“ Manufacturer: Nylabone / Type: Dog Toys „
This is probably the most expensive tug of war toy you will ever buy. I would expect to pay roughly £17 for one of these form a pet shop. Amazon currently has them at £15, but with a whopping £41 postage added on. Most pet stores do not carry them, but almost any pet store that stocks nylabone can order one in for you, which is how I acquired mine. After a long and fruitless search though, I was able to find this for £8.84 at Drugs 4 Pets + postage.
So you are thinking, why should you go through this much trouble when you can buy a standard tug toy for so much less at any pet store? Well I bought my nylabone about 9 years ago. At the time I had my old staffy dog and also a staffy bitch. I left this toy out in the garden so they could play whenever they wanted to with it. It was banned from the house as they went mad and wrecked my house playing tug indoors! After being left out and chewed for years it has passed on to my new staffy, who has also chewed it as well as playing tug of war. It has a few signs of wear, and I expect I may have to buy another one in another ten years or so.
I do not class toys as indestructible easily. Staffies tend to be very hard on toys and most toys last a matter of minutes with us. For this reason I would consider it worthwhile to buy a few very well made toys that can be expected to last. It may not be worth spending the money on this toy for a small dog that has a very soft mouth, but I think most large dogs go through so many toys this would be a great investment if your dog likes tug of war. Besides my own staffy, I had a friend who used these for Rottweilers with similar results. In addition to the economics of splashing out more for a toy that will last, there are also safety issues. Staffies are famous for swallowing chewed off bits of toys, as are Labradors. I would be concerned leaving a cheaper toy with young Staffies unattended as the major cause of death for pups of this breed is swallowing a foreign object.
The toy itself is made of Nyllabone's Gumabone material, and is also marketed as Gumabone tug toy. It is a flexible synthetic material that is meant to be impregnated with a scent only dogs can smell. It certainly does not look sturdy enough to survive the abuse we have given it, but it has survived quite well. You really are not meant to leave it out as a chew toy, and I suppose it is possible it could be damaged by a very strong chewer over the course of years, but that has not happened in our case.
The toy has a large handle with grips for the human to hold and a small round bit at the end for the dog to pull. My dogs however, never read the instructions and insist on having the big handle while I make do with the small round bit, which never the less manages to get covered in slobber as well. I have found Staffies absolutely adore this toy and will happily play as long as you will, and then prance around delightedly when you are done before settling down for a good chew. A Staffy can easily suspend it's entire weight by this toy and hang or swing, all four feet off the ground. I am sure Tora would give this 5 stars, so I will as well.
The only drawbacks to this toy are:
Having to special order.
At least with Staffies, a good bit of slobber gets flung about in the game.
With strong dogs playing tug, they dig their feet in and can damage your lawn.
The benefits are:
A toy that lasts a lifetime.
A safe toy for dogs to chew on and play with.
Good for dental health.
Of course some people do not think you should ever play tug of war with a dog. If you feel this way of course the toy is of no use to you, but if you do like to play such games, this is the toy to buy.