Why I Don’t Bother To Name Shiva’s Toys

A few of you mentioned in your comments on Friday’s post that you have taught your dogs the names of all their toys. The idea is so cute. It would be useful for a lot of things –  most importantly, impressing visitors.  Any dog would look like a genius while she differentiates between a ball and a rope and retrieves the correct object. It’s brilliant.

Unfortunately, there is no point in even trying to teach this to Shiva for one simple reason:

"Beyond Tough" toy before...

She destroys them all within seconds.

"Beyond Tough" toy five minutes after.

If we want to have a hope of keeping any of her toys around for more than a day, we basically have to keep them away from her when we’re not playing with them. Other than a couple of bones, all of her play things are stored in a blue crate by the fish tank. She is only allowed to play with them when we pull them out and engage with her. Even that doesn’t prevent disaster.

Alligator before

This alligator was her favourite toy for a long, long time. He lived for at least six months, which is decades for Shiva. Even though we never allowed her to chew on it, just the simple acts of tugging and tossing were enough to slaughter this poor creature. I’ve thought of getting her a new one but I don’t know if I could inflict that kind of torture on an innocent stuffie again.
Warning: the image below is of a graphic nature. Reader discretion is advised.

Alligator carnage before we finally laid him to rest. Poor guy.

The only toy we have attempted to name is the Kong. Not that Shiva doesn’t destroy them, I think we’re on her sixth or seventh, it’s just that the toy has become essential to our lives. Since it doesn’t have a face, I don’t feel nearly as guilty when she tears it apart.

Kind of like this rope. Which actually used to be attached to a stuffed duck. It was such a cute little bird.

Oh, Shiva. You've done it again.

24 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Bother To Name Shiva’s Toys

  1. Look at Shiva, she has such an innocent look on her face!

    I think she’s so sweet and it’s hard to believe that she’s so tough on her stuffies.

    Eva treasures her stuffies a lot especially those who grew up together with her and those used to be Rosie’s collection.


    • Oh she’s sweet, in a diabolical way. 😉

      That’s lovely Eva is so good with her toys. But she is such a darling little princess so I’m not surprised.


  2. Dogs destuff as a way to exercise their instinct to degut their prey and it looks like your Shiva’s got a big instinct to do that. Several of mine do in the group stuffed toys usually within 48 hours, but I try to slow it down. Is that alligator from the Tuffies line? Because there are imitations that are not as tough. One of my dogs loves the ring in the Tuffies line, and the MEGA line is the toughest they make. http://www.tuffietoys.com/ They still tear it apart, but it takes longer and I mean weeks. Mine are not Shiva-dogs either. They are merely Dobermanns. 😉

    What about toys like big Cuz balls, the Jolly Egg (not the Kyjen Egge which is poor quality), the Monster Nylabone, I-squeak bowling pins? They may last long enough to name them. By the way, jefferspet dot com is having a free shipping weekend, and they have fantastically low prices, and the free shipping is a big deal. They have all the toys I mention and they also have cheap stuffed toys that you could throw to Shiva for a quick shredding fix without losing 15 or 20 bucks in two minutes. Or stuff old socks with other old cloth items and shove in some kibble in the mix.


    • Thank you for the recommendations!

      I think the gator was probably from a cheap imitator. None of the stores I frequent seem to sell the real deal. But she did absolutely love that toy so maybe it’s worth the money to try out an actual Tuffie toy. God help us if Shiva can demolish something faster than a Doberman.

      I haven’t heard of the others you mentioned. We have quite a few Nylabones but she seems to get bored of them quickly. Maybe because she can’t wreck it? I will have to check out that website for sure.

      Old socks… why didn’t I think of that? Thanks again!


  3. Every time I go to the grocery store I stop in the dog section and buy some cheap, easy destroyed toy. I know I’ll end up throwing them away after less than 24 hours, but I’ve accepted that more than anything Oly loves killing these fluffy squeakers.

    And anything that keeps her entertained and happy in the winter is A-ok by me! 🙂


    • That is so true! With the husband gone I’ve been needing that more than ever – something to keep her occupied so I can read a book for ten minutes.
      In fact, as I’m typing this she’s ripping into an old stuffie from that I’ve been hiding from her. The floor is now covered in white fuzz but she’s happy!


  4. Well you could always teach her to get other cool named stuff like the phone, remote, keys, her clicker (I’ve been working on that one!). Though you have to be careful about reinforcing her for picking up non-dog things as she may very well decide to destroy them too!

    I have to compliment you on a very well-put-together entry though. It has all the proper suspense and hooks, well done!!


  5. Riley destroys toys in a matter of minutes as well. She tore apart a tennis ball that came with her ChuckIt launcher last night in 10 minutes. I wish she would hang on to toys for longer and enjoy them for longer. At least she does seem to enjoy the 10 minutes she gets with them!

    Elyse and Riley


  6. Gee, why don’t you hire Shiva out to the toy companies as a test dog! If a toy outlasts Shiva at least 3 hours, it can go to market!

    At our local SPCA, they make shreddable toys using garbage. They put a smelly treat inside a small box (like the kind frozen vegetables come in). They’ll tape it shut and put it inside a slightly larger box, and so on and so on until it’s inside a big box. Then they let the dogs shred like crazy.

    I haven’t tried it. I suspect my recyclables would never again be safe. But if you don’t mind sweeping up a mountain of shredded cardboard, Shiva would probably have a great time!


  7. We can’t have soft toys on our house either. T and I often wonder if our future hypothetical children will get stuffed animals of their own because of the dogs. Thankfully they don’t ruin kongs so we have plenty of those around for the dogs.


  8. Katherine, I feel your pain! On Christmas morning, our hound Emmett and our Newf each get a toy and, before the day is done, Emmett has disemboweled and ripped limb-from-limb both dogs’ presents. Our poor Newf would happily treat toys properly if it wasn’t for destructo-dog. This holiday I think I’ll try Tuffietoys.com per Helen’s suggestion. Maybe we’ll get an extra day out of the deal. Beyond the annual present, I’ve simply given up.


  9. My dog was rough on her toys, but not that rough… Her favorite was a stuffed star. I kept on making repairs on it (sewing up the lost points) until finally star ended up looking like more of a triangle…


  10. It’s funny, three of mine set out to destroy toys as quickly as possible, some don’t care anything about toys and a couple carry them around all the time without harming them. The personalities are so different.


  11. Pingback: Kitty Meister Meister Kitty « Rescued Insanity

Comments are closed.