Border Terriers love toys

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One of the most prominent Border Terrier personality traits is love this breed nurtures for happy play time.  In doing so, they try to reproduce the hunting activity that is so instinctual and innate to them, as well as the shaking movement as if they had caught their prey and killed it by shaking them violently.  I know, it does sound gruesome and brutal, but remember, that is what Borders were originally bred for, and hunting out of burrows and shaking is part of their natural instinct.

In saying so, playing with toys and with their owners makes Borders, like other breeds, feel closer to their masters, and reinforce their bond to their family members. Let me talk you through the best play times for Borders and the best dog toys ever!


Running is fun by both humans and dogs

Recently I have read that nothing pleases Borders more than pleasing their human family – and that is even above their love for food!!  I can vouch to the fact that Borders cherish play time with the younger members of their human family, and being curious by nature, they will enjoy getting involved in any activity that the youngsters do – after all, Borders do like to feel part of the family in everything and for everything.  Well, certainly my Indy does, to the point that at times I believe he thinks he is human as well.  A favourite by both children and Borders is of course playing ‘chase’, which gives both dog and children plenty of exercise.  Whether outdoor or indoor in the winter months, the best thing you can do to keep a Border amused and exercised is give him his favourite toy, and then pretend to try to get it from him – your dog will start running bouncily away from you, and will love you trying to catch him and his toy.


Tag of War: one of Indy’s favourite games


As I mentioned when outline a few of Border Terrier personality traits, this breed enjoys particularly trying to dig out hidden treats or toys.  Another one of their favourite games then is for you to hide their favourite treat, or tennis ball, under plenty of cushions in his bed, or in some nooks and crannies in the house, for them to find out and munch on.


Borders’ teeth resistant toys

Naturally in all these games Borders use their teeth, and Borders, when in good health, have a really strong and sharp set of teeth.  Borders will love to munch on any squeaky toy that will reproduce the rustling sound made by potential prey.  And believe you me, even in the case of Indy and his very few teeth left, toys will not last too long when he gets hold of them.  And that dictates my choice of toys for him.

Most squeaky toys are made of harder plastic.  Indy loves those toys, but he will end up eating them in big chunks.  For this reason we have stopped getting such toys for him, as we fear the plastic parts may clog up his tummy and his intestines and interfere with his digestive system.

We still try to get squeaky toys for Indy, but they are mostly made of material.  With material made toys, you will also find that they last longer.  Indy will try to reap them to pieces, but it will take him longer, and that will also increase the length of fun time.  Such types of toys are often also stuffed not only with the plastic squeaker, which you may have to promptly remove for safety reasons once your dog has dug it out, but with other shredded paper-like material which produces yet again like a scattering noise of creatures hiding in the under layer of leaves – and that is all the more interesting to a dog that will be far too nosy to let go of such a golden opportunity to find out what or who is hiding there!!



Such types of toys are readily available from all major supermarket chains.  Again, we often use as our main supplier, purely as they sell at competitive prices and have a huge range which cater for all sizes and ages.  And the reason why I mention age is of course as, if you have puppies, you will be inclined to get softer and smaller toys which are best suited to the strength and size of younger Borders.

Click on the following link to find out the readily available range of squeky dog toys offered by


In passing, vets advise that even with dogs who recurrently suffer from gum disease, like our Indy, allowing the dog to munch on toys is a way to keep the teeth exercised and the gum nicely disinfected.



Kong dog toys: are they indestructible?

Let me spend a few words about this world-wide renowned brand of toys for dogs (and other pets).

The search for dog teeth resistant toys is one that many of us dog owners have undertaken for a long time.  Personally, since day one of adopting Indy, I have always been on the quest for a toy that would not fall to pieces withing seconds of giving it to Indy.  Initially I would opt for the cheapest toys I could find, as I would tell myself I could certainly not afford anything dearer, given the speed at which my Border was destroying his toys at!

Yes, I had been told about Kong toys, and I had seen them in pet shops, but I deemed them far too expensive for the use they were created for.  Again, that false economy principle was one that my brain could not get away from.

Kong tennis balls: virtually indestructible

And then, one day I braved my purse and splashed out in a set of 3 Kong tennis balls from the local pet shop.  And wow, double wow, triple wow!!!  Indy kept playing with them, and again, and again, and they survived his attacks.  That was short of a miracle.

I believe that was some 4 or 5 years ago.  I swear, to this day Indy still has the same tennis balls (as well as many more that we bought since), and albeit not in the same pristine shape as when brand new, they are still in good enough shape for Indy to keep playing with them.

That first purchase of Kong toys cost me in the region of £5-6 approximately, which for some 3 tennis balls I thought to be slightly steep.  As it happens, since then I believe prices for Kong toys have gone down – but it is always advisable to check online, with the likes of or other online retailers, as there are really good bargains out there.

So, that really answers the question.  Kong toys are short of indestructible, as they will certainly last for an incredibly long time.  The secret of the ‘longevity’ of Kong toys lays with the material used and with the shape of the toys.


Why are Kong toys so successful

Kong toys are made of natural harder rubber.  The most renowned toys are the ‘snowman’ shaped, which enables you to hide a treat in the hollow centre.  This will provide hours of play for your dog, and trust me, particularly Borders, as they have the double incentive to trying to retrieve the treat as well as trying to dig out whatever is in the hole.


Kong Classic provides months of fun for your dog

Admittedly Indy in the end managed to start chewing away to the edges of the Kong Classic toy in the end, but that again has taken literally years, and in the meantime it has provided him with an enormous amount of hours of fun for both him and us too.

So, that has been my lesson since encountering Kong toys: more is less.  Yes, Kong toys are dearer than your average £1 dog toy from the pound shop (although by not much, you will find), but they certainly ensure longer lasting usage and entertainment for your dog, whilst using natural material that will cause your dog any damage.

Again, offers a vast range of Kong toys, suitable for younger or older dogs too – yes, Kong offers a softer rubber based toys for senior dogs too.  Borders are renowned for being destroyers of toys, but if a Kong toy can survive a Border, surely it must be a good toy!



Please leave a comment below if you have suggestions of best toys for dogs, other brands, or indeed if you have concerns about Kong toys after all.


  1. // Reply

    My friend’s dog absolutely love squeaky toys. Matter of fact when I go over his place, the squeaking gets to be too much because he keeps handing it to me to play tug of war. My friend bought him some not squeaky ones and he tears them to pieces. Good to see your recommendation on the more resilient ones, I’ll let him know about those.

    1. // Reply

      Brilliant, and by all means, do point your friend in the direction of my website. In my little experience, I shall be glad to be of assistance. Giulia :

  2. // Reply

    Interesting post GuiLA I grew up with dogs and cats. My parents were partial to dogs. They did what they wanted including sleeping on beds. But not the cats. They had to sleep on their bed or the floor. We were never concerned about sanitary conditions because my mother was a neat freak . Sheets
    and towels were changed everyday and the dogs were bathed weekly with a drop of Clorox for good measure. Our family vet almost killed her. I agree with you. Sharing a bed with with your pet is an excellent exercise in bonding. Both dogs and cats are more than pets. They are our companions. There is enough data to support the value of having a pet especially when you live alone and in a big city. Almost all NYC apartments permit dogs. It is good thing. Thanks for a thoughtful post.

    1. // Reply

      Thank you Marian, for sharing your experience with us. It is good to know that so many out there feel exactly the same as me.
      I had to laugh when you mentioned your mum with your dogs. My Indy would report me to BT Helpline (if it existed), if I ever attempted to bathe him every day! But it is one way to get around the possible hygiene concerns. So long as you can keep up the sanitation regime, of course.
      So, have you got a dog, or more than one dog, now?
      Giulia 🙂

  3. // Reply

    My co-op no longer allows dogs but I have a great cat, a beautiful tuxedo Shamus. I really like having him around. But he is a handful and very spoiled. I give Shamus a cat bath – (once a week) dry shampoo, brushing and using cat wipes on his paws and buns. As you know cats take care of themselves but he does sit on my bed and furniture. The products I use on him are natural and non-irritating. I think it is ok to do a bit more since he is a domestic cat.

    1. // Reply

      I couldn’t agree with you more Mariam. I’m no cat expert, but then again I was no dog expert until Indy adopted us (!!). The point I’m trying to make is even with cats, if your cat enjoys the pampering, then why not? I’m sure it helps the bonding and your relationship altogether.
      Thanks for reading along Marian. Giulia ?

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