Product Type: Skinneeez dog accessories
Newest Review: ... nicknamed roadkill in my house. The two toys we own are similar in design. They both have long bodies and tails and little ... more
Skinneeez Stuffing Free Dog Toy
Member Name: FourPaws
Skinneeez Stuffing Free Dog Toy
Advantages: No stuffing to clear up
Disadvantages: Expensive, look awful, limited entertainment value - my two found them boring!
Grace and Benson are brilliantly friendly dogs - they're too daft to know how to be nasty, they think everyone wants to be their best mate, and they've got dozens of slobbery kisses for anyone they meet, they're just two great big soppy lumps who just couldn't be horrible if they tried.
Well, almost. You're fine if you are a person, another dog, a cat or a kid - Grace and Benson aren't fussy whom they mob for attention, but seemingly innocent soft toys are always guaranteed to turn my placid pooches into vicious killers!
Very, very few lucky ones last more than a couple of seconds before meeting an ugly death of being ripped to shreds and having the stuffing strewn across my living room, before my delightful creatures morbidly and proudly parade around the house with the empty 'skin' of their toy in their mouths - incredibly pleased with themselves!
Hence the reason I gave up buying soft toys for them a long time ago - they're just money down the drain and I really couldn't be bothered getting the hoover out each time and listening to them make their wretched sounds as they try and cough up the bits of stuffing they've managed to swallow and get caught at the back of their throats!
However, one of my friends owns a Shih Tzu - a nice enough little dog - but very gentle and delicate, and that plays nicely and happily with soft toys, and never shreds them - so she always seemed to think my two would do the same and would bring them soft cuddly toys whenever she visited - bearing in mind the words ''gentle'' and ''delicate'' just aren't in Grace and Bensons vocabulary, and they're about as far away from a Shih Tzu as you could get!
Needless to say, Grace and Benson had always conveniently just got a new toy when she visited, and "not wanting to spoil them", her kind presents would be put up for a later date - or rather, they'd be put in a bin bag waiting for the next trip to the charity shop, dreadful of me I know!
One day however, she witnessed my killer hounds in full on murderous mode - Grace swiped a teddy of my god-daughters from the sofa, and her and Benson swooped in for the kill. Not resting until they were thoroughly satisfied said teddy was well and truly dead - believe me, you'd think you were in the middle of the Serengeti given the fierceness Grace and Benson like to kill their stuffed prey!
After a few moments of shock from the friend upon realising that not all dogs are like her darling little Shih Tzu, she laughed and said perhaps it was best she didn't bring them stuffed toys anymore, and I agreed (although I did wonder if the local charity shop would go out of business, I'm sure our soft toy donations kept them going!).
Anyway, a couple of months later, my mate popped round for a cuppa and couldn't wait to show me what she'd found - enter the Skinneeez toys!
Skinneeez toys, have I'm sure, been designed with the likes of Grace and Benson in mind, since they're soft toys, but without the stuffing! So in theory, they offer the fun of a cuddly toy, but with no mess, no Serengeti re-enactments and none of the wretched cat coughing up a hairball sounds as the mutts try to retrieve a piece of stuffing that's tickling their throats.
Sounds good eh?!
The Skinneeez toys come in various creature shapes - there's a fox, skunk, squirrel, rabbit, duck, chicken and a racoon, and they come in three different sizes - small (13 inches long), large (23 inches) and giant (35 inches). They've got a squeaker in the head and another one in the tail part of the toy, are machine washable and claim to be strong, durable and able to withstand tough play.
My friend kindly brought Grace and Benson two of the squirrel shaped ones - both in the large size, which I've since found out retail for £6.99 each. SEVEN QUID FOR ESSENTIALLY HALF A TOY?! Yes, my first thought was that my mate needed her head testing too!
Anyway, Grace and Benson are worse than kids at Christmas when receiving new toys, and were absolutely delighted with their presents. They pranced around the room with them, showing them off to the cat (yeah, because she really cares!), shaking them and generally flinging them about all over place.
It soon dawned on them though that they were soft toys, and as soon as this was realised, they went in for the kill! Grace soon managed to rip her toy but was most disappointed when she found there was no stuffing inside - I swear she only likes destuffing toys because it makes a mess for me! And after she realised that, she simply wasn't interested - the poor little squirrel got abandoned and she's never really played with it since.
Benson was marginally more impressed, but only slightly so. After he discovered there was no stuffing inside he largely lost interest too, but will very occasionally play with it. He has a habit of bringing guests toys when they're sat on the sofa - he'll go off and get something and then present it to them, and you've guessed it, nine times out of then, it's the flippin' squirrel he plonks on their laps.
And believe me, these things look really rather morbid! They're furry so actually look quite realistic, especially if they've been out in the garden and are a bit grubby and wet from slobber, so when Benson drops it on a guests lap, they're generally not too impressed when they think they're been given a gift of roadkill!
We've had the toys about four months now, and have probably been played with only a handful of times since the initial excitement of them - the dogs have used them to play tug with and they've withstood the roughness of that, so for soft toys, they're pretty durable, and they've coped with a couple of spins in the washing machine with no ill effects.
But as far as entertainment goes - these things are pretty rubbish and failed to hold the attention of the dogs, even with the squeakers which are generally a hit with my two. Grace and Benson love toys - they're more toy orientated than they are food orientated and if they get a new toy, they normally consider it the best thing in the universe for at least a couple of weeks, but they only found these Skinneeez exciting for about five minutes, and their interest has never really returned.
Clearly, for Grace and Benson at least, the best part of soft toys is the stuffing, and being able to destuff them and create a lot of mess - so with that taken away, they're really not bothered and would much rather a tennis ball!
All in all, I just can't recommend these at all. Grace and Benson are playful dogs who get very attached to their toys, so for them not to like something, is a pretty good indication they're rubbish!
I'm sure there will be a dog that enjoys them - one that is a gentle player and treats toys with respect, but my boisterous two clearly just get their fun from destroying soft toys, so find the Skinneeez really rather boring indeed! If you are interest though, and have a dog with good manners that treats toys nicely - they're available from several places on the internet and I recently saw them in Asda too, rather random but there you go!
Summary: Good idea in theory, but needs something extra to hold dogs attention!
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