It's easy to get lost when you're looking for the best dog training toys for your pup. Products that are designed to be dog training toys can be extremely useful when you're teaching your dog obedience or new skills. They're also great when you're helping a puppy adjust to their new home! Having a range of training toys that are different types will give your dog the stimulation that they so crave. This guide is sure to contain your dog's favorite toy for the future.
A Quick Overview of the 12 Best Dog Training Toys
1 Best Chew Toy for Training: Monster K9 Dog Toys – Ultra Durable ChewRing
- Engineered to be as indestructible as possible
- Tested by large dogs and aggressive chewers
- Lifetime replacement guarantee
Labeled as virtually indestructible by Monster K9 Dog Toys, this strong rubber ring is a perfect example of the better chew toys available worldwide. If you happen to be housing a dog that has a particularly strong bite and a tendency to ruin every chew toy you’ve ever purchased for them, Monster K9’s Ultra Durable ChewRing could be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s an industrial-strength rubber chew toy, tested and approved by thousands of dogs across the world. It’s also 100% non-toxic and isn’t made of any hard synthetic materials. Your dog will be able to sink their teeth into this toy without you worrying about replacing it the very next day. As if it couldn’t get any better, there’s also a lifetime replacement guarantee on this item, just in case your dog does manage to bite through it. Reviews from dog owners have shown that it takes a heavy dog and a lot of power to manage such a feat!
- Made of a natural rubber compound
- No hard plastic materials
- Great for energetic dogs
- Not 100% chew-proof
- Boring design
2 Best Treat Dispensing Training Toy: KONG Classic Dog Toy
- Three sizes available
- Provides mental stimulation
- Prevents digging and barking
- Perfect for use as teething puppy toys
While this is the classic KONG Natural Rubber Dog Toy, KONG also offers three other types of this same toy, each being effective for the different needs that your dog may have. For example, the classic rubber toy is for average toy chewers, but there’s also a toy for dogs in their senior years that has a bit more give so that your older dogs won’t hurt their teeth. The KONG rubber toy made our list of the best dog toys available because it has so many ways to benefit your pup. From providing interactive dog toys that your canine friend can chew on to giving you a treat-dispensing toy that you can leave for your dog while you aren’t at home, KONG has provided a toy that meets a range of needs. Keep your dog entertained, have your dog’s favorite treat at the ready, or just let your dog chew away at this rubber toy.
Check out our article to get some ideas on what to put in a Kong.
- Helps with weight management
- Great for crate training
- Good boredom-breaker
- Hard to clean out
- Small size is extremely small
3 Best Plush Toy for Training: Sedioso Dog Plush Toy
- Great as a multi-use dog toy
- Keep your dog busy
- Made from cotton to protect your dog’s gums
- Built-in squeaker
Though we like the orange fox version of this toy the most, Sedioso also offers their plush toy as a very American eagle and a unique brown hippo that has a unicorn horn. The toy has twisted ropes attached to act as “legs”, which turns it into a great tug toy, and even makes it great for playing fetch with your pup. Dogs love toys that can be used for multiple activities, and there’s no better way to keep your dog busy than to offer them a toy that is soft, squeaky, and can be chewed. We’d caution against anyone wanting to play tug of war with this toy, though, as several reviewers have written about the fragile connection between the rope legs and the body of the toy. Because of this, dog owners may wish to simply treat this as a fun fetch toy that their gentler dogs can carry around with them. Senior dogs, especially, would enjoy something like this.
- Helps with dental health
- Great for all dog breeds
- Won’t hurt your dog’s mouth
- Legs are easy to tear off
- Not suitable for dogs who are aggressive with their toys
4 Best Tug Training Toy: GoughNuts Tug Dog Toy
- Floats like an ice cube
- Designed for dogs between 30 and 70 pounds (another version is available for larger dogs)
- Double ring design will keep human hands away from a dog’s mouth
- Play tug of war with your furry friend
Goughnuts are aware that they can’t make a truly indestructible toy for dogs, even though that would be every dog’s dream. Despite this, they’ve given in their best shot with their Dog Pull Toy, which is designed for aggressive power chews, such as Pit Bulls and German Shepherds. If your dog enjoys a rough game of tug of war or chewing on their standard dog toys until they inevitably fall apart, this dog toy from Goughnuts could be the perfect solution to keep your dog’s attention.
- Lifetime guarantee
- Perfect for aggressive chewers
- Extremely durable
- Weight limit for each toy size
- Heavy toy
- Durable nylon cord
- Comes with a replacement plush toy
- Easy to replace wand toys
- Mimics natural prey
More similar to a cat toy than anything you might be used to seeing for dogs, this chaser toy provides mental stimulation for both puppies and adult dogs. Considering how easy it is for cats to break toys like this, we would hazard a guess and say that this toy isn’t likely to last very long with rambunctious dogs or dogs who tend to bite and chew everything. However, this toy isn’t an expensive one, and the cord is made from durable nylon. As long as you don’t immediately let your dog get hold of the end and start chewing away at it, they should be able to enjoy this chaser toy in any of their agility training sessions or during playtime. It’ll also be safe to let your children use this toy to play with your dog because the wand will help put them at a good distance from your dog’s mouth and claws.
- A great first toy for puppies
- Replacement toys available
- Not suitable for extreme chewers
- Should be used with supervision
6 Best Fetch Training Toy: Chuckit! Ultra Ball
- Rubber ball with a textured surface
- Thick rubber core
- Compatible with the Chuckit! ball launcher
- Various sizes available
Most dogs love having a ball thrown across a wide, open space. Not only is it great exercise, but many dogs will play fetch with their owners in order to bond with them. The Ultra Ball from Chuckit! understands what your dog likes and gives you an inexpensive way to interact with your fluffy pal. A bright ball like this won’t blend into your garden, either, so you’ll be able to find it if your dog can’t or if they decide to leave it somewhere when they get bored. To make this product even more enticing, it’s designed in a way that enables it to bounce with great force.
- Lightweight ball
- Suitable for dogs and cats
- Fine for aggressive chewers
- Thick core makes the product heavier
- The seal isn’t very secure
7 Chew Toy Runner-Up: Benebone Bacon Flavor Wishbone Dog Chew Toy
- Wishbone shape makes it easy for dogs to play with
- Made of plastic
- Real bacon flavor
- Made in the USA
For dogs of small and large sizes, this is the second toy on our list of dog toy favorites that we’re showcasing as a great chew toy. Benebone has designed this wishbone-shaped dog chew toy that comes in the taste of your pup’s favorite snacks – provided they like the taste of bacon or chicken! It’s best to allow your dog to play with this product under supervision because they may mistake it for one of their treats and try to chew pieces of it off. Reviewers have warned other buyers about the product being made of a very hard material, so we wouldn’t recommend it for dogs who are known for chewing up their toys.
Check out our full review of the Benebone Bacon Flavor Wishbone Dog Chew Toy
- Benebone provides a guide on when to replace your toy
- Durable product
- Tastes like real bacon
- Not long-lasting
- Should be replaced monthly
8 Treat Dispensing Toy Runner-Up: Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Treat Tumble Puzzle Game
- Fill with your dog’s favorite treats
- A great boredom breaker for your pet
- Clean with warm water, not dishwasher safe
- Slowly releases treats during play
Our treat-dispensing runner-up is this fun ball-shaped toy from Outward Hound. This is a dog treat puzzle toy with a decent difficulty level, which should keep your dog busy for a good amount of time. There are four different difficulty level choices, though we’re highlighting the easy option for the purposes of this guide. When your pup isn’t used to things like puzzle balls, it’s best to start with basic puppy training toys and easy boredom breakers like this before buying anything more complex. This “Treat Tumble”, as it’s known by Outward Hound, is an indoor toy that is suitable for all breed sizes and great for beginners. It may seem like a simple product, but it’s great for mental stimulation and introducing rewards into your usual set of training toys for dogs.
- Great for solo or group play
- Provides mental stimulation
- Free from unnecessary chemicals
- Not chew-proof
- Should be used with supervision
9 Plush Toy Runner-Up: ZippyPaws Burrow Squeaky Hide & Seek Plush Dog Toy
- The chipmunks are squeaky toys
- Could be used as a dog trainer toy
- A plush, puzzle, and squeaky toy all in one
- Allows for both you and your dog to play together
If you’re looking for toys for working dogs to learn some of the tricks of their trade or just want a cute plush toy for your pup to use so that they can hone their instincts, this is certainly the toy for you. Created by ZippyPaws, this plush woodland product is designed to allow your pet to seek any of the three chipmunks from inside the log. It’s an extra-large size toy, suitable for dogs that are small to medium in size. We wouldn’t recommend this as an interactive toy for a larger breed of dog because they might get stuck trying to put their head in the log’s opening. That’s not to say that larger dogs won’t enjoy using it as a toy to cuddle with, which has happened in some cases, according to the reviews.
- Great fun for smaller dogs
- Space for hidden treats
- Promotes hunting instincts
- Not for chewing
- Unsuitable for large breeds
10 Tug Toy Runner-Up: KONG Tug Dog Toy
- Comfortable grips on both sides of the product
- Simple design
- Made of natural rubber
Targeted towards dogs of medium breed sizes, this tug of war toy from KONG is a simple, yet effective design. The natural rubber stretches and recoils in your hands, without the possibility of the product snapping back on you and causing injury. It’s not like a rubber band, it just gives a light enough stretch to make your dog feel like the game is getting more intense. There are comfortable grips on either side of the toy, giving you and your pup somewhere to hold that won’t hurt your hands or their mouth. This could be a great toy for dog trainers to use during a break in a training session or for dog owners who want to have more toys to play with their dogs at home.
- Has more give than standard tug toys
- Available in other sizes
- Creates a more interactive game of tug
- Not very durable
- Heavier than other tug toys
- Activate your pet’s prey drive
- Provides endless entertainment for your dog
- One of the best puppy toys
- Suitable for weaker chewers
A “flirt pole” is also known as a teaser toy. You’ll recognize them more as a cat toy, but they’re also great for dogs who want to have fun chasing something. The best thing about this type of toy is that you can get your pet to chase it around and run after it while barely moving yourself. The type of toy on the end of the pole is great for chewing, but the connection between the toy and the pole isn’t very strong. Because of this, it may be best to limit the use of this toy to puppy play or use with smaller dog breeds. After all, once an untrained dog gets their teeth into something that you’re holding, it’s likely that they’ll start pulling until you let go.
- Good length pole
- Great tool for exercise, play, and training
- Put a stop to boredom
- Weak connections
- Expensive for what it is
12 Fetch Toy Runner-Up: KONG Wubba Dog Toy
- Added squeaker to keep your dog interested
- Available in three colors
- Creates a more interactive game of fetch
- Can also be used to play tug
Though we’ve linked to the large version of KONG’s Wubba Fetch Toy here, there’s also a small option that would be more suitable for puppies and smaller breeds of dog. Take your game of fetch to the next level by replacing the standard ball that you throw with this product. KONG has designed a ball that is covered in durable ballistic nylon, which adds more longevity to the product and gives you and your dog more ways to hold the ball. This fetch toy is not meant to be chewed on, only used for games of fetch and light games of tug of war.
- Covered with durable nylon
- Excellent dog trainer aid
- Great squeaky toys
- Not for chewing
- Won’t stand up to heavy games of tug
Best Dog Training Toys: Buying Guide
How to Choose the Best Dog Training Toy
Figuring out which are the best dog toys can be difficult, especially for new dog owners who are faced with the thousands of dog training toys on the market. You can find dog toys everywhere from supermarkets to pet stores, and there’s an abundance of them on online marketplaces like Amazon. The great thing about buying your dog toys online is that you can look at the reviews from other dog owners who have purchased and used the same dog toys. The downside is that you can’t look at or handle the toys in advance, so you’re relying on the words of strangers and a few product images.
To choose the best dog training toy for your canine friend, there are some questions you should ask yourself before making a purchase:
- Is the toy an appropriate size for your dog?
- Is the toy suitable for the type of training you want to do with your dog?
- Is the product within your price range?
- What are other reviewers saying about it?
- Is the item easy to clean?
When buying anything for your dog, you should always question how safe that product is and whether your dog will enjoy it. Also consider the needs of your dog if they’re hearing or visually impaired.
How to Use Toys as Rewards in Dog Training
There are a few examples of rewarding dog toys in this guide, such as treat-dispensing toys, plush toys, and puzzle toys. The best dog toys that you will use during dog training will help you reward your pet after they’ve worked for a treat. There are two main ways you can do this.
- Use a toy that allows you to hide treats inside it.
- Use treats as a reward after your dog does something positive.
You can also use a combination of these two techniques to ensure that your dog is focused and happy during their training. Positive reinforcement, such as giving your dog treats or petting them, is the best way to train your dog. Dogs react best to training when they are being reinforced positively. They won’t work hard if they see you giving them negative reactions.
If you’re worried about giving your dog too many treats during training, you can also fill their toys with their favorite kibble, instead.
Benefits of Using Toys in Dog Training
Using play as a reward can be extremely beneficial for your dog. It’s a fair bit healthier than giving them treats or extra food all the time, too, and it works just as well as treat rewards. By using toys in dog training, you can cut out the extra calories, help your dog be more active, and promote socialization.
By including playtime during dog training sessions, you give your dog a fun activity to focus on. This helps them relax, let off some steam, and bond better with you. If you’re just working your dog all the time, they’re eventually going to get frustrated. Having a few breaks to let your dog interact with you and play is great, and your dog will see that playtime as a reward for good behavior during their training. Remember to use lots of vocalizations about them being a good dog so that they understand what’s happening and why.
What to Look for When Choosing a Dog Training Toy
As well as the questions to ask yourself that we listed earlier in this section, you should consider each dog toy carefully to ensure that you’re buying the right one.
There’s no point buying a heavy tug of war toy if you want to teach your dog to play fetch, for example. Look at the weight of the toys you’re buying and try to compare them to something that you already have at home.
The same premise can be used when you’re buying toys for any kind of training. Always think about why you’re buying the toy and the other uses that it may have before you complete your purchase.
And remember: Just because a toy is marketed to be chew-proof or indestructible doesn’t mean it is. All toys need to be replaced eventually. Take your dog’s habits and chewing behaviors into account.
Different Types of Training Toys
There are considered to be four types of dog training toys that actually assist with training. When searching for the best dog toys to use in your pup’s training sessions, you may consider any of these types:
Chew toys are fairly self-explanatory, but there’s a reason why dogs love to chew on things. Chewing releases endorphins for dogs, which makes them feel calmer. This, in turn, gives you a happier pup. Chew toys also help you avoid any mishaps like your canine friend chewing up your furniture or pillows.
Using chew toys during training will help your dog recognize what is and isn’t okay to chew.
The great thing about including dental toys in your dog’s training regimen is that you can help them clean their teeth without adding calories to their diet by using the food version of a dental toy – such as chewable dental sticks.
Dental toys will have ridges or some kind of texture so that they can clean the plaque off of your dog’s teeth during a chewing session. They also massage your dog’s gums and promote better blood flow to their mouth.
Interactive toys include treat dispenser toys because the majority of treat dispensers are some kind of puzzle toy. When you have a toy that your dog can interact with and play with, you’re not just providing something fun for them to do, you’re also providing mental stimulation. Mental stimulation is an important part of any dog’s daily life, whether they’re training or just playing at home.
Examples of interactive toys would be treat-dispensing balls, plush toys with hiding parts, and puzzle feeders.
Then, there are plush toys. These are stuffed toys that sometimes have a squeaker that will help keep your dog’s attention on the toy. They’re great for games of fetch and can also be used to train other hunting skills in dogs. Not every dog owner will want to train their up’s hunting skills, but consider that they are a part of your dog’s natural instincts, and you can also use the toys to train your pet in the “leave it” command.