“Durable” is a relative term.  Apparently the makers of some dog toys have a different definition of that word than I do. If by “durable” they mean “easily torn apart by unrelenting Labs” then I will agree with their definition.

Case in point – my mom bought me a great toy this past weekend. It was a miniature basketball, make of nice thick rubber, and it had four thick straps going around it, and attached to the four straps at opposite sides were two very thick ropes with nice big knots on the ends. A great toy, right? Good for chasing, batting around, tug o’ wars, fetching, etc. Very versatile. Yup, that good old durable toy lasted about ½ hour. I managed to chew right through one of the straps at that point.

No matter, we still used the ball for chasing and fetching and soccer… yup, that lasted about another ½ hour. That’s when my teeth permeated that nice thick rubber ball. No matter, I like to carry around deflated balls. Still good for fetching and kicking around. So all was not lost. We still play with it.

As for the rope ends – they would have made great toys but individually they were too small and a possible choking hazard. So mom took them away. She and my dad watch out for me – when I chew things apart, they make sure to remove anything that could hurt me.

Durable. Yup. The word must have 2 different meanings.

I think buying toys for us Labs must be challenging to our moms and dads.  There have been several toys that have withstood the test of time. Tennis balls top the list. I’m the “daughter” of a tennis player so for me, they are basically free and they are numerous. Toys made of the same fabric as tennis balls have lasted quite awhile in my house. Kong’s are also great toys as are Nylabones.  Doggie cloth frisbees also last a long time.

“Durable” toys that have NOT cut the mustard in my house – pretty much everything else! In particular, the cloth coverings they sell to put on plastic soda bottles – didn’t work for us. The velcro closures made for very good gnawing. I had that thing apart in short order. All squeaky cute shaped toys – nope. They didn’t remain squeaky for very long.

So buyer beware. Just because the packaging says durable, doesn’t mean it is. Be sure to keep an eye on how well toys are holding up. We dogs appreciate it!

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