Soft toys for Labradors


You’ve done it! You’ve booked a Labrador puppy! But what happens next?

For many people the very next thing they do, is to head for the shops.

And why not – what could be more fun than shopping for soft toys for Labradors.

Shopping for dog toys

Most new puppy buyers get their puppy’s crate and bed ready well in advance.  Complete with blankets and toys.

There is nothing more adorable than the image of a tiny puppy curled up asleep in a nest full of gorgeous cuddly toys, and they are great fun to choose and buy.

So in this article, we’re going to have a look at a few of the best soft toys for Labradors. And for older dogs too.

But before you reach for your wallet, we need to talk about ‘chewing’.

Will my Labrador destroy soft toys?

Some puppies are lovely to their cuddly toys.  They carry them around, sleep with them, and play gently with them.

But here’s the thing.  These puppies often belong to someone else.

Many puppies will attempt to disassemble any toy they are given within minutes.

I have looked wistfully at dogs belonging to friends, all cuddled up with their teddies.

Or carrying around a toy elephant.  Very sweet.

But in over thirty years of owning Labradors, I have never personally had a puppy that did not rip up every single soft toy they were provided with,  up to the age of around 18 months.

So my advice is not to spend too much, until you find out what kind of puppy yours turns out to be.

Should all dog toys be chew proof?

But shouldn’t toys for dogs be chew proof?

Perhaps they should, but in reality,  this would exclude all but a very few strong rubber toys.

It would certainly exclude anything cuddly.  Because to date, I don’t believe any kind of fabric toy has been invented that a determined Labrador could not disassemble in the space of thirty minutes.

It would probably need to be made of kevlar to survive!

In fact this also applies to many other kinds of toy too.  Including treat dispensers, puzzle toys, and so on.

You sometimes see bad reviews for these products, giving them a low rating and stating that the dog destroyed the toy.

But these toys are not actually designed to withstand the power of a large dog’s jaws.  Only specifically designed chew toys are built to that standard.

Should I give my Labrador a soft toy?

The answer is, you can try it and see.

Soft toys aren’t compulsory, and I no longer buy them for puppies, but many people want to and that is fine, provided you are careful.

Supervise puppies, and older dogs closely with new toys, to see how they behave.

If your dog begins tearing at the toy and breaking it apart, the only answer I’m afraid, is to remove it, and replace it with a properly designed chew toy, such as a kong.

Here are a few toys to try:

unstuffed-chipmunkUnstuffed Toys

The first toy we are listing here is unstuffed.

This makes it a better choice for dogs that tend to nibble a corner off their toys and pull out the stuffing

It’s called Happy Pet Unstuffed Chipmunk and our bouncy chocolate Labrador Rachel loves hers to bits. She is on her second, but the first lasted well over a year which is pretty good going for a soft dog toy.

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winston-walrusWinston the Walrus

Winston the Walrus is available in a larger size.

Suitable for an older Labrador that is not too destructive.

And he comes with a ‘squeak’.

Not very many reviews yet,  but they are all good, and include Labrador owners.

puppy-cuddle-palPuppy Cuddle Pal

This one might just help settle a small puppy at night.

The Puppy Cuddle Pal can be pre-heated and will help a young Lab to snuggle down at night.

You just pop it in the microwave.

It may be comforting on those first few nights away from Mum

lips-toyFun Lips Toy

This one is just a bit of fun

It’s the Dog Lips Dog Toy. A nice soft toy for your Labrador, and a bit of a laugh for your family and visitors.

It is a bargain price too.

But be aware that the type may vary, and  a number of reviewers comment that it isn’t strong.

So definitely one for gentle dogs.

cudleez-buddy-dogSheep Dog Toy

Finally we just love this one.

The Cudleez Noodle Buddy Dog is another lovely toy for the less enthusiastic toy chewer.

It is quite small, but suitable for new puppies under supervision.

And it will look great in your puppy’s crate

Safety when giving dogs soft toys

Don’t forget, like all soft toys, none of the above is suitable for really determined chewers,  so don’t forget to supervise your dog.

If your puppy  or young dog rips up whatever you give him,  stick to the Kong toys for the time being.  You can try again later when he is older.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson

And let us know your Labrador’s favourite soft toy, in the comments box below!

More information on puppies

Happy-Puppy-jacket-image1-195x300For a complete guide to raising a healthy and happy puppy don’t miss The Happy Puppy Handbook.

The Happy Puppy Handbook covers every aspect of life with a small puppy.

The book will help you prepare your home for the new arrival, and get your puppy off to a great start with potty training, socialisation and early obedience.

The Happy Puppy Handbook is available worldwide.

The Labrador Site Founder

Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.

She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program 

Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website

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Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of several books on dogs. She is the founder of the Labrador Site and a regular contributor. She is passionate about helping people enjoy their Labradors and lives in Hampshire with her husband and four dogs.


  1. I’ve been lucky only 1 out of my three labs has destroyed soft toys! My last one Delaney never destroyed a single toy soft or chewable he had a lot of soft toys with squeakers which we kept in his toybox (when they weren’t In the washing machine covered in slobber!!) After losing him to old age in September I have washed them all and put them in a box until it’s time for little black lab paws to patter around the house again I wonder how long they’ll last this time ????

  2. I know this an old post but, I just had to share this. We got our yellow lab puppy, belle the end of December 2015. I had picked up a few things for her including a fleece blanket and a stuffed whale. She is now 7 months old and these are the only things she has not destroyed and still sleeps and plays with. Is there a reason for this? Especially the blanket, after I wash it she’s very excited to see and and sleep with it again. She waits for me to spread it out in her crate. It’s like a child with their blankey.

  3. I went to a dog class and the trainer was demonstrating a pair of tough purple rings for older dogs, he suggested I get them on-line but I have not tracked them down yet. I live in France and the is a very poor choice of dog gear here.
    Does anyone have an idea where I might find these items?

  4. We have a 2 1/2 year old dog who loves his toys, loves anything he can carry around. We have tried a variety of toys. Only very tough chew toys such as Nylabones or antlers last the chew test, anything softer is destroyed in no time. We have tried soft toys too as he loves to find something to hold in his mouth and will go to look for something, especially when greeting us or visitors. He will for the most part carry around his soft toy but every now and then will start to worry a weak spot, rip it apart and pull out the stuffing. I have stitched up the toys to keep them going as long as possible. The best we’ve had is “Croc” now known as “Scar face” the toughest yet but has still tested my neadle and thread skills.

  5. I have an almost 4 year old chocolate lab (Bailey) and we just recently acquired a 10 week old yellow lab (Jaycee). Each of these sweet girls have the same mom because they are from the same breeder.
    When Bailey was a puppy, we learned the hard way about stuffed dog toys and the rope toys as well! I was not aware that is was unacceptable to let puppies chew the stuffed toys and destroy them. We were fortunate enough that Bailey never had any significant bowel obstructions from the toys we let her have. After one emergency vet visit, where the vet basically yelled at us, we became very serious about the toys we let Bailey have.
    As Bailey grew, she learned to not chew the “warm fuzzies” as we lovingly dubbed them. Now she carries them around like a pacifier.
    With the new puppy we have been very vigilant about letting her chew on the stuffed toys. As soon as one gets a hole in it, we pull the stuffing out and it becomes an unstuffed toy. Then Bailey and Jaycee can play tug of war all they want! I also like the Nylabones because the pieces of the bones break off in very small and if the dog/puppy swallows them it passes through their system with no problem.

  6. I got the “dog lips” knowing that it wouldn’t last but got some very amusing pictures of barney with it 🙂 barney will carry around a lick a furry toy for a while then at some point will suddenly decide to destroy it. Rusty will try to kill them so I’ve given up now with toys other than rope /chew ones.

  7. Our 7 yo dog was a very chew dog, still has his moments with his bedding even now.

    However, our 11 week old bitch came home complete with teddy. She sleeps with it, carries it around, shakes it but so far hasn’t chewed/ripped it… (She’s much more field stock than the older dog, softer mouthed?)

  8. My two 12 month old Labradors love their soft toys and pick one up as soon as they wake to present to me. Gunners favourite is a Baby’s first Christmas bear with a bell in it, he is very gentle and loving with it – anything else he de-stuffs!
    Alice’s favourite is a de-stuffed monkey with long arms and legs, she will very often just sit with it in her mouth with us wondering how dry must her mouth be getting.

  9. My 1 yr and 1 1/2 year labs adore their unstuffed rabbit and it has survived both of their chewing fazes my 1 yr bitch loves carrying it around and presenting you with it she still sleeps with it , recommend unstuffed toys