Hunting dog breeds are smart, driven, and have lots of energy. What are the best toys for hunting dogs that can meet the needs of their inherited traits? Read on to find out!
Growing up, my dad had a wild hunting dog called, “Sport.” Sport was a black and white Spaniel who craved attention and would knock down small children if let out of his pen. Like many hunting dogs, he was enthusiastic and needed more mental stimulation and exercise than he got.
Looking back, I realize he had little to no dog training, but I’m sure he loved running in the fields whenever my dad gave him the chance. Hunting dogs are also sometimes also known as “gun dogs,” because they’re bred to retrieve wild game on hunts. For example, my dad used Sport for the occasional quail hunt, but many people want a gun dog for duck hunting or to hunt pheasant or other waterfowl.
Because they’re working dogs, they’re smart. Hunting dogs also need loads of exercise and plenty of interaction. If you think about the history of hunting dogs, you can probably imagine them on a farm chasing foxes or retrieving birds.
Such working dogs are high-energy. Combine their energy, their instinctual drive to work, and their intelligence, and it’s not surprising that those who don’t get enough exercise and mental stimulation can develop bad habits.
Bad habits like chewing up your furniture and barking for long periods when you’re not home are symptoms of not enough interactive playtime and dog training. As a working hunting partner, they’ll get hunting dog training, but if you want a pet, that’s ok too.
Many hunting dogs can make great companions in the right home. They just need interactive toys, good dog training, and plenty of playtime with you.
Hunting Dog Breeds Need Interactive Playtime
Whether you live in the country with room to roam or a small city apartment, your dog needs plenty of daily exercise. If your dog is a pet and not trained to hunt, you’ll still notice lots of hunting instincts. For example, retrievers are bred to retrieve. You can help them fulfill their natural drive by playing tug and fetch with them.
Hunting dogs benefit from interactive play with their humans as well as other friendly dogs. Trips to the dog park, long walks, and daily playtime will help keep them happy and healthy. You can trade out their toys to keep them fresh. If you rotate your toys, your pup might think there are always new toys!
Toys for Hunting Dogs
English Springer Spaniels, Beagles, and even America’s most popular dog, the Labrador Retriever all have a long history of being hunting dogs.
Fortunately, there are plenty of great dog toys to choose from these days. From classic Kongs and chew toys shaped like a dog bone to plush toys, you can try out different dog toys to see what your pup prefers.
The Best Toys for Aggressive Chewers
Is your dog an aggressive chewer? Try these durable chew toys to work those strong jaws.
1. Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Raspberry Treat-Dispensing Chew Toy
The Orbee-Tuff chew toys stand up to heavy chewers. Bonus, you can put small treats inside and they’ll fall out as a special surprise as he explores this toy with your dog’s mouth.
Available in multiple sizes, vegetable varieties, and colors, they make great chew toys. Artichoke-shaped dog toy anyone?
The Orbee-Tuff Foodies dog toy line features a range of fruit and vegetables suitable for dogs of all sizes and breeds! Made in the USA from BPA, lead, and phthalate-free TPE material, Orbee-Tuff dog toys are durable. The treat spot located in the center of these dog chew toys is great for stuffing with treats to max out the fun of interactive or solo play. Orbee-Tuff Foodie dog toys bounce and float…
2. Petstages Deerhorn Antler Alternative Chew Toy
Deer naturally shed their antlers, and dogs love them. Yet, real antlers can splinter and pose a choking hazard. These antlers combine the smell and texture of real antlers with pup-safe materials. Plus, they’re durable and flexible enough to be gentle on your dog’s gums.
Satisfy your pup’s wild instincts with Deerhorn by Petstages! Made with naturally shed antler material, Deerhorn has a natural taste and smell your dog will love. Newly formulated to be gentler on your pup’s gums while maintaining the same durability. Made in the U.S.A. with care and free from harmful lead and phthalates. Available in 4 sizes, ranging from petite to large, perfect for any…
For the Fetching Dogs
Does your dog love playing fetch? If so, you may find yourself needing different types of toys for a variety of fetching options. Satiate your hunting breed’s natural instinct to chase, capture, and return prey to its human.
3. Petstages Orka Tennis Ball
For the dog who loves chasing tennis balls, the Orka tennis ball is durable. Perfect for launchers, you can propel this ball across the yard, and your pup can chase it all around. It also floats, so if you play fetch near water, don’t worry about losing this ball in a submersion.
The Orka Tennis Ball by Petstages is the perfect ball for a game of fetch or solo play! Constructed out of tough Orka TPE rubber and ribbed texture to last through hours and hours of chewing and playing while also massaging your pup’s gums. Designed with a 3″ diameter to be approximately the same size as a tennis ball, so it’ll fit most launchers. Made with two holes on opposite ends for stuffing treats…
4. Outward Hound Squeaker Ballz
Want a more traditional tennis ball that squeaks? Look no further. We’ve got you covered. Your pup will love chasing the tennis ball and squeaking it on the retrieval. Makes a great stocking stuffer!
Outward Hound Squeaker Ballz are a new twist on the classic tennis ball! These brightly colored, multi-sized balls are made with premium rubber so that the bounce doesn’t end before the games are done. Your pup will love fetching this squeaky tennis ball whether playing indoors or enjoying the great outdoors. Squeaker Ballz come in multi-packs of 2,4,6,& 8 making them a great addition to families with one…
5. Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Zoom Flyer Disc
Throw this frisbee-type disc for your dog at night and watch it glow. The edges are gentle on your dog’s gums. Plus, it floats and is infused with mint for fresher doggie breath.
The Orbee-Tuff Zoom Flyer Disc from Planet Dog is a thoughtfully designed dog fetch toy your pup will love to play with outdoors! The central core of this flying disc is weighted to aid in longer and more stable throws while the outer rim is softer and gentle on your dog’s gums. These highly visible and buoyant discs are a great companion to any outdoor excursion with your pup. Made in the USA…
6. Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Fetch Ball With Rope
This rope toy does double-duty. You can use it to play fetch and tug-of-war with your dog. It bounces and floats too. Plus, it’s made of pup-safe materials, and since it’s infused with mint, it’ll help freshen Fido’s breath.
The Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Fetch Ball with Rope is a great solution for pet owners who want to play multiple games with one easy-to-throw dog toy! Durable rope and TPE rubber are used to create a longer-lasting fetch toy that can bounce and float. Perfect for interactive games like tossing, tugging, chasing, and fetch! Made in the USA. from BPA, lead, and phthalate-free materials. Available in multiple…
Does Your Hunting Dog Love Squeaky Toys?
7. Outward Hound Invincibles
The invincibles are perfect for those hunting dogs whose goal with a new plush toy is to tear out the stuffing as if they’re in a race against the clock. You know the ones. These plush toys are double stitched for durability and have multiple squeakers instead of stuffing for more fun.
The Invincibles line comes in a variety of sizes and shapes, including snake and hedgehog.
Outward Hound’s line of Invincibles was specifically designed for dogs who like to play rough. While still cuddly and cute on the outside, these plush toys have a special Dura-Tuff inner lining and double-layered outer seams to keep your pup’s new best friends intact longer. The stuff-free design reduces messiness and multiple squeakers will keep your dog entertained even after they’ve bitten through…
8. Cuddle Tugs Giraffe Plush Dog Toy
Soft corduroy meets crinkle paper stuffing (plus squeakers) for all-day fun. K9 Tuff Guard technology makes for a more durable dog toy. Your dog can chew it, enjoy the squeaker, and playing tug with you.
Cuddle Tugs dog toys are the perfect all around pal for your pup. The soft textured corduroy material is soft on your dog’s gums and comes stuffed with crinkle paper and 2 squeaker pads for a stimulating experience. Cuddle Tugs dog toys are designed to be used in interactive play games such as tug of war and extend out to 26 inches. Made with K9 Tuff Guard material featuring denier canvas lining,…
Interactive Puzzle Toys
Some of the best toys for indoor games with your hunting dogs are interactive puzzles. These toys engage your dog’s brain as they learn how to use their nose and paws to solve puzzles. Add your dog’s food to use as a slow feeder for speedy eaters.
9. Puzzle Games
The Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Treat Maze is a level 2 game perfect for pet owners needing an enticing solo game to reduce destructive behavior and boredom for their pups. Great for pups who have mastered level 1 games and are ready for an added challenge! This brightly colored dog puzzle game is easy to fill with treats and can be shaken to release the scent in case you pup hasn’t already noticed! The…
10. Hide-A Plush Puzzle Toys
What could be cuter than watching your pup take a plush squirrel out of its tree hidey-hole? Putting it back in, of course! This plush toy comes with six plush squirrels. You can stuff the tree trunk, toss it across the room and watch your hunting dog’s instincts kick in. They’re squeaky too!
Outward Hound’s Hide A line of hide and seek plush dog puzzles was designed specifically to eliminate boredom, encourage positive play, and feed your dog’s natural hunting instincts. 2-in-1 interactive play means double the fun with options to play fetch or hide and seek to keep your dog mentally-stimulated. For dogs who can’t get enough of these plushy animals, check out our replacement 3-packs! Bound to…
Nurture your dog’s natural instincts
Which of these types of toys do you think your hunting dog will most enjoy?
From tug toys to chew toys combined with treat dispensers like the Orbee-Tuff toys, you can use dog toys as handy training tools too. Your hunting dog will thank you. Happy playtime!