Contents of Article
- What is the Best Dog Toy for a Mastiff?
- Why Do Mastiffs Need Toys?
- Different Types of Dog Toys for Mastiffs
- Best Dog Toys for Mastiffs
- What Makes A Good Mastiff Toy?
- Tips for Playing with Mastiffs
Historically, everyone from Celts to Romans deployed Mastiffs during war to fight the enemy. They also found their way into bloodsports of the Roman coliseums where they teased or fought lions, tigers, and bears—oh my.
In modern times, Mastiffs have no more bears to fight—at least not for the masses’ entertainment, anyway. But they have kept that same energy. Keeping a Mastiff happy and healthy requires a way to channel that energy.
In this article, we’ve outlined nine of the best dog toys to handle the chewing, pouncing, and tackling energy of the world’s heaviest dogs.
What is the Best Dog Toy for a Mastiff?
Why Do Mastiffs Need Toys?
Dogs need toys to stay happy and healthy, and Mastiffs are certainly no exception. A good play session allows your dog to get a full-body workout, which helps maintain their mobility, appetite, and sleep quality.
The chewing activity also keeps teeth clean and gums. For a dog with the drooling capabilities of a full-grown Mastiff, it never hurts to find a way to clean their mouths without getting your hands close.
Toys also play a role in socializing dogs. Mastiffs have exceptional loyalty, but family bonding goes a long way in helping a dog feel at home. Furthermore, finding a way for them to engage with non-owners by playing can help this highly protective breed learn to get along with strangers.
Last but not least, toys help stave off bad behavior. Without quality toys and a solid exercise regimen, Mastiffs—like any dog—can get destructive or rambunctious and start acting out. Fortunately, they have a reasonably easy body type to wear out with the right kind of playtime.
Different Types of Dog Toys for Mastiffs
Dog toys suited to large breeds tend to have a few specific builds.
- Rope toys, when sufficiently durable, offer endless possibilities from fetch to tug of war. Rope toys make a good chew toy, but owners must ensure that the rope doesn’t start to come apart and find their way into a dog’s stomach.
- Rubber toys hold up well to the slobbery, mighty jowls of a Mastiff. Rubber toys also have a lively bounce, which stimulates their instinct to chase.
- Plastic toys offer some of the most rigid material for a dog to chew. Toys with solid plastic all the way through have the best chance of survival against even the strongest chewers, though they can have small chunks break off after a while.
- Interactive toys include anything that stimulates a specific behavior in the dog. Many toys exist specifically to play fetch or tug of war, and Mastiffs love those activities that allow it to play with their pack leader. Interactive toys are a great way to entertain and train your dog.
- Puzzle feeders make dogs work for a treat. Food dispensing toys allow owners to stuff treats inside a hole, or even make them deal with multiple moving parts to free up the food.
Of course, the best toys will have some combination of these features to allow multiple play styles. A dog motivated to fetch will chase almost anything, but some toys work better than others to launch a long-distance or float on water to add an aquatic element to playtime.
Best Dog Toys for Mastiffs
Key Features :
- Two unique toys
- Reputable company
- Can help clean teeth
- Very sturdy
Nylabone Power Chew Set
Nylabone chew toys have a well-earned reputation for standing up to the chewiest punishment a dog can dish out. The power chew knuckle bone (in a two-pack) offers one of their largest and sturdiest products, well suited to the Mastiff’s potent bite.
The chew has a little savory flavor to help keep dogs interested, and the bulbous ends offer the perfect shape for big mouths, large enough to engage the whole mouth and round enough to keep bits from breaking off. Even better, the more the toy wears down, the better it does at keeping dogs’ teeth clean.
With enough chewing, the power chew starts to form bristles and ridges. These bristles work their way in between the dog’s teeth and help clean away plaque and tartar. The power chew’s large size means it lasts an incredibly long time for even the strongest chewers.
But beware, dogs should not ingest parts of Nylabone. If your dog starts to break pieces off, you will need to replace the toy. Fortunately, they have a very reasonable price point, especially for something that lasts a long while.
Key Features :
- Extremely durable
- Great for tug of war
- Perfect for chewing
- Made of reinforced nylon
Kong Extra Large Wubba Dog Toy
The Kong Wubba Dog Toy provides something dogs can idly gnaw, or use to engage actively with their owners. The toy features a round end with hanging bits of webbing, perfect for tug of war games, or a bit of playful tossing.
The round end of this Kong toy has two different balls wrapped in nylon. A tennis ball gives the toy a little bounce to liven up a game of fetch, and another squeaky ball activates the prey instincts by providing an audible response to a good chomp.
The Kong Wubba’s outer layer and stitching are made of reinforced nylon so that this toy will last through a great many vigorous play sessions. If and when it does start to rip, the design will keep long strands from breaking off and potentially creating problems.
All in all, this toy offers a great way for owners to bond with their dog thanks to the interactive elements. The ropes provide excellent handholds for tug of war and a little extra leverage to throw it for a game fetch.
Key Features :
- Cooked to Order Weekly
- Portioned Individually for your dog
- Auto-ships direct to your door
Kong Extreme Dog Toy
Iconically-shaped Kong dog toys have contributed to countless pets’ stimulation and satisfaction. The extreme line of toys offers their most durable yet, perfect for the Mastiff’s exceptional bite strength.
The Kong Extreme Dog Toy has an ultra-durable, all rubber formula that provides a gentle chew with enough resistance to make the jaws work overtime. Moreover, the toys are hollow on the inside and shaped in a way that makes for erratic bounces. A playful pup will have to chase this thing all over during a game of fetch.
The toy can also serve somewhat of a puzzle-feeder function. Small openings on both ends provide a place to stuff treats, and with a wobbly roll, the dog will have to work to get them back out. Spreadable treats like peanut butter can offer hours of challenge as the dog tries to lick it all out.
Especially useful for a slobbery breed like Mastiffs, the Kong Extreme can go into the dishwasher or get a hand wash to keep clean.
Key Features :
- Hands free catch
- Saves your arm
- Launches ball far
- Burns dog’s energy
Chuckit Classic Launcher
The Chuckit Classic Launcher completely revolutionizes a game of fetch. Most appealingly, it allows for hands-free games of fetch.
The Chuckit Classic Launcher completely revolutionizes a game of fetch. Perhaps most appealingly, it allows for hands-free games of fetch. For a dog with the Mastiff’s copious drooling habits, avoiding contact with a slobbery ball can significantly improve the experience.
Anyone who doesn’t play baseball or softball for a living knows that any extended throwing sessions can make for a sore shoulder the next day. The Chuckit Classic Launcher uses physics to create further throws with less effort. The flexible plastic extends the arc of the throwing motion and flings with a slingshot motion for extra distance.
The ball holder, made of the same flexible plastic, has just the right shape to wrap around a tennis ball (or any 2.5″ ball) and hold it easily until you decide to send it. You can keep your hands dry and get hours of entertainment for you and your dog at the same time.
A vigorous game of fetch can help burn off excess dog energy, and with the long strides of a Mastiff, having a toy that helps extend both the distance covered and the endurance of the thrower goes a long way.
Key Features :
- Three layers of durable materials
- Great for fetch
- Machine washable
The Tuffy Mega Ring
The Tuffy Mega Ring may not look durable, but these toys can take extraordinary punishment. The toy has three layers of durable materials interwoven to create an extremely tough but soft toy. Fleece, luggage material, and a plastic coating give the Tuffy Mega Ring one of the most unique textures on our list.
Combined with reinforced stitching, the donut shape makes this an excellent toy for tug of war. The narrow edges give a good hold for dogs’ teeth, and the soft material adds a definitive appeal to engage their chewing instincts.
The Tuffy Mega Ring also has squeakers sewn into the shape, so dogs get a response while they play with it. The toy also flies like a frisbee, so dogs that play fetch can get an audible “squeak” whenever they successfully catch it. It even floats for aquatic adventures.
While the cloth material makes it more liable to get dirty than some other toys, it can go right in the washing machine and come out like new. The Tuffy Mega Ring costs a little more than some of the other toys on our list, but your dog will love it.
Key Features :
- Interactive puzzle
- Great for chewing
- Dishwasher safe
- Very durable
Petsafe Busy Buddy Jack
The Busy Buddy Jack dog toy promises to keep your dog entertained, if not somewhat perplexed, for hours. The toy comes with treat rings that “lock” onto the toy, forcing dogs to work to get them off.
The toy itself consists of nylon and rubber, so it can handle aggressive attempts to extricate the treat without breaking apart. Those materials also make the whole toy dishwasher safe, so even if a dog spends all day licking and chewing, owners can have it clean again in no time.
Petsafe also provides replacement rings for when the initial set runs out, but the toy does function well even without them. The unique shapes give a lot of chewing options, and the interlocking parts make it something of a puzzle to solve.
The Petsafe Busy Buddy works great for dogs with separation anxiety by giving them something to focus on during their alone time. For a dog with the loyalty and family affection of a Mastiff, staving off that stress can make for a much more fulfilling life.
Key Features :
- Treat dispensing
- Tough and durable
- Appealing to chew on
- Dishwasher safe
West Paw Qwizl Treat Dispensing Toy
The Qwizl is one of the toughest treat-dispensing toys West Paw has to offer. The toy has a tube shape with an opening that’s perfect for stuffing full of treats, peanut butter, or anything else to stimulate a dogs’ interest.
With an irregular shape, the treats roll out randomly, forcing dogs to nibble and toss the toy to free up the snacks inside. Owners can even freeze broth or gravy inside the toy to make a great treat on a hot day—perfect for Mastiffs, which can quickly overheat.
The rubberized material provides an appealing surface to chew on, and the hollow interior gives it a lifelike feel during a gnawing session. The whole toy can go in the dishwasher or get hand washed and remain extremely clean.
While West Paw makes various treat-dispensing toys, the Zogoflex Qwizl has the best capacity to handle a tough chewer. Mastiffs can slobber and chomp to their heart’s content without ripping it, and the added treats inside can keep a dog busy for a long while.
Key Features :
- Unpredictable bouncing pattern
- Unique ridges for dog to carry
- Great for chewing
Chuckit Kick Fetch Ball
Just like the Chuckit launcher, the kick-fetch ball has a unique advantage for Mastiff owners by allowing for a slobber-free game of fetch. The ball has a good size for Mastiff mouths, and unique ridges perfect for dogs to grip and carry easily.
The construction has a combination of EVA foam and polyester on the exterior, tough enough for powerful bites but soft enough to kick. The rubber on the inside provides bounce so owners can give it a massive drop-kick to send dogs scrambling.
Unlike ordinary balls, the ridges give the Kick Fetch ball an unpredictable bouncing pattern, which activates the chase instincts and spices up a play session. When the dog is done running, the kick-fetch ball makes a great chew thanks to the firm foam and reinforced polyester.
Key Features :
- Lifetime warranty
- Extremely durable
- Bounces for added fun
No dog toy can truly last forever, but the Goughnuts Ring comes pretty close. The brilliant engineering on this dog toy makes it perfect for heavy chewers like Mastiffs, and Goughnuts even offers a lifetime warranty on their products.
Goughnuts uses a unique recipe for its rubber that includes carbon reinforcement to improve the durability greatly. More importantly, it manages to combine that durability with a rubber toy’s typical properties—namely, floatation and bounce.
The toy has two layers, a colored outer layer, and a red interior. The red interior—if you ever see it—indicates that the toy needs replacement. This innovative design lets owners know when the toy has reached retirement age, and with Goughnuts’ warranty program, a new one can come behind it quickly.
What Makes A Good Mastiff Toy?
The key to finding the right toy for Mastiffs or any other dog breed depends on looking at a few essential characteristics.
Size comes first, and most dog toys come explicitly designed for small, medium, or large dogs. Mastiffs rank among the largest dog breeds in the world, easily topping 100 pounds, with the biggest sometimes exceeding 200. Too small a toy presents a choking hazard, and probably won’t stand up very long to those powerful jaws.
Age also plays a role in finding the right toy. Young dogs may need something more interactive and high-intensity to keep their energy levels in check. Older dogs might not have the ability to enjoy a spirited romp, but get a lot of contentment from sitting quietly gnawing a chew.
Lastly, the strength of Mastiffs means they require a toy that matches their power. They have one of the strongest bites of any dog, so they need a toy that can take severe punishment. Toys that rip apart easily can get swallowed and cause intestinal problems.
Considering those breed traits, a good toy for Mastiffs should be sufficiently large, extremely durable, and engaging enough to keep their attention.
Tips for Playing with Mastiffs
Mastiffs can present a real challenge come playtime. Their massive size and strength make it imperative to interact with them safely. While they may show unwavering loyalty to their owners, they might not know the rules with strangers without a little extra training.
Set Boundaries (and Change Things Up)
Make sure to socialize a Mastiff, so they know not to play too rough with new friends, canine or otherwise. Shut things down if the dog gets unnecessarily aggressive. If it shows overly possessive tendencies with a particular toy, you might consider taking it out of the rotation.
On that note, make sure you rotate toys to avoid having a dog get bored with a particular toy. Lovable though they are, dogs don’t have the best object permanence, so taking a toy away for a few days or weeks can make it seem brand new again when it returns.
Consider the physical needs and limitations of Mastiffs. They have big bodies that can wear down quickly with too much activity, but they need to burn off their primal energy bred for fighting bears and lions thousands of years ago.
Keep Hydrated and Stay Active
Exercise extra caution in hot weather, since Mastiffs have a more challenging time dispelling heat from their massive bodies. Excessive drooling or panting might indicate that your dog has had enough of a workout and deserves a little break with some water.
Last but not least, make sure you engage all of your dog’s senses at playtime. Mastiffs have an exceptional sense of smell, so scented or flavored treats can provide outstanding stimulation. Interactive games like tug of war or fetch can help build a bond. Puzzle feeders or toys that make them work for a treat will keep their mind sharp.
|Mastiff Dog Toy Comparison Table|
What size toy do Mastiffs need? Dogs don’t get much bigger than Mastiffs, so the larger, the better. Their giant mouths and powerful jaws make smaller toys a lousy fit since they can easily destroy them (requiring frequent, pricey replacements) and choke on the little pieces.
Can Mastiffs swallow any of these toys? Dogs should not eat any of the toys on our list. Extremely tiny pieces won’t make much of a problem, but once a toy starts to break apart, you should take it away from the dog and get a new one. Keep a close eye on your dog with new toys to see how they respond to it and how the toy holds up.
Can these toys be washed? Yes, dog toys can and should get regular cleanings to prevent a buildup of germs. Each of them will come with care instructions; follow the label, and your toys will provide hours of safe, healthy entertainment.
How much play do Mastiffs need? The answer varies from dog to dog, and sometimes day to day with individual dogs. A good 15-20 minutes of active playtime, combined with a decent walk should burn off a Mastiff’s energy and keep destructive behaviors at bay.
What about organic toys? Dogs will undoubtedly love a real animal product like bones or rawhide. However, those products have a higher chance of causing blockage, getting contaminated, or digestive irritation. They can also become overly possessive of anything that more closely resembles food than a toy—bad news when you need to remove it before the dog chokes.
A good dog toy keeps your dog active. Active dogs quickly become tired dogs, and tired dogs are happy dogs. We all want to give our dogs the best possible life, and providing an outlet for their energy and play instincts form a cornerstone of a dog’s quality of life.
Every dog has their own preferences, tendencies, and quirks—and that’s part of the appeal. Just like choosing a dog food for your dog, finding the right toy to match their personality might take a little searching and experimentation. Fortunately, the list of potential dog toys runs long with virtually every possible shape, color, design, and material.
The toys outlined on this list should provide a great place to start. These toys all have the durability and functionality to handle a Mastiff’s incredible power and strength without breaking down.