What are the best kind of toys for goldendoodles? These energetic and intelligent mixed breeds enjoy a variety of play styles, but tend to grow bored with toys once the novelty wears off. Here’s a list of ideal goldendoodle toys along with some strategies for managing your dog’s toy collection to keep things fresh and exciting!
Benefits of Buying Toys for Your Goldendoodle
Toys are an important part of your goldendoodle’s life and are critical to their health and well-being. Toys provide your dog with comfort and security, allow them to safely chew, lick and explore orally, and help channel their excess energy in a positive way. Plus, toys are a fun way to interact and bond with your bouncing teddy-bear of a dog!
Part of the challenge in choosing toys for mixed breeds like goldendoodles and labradoodles is that they enjoy many types of activities and games. Like a kid with attention deficit disorder, goldendoodles tend to fly from one activity to another instead of focusing on a single game or toy, and get a kick out of things like:
- Fetch and retrieve games
- Hide and seek
- King of the mountain
How to Pick the Best Toys for Your Goldendoodle
Few breeds can match the enthusiasm for play or variety of play styles shown by the typical goldendoodle, but this also comes with a drawback. Once the novelty of a new toy wears off, your doodle may grow bored and get into mischief. How can you identify the best toys and keep your dog coming back to play time and again?
Provide a Variety of Toys and Types of Toys
If the typical goldendoodle had a motto, it would probably be something like “variety is the spice of life.” These happy, enthusiastic dogs really do enjoy all types of toys and games and love to play with their human and canine families. While some toys work for several styles of play (like a stuffed tug toy), the most common types are:
- Plush toys
- Chew toys
- Tug toys
- Balls and fetch toys
- Activity and puzzle toys
- Food dispensing toys
No single toy is ideal or even appropriate for all these activities, so it’s best to provide your goldendoodle puppy with a variety of toy types and replace them as they wear out. The average owner spends close to $100 a year on toys for an active or destructive chewer, so try to get the most bang out of your toy budget!
Switch Things Up and Rotate Toys to Keep Things Interesting!
Goldendoodles tend to be easily bored, and after chewing on the same toy for a few days you may notice your dog’s interest is waning (and maybe even being diverted towards your furniture). While your puppy may become attached to a favorite, doodles often tire of their toys long before they wear out.
The best way to manage your dog’s toy collection is to temporarily remove the toys they’ve grown bored with. Once a toy’s been missing for a while, the novelty factor comes back into play. I do this for my pack on a rotational system; at any given moment, about half their toy collection is hidden away:
- Every week or two I remove a toy they’re losing interest in and swap it out for one from the hidden collection.
- It’s easy to start the rotation with puppies by pulling an older toy every time you add a new one to the collection.
- I still bring in new toys to replace those that have been chewed, but I don’t have to buy them as frequently.
There are several benefits to doing this kind of rotation. It’s the least expensive way to keep toys fresh and exciting to your dog. When I bring an old favorite back into circulation it’s almost like they’re seeing a brand new toy! Toys often last longer before I have to replace them, too, since boredom leads to destructive chewing.
Choose Safer, Dog-Specific Toys From Trusted Brands
The majority of dog toys are interactive or designed to be used while playing with another dog or human, but even toys for solo-play still require close supervision. There’s only a few types of toys that are truly indestructible and thus safe to leave with your pup when they’re on their own.
As a veterinary technician, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to prep a goldendoodle for surgery after they swallowed part of a toy. Next to golden retrievers and labradors, goldendoodles are one of the most likely breeds to see on the operating table due to indiscriminate eating, especially puppies and young dogs.
While there’s no such thing as a “safe” toy (just safer), to keep your goldendoodle out of trouble:
- Choose toys made specifically for dogs.
- Pick products from recognized brands and avoid the cheaper knock-offs.
- If you opt to make your own dog toys or buy handmade versions, be sure they’re sturdy and made from non-toxic materials.
- Replace worn toys before they break, and watch out for the plastic squeakers inside stuffed toys, which are highly swallowable!
- Always supervise your dog while they’re playing with a toy, and don’t leave toys other than a Kong in their crate while you’re away.
Buyer’s Guide to the 21 Best Dog Toys for Goldendoodles
While the best toys for your specific goldendoodle just depends on their temperament, play and chew styles and size, the following list includes the most popular and in-demand dog toys of the season and are ideal options for these energetic, intelligent mixed breeds!
Plush and Chew Toys
Without a doubt, some of the best toys for goldendoodle puppies includes a nice selection of soft stuffed animals and fleece toys! Not only can your pup wrestle and cuddle with them, but plush toys are ideal for teaching your doodle to “drop” or to draw their attention when they’re chewing on something unsafe.
Stuffed toys can stand up to some slobber, but you’ll also need toys your pup can gnaw on to satisfy their desire to chew. These days, the old stand-bys like rawhide, pigs ears, cow hooves and bones are well-known to be unsafe and are often contaminated with pathogens like salmonella, so here’s some better options:
1. BarkBox Stuffed Cactus Squeaky Toy
Consuela the Cactus is one of the most popular toys in the BarkBox line-up and makes a great gift for any goldendoodle owner. If your goldendoodle likes to unstuff things, this could be the hit of the season, since it’s really three toys wrapped in one. The first layer is an adorable stuffed cactus with two arms. But your dog can also “rip” the outer layer off, revealing the pouting squeaker cactus inside! Not only that, but the squeaker has a section with little plastic nubs perfect for teething puppies!
2. Handmade Fleece Toys
Even mature goldendoodles will get a kick out of these food-related stuffed toys made from soft fleece. Choose from a range of sizes and styles, such as a slice of pizza, a doughnut or ice cream cone, or a roll of sushi. These handmade toys are crafted from high-quality fleece and dense fiber filling, and each one includes a squeaker. They are durable toys, but are not designed for power chewers.
3. Nylabone Double-Bone Bacon Flavor
If you need a durable, long-lasting chew toy, consider a Nylabone product like these bacon-flavored dog bones. Nylabones are softer and less likely to fracture teeth than real bones, and they won’t splinter or break apart like hooves, so you don’t have to worry about your dog swallowing the pieces. Whether you have a teething puppy or a destructive chewer in the family, these 4-packs should last quite a while! Each toy provides several textures and can stand up to some serious chewing.
4. Designer Parody Plush Toys
If you’d like designer toys to go along with your designer goldendoodle, you may prefer these handmade parody plush toys instead of a stuffed animal. Your pup can carry around a “KoKo Chewnel” purse and chew on a bottle of champagne! Made from high-quality fleece, each toy includes beautiful (if humorous) detailing and has a squeaker inside. If your doodle is more of a “Sniffany” or “Chewy Vuiton” kind of pooch you can check out the seller’s other “designer” lines as well.
5. Petstages Dogwood Chew
While many doodles enjoy chewing on wood, tree branches and sticks are definitely not the safest toys, so take a look at this dogwood chew from Petstages. Made from both natural and synthetic materials, these chews look just like a branch and have the same woody flavor of a good stick. Durable and long-lasting, they are soft enough to prevent broken teeth but still allow for some serious chewing action. You won’t have to worry about splinters or shards breaking off, and it’ll keep your puppy from gnawing on your furniture!
Puzzle and Activity Toys for Goldendoodles
While goldendoodles are a high-energy mixed breed, these intelligent dogs need more than just physical exercise to be content; they also need to be tired out mentally. A great way to work your dog’s brain is with puzzles and activity toys! These toys take a bit of training at first, but most doodles have the game down in no time.
6. Outward Hound Interactive Hide-A-Squirrel Toy
If your goldendoodle likes to unstuff things, then a soft hollow tree filled with squirrels could be the ultimate introduction to puzzle toys. This extra-large plush toy is a tree stump that stands almost a foot tall, and it comes with 6 small squeaker squirrel toys. You stash the stuffed squirrels inside the stump and let your dog search for and pull them out. Most dogs seem amazed at how many squirrels you can squish inside this toy, and if your dog gets a bit destructive you can even buy replacement squirrels.
7. Sudoku Dog Puzzle Toy
Many activity toys use food rewards for motivation, and this wooden sudoku puzzle is a great example. Put your goldendoodle to work and teach them how to slide the wooden panels to uncover the kibble hidden underneath! The professional version of the puzzle game includes 9 panels, while the basic has 4 and advanced 6. You can hide food under them all or make the game harder by only placing food in a few slots.
8. Outward Hound Ottosson Smart Puzzle
Another option for food puzzles is the beginner-level Ottosson Smart toy from Outward Hound. It’s a great way to introduce your puppy to the idea of puzzle toys. Hide kibble under the plastic bone-shaped boxes and let your pup figure out how to access the treats! They’ll have to use their nose to find where the food is hidden and learn to lift the box up just right to get to their reward.
Rope and Tug Toys
Toys made from rope or braided fabric allow you to play with your dog while keeping your hands clear of their teeth, and make it fun for several dogs to play together. These toys are not just for tug-of-war, either, but are great options for fetch games, keep-away and many others. Some dogs like to pull apart and eat rope toys, however, so these are definitely toys you’ll need to supervise.
9. BMAG X-Large Rope Tug Toy
If your goldendoodle is a big fan of tugging and wrestling games, then you’ll probably want to keep a classic rope toy on hand, especially if you have multiple dogs in the house. This sturdy cotton rope tugger is 3-feet long and has 5 big knots, which makes it the ideal size for standard goldendoodles and other medium to large dogs. It’s a bit too hefty for the smaller doodles, but it stands up to some serious hard play!
10. Hartz Dura-Play Tug Dumbbell
If your goldendoodle enjoys a good game of tug but also loves to chew on ropes, then this hybrid toy from Hartz might be a good option to keep on hand. It’s got a lightweight braided cotton rope threaded through a plastic, bacon-flavored dumbbell! Your dog can enjoy a fun round of tug and then gnaw or lick the dumbbell to their heart’s content! At 18-inches in length, doodles of all ages and sizes should get a kick out of this tug toy.
11. Kong Tugga Wubba
Another product ideal for a mouthy goldendoodle puppy is this Tugga Wubba from the well-known dog toy company Kong. Instead of a classic cotton rope, this toy is made from strips of nylon fabric and has a center section made from braided rubber. Your pup can use it to play tug and fetch, or enjoy their quiet time with some licking and chewing. It’s not the most durable toy, though, and a power chewer will probably have it in pieces fairly quickly.
Dog Toys Without Stuffing
Say what you will about goldendoodles, but many of them pick up the mouthy trait from their golden retriever side and love nothing more than unstuffing their stuffed toys. My golden is a classic example, and I’ve yet to find one he can’t unstuff in 5 minutes flat! If your doodle is like my boy, save yourself the mess and resulting clean-up and add some stuffing-free soft toys to their collection!
12. FUZZU Squeaker Collection
If your goldendoodle likes to chew stuffed toys, then these extra-strong, partially unstuffed toys from FUZZU could be ideal for your family. These comic dog, pig and bunny-shaped toys are made from tough polyester twill fabric and have a reinforced trim to reduce chewing damage. The center of each toy is filled with a durable squeaker and crackling fabric material, but the paws and extra-large ears are stuffing free and stand up to a lot of wear!
13. ZippyPaws Skinny Peltz No-Stuffing Toys
Another option to consider for your goldendoodle are these soft woodland-themed toys from ZippyPaws. The squeaky fox, raccoon and squirrel are long and skinny and the perfect size for a light game of tug, fetch or just for your puppy to carry around. There’s no stuffing to worry about, either, although each toy does contain two plastic squeakers. These toys have been in my dog’s toy rotation for several years and have only needed a few patch-ups!
14. Frisco Mythical Mates Flat Plush Toys
If you enjoy fantasy themes or just have a penchant for unicorns, then take a look at this plush Mythical Mates toy from Frisco. The flat, unstuffed unicorn can be picked up by its prominent horn or fuzzy tail, or even carried by its reinforced edges. It’s a surprisingly durable plush that’s tough without sacrificing the cuddly factor, so your pup may even use it as a pillow when they’re done playing. With 4 internal squeakers, this is definitely a toy that will get your doodle’s attention!
Fetch and Ball Toys
Balls and fetch toys are a natural pick for a retrieving breed like the goldendoodle, and while not every doodle inherits the drive to chase balls, it’s safe to say that the majority really enjoy these kinds of games. Even if your dog isn’t obsessed with balls per se, chances are good that some of these toys will spark their interest!
15. Chuckit Ultra Balls
If your goldendoodle enjoys chasing after balls, then you’re probably familiar with the company Chuckit. Their ball-launcher is one of the best on the market, and makes it really easy to scoop up and toss slobbery balls, but the original balls aren’t super bouncy or durable enough for a power chewer. These Ultra Balls are lightweight, floatable, and have a textured surface and rubber core that stands up to a hard mouth. These balls are extra-bouncy and work with the original Chuckit launcher, too!
16. Fling-And-Fetch Felted Balls and Sling
If you’d like to play ball games with your dog inside, then consider this beautiful handmade wooden sling and felted set of balls. Made in either a natural or cherry finish, the sling fits comfortably in your hand and sends the soft balls of felt flying through your home. The rubber slinger isn’t too powerful, so there’s little risk of breaking anything, and if your pup chews the felt balls there’s no harm done and only a little mess to clean up.
17. GlowStreak LED Ball
One downside to having a ball-obsessed dog is figuring out how to keep track of things when it’s dark outside. It can be challenging to exercise your goldendoodle in the winter when the sun sets so early, unless you have this LED ball from GlowStreak. It’s motion and bounce-activated, so as soon as you toss the ball it lights up, and it shuts down automatically. It’s even waterproof and floats, so you can use it around a pool or lake.
18. Chuckit Spinning Flying Squirrel
Fetch toys don’t have to be ball-related, as this spinning, flying squirrel from Chuckit goes to show. This durable spinner is basically a fabric frisbee, but is much better designed for dog play. Instead of being round, it’s more like a squirrel-shaped square, and each “paw” is a reinforced corner that’s really easy for your dog to grab. The bright blue and orange colors stand out against the grass and vegetation, and the fabric even glows in the dark for nighttime play!
A newer category of activity toys are those that specifically use treats and food rewards to capture your goldendoodle’s attention. These toys can be a great way to keep your dog occupied while you’re busy, but the majority of these toys are not safe for unsupervised use, even if that’s how the manufacturer markets them. I love treat-dispensing toys, but they can be a challenge to use safely if you have a food-motivated power chewer.
19. Furbo Treat Camera
If your house is already set up with Amazon’s Alexa, then consider monitoring your goldendoodle with this treat-dispensing smart camera from Furbo. It has two-way audio in addition to the camera, so you can talk to your dog and call them over to catch a treat. It also acts as an activity monitor so you’ll know how your doodle is spending their day. Teach your dog to take selfies, watch them while they nap, even get alerts if other people or pets walk across the room, the Furbo really seems to do it all!
20. StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Toy
StarMark is one of my favorite dog toy companies, and their treat-dispensing Bob-a-Lot toy is a great example of why. This hard plastic toy has a large reservoir and can hold several cups of kibble, so you can use it to feed an entire meal if you’d like! The adjustable holes make it easy or hard for the kibble to fall, and your goldendoodle has to move the toy around to get all the food out. This isn’t a good option for a power chewer, though, since they may be able to break it open.
21. SodaPup Coffee-Shaped Treat-Dispensing Toy
Another food-related toy is this coffee cup-shaped treat dispenser from SodaPup. This style is ideal for keeping a mouthy chewer focused and out of trouble! Stuff dog biscuits down the bigger top hole in this hollow silicone toy, and your pup will have to work hard to get them out. While it’s not completely indestructible, the SodaPup toy is very durable and can stand up to some hard chewing, so it’s a great option as a distraction toy for a power chewer or teething puppy.
Frequently Asked Questions About Goldendoodle Toys
Q: What toys should I avoid getting for my goldendoodle?
A: There’s not a specific type of toy to avoid, since goldendoodles generally enjoy all sorts of games, but you should definitely skip buying toys that are easy for your dog to destroy. To avoid surprise veterinary bills, I don’t recommend leaving a doodle alone with toys until they’re around 2, especially if they’re a power chewer.
Q: How can I keep my goldendoodle entertained when I’m busy?
A: It depends. Treat-dispensing and puzzle toys are a great way to keep your doodle occupied for a short while if you’re around, but few are really safe enough to leave alone with your dog for several hours. The best way to keep your doodle entertained while you’re away from the house is to crate train them, and then tire them out physically before you leave so they’ll nap while you’re gone.
As you can see, goldendoodles and toys go together like peanut butter and jelly! Did any of these goldendoodle toys catch your eye, or do you already have a few of them in your doodle’s toy rotation? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the best toys for these bouncy blonde dogs, so toss a comment below or come play with the pack on our social media pages.