping your hunting dogs engaged and encouraging healthy mental and physical activities.

We’ve compiled a list of great toys that meet the unique needs of hunting dogs and can help encourage bonding and those healthy behaviors. They’re durable and made of safe materials. Plus, we’ve answered questions about what to think about for hunting dogs playtime and toys, and what to expect in the long run.

Different Types of Dog Toys for Hunting Dogs

Toys come in all shapes and sizes and have different purposes. It’s essential to have a variety of toys to help your hunting dogs exhibit healthy behaviors and cut down on negative ones. Here are a few different types and their purposes.

  • Chew toys – Dogs have a natural urge to chew, so a durable chew toy can bring a lot of satisfaction. While dogs are pinned up and can’t get much activity, chew toys can get out aggression, soothe gums, and help keep teeth clean in between brushing.
  • Puzzle Toys – Puzzles give hunting dogs the chance to work out their critical thinking skills and can be very good for passing the time. They can also be suitable for training or just for fun. Puzzle toys offer a lot of fun and vital stimulation.
  • Active Toys – Toys that get your hunting dog moving around can be useful for training or to get your dogs warmed up. These include balls and frisbees as well as things like rope toys that encourage your hunting dogs to play with you or each other. Whether playing with you or each other, they can provide quality activity.
  • Soft toys – Hunting dogs may not need as many soft toys, but sometimes they’re great for puppies who need a little bit of comfort to adjust. Also, if you have a hunting dog that spends time indoors, it could be a nice touch for comfort and companionship.

What to Look for in a Good Toy for Hunting Dog

Hunting dogs typically spend time outdoors despite the differences in breeds, so toys need to be durable and robust. The materials should be safe and not prone to cracking or fading. Use durable nylon weaving with reinforced stitches. Other materials can include things like soft rubber or high-quality bones.

These toys will serve many purposes, including both training and alleviating boredom or reckless behaviors. Many of them will help direct natural behaviors such as chewing or wrestling in healthy ways for your dogs, especially if you have a group of dogs that live together.

You should be able to provide the toy for extended periods without it breaking or cracking. It can be dangerous for dogs to break off pieces and swallow them, so your toys need to be extra durable to deal with both the weather and your dogs. Aggressive chewers should have extra caution to make sure toys aren’t destroyed too soon.

Overall, toys can provide both fun and training, and there’s nothing wrong with toys that provide those things all in one. Toys that help your hunting dog learn social skills, hunting skills, and other behaviors will provide the most value.

Toys can also help you bond with your dogs because you can play with them. Toys aren’t a substitute for quality time with you, but they can provide an incredible relationship and chance to complete activities that aren’t all work. Use them wisely, and you’ll have the happiest hunting dogs around.

Best Dog Toys for Hunting Dogs

Hunting dogs may have specific jobs to do, but they’re still dogs in the end. They have the same fun personalities and curiosities as house dogs do, and toys can help fill that void when you aren’t around and enhance their play when you are. Here are our top picks.

Nylabone Durachew Chicken Flavored Chew

Best Overall

Nylabone is a classic in the world of chew toys, and it can provide long-lasting relief for your hunting dogs while withstanding some serious chewing and environmental elements. This one is textured for a fun mouth feel and can help keep your dog’s mouth cleaner in between brushing. It massages gums and soothes the natural chewing instinct.

It comes in a variety of sizes depending on your hunting dog’s breed, and it has an excellent flavor. It should keep your dog engaged for a long time, but be sure to check them regularly for sharp points or cracking.

Kong Extreme Flyer

Best for Aggressive Chewers

Kong’s extreme line is designed to withstand even the most dedicated chewers. It uses a powerful material that won’t harm teeth, but can hold up to chewing without immediately cracking or splitting. It’s safe and non-toxic, and this one is a fun frisbee shape that’s satisfying and easy to carry around for a variety of breed sizes.

It also doubles as a fun, active toy for when your dogs are looking for something to chase or use for tug of war. Make sure you check it pretty regularly for signs of cracking or wear and tear, but this one is one of Kong’s most durable options.

Kong Extreme Ball Toy

Most Durable Dog Toy

Dogs love playing with balls, but if you’ve ever seen your hunting dogs rip apart a tennis ball in two seconds flat, you’ll know that they can’t have just any ball. The Kong Extreme ball provides a durable toy that’s difficult to chew up and features an ultra-safe, long-lasting material. It gently massages your hunting dog’s gums when chewing and bounces well when being used for play.

It’s overall one of the best all-purpose toys you can have around, and it even has a slot for adding extra treats if your training your dog to seek something — really a great all-purpose option.

Nina Ottenson by Outward Hound Interactive Toy

Best Interactive Puzzle Toy

This puzzle toy allows you to hide different treats underneath sections of the toy, allowing your dog to sniff them out and figure out how to uncover them. It’s fun and teaches your dog to be mindful and trust its nose. You can change up where the treat is, and it’s a safe material for your dog to manipulate.

It could be a good option for those of you that have smaller hunting dogs or if you’re training your dog to uncover something specific. You can make it easier or more difficult, depending on your dog’s skill level, and no game is ever the same.

Chuckit Ultra Ring Launcher

Best Dog Launcher

This launcher toy not only gives you farther reach with your fetch toys, but it also uses a ring style that bounces erratically, teaching your dogs to chase and pin down something that doesn’t have a standard path. It’s enjoyable and can keep your hunting dog entertained for hours.

It uses a durable plastic that can withstand some chewing on the midst of play, and the whole thing is easy to wash off if it becomes too grimy. It also allows you to exercise your dogs when you may not be feeling the most active yourself.

Mammoth Cotton Blend Rope Toy

Best Rope Toy

This standard rope toy provides endless fun with a tight weave and knots to keep everything in place. It comes in a variety of sizes, so you can choose based on the breed of your hunting dog, and the fun, bright colors are highly durable. Your dogs can have fun trying to unravel it or playing tug of war with you or among themselves.

Sometimes classic designs are still the best, and this classic toy is definitely one of those. It uses a premium material and can help floss your dog’s teeth as it chews, helping maintain dental health.

Pet Zone IQ Treat Dispenser

Best Treat Dispenser Toy

For times when you’ll be supervising your dog, the Pet Zone IQ treat dispenser is a great option. It allows your dog to roll and manipulate it while small pieces of kibble fall out every once in a while. It can keep your dog entertained for a while and help it practice critical thinking skills. It uses a sturdy plastic material ad you can take it completely apart to clean and sanitize it.

If you get more than one, your dogs can practice chasing the prize around and finding it. Make sure you account for extra calories whenever you use this toy so that you don’t accidentally overfeed your dogs.

JW Pet Ruffians Chicken Toy

Best Squeaky Toy

This chicken squeaky toy is an entertaining option for dogs that want something to do. It mimics small prey and offers a satisfying chewing feeling. It uses only a simple design and should give your hunting dog hours of fun. The material is easy to clean, and it provides a durable option for a squeaky toy. It bounces erratically and can keep your hunting dogs entertained for hours.

Make sure you check it periodically for cracks, especially if it stays outside full time. IT comes in a few different colors that ship randomly. It also has a vanilla extract into the rubber so that your dog will stay interested.

USA Bones and Chews Rope and Bone Toy

Made In The USA

This chew toy is an excellent option for those of you who want to offer your dogs a little something extra. It uses a sanded bone accent on a durable rope to give your dogs something delicious, and that smells good. It’s less likely to splinter than standard bones, and the rope is durable enough to chew without completely unraveling.

All parts of the toy are made in the United States, and it offers a lot for your dogs’ mental enrichment. It can also help cut down on destructive chewing behaviors by offering multiple textures to keep your dogs interested. Plus, it’s affordable so you can get even a pack of hunting dogs plenty to keep them busy.

Best Dog Toys for Hunting Dog Puppies

Puppies have a lot of the same needs as their adult counterparts, but you do have some specific requirements to consider. They’ll be teething and training, so things that soothe irritated gums and that give them a chance to stretch their thinking skills are great options.

Fido Puppy’s First Bone

Best for Teething

Fido’s flavored bone not only keeps your dog interested, but it uses ridges to both massage itchy, irritated gums and to soothe that urge to chew. It keeps your dog’s teeth clean in between full brushings and is soft enough to be safe for your puppy’s teeth. It comes in two different colors and is highly affordable so you can get more than one.

JW Pet Place Butterfly Teether

Another Great Teething Toy

This teether is another excellent option because it has multiple textures and can get into the back of your puppy’s mouth. It uses a textured side for really scraping teeth and massaging gums and a smooth side for when your puppy needs a more chill chew. It’s durable, and you can easily clean it.

Make sure you inspect it regularly for signs of wear and tear and replace it often as it wears out. It comes in a few different colors that ship randomly and is so affordable you can replace it regularly.

Frisco Flat Plush Duck

Best Plush Toy

Frisco’s flat plush is a really fun way to introduce your hunting dog to one of the animals it might be retrieving. It uses minimal stuffing and has a fun squeaky toy in the middle, but when it comes to comfort, it’s super soft. You can clean it, and it should be able to withstand even your most energetic puppy for a while. Make sure you remove it if it comes apart, but overall, this one is a robust plush option.

Tips for Playing With Your Hunting Dog

Hunting dogs play and often train in tandem. Playing can be a great way to train your hunting dogs and to provide a long-lasting bond. Here are some tips for keeping it safe and consistent.

  1. Even if your dogs live outside, they’ll still need targeted exercise. Dog launcher toys can be a great way to keep up interest and provide plenty of exercise without necessarily wearing you down. Launchers go further than standard toys, but frisbees could also accomplish the same concept. As long as your dogs get time with you, that’s what’s important.
  2. Bored dogs will exhibit destructive behaviors, so giving your hunting dogs and outlet in between sessions is essential. Chew toys are great at this and serve a dual purpose by keeping your dog’s mouth cleaner and healthier in between cleanings.
  3. Toys need to be extra durable so that they can last a long time. It also helps to rotate toys out so that your hunting dogs have access to “new” toys pretty often. You don’t need to buy new toys continually but keeping some aside for the novelty provides your dogs with continual interest.
  4. Make sure you supervise play when it gets intense and give your dogs access to plenty of water. Hunting dogs may be working out pack rank, and having particularly interesting toy could inspire some aggression. Be sure every dog has access to toys that help alleviate boredom and intervene if things get a little bit too intense.
  5. Toys that serve more than one purpose can be a way to keep costs down. If your dog can both chew and fetch the same toy, it’s a great option. If you use toys for training, that’s a fun way to teach vital skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

What toys are best for hunting dogs?

They may have a job, but they also have the same needs as any lapdog. They want time with you and something interesting to do. Chew toys and fetch toys use the natural hunting dog drive to provide enrichment and mental stimulation. They need to be durable, however and withstand forceful chewing and outdoor conditions.

What toys are best for puppies?

Puppies have similar needs. They want to be near you and are finding out how things work. Toys that allow them to chew and explore are great as well as training toys that give them plenty of mental enrichment. Anything that helps them figure out the world and their role in it is going to be a good idea. Be careful of their developing teeth and use things that are suitable for puppies.

Can toys help alleviate chewing?

Yes, they can, but your dogs have lots of reasons for chewing in the first place. If they’re perpetually bored and don’t get enough stimulation, nothing can alleviate destructive chewing. However, if they have plenty to do, chew toys can satisfy the urge, they have to chew pretty well.

Can toys keep them occupied without my supervision?

In a limited capacity, yes. However, toys are no replacement for time with you. Dogs that don’t get enough attention and stimulation from you will be bored and possibly destructive regardless of the toy situation. Plus, you need to supervise toys to make sure they don’t break and become a hazard.

Conclusion

Give your hunting dogs something to do and a way to make training fun with a variety of toys. You’ll be able to give your dogs the time they deserve and make training a little bit easier. Toys are an essential part of every dog’s life, and just because your dogs are working dogs, it doesn’t mean they don’t have the same needs as fluffy down the street.

Their toys should be more durable than most, and the ones on our list satisfy those criteria. Bond with your wonderful dogs and get better returns both in hunting and in companionship.

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