Best Toys for Labrador Retrievers in 2020

If you own a Labrador retriever, you likely know that they can be excitable when it comes to playtime. They’re also a larger breed, which means they can have a bit more strength in their jaws than smaller breeds.

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Since you want to keep your dog entertained, toys can add a bit of variety to their playtime. The key is to pick out toys that will actually catch your lab’s attention and keep them engaged. Durable chew toys, fetch equipment, and even puzzle toys can all make great options for this breed.

Whether you want a toy to help with pet-owner time or something that can keep your pup entertained while you’re busy, we have a collection of top-rated and highly recommended options to choose from—along with FAQs and other helpful tips when shopping for the best possible toys for Labrador retrievers in 2020.

Different Types of Dog Toys for Labrador Retrievers

Overall, Labrador retrievers love to play, and they can enjoy many different toys depending on their personalities. We’ll be covering specific products farther down, but here are some essential pieces of info about the types of toys you’ll encounter.

Chew toys are one of the most common kinds of dog toys, and their designs are just as the name suggests—they’re for chewing. In particular, labs tend to have strong jaws, so you want these to be as durable as possible. Chew toys not only give your pup a healthy way to focus their chewing energy, and some can even help with keeping your dog’s teeth clean!

Tug toys, while built to withstand chewing, have a broader focus on being an excellent option for a tug of war game. Depending on the build, you can play with your dog, or they can play with another pup. Tug toys make for a fun game and let your lab have a bit of a challenge while playing.

Puzzle toys are another common type available, and they make an excellent choice for pups that enjoy using their brains. Labs can enjoy these toys, and they come in different difficulty levels and sizes. Most of these products also have hidden compartments for snacks, which help catch your pup’s attention and meter out how much food they have at a time.

All these toys can make a good pick for a lab, but what should you look for specifically when shopping?

What to Look for in a Good Toy for Labrador Retrievers

As a breed, Labrador retrievers are relaxed and friendly, but they also enjoy being active and can have a lot of energy for play. These characteristics make them enthusiastic for play, and their intelligence lets them enjoy various games. Picking out suitable toys for these dogs involves making sure they can last through regular play.

Because of that, durability is a definite factor. Whenever a toy becomes damaged or falls apart, the pieces can become a hazard to a dog when swallowed. Additionally, having a toy that can stand up to regular activities means that you’ll spend less money on frequent replacements. Similarly, no toy should be so tough that it can potentially damage your dog’s teeth.

Likewise, you should take time to consider the size of the toy. Labrador retrievers are a large size breed, which means they can easily swallow toys meant for far smaller dogs—thus creating a choking hazard. No toy should be smaller than your golden retriever’s mouth, and you should take away any toys that break down to this size.

When it comes to labs, their playing habits can vary, so you may want to be cautious with plush toys. While some can enjoy having a toy to relax and cuddle with, their strong jaws can sometimes lead to the demise of plushes—and a mess in their wake. If your Labrador retriever does like plush toys, consider getting one without stuffing.

Overall Best Dog Toys for Adult Labrador Retrievers

Now that you know the essentials of what to look for in a toy for Labrador retrievers, it’s time to see our top picks!

Best Overall – Trixie Activity Flip Board Interactive Toy

Interactive puzzle toys are an excellent pick for Labrador retrievers, and this flip board gives numerous ways for you to challenge your dog and reward them with a snack. The size is just right for this breed, and there are three different types of challenges with even more potential prize slots, allowing you to set up the game differently each time.

While this design can be a bit challenging for pups who are brand new to puzzle toys, more experienced dogs will enjoy the game. Non-slip rubber on the feet helps the board stay steady on the floor during playtime. You can also put the whole thing in the dishwasher for an easy clean between games. The plastic is also durable for regular use, helping this toy win the top slot!

KONG SqueakAir Balls

When it comes to dog toys, two things often spring to mind: balls and squeaky toys. KONG brings both of these items together for plenty of fun. The tennis ball-like design is the perfect size for games of fetch, and the pack of six means you’ll always have a ball at the ready if you lose one. Each ball has a squeaker inside for extra appeal and engagement during playtime!

The exterior felt doesn’t agitate your pup’s mouth, so they’ll want to play with it regularly. KONG is also a brand known for its durable toys, and these balls are no exception. You can expect the materials to stay tough, even in your lab’s strong jaws. They’re not invincible, but they’ll undoubtedly last through regular wear and tear!

Nylabone DuraChew Axis Dog Bone

If you want a chew toy that’s durable, engaging, and vet recommended, then Nylabone’s Axis dog bone toy is an excellent place to look. This toy comes with a “cleaver” style design, which makes it simple for your dog to grip onto while providing plenty of fun angles to chew onto. The real bacon flavor is also appealing to many pups, which adds to the engagement factor.

This dog bone is not just appealing to help control chewing urges, but it helps clean your dog’s teeth as they chew, controlling plaque and tartar levels. Note that this toy is very tough so it can withstand strong-jawed chewers, so you only want to give it to adult dogs, and not your Labrador retriever puppy, as it can damage their teeth at that age.

Outward Hound Hide a Squirrel Puzzle Toy

When it comes to playtime, it’s just as important to exercise your dog’s mind as well as their body. The Outward Hound Hide a Squirrel toy helps mentally engage your pup by letting them play hide and seek with plush toys tucked inside a tree trunk. It’s simple to set up, and your dog will have fun figuring out the best way to pull the squirrels out of their hiding places.

Each squirrel has a squeaker inside for extra engagement, and the whole toy set up gives plenty of fun textures. The entire structure comes in various sizes for large dogs, so you can find the best match for your lab—with the largest having a total of six squirrels. You’ll want to make sure your pup doesn’t chew too hard on the plush squirrels, but replacements are available if you need them

Chuckit! Classic Launcher

Depending on your dog’s energy level, playing catch can involve a lot of crouching down, picking up the ball, and tossing it again—with a chance that you wear down before your lab does. Launcher toys help ease the process by giving you an easy way to keep playing fetch with your pup, and the Chuckit! Classic launcher is our recommended option for this.

The design is ergonomic, letting you regularly launch balls without straining your arm, and design also helps to keep your hands slobber free while playing. The model is also compatible with both Chuckit!’s balls and other balls of similar sizes—and it comes with one ball when you order the launcher. If you have trouble with tossing balls, this toy can help you get some distance.

KONG Classic Dog Toy

Chew toys are essential when you have a dog, and not many toys are better at lasting with heavy chewers than KONG’s. KONG products will last, even against strong jaws and heavy use. While the large breed size should be enough for any lab, you can also pick out the larger options if you want them to last even longer.

These toys allow you to put treats inside, making them attractive to even hard to interest dogs. For an extra bit of a challenge, you can also freeze the toy to make pastes trickier to get out—a good option for when you want to entertain your pup outside the house. All KONG products are US-made, and they come vet recommended, so you know you can trust them in your pup’s paws.

ZippyPaws Squeakie Crawler Slowpoke the Turtle

Some dogs love having soft toys to cuddle, and ZippyPaws plush turtle makes for an excellent choice in this category. The overall design is soft, making it comfortable for anyone who loves a cuddle. The squeakers inside makes it even more interesting for your pup to enjoy, with a total of six. It can get a bit noisy, but that’s all the more reason for it to catch your lab’s attention.

The toy has a durable design so that it will last for some time. Even if your dog manages to tear into it, the stuffing-free build cuts back on the mess. Each squeaker is in its area, so tearing out one means the others are still intact. You should always watch your pup when they play, so you can safely get rid of the squeaker, but there’s plenty of use you can get from this cute little turtle.

Mammoth Cottonblend Three Knot Dog Rope

The Mammoth Cottonblend three-knot dog rope is an excellent toy if you want one suitable for tough games of tug of war with your Labrador retriever. This rope design is durable and can stand up to regular use. Whether you want to play tug or use it for fetch, this toy is sure to last through regular use.

Mammoth has also designed this toy to be helpful for improving your dog’s dental health. The fibers work like floss. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about it being too tough on their teeth, as it uses one-hundred percent natural cotton!

Overall Best Dog Toy for Labrador Retriever Puppies

Hartz Dura Play Ball

The puppy years are a developmental time in a lot of ways, especially when it comes to physically. Young labs’ teeth are still developing, and adult toys can be too hard and cause damage. The Hartz Dura Play Ball strikes the right balance between soft material for growing dog’s teeth and durability that will last between regular play.

The natural latex helps the ball bounce for fun games of fetch, and it can also safely float in water. Additionally, the toy comes bacon-scented, which can appeal to your pup while they still learn what they can play with and not. While we recommend this toy as one of our top options for puppies, the soft texture makes it an appealing option for senior dogs who also need more delicate toys to chew.

KONG Puppy Dog Toy

We covered the classic KONG toy earlier, and the puppy option has many of the same benefits as its adult dog aimed predecessor. The puppy variation is smaller and softer, making it suitable for developing puppy teeth. While the material is more malleable, it’s still got that KONG durability so that you can rely on the toy for a chunk of your pup’s younger years.

This chew toy is safe to put into the freezer, and the coldness can help alleviate teething pains for your dog. By putting treats inside, you can also easily direct your pup’s attention to chewing on the toy, rather than other things in your home. The toy also comes in different sizes, and KONG makes its products in the USA.

Tips for Playing With Your Labrador Retriever

To keep a dog happy and healthy, it’s essential to give them regularly play. With toys at the ready, they can either entertain themselves or have some interactive time with you! If you’re new to playtime with your pup or want to make sure you’re giving them the best possible experience, consider some of these tips:

  1. Playtime and exercise can go hand in hand to keep your dog healthy! Hide and seek with toys and treats, fetch, and tug of war all help your pup stay active while having fun.
  2. Rotate out access to toys. By letting your pup not always have access to their toys, they’ll be more excited when they see them—and they’ll be less likely to become bored.
  3. Don’t be afraid to use treats to train your dog to have safe playing habits. Toys with treats inside can also encourage your pup to focus on them, rather than tearing up non-toys in your home.
  4. Stop your dog from playing whenever they start to get too aggressive. The earlier you break these bad habits, the better behaved your lab will be in the future.
  5. Try out different games so that your dog has some variety. Cycling out can help your pup find their new favorites!
  6. Always supervise your dog when giving them toys. No toy is indestructible, and you want to make sure your dog is safe when playing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I replace my dog’s toys?

Even the most sturdy of dog toys will ultimately wear down, so you should regularly check them. Once you see that a toy is beginning to fray or fall apart, discard and replace it.

How can I tell if a toy is safe for my dog to use?

When considering whether or not you want to purchase a toy, you should check what the manufacturer has used to make it, as some ingredients aren’t safe for dogs to chew. Also, consider the toughness of materials and how durable the toy will be in comparison to your dog’s regular activities. When in doubt, consult your vet for advice.

How do I know which toys are suitable for Labrador retrievers?

For starters, you should focus on toys made for larger breeds. These toys are tougher, so they’ll last longer, and also big enough that they won’t become a choking hazard. Focus on durable toys, and then try out different options until you find the best picks for your dog’s preferences.


All the toys we’ve recommended are good picks for labs’ energy and potentially strong bites, with a few options mixed in that will provide a mental challenge. Since all the products come highly-rated by fellow pet users, you can count on these products to provide a fun time for your pup. Now all that’s left is to find the best option for your dog’s preferences!

Chelsea Kuhel

Chelsea is the owner of a very huggable Boxer/Pitbull mix named Miles. When time allows she also cares for her 4 other animals, I mean children.

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