Leaning into the life of a dog
February 12, 2018 9:05 PM   Subscribe

"Designing toys is definitely silly and crazy, but we also have a very serious, almost scientific approach to it. Designing dog toys hasn’t really been a category that industrial designers have been trying to break into. It’s been a boring category and we’re aggressively trying to change that."
posted by Johnny Wallflower (23 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Dog: By all means try to tempt me with your Danish stand-up-comedian approved avocado toast chew toy. But remember that I would prefer to find some moist goose shit and roll in it. Or, gnaw on your new shoes. Also: sitting on the sofa and farting is not comedy; it is high art.
posted by rongorongo at 11:22 PM on February 12 [9 favorites]


Avocado toast chew toys? No wonder these millennials can't afford doghouses.
posted by ckape at 11:33 PM on February 12 [19 favorites]


excuse me, mods??? there are only two dogs pictured in this story, can you please restore the rest of them
posted by vogon_poet at 4:09 AM on February 13 [6 favorites]


Dog: By all means try to tempt me with your Danish stand-up-comedian approved avocado toast chew toy. But remember that I would prefer to find some moist goose shit and roll in it. Or, gnaw on your new shoes. Also: sitting on the sofa and farting is not comedy; it is high art.
My dog did all of this within the last 24 hours. Ruined the shoes completely. Also, I have all but given up on toys for him, he destructs them within minutes. I did give him the bone from a leg of lamb this morning.
posted by mumimor at 5:22 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


Even though a monthly subscription for dog treats and toys makes us feel a little like we'll be first against the wall when the revolution comes, the BarkBox's arrival is such an event, and everyone gets so excited about it, dog especially. The puns make us cackle, and the toys are surprisingly well-designed! (Which I guess is the point of the article!) The flail from the medieval-themed box feels like it was made specifically for our dog's need to shake things to death--but things with which she can beat herself in the head while she shakes them. And it keeps us from having to leave the house to buy dog treats, which is a plus!

Now, if we just had somewhere to store all these many, many (many) dog toys....
posted by mittens at 5:24 AM on February 13 [4 favorites]


My expectations for Barkbox were really low, but it has turned out to be great quality, much better than what I see at the big box pet stores. So just anecdotally, I'd say their process is working, and it was interesting to read about what goes into it.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:40 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


One of our problems is that our dog doesn't even like toys all that much (zoomie times only, only specific toys, and he's not a destroyer) but we keep turning barkbox on and off because it is such a joy to receive it. I really dig the clever themes and the thoughtful design and the variety (rope toys! elastic toys! billions of squeakers! crinkly stuff! gigglers! multi-layered toys for destroyers!). Some of the treats look so good I'm tempted to try, too (we won't talk about what happened when I accidentally left the sausage and chips munchables package on a side table during a party.)
posted by mosst at 7:59 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I have also considered sending some of the dog's rejected toys to my kid cousin to enjoy as stuffed animals. Is that wrong?
posted by mosst at 7:59 AM on February 13


The flail from the medieval-themed box feels like it was made specifically for our dog's need to shake things to death--but things with which she can beat herself in the head while she shakes them.

My dog (profile pic, the brown one) LOVES that toy. Runs through the house swinging it to and fro. So much joy.

Our dogs are pretty rough on the toys, but they hold up pretty well. We also built a toybox to store them - and it's hilarious to see the doggos digging in the box looking for a specific toy.

What was hilarious to us is that the Acorn toy that came a couple months ago - it has a seed toy inside of it! That was an unexpected and funny surprise to find that after our GSP tore the acorn apart.

BarkBox has been very good. Also, if you are outdoorsy at all, CairnBox has also been good.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:15 AM on February 13


Now, if we just had somewhere to store all these many, many (many) dog toys....

Some sort of... BarkBox... box?
*intercom* somebody call my venture capitalist!
posted by sysinfo at 8:27 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


My dogs love love love the bark box. Also they've now decided that every box that arrives at the house is actually a bark box, full of potential toys for them. Which leads to disappointed expectations, as well as one near-tragedy with my brand new faux fur trapper hat.
posted by Cocodrillo at 8:38 AM on February 13 [8 favorites]


We were gifted a year of BarkBox for our adopted pup and loved it. Always fun to get some themed toys and things, but dang there are soooo many of them. Our tiny doggo is deservedly spoiled with his mountain of toys and treats. He got particularly attached to one of their toys (a VW hippie bus) and he carries the thing everywhere. Naturally it started to fall apart so we tried our best to find more and they had stopped buying them. One day it popped up that they had an "old classics" sale and it was there. So we bought a case of them.
posted by msbutah at 9:06 AM on February 13 [10 favorites]


Ha, he couldn't sniff out the Real Bus
posted by thelonius at 9:32 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I have also considered sending some of the dog's rejected toys to my kid cousin to enjoy as stuffed animals. Is that wrong?
Shhh. Nobody is supposed to mention that dog toys and baby toys are the same.
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:52 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


My two rescue shepherd mixes didn't play with toys much, except for stuffies which they loved to tear into tiny shreds about six minutes after we brought them home from the store. The male dog would also play by himself - throwing torn-up stuffies and tug ropes into the air and pouncing on them.

Now we have a rescue chiweenie, who is by far the most into toys of any dog we've had. He really does circulate almost everything out of his little toy bin at some point but the clear favorites are his small sized Chuckit! ball, his tiny squeaker stuffie, and a full size tennis ball. Oh, and his puppy teething toy for chewing.

He knows what he likes. All the other toys I buy because I think they're cute end up in the less frequently played-with zone.
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:30 AM on February 13


Shhh. Nobody is supposed to mention that dog toys and baby toys are the same.

I’m at work so won’t link, but “sex toy or dog toy” is a classic.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:25 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Aww man, I had Bark Box for a year and it was so great, but then my dog grew out of dog toys, to my disappointment. He is really playful with other dogs and with people, but he's just really not into toys anymore. It's too bad, though I suppose it's easier on my bank account. Bark Box ain't cheap!
posted by lunasol at 4:24 PM on February 13


BUT the Bark Boxes themselves were amazing when I moved last year. They are very study and were perfect for all those little odds and ends that you never know how to pack.
posted by lunasol at 4:25 PM on February 13


I'm so glad to come into this thread and find other people living on BarkBox as much as I do. I look forward to it every month.
posted by meese at 7:23 PM on February 13


our dog's need to shake things to death--but things with which she can beat herself in the head while she shakes them

Oh, so yours does that too? One of our collie's favourites is an old pair of trainers with the laces tied together... grab one in mouth and shake head vigorously.

I don't think we'll go for BarkBox, though... the house is already overflowing with dog toys, which are played with constantly. Absolute favourites are squeaky toys... anything that makes a noise. Gets a little wearing after the first couple of hours...
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 3:05 AM on February 14


We also get excited about the arrival of the monthly Barkbox. Our dog is part of the Destroyer's Club which he joined after the first box contents got destroyed in 30 seconds. I just emailed them, they sent us a replacement and enrolled us in this which means he gets tougher toys (and points for posting about them on social media). Anyway, their customer service is GREAT, I love dog puns and I just appreciate the level of detail that goes into all of it.
posted by marylynn at 7:38 PM on February 15


Our barkbox update: Coconut got a coconut last night and he refused to play with it because he doesn't see the humor in it at all :(.

Guess that's another point in our "the barkbox is really for the humans" column.
posted by mosst at 6:40 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Hey, marylynn, what types of toys do you get in the Destroyer's Club? Do they still send you fabric toys, or do you just get the plasticy ones?

My dog totally deserves to be in the Destroyer's Club, but I am afraid I won't get any more of the adorable fabric toys.
posted by meese at 11:08 AM on February 16


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