Thank you to S. Farrell for inspiring this new post. This is a common issue in
puppy classes & more, so it is a perfect issue to address.
"Any comments about good ( durable ) toys for a dog that loves to chew? We have a new 8 month old golden retriever (from the shelter) and we need to re-direct his chewing energies"
For Chewing issues the first thing I always recommend is a Kong, depending on how destructive his chewing is you may have to get a size larger than would otherwise be recommended. In addition to size, they do offer different "strengths" of rubber, i.e. the black Kongs are the strongest. Kongs are great because you can stuff them with virtually anything! They sell specific Kong Stuff-ins but their website also contains recipes submitted from other users. Whatever you choose to put in it, a great idea is to freeze it, this will not only make it last longer, but the cold will also soothe sore teeth and gums.
Being a golden retriever, I'm guessing he also likes to fetch/play with balls. Kong actually makes solid rubber balls which I have been getting for Rico for years. Well actually I've only have to buy 4 total in probably 4 years. The first one he lost at camp, the 2nd one he actually was able to wear down but it took well over a year before I decided to toss it, and 3 and 4 (one of each size, medium and large) are still 100% in tact and are probably at least 2 years old. The pricing is extremely comparable when you look at how many standard tennis balls it has saved (he does still get those too!)
Nylabones are also a great alternative. Note: some people prefer not to use them, as they are made of a manmade nylon material that isn't meant to be consumed. My personal opinion is that I use them with my own dogs. When MoMo was a puppy she had no interest in Nylabones, so I just disregarded them until a few years ago when I decided to try again. I realized that the original flavor in Nylabones is Ham, so I decided to try other flavors for them. The dogs immediately loved the Bacon flavor, and I've also tried Liver with success. However Bacon is the first flavor I recommend.
I also recommend Paragon Veggie dog chews, they are sold at Mare-Z-Doats. They have several different shapes and sizes to best fit puppies needs. They are 100% edible and great for keeping teeth clean.
(Look for pictures to be added for all of these products. Will add more ideas, as I know they will come to me as soon as I sign off, lol)
I really enjoy this profession. I get such a warm fuzzy feeling when I get to watch people and their dogs grow. Whether it be a mostly trained dog who is working toward perfection, or a dog who started with no skills learning sit or stay for the first time. When you get to see that "lightbulb moment" go off in a dog's head, it's magical. It's incredible the little things that we don't notice we are doing, the slight changes we can make that truly create a the significant difference. I feel so lucky to be given the opportunity to work with all of the great people that I have, and I can't wait to meet many more over the years to come!