Ruff Dawg is a family-owned business in Worcester MA. Starting out as a rubber molding company under a different name, they made rubber discs used for water aeration. One thing led to another, and eventually, dog owners working at the company brought home some of the imperfect manufactured discs. This was the birth of their new dog-loving enterprise with the motto, “changing the way pets play.”
All of Ruff Dawg’s toys are made entirely in the USA of premium, non-toxic, FDA-approved materials, making playtime safe and durable for all dogs whether they be chasers, chewers, or mellowed-out cuddlers.
But don’t blindly take my word for it. I had the pleasure of testing out a box full of Ruff Dawg toys with my standard Poodles Zeta and Blanche. That way, you can decide from our experience if Ruff Dawg toys are the right toys for you.
At a Glance: The Most Popular Ruff Dawg Toys
|Our Favorite||Ruff Dawg Indestructible Ball||
|Ruff Dawg Hart||
About Ruff Dawg
Who Makes Ruff Dawg Rubber Toys and Where is it Produced?
Ruff Dawg is a division of Jefferson Rubber Works, a family-owned business that was founded in 1975 making parts for wastewater treatment plants. As with most manufacturing businesses, there were imperfect pieces that were typically thrown out. These disc-shaped rubber pieces were used for entertainment during work breaks. Employees would toss them back and forth like frisbees. Eventually, they brought these discs home and found them to be great dog toys. Founders named the disc the K9-flyer, and the rest is Ruff Dawg history.
Since the K9-Flyer success, Ruff Dawg has developed a full line of durable rubber dog toys from sticks to balls to even donut-shaped retrieving toys.
Which Types of Pets Are Ruff Dawg Rubber Toys Best Suited For?
I’m sure all types of dogs would benefit from interacting with a Ruff Dawg toy. After all, playtime is essential fun for pooches of all ages and sizes.
That being said, Ruff Dawg is designed for the most demanding dogs with active mouths and feet. These toys are weatherproof and washable, so no amount of rain or mud will wear away the material. Water retrievers can enjoy a game of fetch at the pool since these toys float on water. And if you have a chaser that sometimes loses track of where a ball is thrown, the bright neon colors will help you find them every time you think they might be lost.
You might be thinking, “But my dog is really aggressive with his toys. We can’t buy anything without him tearing it to shreds within minutes.” That’s okay too, because Ruff Dawg offers a lifetime guarantee on some of their most-loved products. So if Fido really does have a vise-like bite, Ruff Dawg may just replace it for free! (Note: this is on select products and does include both the Indestructible Ball and Hart).
Any pup owner can tell you, that one of the most important pieces of exercise and bonding is play. It’s important for your dog’s health to run, chase, and retrieve, and you being a part of that play strengthens your relationship with your dog. But even more, it’s fun.
Ruff Dawg rubber toys keep that playtime safe as well. They’re made with durable materials, making it difficult (perhaps impossible) for the strongest chewers to destroy. Regardless of your dog’s breed or size, there is something that will fit their needs- Ruff Dawg toys come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors.
As stated above, Ruff Dawg makes all their rubber toys right in the USA, making it easy for them to monitor all materials from their packaging to manufacturing. Each toy is created with high-quality, FDA-approved materials that are free from Phalates and hormone-disrupting BPA’s. Pet owners can rest assured that Ruff Dawg has done everything they can to keep pups safe during playtime with their products.
One of my favorite things about Ruff Dawgs rubber toys is the variety available. Most retrieving balls come in a single standard size, but not Ruff Dawg. Three different sizes (Ball, Ball XL, and Ball XXL) ensure that regardless of how mouthy your pooch is, there’s a size that fits them.
Size isn’t everything, though. Most Ruff Dawg rubber toys come in about 4 different neon colors. So regardless if you buy a bright orange Dawg-Buster or a purple Gummy Bear retriever, it’ll be difficult to lose while at the dog park or on a walk. There’s no missing those bright colors against a natural setting. Thank goodness, because I know one pup who is bound to sneak a ball into the bushes and forget where she dropped it. (I’m looking at you, Blanche).
Now my Poodles are chewers. There hasn’t been a toy they haven’t destroyed within a day’s time, yet. That is, until I got these in the mail. Typically, any toy I bring home will end up in pieces while my back is turned for a few minutes. At best, it might take a day before pieces start chipping off, and I need to dig through Blanche’s mouth to find plastic leftovers.
However, I’ve now had Ruff Dawg rubber toys in my house for over a week, and I don’t even see a dent. None. Not even a surface scratch mark. I’m sure that may change over time as we play more fetch and keep away. But I can honestly say I don’t foresee these to chip away like other so-called “durable” toys we’ve tried in the past.
Let’s talk about bouncing. Zeta has always been the kind of dog to chase anything that moves. And once she found out that she has the skills to chase and catch a toy in the air, anything that ricochets across the yard has become her absolute favorite.
These toys are very bouncy. Each ball shoots right into the air, perfect for triggering that predator-prey instinct in your dogs. And if you’re a little more adventurous in your fun, one of the “odd” shaped toys (like the Hart) will have your dog darting in several different directions since it bounces wildly wherever it hits!
Reviews of the Ruff Dawg Rubber Toys
1. Ruff Dawg Indestructible Ball
The toy really does live up to its name. My massive chewers have chased these balls, caught them in the air, ran circles in the yard with them, and snuck them away to chew. Not only have these balls stood up to the test of Zeta’s excitement and Blanche’s teeth, but they’ve become the best way to get our Poodles’ attention. One call of their name with a neon ball in our hand, and they’ll eagerly drop what they’re doing to play a game of fetch.
The regular-size “Ball” is perfect for my pups to catch after a good bounce. A solid high jump, and they can easily fit it in their mouths without dropping it. The Ball XL still fits between their jaws, but given its weight, they’re more hesitant to catch it in the air. There is no way they’ll catch the Ball XXL in mid-air, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have fun with it. They’ll still chase it with gusto, and even Blanche’s more petite shape will allow her to carry it across the yard without a problem.
2. Ruff Dawg Hart
The Ruff Dawg Hart is very much like the Ruff Dawg ball. It’s made of the same durable rubber material, meaning not even the most destructive dogs can tear into it. It’s a fantastic chase toy that bounces in every direction, due to its odd shape. One throw in the backyard, and who knows how many times your dog will turn on a dime to go after it.
That being said, the XL size weighs even heavier than the Ball XL, making it difficult for either of my dogs to pick up or carry. Even with their wide-shaped mouths, they struggled to wrap their teeth around it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely a fun toy to chase, but not something we will be able to play fetch with. Perhaps a smaller size would allow them to do all three C’s: chase, catch, and carry. For us, I imagine it’ll make for a great (though perhaps awkward) chew toy.
Our Experience With Ruff Dawg Rubber Toys
I like to say I have two full-grown puppies. At not quite two years old, both Blanche and Zeta have a ton of energy. And the moment they hear the word “ball,” their ears perk up, and their tails go wild. So when I had the chance to test out some of Ruff Dawg’s rubber toys, I was more than ready. (Honestly, so were they.)
We tested out several different sizes of Ruff Dawg’s rubber balls as well as the XL Hart, it should be noted that each toy is sold separately.
I have to admit, I’m so glad I had the ability to test out all the sizes because after seeing Zeta’s eyes light up and the way Blanche got out of breath quickly after a few minutes of play, I can honestly say that each size has its place in our toy bin.
Opening the box, I couldn’t open these toys out of their packaging fast enough. Zeta’s mouth instantly found them. She lost her mind, forgetting every manner I ever taught her. She was in it to win it. With a promise that we’d play, she allowed me to read the packaging, snap a few photos, and decide that finally, yes, we can go play ball.
First came the smallest size, “Ball”. Not only did Blanche eagerly chase after it across the yard, but Zeta leapt into the air to catch it several times. At the smallest size, it’s the lightest ball Ruff Dawg offers, making it the perfect fit within their jaws. I was slightly concerned when Blanche did her signature move: catch the ball first, play keep away, and hide behind the azalea bushes to chew it to oblivion. (This is how almost every ball has been destroyed in our house.) But to my happy surprise, she chewed and chewed and chewed without making a single dent. That’s when I knew we had a winner.
The Ball XL and Ball XXL were similar to each other in terms of playability for my Poodles. Both are too heavy to catch in the air, but make for fantastic fetch toys. The moment they hit the ground, they’d bounce HIGH into the air, then end up clear across the yard within seconds. I’ve never seen these two sprint quite like they did chasing these extra bouncy balls. The Ball XL did fit best in their mouths, but neither of them let the bigger XXL size intimidate them. The only downside to these two is that they are very heavy, so I’d caution against playing fetch in the house with them. (Zeta found out she could bounce them on the hardwood floors. But one wrong shake of her head, and I’m sure we’d be paying for a new TV.)
As adorable as the Ruff Dawg Hart is, it’s the only toy of this bunch I’m not super impressed with. It’s extra wide and extra heavy. Zeta was thrilled to chase its insanely unpredictable bounce, but she couldn’t bring it back. Neither she nor Blanche could even pick it up in their mouths. So my caution to you is to size down on the Hart for optimal play, unless you have a bear of a dog.
Look, I used to think, “a ball is a ball is a ball” when it came to dog toys. I figured that it was just in our cards to keep the standard tennis ball brand in business the way my dogs go through them. But Ruff Dawg has proven me wrong.
If there is a single ball you buy your dog, this is it. The rubber material will outlast any other toy we’ve ever spoiled our dogs with. The bounce-ability is insane – I’ve never seen a standard ball bounce so high or so wild. And the fact that Ruff Dawg offers a lifetime guarantee? I mean, it just makes sense to have one on hand, especially with chewers in the house.
Just, be careful indoors, unless you need an excuse to buy a new television.