Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Rye the Destroyer's Favorite Toys

Early in my relationship with Rye, I mentioned that her favorite activity is destroying things. Some days, it feels like she can just look at something and it explodes whether she's touched it or not. It was getting exhausting and expensive. Even if only bought the toys that were on clearance and spent less than $2 on a toy, they were destroyed in less than a minute when I gave them to her.

I was spending far more time picking up fluff than she was spending playing--and I had built an entire mountain of toys that needed to be mended on the top of my bookshelf because she'd destroy them faster than I could stitch them up, so I'd just pile them above her head and then spend an entire evening mending toys so she wasn't swallowing a bunch of stuffing. Walking by the shelf was getting precarious--and Rye eventually started trying to climb the shelves to get to the toys.

I knew we had to do something--she loves to play and I couldn't keep spending money on things that didn't last a full minute. And, we were going to have a landslide if I kept adding to our mountain.

After months of searching, we've finally found a few toys that meet our needs and since we know we're not alone in this struggle, we wanted to share them with all of you.

The Destroyers Club from BarkShop
We quit getting BarkBoxes a few years ago after we ended up with lots of toys that Barley didn't destroy and more treats than she could eat in a month. When we saw that BarkShop had a Destroyer's Club, it seemed worth trying out. Their website didn't have a lot of information about how the program worked, but the instructions were to buy toys, destroy them, share a picture on social media (or through email), and earn credits towards your next purchase.

Even after our purchases, I'm still not entirely clear on how they determine how many credits you earn--most of the time, we earn $4 per destroyed toy, but we've earned $8 for some and $2 for others. Overall this year, we've earned $76 of destroyers credits, though. Credits are only good for a month, so each month I place a new order--you get free shipping for orders of $35 or more, so usually I shoot for about $35 worth of toys, and once our credits are subtracted, I spend about $15 a month on toys that Rye loves and we earn more credits to order more toys the next month. They have lots of toy bundles, so we usually end up with 5 or 6 toys per order and if I ration them out for Rye, they last us up until the next order. You can use (and earn) the credits for any toys in the Barkshop, so you're not limited to the ones labeled Destroyer's Club--I emailed to make sure when Rye destroyed a toy we'd gotten during one of their sales and they emphasized they like to see any and all destruction and I earned credits for it as well. Also, some toys are stuffed with a spiky squeaky ball instead of a squeaker, so once the outer toy is shredded, there's still a toy to play with!

Bullymake Boxes
I'd seen the Bullymake boxes advertised on Facebook and I was curious about them, so for Rye's first birthday, I got her a 3-month subscription since they had $10 off codes for 3+ month subscriptions. We've gotten two boxes so far--we opted for the toy only option, which gives you 4 toys and no treats. So far, Rye has been interested in 2 of the 4 toys in each box and has completely ignored the other two in each box. Her very favorite has been a Jolly Pets toy that is a squirrel attached to a rope.

In our second box, we got a Jolly Pets Flathead toy that she loved--and promptly destroyed. She had a lot of fun pulling the crinkly material out of the toy's hands and legs and then gnawing its spiky hair off, but I was a little bummed that the toy didn't even last 10 minutes in her paws; however, Bullymake guarantees all of their toys for 14 days after delivery, so we requested a replacement toy, which is a JW ball with feet (and it's huge!) and Rye always loves those. We didn't find out until after we'd requested the toy that they will only do one replacement shipment per box, so it might have been better to wait a few days to see if the other toys held up before putting in our request, but her other favorite toy--a ball with weird nubs--has held up fine and she has hardly touched the other two toys. I'm not sure we'll continue our subscription when our 3 months are up, but the box has definitely given us a few toys that are well loved and durable.

Barley got a Benebone in a BarkBox years ago. She chewed on it a couple times--not even enough to leave a mark on it--and it sat in her toy bin until Rye arrived. Rye went to town on it and they are the only kind of non-treat chew she'll use now.

Once Barley realized Rye liked them, she decided she wanted to chew them, too, and she started growling at Rye any time Rye picked one up, so I always have to order two at a time now. While other people's dogs seem to make these last a long time, Rye gnaws the end of hers into a shiv in a week or less (I'm convinced she's watching Orange is the New Black while I'm at work). They're worth the cost, though, because they'll keep Rye busy for at least an hour once she gets to chewing--and every hour I can get her to be still is priceless.

GoDog RhinoPlay
These toys were an impulse purchase. I had a cash back deal for using my credit card at Pet Supplies Plus and they had a big display of these at the front door when we walked in. The display advertised lightweight toys made out of durable material. They honestly felt like thick styrofoam and I was sure Rye would have chunks out of them in a minute, but I put a couple different varieties in our basket and hoped for the best. 

We've had them for over a month and they're still going strong. Rye's favorite is the Flip, which is a curved disc (that reminds me of a Pringle chip). She can carry it easily and toss it in the air herself to catch; she pushes it around on the ground with her nose. She likes the Cicrq, too, which is a round thing with a square hole in the middle and a channel on one side to make it easy to hold in her mouth and easy to get a grip on if you want to tug. That one is fun to throw because it will roll on it's side for quite a ways, so she really has to work when she's chasing it. There are some teeth marks in the toys, but they haven't been punctured yet. She loved the Flip so much I ordered a couple more on Amazon for when the original one died, but they're still in the closet waiting for that to happen.

WestPaw Design Toys
On the same day I got the GoDog RhinoPlay toys, I got a WestPaw tizzi for Rye. The tizzi was far more expensive than toys I'd normally buy, but I had that cash back deal, so I went for it. I knew several of our blog friends loved WestPaw toys, but Barley normally won't touch toys that aren't stuffed, so I had never even considered getting one for her even though I'd seen them at the store many times. Rye seems less particular about what she plays with, so I decided to give the tizzi a shot--and I'm so glad I did. The tizzi is her favorite toy. She knows it by name--when she's being obnoxious, I tell her to go get her tizzi and she comes running back with it in her mouth. She'll take it up the stairs and chew on it at the top and then chase it down the stairs when it slips. She loves bringing it to me to toss. 

Shortly after getting the tizzi, WestPaw's Instagram advertised a 50% off everything Spring Cleaning Sale, so I went crazy and got several new toys--including 2 small and 2 large Toppls to make challenging puzzle toys for both dogs and 2 tuxes to fill with peanut butter for both dogs.

A tux filled with frozen yogurt is a great spring treat!

The tizzi is still Rye's favorite--and she learned how to take the toppl apart in about 30 seconds, so that hasn't been an effective puzzle toy for her (although Barley is more patient and loves working to get treats out of it without ripping it apart). 

It's taken a while, but I finally feel like I have a good arsenal of toys to keep Rye entertained. I'm still holding out hope that one day she'll learn to be gentle with stuffed toys because I love a good cute stuffed toy--but she's caught on to leaving Barley's bin of sheep alone (most of the time) and she's having a blast with her own toys in the meantime. What are your dogs favorite toys? Have you found any indestructible toys? 

Disclaimer: We purchased all of these toys ourselves and were not compensated in any way for these reviews--nor are any of the links affiliate links--we just wanted to help other destructive pups find their new favorite toys by sharing our experiences! 


  1. Bailie has destroyed a few toys, but she prefers to rip apart beds. Not sure how to stop a dog from shredding toys.

    1. Rye tries to go for beds when she gets extra tired (she's like a toddler and gets naughtier the more tired she gets) and she'll lay down on the bed and then decide to start pouncing it instead. As long as I keep the toys she isn't allowed to shred in Barley's bin, Rye's pretty good at leaving them alone now, so I'm just trying to be as clear as possible about which toys she's allowed to have.

  2. Those all sound like great toys. We stick to the tried and true black kongs. Those are about the only things the dogs cannot destroy. When Freighter was young and needed to chew, we went with antlers. Again, the only thing that he would not destroy in 5 minutes.

    1. Barley loves her Kong--it's the first thing she learned by name--but only if it's stuffed with something tasty. Rye seems to be the same way. Neither one wants anything to do with it if it's empty. I always get such a kick out of the pictures of your dogs actually playing with their kongs!

  3. There's a lot we hadn't heard of here, so we might have to give some of them a try!
    Our West Paw Tizzi didn't survive Sheba but I might be able to try one with Luke again. He can be really fussy about toys at times, and I just never know what he and Cricket will go for.
    That Destroyers Club is a good idea - someone was really thinking!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    1. I don't know how our Tizzi has survived! Rye gnaws on it pretty hard between tosses and it still doesn't have any sign of wear and tear. I've been so impressed with it because I was sure she'd have those legs off in no time.

  4. What beautiful dogs! This sounds like a great way to keep dogs from destroying your furniture. Visit barkshop destroyers club