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Lowell, Michigan, United States
Dogs were born to run. I wasn't, but I do it anyway. :)

Indestructible Dog Frisbee?

posted by Andrew 25 June 2006

A review of six dog frisbees... can any withstand the jaws of a Labrador Retriever?



About a year ago Amanda and I decided to teach our dogs to catch a frisbee. We weren't sure how well our dogs would take to the activity so we bought a cheap plastic disc at Petsmart for $1 and starting throwing. After getting clunked in the head a few times, they finally figured out that frisbees were meant for catching! They really enjoy it, especially Beacon. The problem is that Beacon has yet to learn to treat these toys gently.

After he filled that first plastic disc with puncture holes and bent it until it was unflyable, we figured it was time to upgrade. For $15 we bought a Soft Bite Floppy Disc, which offered some advantages: it's made of flexible nylon with a soft rim - surely Beacon couldn't deform it, and nylon is tough. Not tough enough! Beacon quickly started putting holes in the fabric and $15 a pop is too high of a replacement cost.

One of my co-workers is a world class Airdale trainer and she suggested we try a Flippy Flopper, which she uses with her dogs. While her highly trained dogs have learned to control strength of their bite - they've worked as both powerful police dogs and gentle bird retrievers - ours haven't. Both Beacon and Haven were able to puncture the nylon fabric until the discs were so riddled with holes that they wouldn't fly as far.

The problem with flexible frisbees is that Beacon seems to think they're alive and he shakes them violently when he brings them back to us. While he bit the frisbee, we bit the wallet and shook out another $15 to try a Booda TurboDisc, a rigid disc with a hole in the center to make easier for dogs to grab it off the ground. See, that was one way Beacon made holes - when he missed a throw he'd press his mouth hard against the disc on the ground and bite down, grabbing a mouthful of dirt with the disc! It turned out that the hole in this frisbee made it a poor flier. Besides, Beacon put holes in this one, too!

Since Beacon can apparently put holes in anything, we were desperate for a good, durable frisbee. We put down yet another $15 for an Easy Glider, a thick foam disc that hopefully had enough squishy foam mass to hold up when punctured. This frisbee flies amazingly well and is easy to control - a sweet people disc. But not for dogs, as Beacon managed to rip a large hole in the middle and it no longer flies very well.

Back to the drawing board, we stopped by Chow Hound and bought a Kong Flyer for a relatively cheap $10. This frisbee is made of tough but flexible rubber with a stiffer rim. We tried this out today and so far, no damage! It's only been through one fetch session with Beacon's jaws, but there are no holes yet. This disc is also a great flier - I was able to throw it farther than any other dog frisbee we've tried.

Update: It turns out that even the Kong Flyer is vulnerable to dog teeth. Beacon was able to make holes in it, but due to the nature of rubber they sealed up nicely and the disc never lost any flight ability. Over time, though, the holes add up and once sufficiently riddled with tooth punctures Beacon was able to "connect the dots" and rip a large gash down the middle. Nevertheless, the Kong Flyer is easily the best-flying and longest-lasting frisbee of the discs reviewed here.

3 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. I got the Kong but it was so heavy that I didn't think it flew well. I've also tried the Durabone (I think that's the name) It's an actual Frisbee brand product and has held up well. But, it too is quite heavy and doesn't fly well.

    JGM

     
  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. I have the same problem with my dog. We've slowly been cycling through frisbees trying to find ones that work best and stand up to the destruction. The best one we've found so far is called Zisk by West Paw design. It's bright and easy to see, floats, and stands up to dogs that like destruction. Also it's recylable in the even that the dog does destroy it.

     
  5. mangotini Says:
  6. Beacon sounds oddly like my Staffy Bull, Dublin :)

     

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