Dog Toys Are Solution To Aggressive Chewing

Arizona Humane Society

QUESTION: "Tucker, my 6 month old Labrador retriever mix, is an active, playful puppy and an aggressive chewer. Needless to say, he often finds shoes, furniture and other inappropriate items quite tasty. "I buy him a variety of squeaky toys and stuffed animals to keep him entertained. However, he seems to get bored with the toys very quickly. Are there dog toys that will keep him busy and less interested in chewing me out of house and home?

ANSWER: Before you are completely "Tucker-ed out," you may be relieved to learn some good news on the chew toy front. There are numerous dog toys on the market as well as toys you can make to satisfy Tucker's chewing urge. However, the not so good news that Labrador retrievers are particularly aggressive chewers, and Tucker likely will be a chewer until he is about 20 months old. Labs were bred to hold things in their mouths, so "mouthing" comes naturally to them. One of the best toys on the market for aggressive chewers is a Kong. Kong’s come in two varieties red for average chewers, and black for power chewers. I suspect that Tucker is a power chewer. The Kong toy is made from heavy-duty rubber and has a hollow center, which you will fill with food or treats. By layering the food like lasagna, you make the toy irresistible for your dog. To get every morsel of food out of the Kong, Tucker will have to use his tongue and jaws to flex the toy. Typically, it takes a dog about 20 minutes to empty a Kong, which might not sound like a long time to you, but to a dog it is exhausting. Tucker will have to use his brain to figure out how to get the food out, his mouth to manipulate the food and his paws to hold the toy just right. Use your imagination when filling the Kong. 

Just one suggestion:

-Layer 1, dry dog kibble

-Layer 2, cottage cheese

-Layer 3, dry dog kibble

- Layer 4, peanut butter

-Layer 5, dry dog kibble

You can even put a dog biscuit in the center of the Kong and "cement" it in place with peanut butter. There are many other toys available at pet supply stores that you can stuff to keep your dog occupied. Keep in mind that these toys can be rather messy, so you might want to let Tucker do his chewing on an easy to clean surface. Also if your pet is a bit "heavy," consider low-fat treats. With every toy there needs to be supervision. If the toy becomes frayed, throw it away.



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