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Best Toys for a Poodle

The 6 Best Types of Toys for a Poodle

Overview

If you think of dog toys as needing to serve as tools to meet a Poodle's needs, you may be surprised at how amazingly helpful they can be.

The right toys can help a great deal with everything from teething woes, to negative behavior associated with boredom... to destructive chewing, stress, and especially separation anxiety. 

In addition, toys can serve as a method of creating a closer bond with your Poodle, encourage activity in an otherwise sedentary dog, and even boost a Poodle's brain power. 

Here we will take a look at the 6 types of toys every Poodle should have to meet a wide variety of canine needs.

#1 Teething Toys

Why these are needed:

The teething phase is not that much fun for owners, but is even worse for Poodle puppies.  

Teething begins by 3 to 4 months old and lasts until the 7 to 8 month mark. 

During this time, there are incredible amounts of itching and most puppies feel some level of discomfort. This causes an overwhelming need to chew to soothe those teething woes. 

For these reasons, one of the best things that you can do is find the right toys for your teething Poodle puppy. 
Qualities of effective teething toys:

The oral sensations that a puppy feels can move from moment to moment. Discomfort waxes and wanes.  And itching can come in waves. So, toys need to be very versatile. 

The best toys will have:
  • A variety of surface textures. Cloth, rope, and hard rubber should be available to meet chewing urges at any one particular time. Rope toys are especially helpful, as the twisted strands are good 'scratchers'. 
  • Small nubs. This is of particular importance; tiny nubs work to massage gums which helps the pup feel better. 
  • Flexibility. A puppy needs to be able to manipulate the toy into different parts of his mouth.
  • Proper sizing. This is most relevant to toy Poodles, since many dog teething toys are sized too big for a tiny toy's mouth. If a Poodle puppy cannot instantly find relief, he may move onto something else...  and that might be a non-toy item. 
For puppies that need extra encouragement to mouth their toys, you'll find that flavored chews (chicken, beef, bacon, even ham & cheese) can be just the thing to keep the puppy happy and focused.
Recommended teething toys:

Below are our #1 most recommended toys for Poodle pups that are in the throes of teething. 

The first 3 are for toy Poodles, though larger options can be found for miniatures and standards. 

The Nylabone is just one example of great teething chews that are flavored to entice a puppy to mouth them and come in a wide range of sizes, to accommodate all Poodle varieties. 

If you do not see the images, try a refresh. On mobile, you may need to turn the screen horizontal to see all 4. 

#2 Chew Toys for Enthusiastic, Aggressive Chewers

Why these are needed:

Some Poodles take on chewing as their favorite hobby and have become skilled masters at ripping things to shreds. And if this describes your Poodle, no doubt you have had a hard time finding the right toys that will stand up to aggressive chewing. 

A dog's urge to chew is not limited to toys; with this type of drive, nothing is off limits.  

If a Poodle is not happy with his toys, one of two things will happen:  1) the dog will move on to other objects in the house, which is not only destructive but also unsafe or 2) the dog will become irritable and stressed as he's unable to satisfy his urges. 
Qualities of the best toys for strong chewers:

To meet your Poodle's needs, the goal will be to provide fun chew toys that are specifically designed to handle aggressive chewers. 

While no toy is literally indestructible, some come very close. The toy will need to:
  • Be able to stand up to high bite force.
  • Be safe - A great feature to look for is a color indicator that the toy has been chewed down too far. Some toys are guaranteed, meaning that if a color starts to show, you'll get a free replacement. 
  • Fun - If it does not have the right texture and pliability to feel good in a Poodle's mouth, it'll be of no use. 
Recommended toys for Poodles that are super aggressive chewers: 
For this, both Kongs and Doughnuts are the two best options, with Kongs being the best for toy Poodles (images are below).

Kongs are great because they come in a wide range of sizes that will be appropriate for toys, minis, and standards. 

These are color coded, with pink and blue for puppies, red for 'normal' adult chewers, and black is reserved for the strongest chewers.  In other words, a puppy would never be able to bite down on a black Kong dog toy and an aggressive chewer could tear up a pink one. 

The 'classic' Kong is designed to be filled with treats or kibble, which draws a dog to it and encourages him to stay focused. 

If your Poodle likes to chew, but has not shown a history of shredding toys to bits, you may find that the Kong 'minimally stuffed' chew toys are well received. These are also great because they come in all sizes from small to large. 

Goughnuts are colored coded as well, with yellow, orange, and green for strong chewers (140 PSI) and black reserved for professional grinders at a whopping 180 PSI.  

What is great about these is that they are guaranteed. Each has red in the middle. If you see even a tiny spot of red, you may return the toy for just the cost of shipping out a new one.

There are 3 sizes as well; but these will be a bit too large for most toy Poodles. The .75 is for dogs 10 to 40 lbs. and the original size is for dogs 30 to 65 lbs. 

Toys are shown below. If you do not see the images, try a refresh. On mobile, you may need to turn the screen horizontal to see all 4. 

#3 'Stay Busy' Toys to Combat Boredom

Why these are needed:
Dogs are not meant to just 'be there', but due to an owner's busy schedule and responsibilities, there may be lots of time windows throughout the day when a Poodle is essentially on his own to stay occupied.  

And in this sense, thinking of toys as 'stay busy' tools can make a huge difference in your Poodle's happiness level. 

When a puppy or dog is just sitting around without anything to do, he will reach a limit where boredom turns into frustration. And where monotony turns into depression. 

If your Poodle has been too bored, you may not even realize it until you hand over a super-fun, interactive toy and see him perk up. Alternatively, some Poodles are very expressive about how they feel. Such behaviors as excessive barking, destructive chewing, pacing, and signs of irritability can all be traced back to being bored and/or not being able to release pent-up energy.

It must be noted that regular exercise plays a role in this as well. If your Poodle is not taken out twice per day for at least 20-minute sessions, even the best of toys may not fix his woes. So, a good balance of getting outside for walks and offering the right toys during down-time is the best fix. 
Qualities of the best toys to fix boredom and keep a Poodle occupied:
You'll want toys that will be perfect for both when a Poodle is home alone and also when you are home but cannot interact with your Poodle at the moment. 

These toys should:
  • Allow a Poodle to play fully independently; you will not need to do anything else other than point out the toy (if you are there).
  • Call out to the puppy or dog. A huge aspect is that the toy interacts with the dog. In this way, playing is a two-way street. The dog noses the toy, the toy responds. The dog chews the toy, the toy reacts. This type of element can keep a dog busy for a long time, basically until he's completely tuckered out. 
Recommended 'stay busy' toys for Poodles:
There ares some incredibly fun options. 

The Babble Balls toys are out of this world; these are super interactive toys that can keep a puppy or dog amused and busy for hours. 

There are 3 sizes (small for toys, medium for minis, and large for standard Poodles). 

Also, there are two fun types. One lets out animal noises. So, as a Poodle touches the toy, engaging sounds like pigs, frogs, bears, birds, even other dogs speak to him. There are 20 different animal sounds in all.

The other is just as wonderful. It lets out funny phrases such as 'Come here, puppy!' and 'Hot diggity dog!'. There are 20 amusing, encouraging phrases in all. 

For both of these, the toys automatically shut off when not in use, so the batteries do not run out. 
The Look Who's Taking line of toys is super fun as well. There are over 15 different types of stuffed animals, and each one makes a corresponding animal noise. These are good sized quality toys that stand up to daily playing. 

The size of these toys range from 5" (the baby chick) to 7" (the cow) and a bunch in between. There is a parrot, frog, rooster, monkey, goat, lobster, and more. 
These toys are shown below. If you do not see the images, try a refresh. On mobile, you may need to turn the screen horizontal to see all 4. 

#4 Treat Dispensing Toys

When this is needed:
This type of toy is a must for any Poodle that is home alone for 5+ hours. These serve two purposes in one swoop. 

1) It is a 'stay busy' toy as it takes a puppy or dog a while to release all of his treats. 2) And importantly, it also is a great way to offer a mid-day meal if you will not be home. 

As an added benefit, if you place your Poodle's food in this sort of toy on days that you are not home, it helps prevent bloat, a dangerous health condition (fast eating is a common trigger), which is a top concern for standard Poodles and is always something to be aware of no matter what type or size dog you have. 
Qualities of great treat-release toys:
There are a few aspects to keep in mind. For this type of toy to do its job, it should:
  • Hold in treats enough that they are not released too easily, but at the same time allow a Poodle to smell them in order to trigger a response. 
  • Be designed to work with a variety of different dog treats (so that you are not forced to purchase additional treats).
  • Be made with safe materials. 
  • Be durable to stand up to daily use.
  • Be easy to clean since you'll want to be able to rinse away food particles. 
  • Be sized correctly. It's not uncommon for owners of toy Poodles to have trouble finding treat dispensing toys for their tiny dogs, so for these Poodles, it must fit the needs of dogs 10 lbs. and under. 
Recommended treat dispensing toys for toy, mini and standard Poodles:
There are some great options for all Poodles (images below).

Busy Buddy makes two treat release toys. The barnacle toy is perfect for toy Poodles, even puppies. It is composed of 3 tiny separate spheres, so toy Poodle can easily mouth onto one of them at a time. If you like the looks of this one, but don't have a toy Poodle, no worries... it also comes in size medium and large.

The other type is the twist sphere, which is adjustable, so you can control how easy or hard it is for your Poodle to get to the treats. This comes in small (for dogs 8 to 20 lbs.), medium (20 to 50 lbs.), and large (50+ lbs.).
The IQ Treat Ball is a great toy for toy Poodles on the larger end, minis and standards; this is available in both 3 and 4 inch diameters.  It's a neat little sphere that is adjustable and releases food as it's nudged which encourages a dog to move. 
The Bob-A-Lot is a good-sized toy that is best suited for mini and standard Poodles. This has a large chamber that holds a full meal, and its bright color and wobbly movements make eating fun. 
These toys are shown below. If you do not see the images, try a refresh. On mobile, you may need to turn the screen horizontal to see all 4. 

#5 Toys for When Home Alone

 Companion Toys & Treat-Tossing Interactive Webcams

When these are needed:
These are for dogs that are home alone for any amount of time and have trouble dealing with being by themselves.  

Distress and even panicking when owners are away is referred to as separation anxiety, and this is not uncommon with dogs. In fact, it may be even more so with breeds like the Poodle due to their instinctive sensitivity and close human bonding. 

So, while all toys are important in their own way, perhaps the one type that can make the most dramatic impact on a Poodle is a companion toy. These will mimic a living creature to become an instant friend. With this, a dog is no longer alone. 

In addition, it would be remiss to not mention webcam devices that allow you to interact with your Poodle when you're not there. These are quite amazing, though are not fitting for those on a tight budget. 
Qualities of best companion toys:
There's no competition here and there's no comparing. 

The very best ones are Smart Pets; these are good-sized quality stuffed animals that emit a rhythmic, soothing heartbeat. This alone instantly swoops away heavy feelings of isolation. In addition, is an option to send out a comforting warmth. 

This is as close as you can get to giving your Poodle a companion without obtaining another dog, and these are just marvelous. 
Qualities of the best pet webcams:
Not very long ago, there were some sparse choices for this; however, the features where quite limited. Now, there's some truly amazing devices. 

While these can be a bit pricey, if you really want to go all out and come the absolute closest you can to  being with your Poodle when you're not with him, the webcam will:
  • Have two-way audio so that you can both speak to your Poodle and hear any barking in response.
  • Have a wide-angle view and night vision, so that you can clearly see your puppy or dog at all times and under any sort of lighting (though it is always recommended to keep lights on for a dog that's home alone). 
  • Easily sync to your smartphone
  • Hold a good number of treats, so that the interaction can be frequent and extended.
  • Toss treats out with a tap on your phone, and at a good distance to make it clear that you're playing with your Poodle. 
Our #1 recommend companion toys and a super-neat interactive webcam are below. If you don't see the images, try a refresh. On mobile, you may need to turn your screen horizontal to see all 4. 

#6 Toys to Play with Your Poodle

The reason these are vital:
Dogs love nothing more than to have interaction with their humans. It's what they live for.  So, no matter how busy the day may get, the best thing you can do for your Poodle is to make time each day to play. It can be as little as 15 minutes, and it will mean the world. 

And do not discount older adults and even seniors. The need to hold onto bonds is stronger than ever. 
Qualities of the best 'play together' toys:
For playing fetch, which is the quintessential owner & dog game of bonding, some Poodles are so enthusiastic, that just an old tennis ball will do. 

However, it's not uncommon for a Poodle to need something colorful and interesting to get really involved with a game of fetch. 

You'll want it to be durable and importantly the right size so that your Poodle can easily mouth it. 

Another option that is great to play on rainy days are puzzle games. With this, you work together as a teacher and student. You'll teach your Poodle how to nose levers and paw buttons to find hidden treats.

There is something to be said about the Poodle ranking #2 in intelligence; this is indeed a super smart breed. However, dogs are as smart as opportunity allows... so, it's always great to play with toys like this that let a Poodle exercise his brain power. 

For these, you'll want to pay attention to the level (typically 1,2 and 3 or beginner, intermediate, and advanced) so that the puzzle is doable. 
Recommended super-fun fetch toys and a fun puzzle game are below (this one is level 2, but there are lots of options.  If you do not see the images, try a refresh. On mobile, you may need to turn your screen horizontal to see all 4. 
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