Why Some Dogs Prefer Soft Dog Toys

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Not All Dogs Like The Feel of Hard Toys on Their Teeth

As frustrating as it is that your 60-pound pooch not only prefers soft dog toys, but that he can rip them apart in 5 seconds flat, it is what it is. There are plenty of dogs who could care less about that rubber chew toy or nylon bone. Hard chew toys like those just don't feel good on some dogs' teeth and gums. So, that's why they search the house for stuffed animals, socks, shoes, pocketbooks, throw pillows etc. While these soft "toys" will keep soft-dog-toy-preferring dogs occupied, it will no doubt turn into an expensive and possibly dangerous habit for them because, well, these items weren't exactly made with chewing dogs in mind.

The Problem With Giving Your Dog Ordinary Stuffed Animals

Sure, there are plenty of ultra-cheap stuffed animals out there at the dollar stores and discount stores, but are they really safe to give to dogs? The answer is no. First off, ordinary stuffed animals were made with non-chewing babies and kids in mind, not dogs with a mission to destroy. Ordinary stuffed toys have only one layer of stitching and one layer of fabric and they are extremely easy to rip open and tear. Some dog owners, say "so what? Those stuffed toys cost two bucks a piece." The biggest problem is that when some dogs rip open a stuffed animal they end up eating the stuffing inside. In addition, there are sometimes sound chips, bells, or squeakers hidden inside there too - ready to be eaten. Many a dogs have had to go to the vet for painful and expensive surgery to remove all that intestine-clogging stuffed animal stuffing. Another less serious problem is the cost over time. Sure those ordinary stuffed animals are cheap, but over time they add up to big money. It's better to consider a higher-cost soft dog toy that is more durable, safer and, most importantly, made specifically with dogs in mind.

What Are the Options for Tough Soft Dog Toys?

tough soft dog toy Luckily, because there are so many dogs who like soft chew toys, there are several manufacturers who make tough soft chew toys for dogs. But, just because a soft dog toy or stuffed animal is in the dog toy aisle doesn't mean it's a good soft dog toy. What to look for: 1) The toughness of the outer material. Canvas, mesh and nylon are always good choices. 2) The number of fabric and stitching layers. Remember, ordinary stuffed animals have just one of each, and the same goes for those same cheap-o stuffed animals repackaged with a dog toy tag.

The toughest soft dog toy out there is the Tuffy's Mega Ring. The company rates this particular dog toy 10 out of 10 on their "Tuff Scale" (for soft dog toys) and even gave it to a tiger to test it out. The tiger chewed, tugged and tossed it around, but barely did any damage. Why? Because Tuffy's Mega Ring is made with seven layers of stitching and four layers of fabric. It's covered in a layer of soft fleece, however, underneath there's 3 layers of industrial grade materials which make for an ultra-tough soft dog toy. It's no wonder it's known as the "World's Toughest Dog Toy". Tuffy's Dog Toys has a whole line of tough, yet soft dog toys shaped like a pig, scorpion, hippo, etc., They're tough too, just not as tough as the #10-rated Mega Ring. Here's the Tuffy's "Tuff Scale" for your reference:

Tuffy's Tuff Scale

1. The cheap plush toy
2. Usual cheap squeaking rubber toy
3. Fragile miniature Teacup Chihuahua strong
4. Fake knock-off sewn nylon toys that claim to be "rugged"
5. Small dog tuff
6. Created for interactive play
7. A really tough toy but still vulnerable
8. Long lasting and really tuff
9. Extremely Tuff - Extremely Durable
10. Mega Tuff - Without a doubt the Tuffest!

The same manufacturer of Tuffy's also has another line of soft toys called Mighty Dog Toys. They differ from the Tuffy's line because they look more like fluffy stuffed animals and have no hard edges at all. These are for dogs who truly prefer super-soft toys. Mighty Dog Toys are made with four layers of stitching and two layers of fabric, so they're not as tough as Tuffy's but they are still a great deal stronger than the average stuffed animal. Typically, Mighty Dog Toys rate between a 6 and an 8 on the "Tuff Scale". They come in all sorts of shapes like a rooster or cow.

In addition to Tuffy's and Mighty, there's also the Vibram K9 Brand which has a line of super-strong soft dog toys made out of the same durable fabrics found in high-end athletic shoes. They come in fun, silly shapes like Vibram Rabbit, or Vibram Worm.

Premier Busy Buddy also makes a durable soft dog toy called the Pogo Plush. Dog owners really like this one because it's stuffing free and even though it has a squeaker, it's protected inside rubber scaffolding (which provides the bounce-back action that dogs love). The outside is a fleece material sewn together with a durable lock stitch. All in all, it's one of the most thoughtful dog toys around.

Best-of-the-Best Toughest Soft Dog Toys

Tuffy's Mega Ring is the toughest of all soft dog toys. It's made with 7 layers of stitching and 4 layers of fabric. It also has 3 hidden squeakers for added fun! Retail price: $27.95.

Tuffy's T-Rex is one of their biggest soft dog toys measuring 19" high! Very cute and with a "Tuff Scale" rating of 7, this dino is sure to keep your chew-happy pooch plenty occupied. Just like all Tuffy's, T-Rex has 7 layers of stitching and 4 layers of fabric. Retail price: $29.95.

Tuffy's Lobster you can bet looks adorable dangling from your dog's mouth but you can rest assured that with an 8 out of 10 "Tuff Scale" rating, he's strong enough to stand up to heavy chewing. Retail price: $17.95

This fun-looking shark is rated a 7 on the "Tuff Scale" and is both durable and soft to chew. Measures 16" long. Retail price: $17.95

The Vibram K9 Sea Creature is made from the same durable nylon fabrics found in high-end sneakers. But, not only is it soft to chew it also has a head made from natural rubber - in case your dog wants something harder to chew on every once in a while. Plus, there's a squeaker inside! Retail price: $16.95

This is no ordinary chew toy! The Vibram K9 Worm is made from tough nylon fabrics and has an equally fun-to-chew natural rubber end piece. But, the fun doesn't end there...a squeaker's inside too! Retail price: $16.95.

The Vibram Gator is not only super cute, he's a favorite amongst dogs who love to chew soft dog toys. Why? Because he won't be torn to pieces anywhere near as easily as a regular stuffed toy! And...there's a hidden squeaker inside too! Retail price: $12.95.

This silly rabbit is a Vibram K9 favorite, made from strong nylon materials for a long-lasting soft chew toy. A hidden squeaker mades this an extra-fun dog toy! Retail price: $12.95.

Premier Pet's Pogo Plush is a real winner because it's stuffing free! It has a rubber scaffolding inside which provides that bounce-back action that they love. Kind of similar to how a tennis ball springs back when they chew on it - dogs love that feeling. There's a squeaker inside but it's safely hidden inside the rubber scaffolding. The outside is a nice soft fleece held together with a durable lock stitch. Retail price: $12.95.

From the Mighty Dog Toys collection, this is Fred McRuff. He rates an 8 on the "Tuff Scale" and is made with 4 layers of stitching and 2 layers of fabric. He's extra soft and doesn't have any hard corners - so you can bet he's a favorite with dogs who like to chew on soft, cuddly things. Retail price: $22.95.

Where to Find those Toughest Soft Dog Toys

Tuffy's Mega Ring - Worlds TOUGHEST soft dog toy!
Tuffy's Mega Ring is so strong and durable even a tiger couldn't destroy it! It's the only soft dog toy that's virtually impossible for your dog to tear apart! Some dogs just like chewing on soft toys and stuffed animals - the Mega Ring is soft but strong!
Tuffy's T-Rex dinosaur
Tuffy's T-Rex Dinosaur is one of the toughest soft dog toys around! For dogs that prefer to chew on soft, cushy toys, rather than hard bones or toys made out of rubber or nylon, the Tuffy's T-Rex is THE soft dog toy! Tuffy's are made with dogs in mind.
Tuffy's Larry the Lobster
Tuffy's Larry the Lobster is cute, yes, but more importantly, he's tough, durable and soft to chew on. This irresistible lobster was made super strong with extra layers of stitching and fabric so that he won't tear to shreds like ordinary stuffed toys.
Tuffy's Shack the Shark
Tuffy's Shack the Shark dog toy is one of the world's toughest soft dog toys. He's made with 7 layers of stitching and 4 layers of fabric to ensure toughness, inside and out. But, even still, Tuffy's Shark dog chew toy is still soft and fun to chew.
Vibram K9 Sea Creature
This is one of the most fun-to-chew soft dog toys ever made. The body is made extra strong with two high quality, tough fabrics. And, the head is made from Vibram's famous-for-its-toughness material. And, there's a squeaker inside!
Vibram K9 Worm
The Vibram K9 dog toy is a favorite amongst dogs that love to chew only soft dog toys. The Worm dog toy is fun to chew and made extra tough to withstand powerful chewing better than ordinary stuffed animals. Also a Vibram rubber end for extra chewing.
Vibram K9 Gator
The Gator soft dog toy is a tough and durable dog chew toy made with 2 extra-strong fabrics. The My Good Dog Gator even has a hidden squeaker inside that makes chewing on it fun for dogs!
Vibram K9 Rabbit
The Rabbit is a favorite amongst dogs who prefer to chew on soft dog toys rather than hard rubber or plastic. The Rabbit is made extra tough (not like those other stuffed toys). Plus, there's a squeaker inside to make chewing even more fun.

Give us a bark! What's your dog's favorite soft chew toy?

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  • VickiSims May 10, 2012 @ 8:16 am
    My dogs like to chew and mouth soft things. I have some of the Tuffy toys you featured on this lens and they are the most durable ones we've purchased.
  • KonaGirl May 23, 2011 @ 7:49 pm
    Thanks for the info on these Tuffy & Mighty dog toys. I tried to get to the website from your links, but it didn't feel like loading tonight. I'll have to try another time.
  • Jonas May 22, 2011 @ 1:31 am
    My dog has a little couch pillow that he made his. Luckily he's a pretty soft chewer. Just throws it around and bites it here and there. He loves it though!

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