Playing tug of war with your dog is so rewarding, for both dog and owner. There are so many benefits of tug of war for your dog, making it mentally and physically stimulating. With lots of great tug of war dog toys on the market, you can find something that suits you and your furbaby.
The Best Tug of War Dog Toys
More Detailed Tug of War Dog Toy Reviews
Bones & Chews Tug Rope Dog Toy review
- Best 2 in 1 tug toy
- Bones and rope combined
- Great for healthy teeth and gums
The Bones & Chews Tug Rope Dog Toy is one of the best dog tug toys available, combining both a chew toy and a tug of war toy in one. The rope comes in a variety of fun colors with knots on each end which I found made it easy to grip for both dog and owner. The bones are slow-roasted, minimizing splintering and ensuring they are extra tasty for your pampered pooch.
Both the toy’s bone and rope aspects provide an excellent opportunity to support your dog’s gum and tooth health. This toy is suitable for a range of adult breed sizes, and I feel it is a great mid-range cost option.
- Great for both tug of war and as a chew toy, making it great value for money
- Easy to grip ends for dog and owner help the game to last longer, making it more fun
- Long-lasting for most average chewers, especially when supervised during playtime
- Many owners stated that the combination of bones and rope kept their dogs attention for longer
- Helpful when redirecting destructive chewing, particularly during training
- Not suitable for power chewers, as they will chew the toy up easily which can be a safety hazard
- The bone aspect of this toy means that dogs need to be supervised at all times during play, which some owners felt was frustrating
- Some found that their small dogs found the toy too heavy and awkward to carry around and play with
- Rope section is weaker and more prone to destruction than the bone ends, which some owners found ended playtime quickly
Frisco Plush Squeaking Monkey Dog Tug Toy review
- Best budget option
- Low price and great features
- Soft toy and ropes combined
The Frisco Plush Squeaking Monkey Dog Tug Toy is a great option for pups who enjoy a good old squeaker in their toys, as well as playing tug of war. If your dog likes a soft toy, the cuddly monkey is a fun addition. This toy is great for small and medium breeds, with ropes that run throughout the monkey and loop at each end for added tug of war fun.
This toy helps keep your dog active and their mind stimulated, as well as providing a chewing opportunity to keep their teeth healthy. My dogs loved this toy and I’d recommend this as a great budget option.
- Some said the toy was far more durable and strong than they expected, standing up to tough chewers during supervised play
- Many said the toy was great for tug of war games between 2 dogs, or dog and owner
- Some owners said this was their dog’s favourite toy for both playtime and snuggling
- Some said the toy is 3 toys in 1, great for fetch, tug of war, and snuggling, making it great value
- Many said this toy was great for their puppies, being soft yet strong enough for rough puppy play
- Some owners stated that their aggressive chewer had destroyed the toy quickly
- Some said the construction of the toy wasn’t as sturdy as they would have expected
- Monkey is weaker than the ropes and therefore, more prone to breakage
Mammoth Knot Dog Tug Toy review
- Best tug toy for all breeds
- Choice of sizes
- Great for healthy teeth and gums
The Mammoth Knot Dog Tug Toy is one of the best dog tug toys for all sizes and breeds. There are various size options to choose from so you can find the right size for your dog. With rope fibres that clean and floss your dog’s teeth as they play, this toy is fantastic for healthy teeth and gums. It’s even suitable for teething puppies!
With plenty of knots along the rope, the toy is easy to grip, allowing for that perfect tug of war game. I found my spaniel loved chewing at the knots which kept her entertained, as well as playing tug with us. Pricing varies depending on your dog’s size, but I feel this is a reasonably priced toy.
- Owners said the toy was great for both tug of war and chewing, with some mentioning they felt it helped clean their dog’s teeth
- Some said the toy was more durable than they had expected, which they felt was great value
- Some owners stated that this was the best rope toy they had found and would buy replacements
- Helpful to redirect destructive chewing during the puppy teething stage
- Wide size range means all breeds can find a toy that is suitable for them, which big breed owners found very pleasing
- Not suitable for tough chewers, as owners stated their aggressive chewer was able to shred the rope quickly when left unsupervised
- Some said the rope didn’t last as long as they had hoped, which they found disappointing
- Some stated they needed to supervise their dog at all times to ensure they didn’t ingest any of the rope fibres
Frisco 5 Knots Dog Tug Rope Toy review
- Best tug toy for big dogs
- Large, colorful rope
- Multiple big knots
The Frisco 5 Knots Dog Tug Rope Toy is one of the best tug of war dog toys for larger breeds. Its large size and multiple knots make it tougher and easy to grip for bigger dogs (and their owners, of course). The toy is excellent for both indoor and outdoor play, as well as superb for chewing to keep those precious teeth clean.
This is a fantastic mid-range price option for large breed dogs.
- Owners said they would recommend this rope for big dogs or heavy chewers, given its size and strength
- Some stated the rope is excellent value for money
- Long-lasting and durable, even for tough chewers and big dogs who enjoy rough play
- Owners said it was great for both tug of war and as a chew toy
- Some owners said they were very pleased with the size of this rope when compared with others they had tried for their big dogs
- Some felt it was too heavy and strong for their dog to play with properly
- Some power chewers were able to shred the rope during rough play, which owners found disappointing
- Some felt the description was not clear enough given how big this rope is
Chuckit! Tough Tug Dog Toy review
- Best option for energetic dogs
- 2 bouncy balls for extra fun
- Easy-grip handle for owners
The Chuckit! Tough Tug Dog Toy is a fantastic option for dogs who love energetic, rambunctious play. It’s great for games of tug, catch, and fetch with a durable, bouncy ball on each end of a sturdy nylon handle. Rubber edges ensure that the toy is soft on your dog’s mouth during playtime.
The bright orange and blue colors mean it’s easy to find, even outdoors and at night. There are two size options for this toy, suitable for small and medium dogs. I found that this toy is fantastic for allowing 2 dogs to play tug together, giving them a ball each to hold onto (and preventing jealousy).
This toy is slightly more pricey than other options, but in my opinion, is well worth the money. As an added bonus, this toy is compatible with the Chuckit! Launcher range.
- Balls create a way for dogs to easily grip the toy, making them more comfortable and happy during play
- Some owners said the toy was tougher than they expected and lasted a long time with supervised play
- Owners stated the toy is great for both fetch and tug of war, which they felt was good value
- Some said their super active dog really enjoyed this toy and it kept them entertained for long periods
- Some felt it was more chew-resistant than other similar toys
- The connecting band is weaker than the 2 balls, creating a weak spot prone to breakage
- Not suitable for power chewers, as the toy can be easily be destroyed by strong mouths
- Some owners felt that during very rough play between 2 big dogs, the toy was too hard on their mouths
The Cheapest Prices Found Today
Things to Look for in a Tug of War Toy for Dogs
There are a few things you should look for when choosing the right dog tug toy:
Choosing a toy with high-quality materials reduces the chances of the toy fraying or breaking during playtime, allowing you to focus on having fun with your dog. Good quality materials will also provide comfort for both you and your dog.
Easy to Grip Shape For Your Dog
Your chosen toy should have something your dog can bite down onto easily. This might be a knot on a rope or a rubber handle, for example.
Something For You to Grip
You need to be comfortable during play too, so aim to find a toy that has something for you to grip easily. A good tug of war toy will have easy-grip options on both ends of the toy.
Choose a Tug Toy That’s Suitable For Your Dog’s Size
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and so do their toys! It’s crucial you find a toy that is right for your dog’s size to make sure they are comfortable and safe while playing.
Easy to Clean
Dogs can get a new toy dirty within moments, so it’s a good idea to pick a toy that’s easy to clean for your own benefit. A toy that can be popped in the washing machine or wiped down is useful.
Tug Toy Safety Advice
Even the toughest dog toys are not indestructible, which means it’s important to supervise your pet when they’re playing. If any parts break off the toy, it can be a choking hazard or even cause an internal blockage, so if a toy breaks, you should take it away from your dog.
Ensure you have plenty of room before playing tug. Depending on your dog’s size and strength, you should adjust how hard you pull during the game, so you don’t damage their teeth. You should also ensure the material of the toy isn’t too hard or sharp. Monitor your dog’s behaviors throughout the game to ensure they’re behaving appropriately.
What Are The Benefits of Playing Tug of War With Your Dog?
There are so many benefits of playing tug of war with your dog. These include:
- Physical exercise: it’s a great way to help your dog burn some energy!
- Mental stimulation: the best type of play engages your dog’s brain as well as their body.
- Building confidence: playing interactive games increases a dog’s confidence, especially as they’re growing up and learning about the world around them. Letting your dog win can help with this.
- Strengthening your bond: dogs are social creatures and value play with their owners. Playing tug of war with your dog can strengthen the bond between you.
- Positive reinforcement: you can use tug games to reinforce positive behavior by using the game as a reward and using playtime to practice basic commands like ‘leave it’.
- Redirecting chewing: when dogs are bored, their chewing habits can become destructive. Providing them with a toy they can chew can redirect that urge.
- Good exercise for you: it’s not just your dog who gets exercise during tug of war; you do too.
- It’s fun: playing tug of war is fun for both you and your dog.
Why Dogs Love Playing Tug of War
You might be wondering why your dog loves playing tug of war with you so much. Well to a dog, their owner is their world, so your dog will love spending any quality time with you. Most dogs also love playtime as an outlet for their energy.
Research suggests that when two dogs play tug, they are building trust between them, so perhaps our dogs play tug with us to build trust. The tugging motion mimics the behaviors your dog’s ancestors would have used during hunting. Other evidence suggests that dogs have evolved to play tug with their owners to replace the biting behaviors they would use when playing with other dogs.
Dog Tug Toy FAQ
How should your dog play with a tug toy?
Your dog should have a firm grip on a good quality tug toy, ideally on the other end or middle of the toy, so their teeth are far away from your hands. They should exhibit playful behaviors throughout. Your dog should drop the toy anytime you ask them to during the game.
Keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior throughout the game. If your dog becomes over-stimulated, too intense, or their teeth make contact with your hand, take a break from the game and play again later. It’s important to note here that there is plenty of evidence to show that playing tug of war with your dog doesn’t lead to aggressive tendencies and is perfectly safe as long as you set boundaries.
Playing tug of war with your dog can be a great bonding experience, providing hours of entertainment for you both! There are so many benefits, so if you haven’t tried it yet, I would recommend giving it a go. Choosing the best dog tug toy for your dog and setting clear boundaries keeps the game safe and fun for all.
Anna Burke, (2018), “Dog Myths Debunked: Can Playing Tug-Of-War Lead to Aggression in Dogs?” American Kennel Club.
Patty Oelze, (2018), “Why Dogs Like Tug Of War”. Wag.