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Monday, November 5, 2007

the myth of the indestructible dog toy

Besides the hard rubber and nylon chew toys like the Kong or the Nylabone, I've always thought that fluffy, fuzzy or squeaky dog toys labeled "indestructible" were a joke. A clever marketing scheme to get us to buy endless amounts of chew toys, only to have them ripped to shreds in a matter of minutes right before our very eyes.

I've had dogs most of my life, but Waldo is second only to a crazy beagle my mom had when I was in college in expertise in ripping apart dog toys. He is adept at finding the absolute weakest point in a chew toy and working on that one spot to eviscerate it. He will attack the toy like it is his sole mission in life to disassemble it in record time. Have you ever seen those scenes in movies where the highly-trained military officer can dismantle a gun in seconds while blindfolded? Yeah, that's Waldo with a new chew toy, except that he's not blindfolded.... nor does he have thumbs. =)

I had to run to Home Depot this afternoon and stopped by Petco on my way there to get him a new toy. I found a chew toy called Tuffie's, the world's "tuff"est soft dog toy. Well, okay... I have tried almost everything else in the chew toy aisle so why not. I have spent $12 on worse causes.

The toy has 4 layers of material and 7 rows of stitching (woo hoo!). The label even says "Tired of paying $$$ for dog toys only to have them destroyed in minutes?" YES! Of course! Here I am getting sucked into marketing writing again.... ironic considering I do that for a living. "No matter," I think to myself. "This one will be different. The label says so!"

The Tuffie has 4 fabric layers (600D nylon, PVC, another layer of 600D nylon and then the soft fleece outer layer) and each squeaker is sewn into it's own compartment. The fabric also has a repeating cross-stitch to keep the layers intact. Yippee.... I have high hopes that this one will last the night!

It's been two and a half hours since I gave Waldo the Tuffie and this is what I have to report: he's breached all 4 layers, yanked out about 5 handfuls of white batting, and has managed to remove and destroy one of the 4? 5? squeakers sewn into the toy. Here he is on his favorite rug in the kitchen, working his way to the next squeaker.

I do give this toy props in that it took him hours and not minutes to rip it. I think he will have it fully eviscerated by tomorrow.

Anyone have other experiences with tough chew toys that last longer than 5 minutes? Leave a comment and let me know.


Melisa said...

That is SO funny. Must be a beagle thing, because Roxie also can destruct the "indestructable". She loves the hard Nylabones; can't chew those in two or anything. Also, she plays with a Kong because I stuff a couple of MilkBones in it and she tosses it around so the hole distorts when it hits the ground, letting a treat or two out. Usually that will keep her busy for 20-30 minutes and then when she has it all out, she leaves the Kong alone.

To be honest, I will sometimes buy her cheap toys (especially the stuffed animal type) and supervise her while I see if she can rip them to pieces. I don't do that very often, because she's gotten through almost all of them.

I hear that those rubber tire toys are pretty good, but haven't bought any.

Lesley Rigby said...

The only dog toy Prince didn't destroy was his waterplay toy made from Fire Hose fabric. Here is a link for something that certainly looks the same.
It isn't of course a soft toy - there could NEVER have been a soft toy indestructable for Prince but he certainly had some wonderful times with the above.

Lesley Rigby said...

I have just read the reviews on the toy I suggested earlier (I should have read them before I posted my comment!). The toy we had looked very much the same but was definitely the real fire hose fabric which these don't seem to be. I wouldn't buy one mail order but check out the dog supermarkets or pet shops until you are satisfied it is the real thing.