Dogs, whether large or small, need great toys to keep them busy and stimulated, both mentally and physically. A stimulated, engaged dog is less likely to express destructive behavior like excessive barking or anxious chewing. The right toy can help provide this stimulation easily. However, for big dogs, these toys have to be especially big, sturdy, and durable. After all, you can't just throw any old stuffed animal at your big dog and expect him to be satisfied – you'll not only be stuck with a huge mess, but a very annoyed and newly bored dog as well.
Whether your baby is a Great Dane, Alaskan malamute, German shepherd, pit bull or other large breed, we've found a variety of toys that will keep him occupied and happy without being chewed to smithereens within an hour or so. These toys are large in size and tough enough to withstand long stretches of play.
Big tug toys
If your dog is keen on playing tug-o-war, this is a truly great find for him. Billed as "heavy duty" and "nearly indestructible," it can provide hours of play for your big dog and you. There's a loop at the top to make it easy for you to grip it while your dog is tugging from the other end, allowing for seamless interaction. In fact, when humans enter the picture, dogs tend to show much more attention to playtime, so it will behoove you to use this interactive toy. As a bonus, if your dog proves to be a match for this toy, you can send pictures of the destroyed rope and the manufacturers will send one free replacement.
Another nice option for big dogs who love to tug is the Goughnuts Tug Interactive Toy, which is a tough and durable find that will be fun for you and your dog. Double rings allow you to grip one end while your dog tugs on the other -- if you have two dogs, they can tug together. Made of strong rubber, this toy nonetheless has some flex to prevent damage to your dog's teeth. It is also quite heavy, however, so exercise caution when playing with it.
Big ball toys
Pick the large size when ordering this toy and you'll be rewarded with another nearly indestructible item to provide tons of stimulation for your big dog. This ball is made of thermo plastic rubber that can take on the large teeth and strong jaws of big breeds. Grooves and dips in the design allow for easy gripping and prolonged gnawing that won't let your dog get bored anytime soon. As a major plus, this floating ball is infused with vanilla extract to stimulate sense of smell.
Perfect for vigorous play, the Chuckit! Pro Launcher takes fetch to a whole 'nother level. The ergonomically designed launcher helps you throw balls farther than using your arm alone, allowing your dog to run faster and farther to get in some quality exercise and physical stimulation. It's available in four sizes (18M, 25M, 26L, and 26XL) to accommodate large dogs. Bright coloring also ensures your dog will spot the ball right away in the field. In great news for any pet owner, the launcher allows you to scoop up the slobber-covered ball without having to use your hands.
Tennis balls may be a classic go-to, but chances are your big dog doesn't get much stimulation from them. For a truly interactive experience, the Chuckit! Kick Fetch Toy Ball is a great option. Available in a large size perfect for big breeds, this tough ball features a grooved design that is easy to grab and bounces in random directions to encourage highly energetic and dynamic play. Canvas, rubber, and foam combine to create a very durable toy that will last a long time, and it even comes in a glow version for nighttime activities. Choose the large size when ordering.
Maybe your dog does prefer classic tennis balls, or maybe you prefer them yourself, but the standard sized ones just don't cut it. Regular tennis balls are too easily pulled apart by big dogs, but a jumbo sized one might be just the ticket. The large size of this toy makes it difficult for your dog to get his mouth around it, making this particular ball last quite a long time as a chase toy. For physical stimulation, your dog will have a grand time chasing this around the yard or field, and you'll get in some exercise too (your dog won't be able to bring it back in his mouth, so you WILL have to do some heavy lifting). Note: You will have to inflate this yourself.
Big chew toys
This toy is ideal for big dogs as it comes in large, X-large and XX-large options. Durable and mentally challenging, this toy has a unique design that causes it to bounce in different, unpredictable directions, encouraging your dog to give chase and stay energized. It can be licked, chewed, and gnawed on for long periods of time, and the best part is that you can fill it with treats or something like peanut butter for added fun and stimulation. It also helps to clean teeth and soothe gums.
Made of tough rubber, this squeaky bowling pin is exciting and fun. It bounces and rolls easily, providing endless engagement. The squeaky noise it makes is great for big dogs who love and respond to sounds. Thanks to its classic shape, it's easy to carry around and hold between teeth, while the squeaker inside is almost impossible to remove. Long periods of playtime are thus ensured.
If you've got an enthusiastic chewer in the house, the Nylabone Dura Chew Chicken Monster Bone is the right choice. Long-lasting chew toys in general are great for fighting destructive behavior in dogs. Since dogs are natural chewers, they will often attack all sorts of furniture and personal items in the house, but with Nylabone, this problem can be easily addressed. Made of durable nylon that won't splinter, this toy will help alleviate boredom and anxiety while providing plenty of activity.
For some variety in chew toys, try the Nylabone Dura Chew Textured Ring. The tough nylon material is ideal for powerful chewers, while the ring shape and grooved texture keeps dogs engaged and allows for better stimulation than a simple, smooth bone. The ring design will also allow you to play tug-o-war with your dog by giving you an easy grip. It even helps clean teeth and gums for a healthy mouth. If your dog is a big chewer, this is great to have in your chew toy arsenal. It doesn't hurt that it's also in the top ten best-selling pet products on Amazon.
Big puzzle toys
This is a great option if you want something more interactive for your big dog. This toy can be loaded with treats that are then slowly dispensed as your dog plays with it. You fill the center with food and adjust the difficulty level to give your dog the amount of stimulation you want/he needs. It is both mentally and physically challenging as your dog tries to figure out how to get at the treats inside. This is certainly a better feeding experience than pouring kibble into a bowl and watching your dog vacuum it right up in seconds.
Exercise your dog's mind with the Buster Dog Maze toy. This puzzle toy prolongs meals while stimulating the senses to get your dog motivated to get at those treats. Mentally challenging and loads of fun, the Buster Dog Maze encourages your big dog to use his tongue and paws to move food from the center of the maze toward the end where he can gobble them up. This is a heavy toy that won't be easily flipped over by your big dog, either.
To begin with, this toy is 100% guaranteed against dog damage by the manufacturer -- a nice incentive. Furthermore, it is the perfect way to prolong the life of expensive treats. It can be stuffed with jerky strips, apple slices, nut butters, dental sticks, cheese chunks, and other types of treats, helping to stretch out playtime and keep dogs mentally engaged. When the treats are gone, you can also play fetch with this ingenious toy. Dishwasher safe and it floats, too!
Big plush toys
Your pet might be partial to plush toys, as some big dogs are big cuddlers too. But he might also love to tear the stuffing out of them. Enter the stuffingless dog toy, which is quite popular for big dogs since there's no stuffing to pull out (they tend to last much longer as a result). This allows for a no-mess, no-fuss type of fun for moderate chewers who love to grip something soft between their jaws. This toy comes in a variety of sizes and animal styles, but for your big dog your best bet is to get the 24-inch flying squirrel.
This sweet alligator toy comes in "ginormous," so you know it was made with big dogs in mind. Featuring multiple rows of squeakers in its long, segmented body, this toy is billed as "bubble wrap for dogs," which sounds especially entertaining. (If you've ever found yourself obsessed with bubble wrap, then you can understand why). Dogs of all sizes respond to toys that make noise, so this is a particularly good choice as it will keep your big dog entertained and delighted for a long time. Its long body is also ideal for playing tug-o-war. Warning: The noise level might become a little too much at some point.