Count-down of the 5 best toys for a Black Lab.
As black lab owners, you and I know that toys are an integral part of a black labs life and also integral part of our lives with our black lab. My black lab is an almost 5 year old boy name Guinness. Guinness, for all accounts, encompasses the personality traits of pretty much every black lab that I have every been around, read about or discussed in conversation. I have found there are two things that every black lab has in common with every other black lab that ever lived.
- They love to play.
- They love to fetch or retrieve.
I would even go as far to say that their life is focused around fetch centered play. So with this in mind I will count down the top 5 toys for a black lab:
The Hurley is a silicone/rubberish toy that resembles a clipart picture of a bone. I have seen them in different sizes, and also different colors: orange, blue, green and black. We have a green one. It is a good toy, I believe, because it is heavy enough to throw quite a ways and durable enough that when you are tired (the dog won’t get tired) of throwing it gives that pup something to chew on that won’t hurt his/her mouth but still tough enough to survive a good extended chew. There are a ton of different chew type bones, but I like the Hurley for two main reasons: first, it does not squeak. My Lord Jesus help us all if you choose to buy squeaky toys for your black lab!! He will monch monch monch that toy into squeaky Armageddon to the point where all you want to do is throw that toy up on the roof, in the fire pit or down the garbage disposal. Second, the weight. A lot of bone chew toys are pretty light and you can’t really get a good throw on them. You should know by now, as a black lab owner that your dog loves.. LOVES.. to run at full speed a long ways, find the toy and bring it back to do it again. The Hurley fits this bill. Oh yeah one more thing about a Hurley that I almost forgot to mention. It Floats! So if you at the river or lake, you can hurl it out in the water and your expert swimmer Black Lab can see it and go get it for you to throw again most efficiently. Here is an Amazon Link to the Hurley. There are a couple of different places selling them, but with or without the Free Shipping or Prime, they are all similarly priced.
4. Nerf Flying Disk
The reason Guinness loves the Nerf Flying Disk is because when we are at the park, out in the back pasture, down at the lake or in any wide open space I can let that sucker fly a long long way. He loves that, running full tilt looking up and over his shoulder, trying to follow the path of that Nerf Flying Disk so that he can catch it. There is a pretty well populated selection of flying disks for dogs. Some are nylon, some are plastic, some are foam, some have little wings built in. Part of the reason I choose the Nerf Flying Disk is because its durability. It has a more ridge outer ring and the interior is a heavy rip-stop, tear-proof nylon. It is light, but not so light that you can’t really send it flying. The weight of it also makes it easier for kids to throw. My 6 year old granddaughter would make this toy, number one on the list I think only because of how easy it is for her to play with Guinness. btw, it also floats. They are pretty inexpensive, come in a lot of colors and you won’t be disappointed if you include this in your arsenal of black lab dog toys. Here is the Amazon Link to the Nerf Flying Disk.
The Squirrel made by Chuckit! is a lot like Nerf’s Flying Disk, except for a couple things. It is shaped kind of like a flying squirrel sailing through the air with four ridged corners. The shape causes it to sail kind of unpredictably.. and one might think that is a bad thing, but it actually creates an additional game for that Big Black dog as he tries to figure out where to run to most easily catch and bring it back to you for another throw. What I like about the Squirrel over the Nerf Flying Disk is that I can throw it overhand by grabbing the corner and flinging it. You can also throw it like the Nerf Flying Disk, like you would a frisbee, but I feel the overhand throw seems a little easier and natural to get that Squirrel out there. They come in Large, Medium, and Small.. but the really nice part about them is that Amazon sells a two-pack for only $2.00 extra.. That’s a great deal! btw, It also floats. Here is a Link to the Flying Squirrel on Amazon.
2. Chuckit! Launcher
What can I say about this toy that most of you don’t already know. The Chuckit! ball launcher is a classic, great Black Lab toy! You can hurl a ball easily 50 – 75 yards with little effort which brings endless joy to a retriever chasing down and bringing back that ball, over and over again. Once your dog is trained to drop the ball at your feat, it is easy to pick up the ball with the launcher avoiding bending over (over and over) along with the less than pleasant experience of handling a dog slobber saturated ball. (haha, I bet I just triggered some memories!) I use the Chuckit! 25M Sport. The reason is because the 25M accommodates a 2.5″ ball which is the same size as a normal tennis ball. That makes it easier (and cheaper) to replenish the balls when Guinness does the monch monch monch on the ball and destroys it. The Sport model, or at least so it seems to me, is a little more sturdy. both the plastic handle and the ball cup seem to be a little more stout. We have a habit of keeping the launcher on the top plate of our yard fence. There have been times where the smaller models we have purchased in that past have fallen of the fence and broke or cracked the ball cup. This has not happened with the Sport model. There are several sizes and models on Amazon, I am including a link to my choice: the Sport 25M.
1. Tennis Ball.
Surprise! or Surprised? Actually a 2.5″ tennis ball is the my Number 1 choice as a toy for a Black Lab. You can throw it, toss it to him to catch, play in smaller areas, use it in your Chuckit! launcher and it is affordable and easy to replenish. Tennis balls float, and in the winter they are visible to your dog in the snow. They store well, clean well and last a pretty long time. Guinness loves his tennis balls more than any toy we have ever gotten for him. So I am going have to say “Lab owner tested, Black Lab approved!” We always buy the Tuff balls. They claim they are tougher than most balls, or regular tennis balls, but im not really convinced. There are two really good selling points to the Tuff balls though that I think are worth mentioning. First, they don’t have added chemicals in them that make regular tennis ball bounce better. We have a friend who has a Chesapeake who got bad mouth blisters from some regular tennis balls.. We didn’t want to chance that happening to Guinn. The second thing is that the dye used on the Tuff balls are vegetable based and will not run. Nothing like finding a slobbery tennis ball on the deck and when you go to move it the deck (or carpet or rug or car seat) is stain lime/yellow green. Amazon sells a 24 pack of Tuff balls, (here is a link to those) but they also have a whole lot of different choices in quantity and color.
Oh an one more thing, did I say “for God’s Sake and Grampa’s Sanity – Don’t buy the Squeaky Ones!”