Finding a dog toy that’s right for your pup can be tricky for any pet owner. Things get even trickier when you are trying to find the best toy for a Bernese Mountain Dog. These large breeds are highly active and need a good amount of exercise and mental stimulation. Otherwise they may get bored and decide to play with your furniture or clothes instead.
All dogs will have their own preferences, and that remains true for Bernese Mountain Dogs. But we’ve gone ahead and gathered some great toys to consider buying to keep your dog active and entertained all day long.
Play Fetch With A Frisbee
Berners, as they are affectionately known on the internet, love to be outside running. They are well adapted to cold weather and have historically been bred to help out around farms and to pull carts. Playing fetch is a great place to start, but consider using a frisbee instead of a tennis ball.
Frisbees, like this one here made by Kong, are great for fetch because you can usually throw them even farther than a ball. Most dogs love to chase the frisbee down and then bring it back for another round. And you don’t have to worry your dog might swallow it like they might with a small ball.
When you are looking to buy a frisbee for your berner, you should make sure you are getting something that is the right size and a tough material. The Kong frisbee linked above is made of super durable rubber and is manufactured to be easy on your dog’s teeth and gums.
If you’re worried that your dog’s jaws are still too powerful, then consider upgrading to Kong’s Extreme products. This variety is designed to stand up to even the toughest of jaws and last a long time.
Go Nuts For Tug O’ War
If you are looking for a way to actively play with your dog, without having to leave the comfort of your living room, then consider a tug toy. We recommend something like the GoughNuts Tug Toy. These figure eight shaped tug toys can be loads of fun right in your house. Again, you’ll want to make sure you are paying close attention and order the right size for your pet.
Some folks veer away from tug toys and tug of war type games because they feel it makes their dog an aggressive player. While there are a lot of mixed feelings on the subject, only you can decide if your dog is right for this type of game. Puppies may make mistakes during tug games and accidently bite your hand, so it may be best to leave these toys to the older dogs.
A Toy For a Healthy Mind and Healthy Teeth
Interactive toys are great for your dog to play on their own and burn off some steam. Luckily, we’ve found a toy that does that and helps to keep your dog’s teeth clean! The Starmark Everlasting Treat toys are super helpful to have around if your dog needs some activity, but you aren’t able to actively participate.
These durable chew toys are paired with a variety of healthy dental treats to keep your chewing for hours. Starmark offers a variety of flavors and a few different designs of the ball itself. Just be sure to check out the ingredients for the dental chews if your dog has any dietary restrictions.
Hide and Seek Toys For the Brain
Plush chew toys are great, but they don’t usually do a lot for your dogs mental stimulation. That’s where plush hide and seek toys come in. These toys use adorable squeaky plush toys and incorporate them with an element of digging or seeking.
Some of our favorites include this volcano full of tiny T-rexes, this trashcan full of racoons, and this bowl of chips and guac. Shoving all the smaller plushies inside of the larger container, encourages your dog to root them out to play with them. Just know that this does mean you will have to continue putting them back in each time your dog pulls them out.
Chew On Some Antlers
Bernese Mountain Dogs have quite a powerful jaw, so anything you give them to chew on needs to be tough. Natural animal parts are great chews to consider and definitely a better choice than rawhide which is hard for dogs to digest.
Deer antlers are considered the toughest so we recommend deer antler dog chews from Bone and Chew USA. These antlers are sourced from pieces of antler that have fallen off the animal naturally and are never treated with artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
There are a few important things to consider if you’ve never purchased antler or animal chews for your dog.
- They can smell: These antlers tend to get pretty sticky while your dog is chewing on them.
- They can stain: In addition to the smell, they can get wet and messy and possibly stain certain surfaces or materials. So be careful where you let your dog chew on these.
Lastly, it should be supervised. Natural animal parts can splinter in unpredictable ways so you should be sure to keep an eye on your dog while they chew these. If it splinters and develops any sharp edges, it should be thrown away for your pet’s safety.
Rope Toys For Teethers
Bernese Mountain Dogs do a lot of chewing, but even more so when they are young and teething. Finding high quality rope toys for them to chew on will keep them from chewing on your shoes.
You could purchase several individual rope toys, but this set from Frisco gives you plenty of options to try out. The knotted rope usually stands up to the tough bite force of Bereners better than some other materials out there. The set gives you a ball for fetch as well as four other toys that could be used as tug toys or all on their own.
It is likely that your mountain dog will grow out of these rope toys eventually. When that time comes consider moving up to some really heavy duty ropes like this Mammoth rope toy. These are built to last and have the added benefit of flossing your dog’s teeth while they play.
Less Stuffing Is More, So Buy a Pelt Toy
Plush chew toys are fun, but nothing lasts forever. Eventually that toy will be ripped open and the stuffing will be everywhere, including in your dog’s mouth. Berners are great at ripping through these toys so consider going for a stuffingless pelt toy like these ones from ZippyPaws.
Your dog will have a blast whipping around the pelt toy, and you no longer have to worry about cleaning up all the stuffing when you get home. Plus the link above is a three pack so when one does get torn too much, you’ve got another ready to go!
Also consider knot plushies. These are stuffing free pelts, that have the added bonus of the rope texture that can be oh so satisfying for your pup’s mouth. This racoon scrunch from Kong is a very popular choice. Of course these toys still have the all important squeaker so you can get your dog’s attention.
Artificial Chew Bones For Spreadable Treats
Your dog probably has a favorite spreadable treat. Maybe it’s peanut butter or cream cheese. No matter what the treat is, it can be worrisome to give them too much and load up on all those calories. Luckily, Pet Qwerks Flavorit Chew stick fixes that.
The chew stick is designed with tiny indentations along both sides. Simply spread on a thin layer of your dog’s favorite spread and the indents will hold small amounts of, keeping your dog engaged for hours. The sticks themselves are infused with a trace of flavoring too so your dog may show interest even without the added spread.
These chew sticks are durable and dishwasher safe. Cleanup is as easy as tossing it in with your next load of dishes. The extra large size should be perfect for your mountain dog.
Another Treat Toy for Bits and Pieces
Puzzle feeders and treat dispensing toys are excellent choices for encouraging your dog to work for their food. This way they burn calories while they earn calories. The Squeak and Treat Troog Pet Chew Toy is a solid choice for berners.
This odd shaped chew toy has a squeaker for fun and attention and two chambers that slowly disperse treats as your dog knocks it around. Simply fill it with your dog’s favorite snacks or dinner, and then watch as they chew and chase this toy around to gather it all up.
This toy is made of a highly durable vanilla scented rubber that can stand up to those tough teeth. And once again it is safe to go on the top rack of your dishwasher for easy cleanup.
Take Your Dog’s Ball To the Next Level
Tennis balls are going to be too small and too flimsy to stand up to your berner’s bite. But that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on the classic. This football toy made by Kong is great for bigger dogs with big mouths.
It is made of a special non-abrasive felt that won’t wear down your dog’s teeth, unlike a traditional tennis ball. The oblong shape is safer to go in your dog’s mouth and bounces erratically which makes games of fetch that much more interesting. And it adds in a squeaker!
Plush Toys That Will Last
Like we said earlier, no toy can last forever. But you’d like it to last a while so you are constantly buying more toys. Kong’s Dynos plush toys are a great option for you. These cute dinosaur plush toys are made a reinforced lining to outlast standard plush toys.
They come in a variety of different dinosaurs including:
The textures on the outside offer an enticing chew element for your dog, while the inside used both crinkle sounds and squeakers to keep the fun coming.
No Toy Is Indestructible, But this Ball Comes Close
If the most important thing to you is durability, then we recommend the “Virtually Indestructible Ball.” This ball is made in the USA with high-quality and heavy-duty polyethylene and is meant to last for years.
The ball is non-toxic and can easily be washed up when it needs some cleaning. This is a great backyard toy for your dog to bat around, chase down, and wrestle with. The ball comes in three different sizes, but you’ll want to stick to the larger sizes.
It is worth pointing out that this is a hard ball and isn’t designed to be something your dog can pick up in their mouth. The idea is that they can hit it with their paws or body and chase it around the yard more so than catch or chew on it.
Dental Toys For Fresh Breath
It doesn’t take long for your dog’s breath to smell pretty rough. Thankfully the folks at Arm and Hammer have created a fun dog toy that also freshens their breath. The treadz line of toys from Arm and Hammer clean your dog’s teeth and breath, while they play.
The rubber body of the toy is infused with baking soda to reduce plaque and tartar, stimulate gums, and freshen breath. The bottom has a little opening that you can add treats to if your dog needs some additional incentive to chew on this one. This rubber is tough and can stand up to intense chewing for a long time.
What Are Important Considerations When Picking Dog Toys For Bernese Mountain Dogs?
Berners are big dogs with big mouths. These things can’t be ignored as you go looking to buy your pup some new toys.
What Is The Toy Made Of?
The material the toy is manufactured from is crucial to ensuring your dog’s safety and enjoyment. Plastic toys can crack easily, and those splintered pieces can cause damage to your dog’s mouth or intestines if they swallow them.
Look for toys made of high quality rubber or natural fibers. These materials usually stand up better to the strength of their bite.
Is The Toy Safe When You Aren’t Around?
If you are lucky enough to spend all day around your dog, then this may not be as much of an issue. But for most folks, there is some part of the day where your dog is not with you, but you’d like them to still have something to chew on or play with.
It’s important to consider this time when you buy toys and that you feel confident that the toy you are leaving them with couldn’t harm them. Avoid leaving animal parts like antlers with your dog unsupervised in case of splintering.
Is This Toy Going To Last?
We’ve said it several times. No dog toy lasts forever. But with mountain dogs, you want to go ahead and buy highly durable toys from the start to avoid buying more later. Not only are the durable toys better for your wallet, they are safer for your dog. Stick to trustworthy brands and check out reviews to see how the toy held up for other consumers.
Will Your Dog Enjoy This Toy?
You know your dog best. If your dog really likes squeakers and hates the sound of crinkle paper, then you should avoid crinkle toys. If your dog doesn’t like tug of war, but loves to fetch, then you’ll want to get good throwing toys.
All the toys above will be great for some dogs and not great for others. Pay attention to what toys your dog gravitates towards and what they avoid or don’t play with. This will maximize your dog’s enjoyment and keep you from having a basket full of unused dog toys.
Highly Durable and Interactive Toys Are Best For Berners
Bernese Mountain Dogs are big chewers that get bored easily. They will chew through cheaply made toys quickly. Without something to focus on, they will get bored easily and start to chew through your belongings.
If you lead a pretty busy life and don’t have time to engage in as much active play as your bernese might like, then definitely seek out some puzzle or interactive toys to keep them occupied and stimulated.
If you are fortunate enough to have a backyard for the dog to run and play in, then definitely consider something like the virtually indestructible ball from above. Or if you want to get really old school, place a wagon or cart outside.
Bernese Mountain Dogs historically pulled carts of supplies through the Alps. If you work with your own bernese for a while, they may find great joy in pulling a cart through the backyard as a fun challenge and exercise. And if you get creative enough, you may even find them helpful for moving things around lawn care supplies!