When you choose Labrador Retriever toys its important to keep one thing in mind - the dog toys you buy for labs need to be virtually indestructible.
Labradors love to chew and they are very good at it. A toy, or sofa for that matter, that may last another toy many happy months can be reduced to a pile of plastic bits within minutes.
Some dogs chew because they are bored or stressed - a Labrador retrieveron the other hand just enjoys chewing. And they will chew anything. They prefer food of course but if it isn't dinner time then they will attempt to munch their way through anything.
Pet stores are crammed to the brim with dog toys of all different sizes, shapes and colours. Unfortunately most of these toys will not be suitable for your Labrador.
Thin plastic toys can be quickly chewed and destroyed and apart from the expense of constantly replacing them they do of course pose a choke hazard for the dog. And digesting plastic isn't good for him either.
So which are the best Labrador Retriever toys to look out for?
The best labrador retriever toys are the tough rubber ones like the KONG Extreme Dog Toy. These toys are hollow and more or less indestructible. Even the most sharp toothed Lab will have a hard time denting one of these toys. There are other brands of rubber toy on the market but the Kong Toys, which are stocked by most of the big pet stores, are the only ones I have used for my dogs so I can't comment on other toys.
My own Labs absolutely love their Kong Toys and remarkably the toys are still in one piece after many months of chewing.
Tough chew toys are an excellent Labrador training aid. By using a chew toy you teach your dog what he is allowed to chew and establish those all important boundaries that will stop him eating the sofa when you pop down the shops.
A great way to encourage the dog to chew the toy is to fill it with treats and goodies. He will soon sniff out the treats and will spend a long time not only chewing the toy but playing with it to extract the treats. Stuffed Kong Toys
can keep your Lab amused for hours.
Fill the toy with a large biscuit and a handful of dried food. The large biscuit will present a challenge to your dog but the dried food will be easier. Eating the dried food will encourage him to keep trying for the biscuit. You can also include cheese, peanut butter and a banana or any of the treats you will find on our dog biscuit recipies page.
With the softer fillings you can put the Kong into the freezer before you give it to your Lab. This will present an even bigger challenge and a great tip is to use a frozen Kong Toy when you are teaching your Lab to behave when you are out of the house.
For example, if you are going to work but the stuffed Kong Toy in the freezer the night before and give it to your dog when you leave. He will eventually get everything out of the toy but he will have a great time solving the puzzle and, more importantly, will be kept occupied whilst you are out of the house.