December 13, 2004 9:07 PM   Subscribe

"LAB-TESTED: Just which toys, bowls, crates, etc. can stand up to the tender attentions of a young and determined Labrador Retreiver?" A Consumer Reports-like website for testing stuff to see how it will stand up to a big dog. My favorite item. What a neat way to write your dog off as a business expense!
posted by Doohickie (22 comments total)
I didn't delve too far into the site. I just read the review of the Humunga Tongue. It's obvious these idiots don't know what they're doing. They gave a non-chew toy to a large dog and were surprised that he chewed it to bits? WTF? Someone call animal control on these fools.

For the record, my dog (a pit bull) also has a humunga tongue and it does indeed say on the packaging (as the manufacturer stated in the comments) that it is NOT a chew toy and isn't meant for unsupervised play.

Anyway, sorry to be so negative. It's of course a great idea to have these things independently tested, but when the dog owners are incapable or unwilling to RTFM, I wouldn't trust their reviews enough to base my purchase decision on it.
posted by dobbs at 9:59 PM on December 13, 2004

I never understood non-chew toys. My dog's playing has always involved chewing. What else are they supposed to do with them?

I think this is a cool site. Thanks Doohickie.
posted by SAC at 10:41 PM on December 13, 2004

I thought it was cute. Made me miss my old doggie *sniff*

And dobbs- a pit bull?
posted by bdave at 10:51 PM on December 13, 2004

my lab is cuter than your lab.
posted by puke & cry at 11:19 PM on December 13, 2004

SAC, non-chew toys are for playing with. Fetch, for instance. Tug of war. Hide and seek. Etc. The Humunga Tongue is good for fetch because it bounces oddly and good for tug because you have a handle and he holds the ball. But when you're not fetching or tugging, you put it away. Same goes for many, many toys (even tennis balls should not be left around for dogs to chew as the fuzz exterior can harm the enamel on the dog's teeth). There's nothing wrong with letting your dog chew things, just make sure they're the right things. Toys that say "NOT A CHEW TOY" on the packaging are not the right things and "reviewing" them as chew toys is ridiculous.

My dog's favorite toy is Planet Dog's incredible Orbee Ball. It knocked out the Fetch & Glow, which was his favorite for over 6 years. If a better dog ball than the Orbee has been invented, I ain't found it yet. But it's not a chew toy and my dog never has unsupervised access to it. (And if you're wondering why it's so great: It's oddly shaped so it bounces unpredictably, it floats, it bounces, it's puncture proof, it whistles when you throw it fast, and it glows in the dark. And it's peppermint scented.)

Bdave, yes, a Pit Bull.
posted by dobbs at 12:06 AM on December 14, 2004

Now, how did you know I had just gotten a lab puppy???(sweeps room for Doohickie bugs)

Anyhow, this'll go in my oft-ref'd list, as I'm learning that my growing (from 19 to 25 lbs in one week) labrador is quite unlike my earlier, fully grown lab.

Ah, there was a dog! We got him when he was about 6 years old, as a free-to-good-home dog from a married couple who were both DEA agents. He travelled all over the world with them ... until they were both sent to far off and lengthy assignments that precluded bringing their dogs.

Well, he turned out to be the best dog I could even imagine. You could, quite literally, give him a command in any language (well, I tried 6, plus hand signals that I simply made up), and he would carry it out *unfailingly*.

He would comfort crying babies, defend strange women on the street, withstand attacks from feral kittens and corner trespassers without harm to any. He was always ready to play, to share a quiet moment, to help out with a task, or to enjoy being petted and loved, and I will be forever grateful that we were able to be there with him when he passed away Christmas before last.

So: contrast that with our new experience of ... puppyness! Specifically, labrador retriever puppyness, which a) lasts for 2 or more years instead of just 1; b) includes an inexhaustible yearning to learn, learn, learn! all those built-in commands we so loved in our older lab; c) brings surprises like our puppy's second day, where we watched in awe as he simply climbed his expen like a little monkey -- height made no difference, he simply hung on the top mewling while we laughingly came to his rescue ... and then traded the pen in the next day for two lattice shaped gates (no "steps") and, finally, d) the incredible teeth of doom. Unlike some other breeds, which are best suited to having their toys rotated, our lab pup seems to be typical in preferring to choose from a constant assortment: his own little toy chest.

We've found this unorthodox item and a huge, squeaky, fluffy (washable) lamb to be most durable and oft-chosen items he plays with, and it's fun to seek out new ones. His shredding skills are pretty darn high, so my wallet will be very thankful for being able to check lab-tested before heading out to shop.

Thanks for the link!
posted by thewhynotgirl at 12:30 AM on December 14, 2004

Yay! I have a lab too...

And that dog, he'll destroy just about anything you put near him... so this site is helpful. I've made the mistake of buying the Air Kong, thinking it would hold up, only to find myself recovering bits of the throw rope when I scooped the poop a few days later.

Now, I'm left with a strange, phallic-shaped tennis ball thingy. The people at the dog park smirk when I show up with that toy...

The best toy we've found so far is the straight up kong toy. It's the only thing that's survived Gus' onslaught... with the exception of a beaver toy, which he's been carrying around with him since the first day we brought him home from his foster family.

It's weird -- he's chewed three of the legs off and both of the ears, but he left the beaver's tail intact. In fact, he's sleeping on the chair next to me, all curled up with his beaver right now. Awwwww.....
posted by ph00dz at 5:25 AM on December 14, 2004

That sweet cute puppy has been named "Starbuck". And I doubt it's in a Battlestar Galacticia sort of way. I agree with calling animal cruelty.

On the other hand, I now know someone who's puppy will be getting a great big tongue for the holidays. So Thanks!
posted by monkey!knife!fight! at 5:29 AM on December 14, 2004

A second vote for the kong toy here. My two Australian Shepherds love em, and you can put stuff inside to drive them extra nuts.
posted by Eekacat at 6:27 AM on December 14, 2004

The site name is cute, but what's weird is that they don't even HAVE a lab.
posted by agregoli at 7:02 AM on December 14, 2004

My Welsh Terrier likes his Kong too. If I put something inside it, that keeps him busy for a while. : )

He actually takes pretty good care of his toys (and he has a ton of them!) and doesn't destroy them. His favorite thing to do with his toys is to run around the house with one in his mouth and have someone chase him around.
posted by SisterHavana at 7:11 AM on December 14, 2004

Actually, they do, but some of the pictures show other breeds. I think those other dogs in the pics may be from the toy manufacturers?
posted by Doohickie at 7:15 AM on December 14, 2004

Sorry, inside one of the descriptions (I read all the front-page entries, but not the about section) they said they DIDN'T have a lab, or so I thought.
posted by agregoli at 7:46 AM on December 14, 2004

I see - I read a guest review.
posted by agregoli at 7:47 AM on December 14, 2004

My "pitrador bulliever" is teh beautiful.
posted by pmbuko at 8:20 AM on December 14, 2004

I didn't delve too far into the site. I just read the review of the Humunga Tongue.

Those bastards -- what will it take to get Americans to finally take the Humunga Tongue seriously?

I for one, sir, am offended.
posted by Mid at 8:29 AM on December 14, 2004

Oh, yeah. Let's play who's got the cute dog. :-)

She liked that sheepshin squeaky-man, but she did manage to surgically remove the squeaker in about an hour. After that, it lasted quite a while. She also loves those tied-rope thingys. Those seem to last a couple of months. All frisbees are toast on day one, so we've pretty much given up on those.

And I second the people who have been asking what kind of play does not involve chewing. Supervision or no supervision, there is no game that Sadie understands that doesn't include chewing on the toy.
posted by rusty at 10:13 AM on December 14, 2004

Best Lab puppy toy EVER: a two liter soda pop bottle, emptied of its contents and with all labels removed, with three or four pennies inside and the top screwed tightly back on. Too big to be bitten, loud enough to keep even the most ADD-challenged Lab pup occupied (assuming you can handle it...) and apparently just the coolest thing since rain puddles... I have used this trick on three Labs over the years, and it always works. I highly recommend it!

thewhynotgirl, do yourself a favor: buy your puppy LOTS and LOTS of toys. Reprimand every time he touches ANYTHING else. Result? No chewed furniture later on. If the pup has tons of his own stuff laying around, they quickly learn to concentrate on that and leave your stuff alone.
posted by JollyWanker at 10:35 AM on December 14, 2004

SisterHavana, the stuffing's coming out of your dog's leg. ;)

pmbuko, cute dog.

My own monkey is here.
posted by dobbs at 10:41 AM on December 14, 2004

i feel that this site fails in one important respect. Their test subject is a lab. Great dogs to be certain, but really, if they are looking for an animal with a true capacity for destruction they need look no further than the australian cattle dog. Part dalmatian, part dingo, all hellspawn.

Mines name is ele. This could be short for Extinction Level Event. It would be an accurate assessment of her personality.

Let's just say i laugh whenever i see a toy marketed as "indestructible"...
posted by quin at 5:08 PM on December 14, 2004

crap. let's try that link again.
posted by quin at 11:49 AM on December 15, 2004

dobbs, actually the toy my dog has in the picture is a plastic squeaky toy, no stuffing. The stuffing you see is from a toy that his cousin Riley, who was visiting that week, destroyed. ; ) (Riley is on the left in that picture.)
posted by SisterHavana at 1:41 PM on December 15, 2004

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