When Pepper turned six months old, we realized she was not at all like our previous Yorkie. We would try to keep her away from the kitchen by holding a small gate in place with two 15-pound weights, but eventually we learned that she could simply carry the weights away. When she was one year old, she was strong enough to grab onto our couches and drag them across the floor by the cushions! We ended up having a lot of mix-matched Ikea furniture. Interior designers wish they had Pepper’s taste!
As a much more calm two-and-a-half-year-old, Pepper has resigned herself to only playing with dog toys and the occasional childhood stuffed animal. But that doesn’t mean her teeth and jaws are any less strong! Here we’ll put a few toys to the test, and see how they fare against the fearsome 65-pound Airedale Terrier known as Pepper.
Let’s start with a classic. It’s got bounce for days, makes us feel like Serena when we throw it in the air, and it comes in packs of 3 making it a more economical choice than many other dog toys. However, now that she understands how to best deconstruct it, Pepper can rip off the green fuzz and open the rubber ball in about 25 minutes; we’ve learned to keep it out of reach when we’re not playing fetch.
Whenever we get home from grocery shopping, Pepper scouts all of the bags to see if we bought her a toy (she takes it and bolts into the other room) Less than an hour passed between bag touchdown and garbage can; the appendages were ripped off one by one, the stuffing was all over the rug, and the squeaker was out in the open. It’s probably best we leave these to the small dogs.
Meet Pepper’s longest lasting toy. She’s had these babies for almost a year, and they have yet to succumb to her jaws. They are solid plastic through and through, meaning they’re quite loud when dropped (which is why “carpet!” has unintentionally become a command). They’re also pretty chewed up, so loose fur from the floor and around her mouth has made permanent residence in the teeth marks of the toy. It says that they’re peanut butter flavored, but don’t worry; they don’t really have a bad smell.
The problem with most plush toys is the cotton that ends up all over the floors, but Skinneeez eliminates that issue with its complete lack of stuffing. Pepper has about three different Skinneeez lying all over the place, and she absolutely loves swinging them around as fast as she can. She does, however, manage to rip them apart after a few games of tug-of-war, which means we often have to throw out fox noses and beaver tails. Once you get over the initial shock of seeing seemingly dead animals splayed out across your floor, you’ll find they are a great addition to the toy box.
Who would have thought this ball would last almost a month? It is somehow just sturdy enough to last under her teeth, but malleable enough to squeak repeatedly without dying out. After teething on it quite a bit, she managed to rip a little bit off the top half, but it still works as normal. She loves running after it and, when tired, she can chew on it in the shade. You can also roll it across the yard like a bowling ball using the hole running down the center. It’s a little on the pricey side, but it’s been worth the money so far.
Fun: 5 stars
Durability: 4 stars
Cost ($10): 2 stars
Overall: 4 stars
Finding a strong and fun dog toy is pretty tough, so we’re always on the lookout for new ones to try. We’re going shopping this weekend, which means more balls and animals for Pepper to tear apart. Which toys do you think she should review next? Let us know in the comments!