The Best Toys for Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers love to play – it’s essential for their mental stimulation and to help meet their daily exercise quota. Luckily, there are so many different types of toys for them to enjoy. There are almost too many choices, so I rounded up the best toys for your Golden Retriever. 

I’ve covered throwing toys, puzzle toys, hard-to-destroy toys, and plenty more. Read on for recommendations that will entertain your Golden Retriever for hours.

These toys are typically available to buy in your local pet shop or online and have been tried and tested by Golden Retrievers. They all vary in price and use, and some need bigger spaces than others to make the most of.

Summary of the Best Toys for Golden Retrievers

For a quick answer, these are the best toys I’ve come across for Golden Retrievers across seven main categories:

Great Toy For Throwing 

A Kong Jumper Football takes first place here – it’s easy to throw and made of a durable rubber that should last for a while. It’ll keep your Golden Retriever fetching for hours.

Best Investment (Indestructible) 

The Goughnuts Indestructible Chew Ring is renowned for being a tough, heavy-duty toy, designed to withstand even the most destructive dogs.

Most Puzzling Toy 

The Nina Ottosson Twister Puzzle Toy is an advanced, interactive toy designed for dogs to use problem-solving to access treats. It hasn’t got any removable parts so there’s no choking hazard – just hours of fun and mental enrichment!

Best Chew Toy

The Kong is without a doubt one of the greatest dog toys of all time. They’ll keep your Golden Retriever occupied for hours as they work to get every last drop of the treat from inside the Kong. You can use paste, a dash of peanut butter, or anything else dog-friendly.

Best Squeaky Toy

Our pick for a squeaky toy is a Wainwright Rabbit Toy that comes from Pets at Home and is an affordable but fun option for your Golden Retriever. You can get a variety of different shapes, but this one is a rabbit. Make sure you monitor your dog as they’re chewing – if the squeaker comes out they could choke.

Favourite Outdoor Toy 

For an outdoor toy, we chose a Kong Rubber Flying Disc Toy that you can get from Amazon. You only need a little bit of space to throw it and your Golden Retriever will play for hours – fetching the disc and proudly bringing it back to you.

Top Cooling Toy 

Keeping your Golden Retriever cool in the summer is important. One way to do this is by getting a Cooling Chew Toy. You can put it in the freezer and once it’s frozen, give it to your Golden to chew. It’s dog-friendly, freezer-friendly, and a fun way to help your dog stay cool.

How to Choose Toys for Your Golden Retriever?

When you’re browsing the many options of toys for your Golden Retriever, consider these questions before you purchase any toys.

  1. Is it safe? This includes checking that it’s chemical-free and that it doesn’t have plastic, latex, or toxins in it. High-quality toys are usually less likely to break apart and cause a choking hazard.
  2. What size do you need? A Golden Retriever puppy and fully grown adult will require different size toys. In particular, this covers chew toys. For a pup, you’ll want a softer chew to help with their teething, while older Goldens need tougher, chewy dental sticks.
  3. What’s your budget? Sometimes investing more money will leave you with the highest quality toy that’ll last for a long time. But sometimes their favourite toy will be cheaper, like a supermarket soft toy. Decide your budget before you start looking.
  4. What type of game do you want to play? If you’re looking for a throwable toy, you don’t want something heavy and awkwardly shaped. While a toy to keep them entertained for hours should be more durable.
  5. What material is it made of and how durable is it? These two go hand in hand, certain materials are designed for their durability. 

Golden Retriever Toy Breakdown

To help you navigate the many types of toys and options, I broke them down into categories. I look into each category of toy below, explain why it’s beneficial and fun, and give some specific examples of toys that I love and recommend.

Throwable Toys

One of a Golden Retriever’s favourite things to do is in their name –  retrieving. You’ll often see Goldies carrying items around and also fetching things and bringing them to their owner. 

These toys provide a great incentive for your Golden Retriever to exercise and be active:

  • Tennis Balls – they’re cheap and cheerful, you can pick these up in most shops and your Goldie will never tire of chasing them. You can get them for around £1 each and often you can get multi-packs which are even cheaper! 
  • Ball launcher – this handy accessory helps you launch the ball further than you could with your arm. It means your Golden Retriever can have a good run and you can change directions to keep them on their toes.
  • Automatic launchers – if you have a big budget. They’ll save your arm from getting tired and it means your Golden Retriever can play for hours.

The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher is a top-of-the-range launcher that operates with 9 distance settings and 6 angles. It’s water-resistant, has motion detectors to protect anyone who goes in front of it, and has great reviews. You can find it on Amazon here.

For those looking to spend less, you can pick up KONG’S Jumbler Football which is a tennis ball encased in hard rubber. It has a handle for convenience and has a squeaker inside. You can find this in a few different places, but this is one of the best prices I have found. 

Many toys can be used in the classic game of fetch. Any type of soft or small toy can be thrown for your Golden to collect and bring back to you. As long as it’s dog-friendly you can use your initiative to find things to throw!

Hard to Destroy Toys

Golden Retrievers have strong teeth so you have to be careful to make sure they don’t tear their toys to shreds. Have you ever found stuffing or parts of a brand new toy beside your sheepish dog?

As a result, it’s a good idea to find especially durable toys so they’ll last longer. This can save you from constantly replacing toys and mean you don’t have to worry about your Golden Retriever ingesting broken parts of toys if they’re made from tougher materials.

These types of toys are good to keep your Golden Retriever busy and entertained while you’re out of the house. They should be strong enough to survive a lot of chewing and rough play.

Although no toy is guaranteed to be indestructible, toys made out of hard plastic and rope materials are usually safe bets. You can often see on the label if a toy is advertised as a tough toy. 

It might be worth investing in some of these tougher toys so your Golden Retriever can enjoy them for much longer.

The Goughnutt Rubber Ring is described as ‘Indestructible Dog Chew Toys for Aggressive Power Chewers’ and one of the most highly rated hard to destroy toys on the market. While it seems quite pricey, remember that the investment means you won’t be replacing a cheaper toy that breaks often. 

Another option for a hard to destroy toy is the Iohkeria Dog Chew Toy for Aggressive Chewers. This rubber dumbbell-shaped toy is loved by Golden Retriever owners and is extra durable.

Puzzle Toys

Golden Retrievers are the fourth smartest breed of dog. It’s important to make sure your Golden Retriever is mentally challenged to prevent boredom. A bored dog is more likely to be destructive.

There are a number of toys which are designed to make your Goldie think and puzzle over. This is lots of fun for your dog and extra satisfying when they figure it out! They love to work and learn new things and with puzzle toys, they can do both.

Most of these toys dispense treats, which is a brilliant incentive as long as it’s in moderation alongside a healthy diet.

Get one of these and you can sit back and watch in awe as their brilliant minds figure it out.

One of my favourites is the Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy. Your Golden Retriever will have to push, slide and lift the compartments to reveal the tasty treats. 

Another great toy that Golden Retrievers love is this hide-and-seek style squirrel toy.

Chew Toys

Chew toys are great for any size Golden Retriever but especially good for puppies. Providing something to chew can hopefully prevent any unwanted damage to other household items.

If you haven’t heard of a Kong, this is the first thing you’ll want to invest in. You can put a tasty treat like meat paste or peanut butter inside and your dog will be quiet and content for hours as they lick every last drop of the treat. Once there’s no more food inside, they can chew the rubbery outside to their heart’s content.

Pets at Home sell various sizes of KONG and have a variety of colours. 

Rope toys are also great for you to play tug of war with your Goldie. They’re made by twisting strands of cotton rope fibres that can act like floss for your dog’s teeth. The twisted material also makes it extra tough and durable. 

You can get all sorts of styles, but below are a few of my particular budget-friendly favourites:

Noisy Toys

Toys which have squeaks or sounds inside are truly delightful for Golden Retrievers. These sounds can make the toys seem realistic and extra fun to play with as it mimics real life.

You do need to be careful though, if your Goldie is a little too eager and pulls the toy apart, the noise part can be harmful if eaten. Make sure you monitor and dispose of any toys once they start to break to prevent mishaps.

If your Golden Retriever does eat anything they shouldn’t, seek veterinary attention as soon as you can.

These types of toys come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. More realistic ones are shaped like birds or rabbits. While others are fun designs, colourful, and loud. Don’t be afraid to give them a few test toots when you’re in the pet shop!

Also, you may want to have somewhere discrete to store these if you get fed up with the noise! 

Here are a few links to some highly rated and fun toys you can check out, there’s a mix of types for you to look at!

Outside Toys

Golden Retrievers are water babies, stemming from their history back in Scotland which you can learn more about here. As a result, Golden Retrievers particularly enjoy water-based toys such as dog-friendly paddling pools, sprinklers, and water toys. 

Pets at Home have a couple of different size dog-friendly pools – you’ll probably need the larger size for your Golden Retriever! Also, you might find pools elsewhere but they tend to be seasonal items.

Water toys are usually cheap as you can refill and reuse them, and they’re perfect for the hotter months. 

Frisbees can be bought from a variety of toy and sports shops. They can make playing fun for both you and your pooch. Unless they’re specifically designed, you’ll have to make sure your Goldie doesn’t chew too hard and break it.

This frisbee is designed by KONG to be extra durable and designed for larger dogs so ideal for your Golden.

Any type of ball is a trusty option for your Goldie (tennis, rugby, football, and more!) Although mentioned previously, it’s worth bringing them up again here. If you’re outside and have some open space then throw it as hard as you can! Your Golden Retriever will be so pleased to be fetching for you and that you’re playing together.

Other Toys

There are some other types of toys that don’t fall in the categories above but are worth a mention.

Dental toys and treats are designed to help in the dental department. You can get toys that specifically help with teething for your puppy. There are also various flavoured dental sticks and toys. Brushing your Golden Retrievers teeth should be a common part of your pet’s care, and these products can be used in addition to brushing.

If you suspect your dog has a problem in their mouth, always seek veterinary care. Also, check individual toys for information on exactly what they do and how they work.

You can also get specific cooling toys, which you fill with water and freeze and they work like ice lollies to help keep your Golden Retriever cooler in the summer months.

This Arctic Freeze Cooling Ring is put in the freezer, it’s perfect for hot days and teething puppies.

Another honorable mention is soft toys. Plush toys come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and will often be carried around by your Goldie. The only downside is that they typically break easier and so may not last long.

Extra Tips for Golden Retriever Toys

Check out these tips to keep in mind when you’re getting and giving your Golden Retriever toys:

  • Introduce variety: Remember to get new toys every now and then. You could even rotate the toys – your Goldie will be excited to have something different to play with. 
  • Make sure you are also switching the types of toy: Just like you or me, your Golden Retriever can get bored of too much of the same thing. 
  • Their favourite toy will usually be the one they always bring to you and carry around. If possible, get another one the same for when their favourite inevitably breaks.
  • Safety: Check that their toys are made from non-toxic materials and that they won’t break down easily. Check regularly for any damaged toys that can cause an injury and remember to wash them occasionally.
  • Golden Retrievers love it when you play with them, don’t be afraid to get involved!
  • Price compare: When buying toys, check out the reviews and safety specifications to work out what toy you want. Once you know what you want, check out a few different places to see where you can get the best deal.

Overall, as long as the toy is safe for dogs, you can’t go too wrong when choosing a toy. Over time your Golden Retriever might indicate a preference for a particular toy, and their tastes might change over time. But regardless, they’ll appreciate the effort and love playing with you!

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