Tuggo Dog Toy Review - Seriously Tough for Energetic Pups
Dog Toy Reviews

Tuggo Dog Toy Review – Seriously Tough for Energetic Pups

Harley posing in front of his brand new Tuggo toy!
Kevin Sando
Written by Kevin Sando

We first introduced you to the Tuggo in a roundup of last years Backer’s Total Pet Expo. This toy had sparked quite the buzz at the show and was being described as seriously tough.

With 2 strong chewers in the house, we made a point to stop at their booth and see what all the fuss was about. There we were able to see one of the dogs at the show doing its best to put the Tuggo through its paces. We also spoke briefly with the inventor, Adam Harrington, who gave us a rundown of its unique features. Unfortunately we were flying home and could not bring one back with us! We reached out to Tuggo a few months back however, and they were kind enough to send us 2 of each size to test out and giveaway to our readers!

Looking for a Tough Dog Toy?

Look no further, you have found it.

Tuggo Dog Toy Logo

Click here to pick up the Tuggo on Amazon

A ball and a rope combined? This idea was the brainchild of Adam – after tons of frustration and lots of wasted money spent on toys and balls that just didn’t hold up! Adam wanted to create a toy that would be resistant to destruction while promoting exercise and building muscle.

What Adam came up with was nothing short of brilliant for high energy, active dogs. This innovation even went on to win the 2014 PetSmart Innovation Station award! To understand what makes the Tuggo special, we will break down it’s features one by one.

Key Features of the Tuggo Dog Toy

Durable

The Tuggo ball is constructed of an extremely durable plastic that will withstand abuse from even the toughest and most persistent dogs. Like we shared before, we saw the Tuggo being used and abused first hand by a very high energy dog at Backer’s Total Pet Expo. This ray of sunshine pulled, pounced, clawed, chewed, and scratched at this thing for hours. The results, nothing more than a few surface scratches! WOW!

Getting a demo of the extremely durable Tuggo Dog Toy at Backer's Total Pet Expo

Still skeptical? Check out this video of lions playing with the Tuggo!

In our house, ropes are not typically considered a “durable” toy. If left unattended Harley would EAT, yes I said eat, an entire rope. Certainly this toy is not designed to be left with your dog to eat, but depending on the intensity of play, your rope may begin to fray over time. Fear not, simply order a replacement for $5 on their website and you are back in business! No need to buy a whole unit!

Water Fillable/Weighted

Without a doubt, the most unique feature of the Tuggo is that it can be filled with water. In fact, up to 20 pounds of water weight can be added to the Tuggo, providing additional resistance and exercise to playtime. The water works double duty, giving your dog a workout while also adding a fun element to play. The sound of the water splashing around inside will entice your dog as well as cause the ball to move unpredictably.

The Tuggo is available in 2 sizes (10in and 7in diameters) and multiple colors.

For super high energy and strong dogs, Tuggo suggest adding sand or gravel to provide even more resistance and weight. If your dog is still looking for a challenge after that, I think you actually have a Lion, in which case-watch the video above again. 🙂

Adding water, sand, or gravel to the ball is easy. Simply use a screwdriver or some other strong flat object (a pocket knife and garden spade both worked for me) to unscrew the recessed plug and pour in. Play around by adding different amounts of water to see what your dog likes best.  We tried it full, with just a little bit of water, and empty as a fetch toy! While it may seem like  a pain to have to get a screwdriver to open this thing up, we really liked that the cap was recessed and could not be accessed by the dogs. As anyone with a tough chewer knows, if there is a spot of vulnerability, the toy is good as gone!

Versatile

There are many ways to play with the Tuggo. With the built in rope, it was designed to be used in human-dog AND dog-dog tug of war games. This rope is free to be pulled back and forth, yet is knotted at the ends to keep it attached. The motion of the rope sliding in and out creates some very interesting movement during play. The easy to grab rope also makes it great for fetch and the tough ball ideal for pouncing and batting. Leave the Tuggo empty and if floats, making it just as much fun in lakes and ponds!

The large Tuggo is roughly 10" in diameter (hand shown for reference). This is an extremely durable dog toy that can withstand even the strongest chewers!

The Tuggo comes in 2 sizes, 10in/7in diameters, and multiple colors. For solo play, I liked the larger size because the volume of water (in our case) was enough to provide resistance. For Dog-Dog or Dog-Human play I liked the smaller size because it was a little more manageable and less like a wrecking ball! Deciding which size is right for you should come down to how your dog likes to play. If you think that your dog will be rough and relentless, go for the larger size. If your dog likes to tug and fetch it exclusively, I think the smaller size is perfect for many.

Putting it to the test – Our Tuggo Dog Toy Review! 

As we have explained before, Harley is not one to play with toys – If it is not a stuffie he isn’t interested! While Charlie is always game to play with a new toy, we thought that the Tuggo would really shine in a group environment.

Harley posing in front of his brand new Tuggo toy!

Calling in the reinforcements…

We brought the boys and the Tuggo over to play with their best dog friends Laila and Meera. These rambunctious Lab sisters could surely help us see what it is made of!

At first sniff, everyone was interested as I filled up the Tuggo. I started by filling it all the way up with water, under the assumption that after some play I would dump some out until I found the perfect amount. I rolled it over the ground (like a bowling ball) and the chase was on.

MyDogLikes recruits our lab friend Laila for the official Tuggo Dog Toy review!

Laila took off (I know, I was surprised to see the old girl run after it too), and was the first of the dogs interested in checking it out. A few pulls on the rope was all she needed to realize that this was too much work for a distinguished lady to sustain. In hindsight, I realize that I filled it too high and it was too heavy for the energy level of our group.

The Tuggo is great for multi-dog play. Here our friends Laila and Meera are having a fun game of tug-of-war.

I decided  to start over and use the smaller size to entice play. Soon enough the girls were involved in an adorable game of tug o’war. Charlie of course could not be left out of the action, and he was all on board for a game of fetch. I’ve shared with you that Charlie can be a bit skittish of new things, but with a little bit of time he seemed to get used to the unpredictable bounces and sloshing noises that it made.

The Tuggo is without a doubt the most durable dog tug toy we have found!

After a few minutes of fetch, Charlie got distracted by his BFF and a wrestling match ensued! Could these two be any cuter?

Charlie playing with his best dog friend Meera!

Why MyDogLikes the Tuggo Interactive Dog Toy

How many times have you heard that a toy is “indestructible” only to be disappointed in mere minutes? This frustration was a huge reason for us creating this site in the first place! We feel very confident saying that this is one of the toughest dog toys around. I simply cannot imagine a dog doing serious damage to the hard plastic of this toy.

What about the rope? Worried that your dog will settle in and chew it to shreds? Well, if so, no big deal because the Tuggo was cleverly designed to allow the rope to be replaced without having to purchase an entire unit.

Charlie testing out the Tuggo for the official MyDogLikes review! See if this tough dog toy stood up to our powerful chewers!

Charlie would play fetch for hours with the smaller sized Tuggo ball, but I think this toy really shines with high energy dogs who love to pounce, roll, scratch, and attack it! Our boys weren’t the best fit for the larger version of this toy because that is not their play style, but there are very many dogs out there who would get hours of entertainment from this durable tough toy. We would recommend this toy for dogs with lots of energy to burn without hesitation or as a typical fetch toy for your average dog who just loves to retrieve!

Interested in seeing if you dog has what it takes to tackle the Tuggo?

Click here to pick up a Tuggo on Amazon

You can also now buy Tuggo at your local PetSmart!

About the author

Kevin Sando

Kevin Sando

Kevin is a mechanical engineer with a degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has move than a decade experience in new product design, prototyping and early stage manufacturing. Pairing this background with his love of dogs, gives him a unique perspective to evaluate the design and execution of new and interesting pet products.

86 Comments

    • I saw that picture of Bailie on Facebook and she seemed to be having a great time! Our boys definitely needed a bit of friendly competition to really get into the action!

  • Ooooh, doesn’t that look awesome?! Yes!! Mine love playing tug games.

    Do you have to be US residents to enter the giveaway…?

    sumskersandearlskers13.blogspot.com

    • Yes, this toy is definitely better suited for the big dogs! Not sure if Mr. N could maneuver it very well!!

  • Great review and photos. Love the tug of war- so cute. Kilo might like to tug or roll it but he prefers smaller treat balls, empty plastic bottles and plush toys

    • Thanks! Yes, this toy may be a bit large for Kilo but is a great option for those dogs who really test the durability of their toys!

  • ohhh what a great review and very cool toy, Gambler would love this toy, he likes balls and ropes and a all in one would be great, I like the idea of adding water or sand to make it more of a challenge. Gambler is crazy and can pick up a 21# scratch grain block for the chickens so he would give this a run for it’s money.

  • We got one of these to try at BlogPaws and Luke can’t wait to test it out. I hadn’t even had time to look at the paperwork yet, so didn’t know about the replaceable rope. Since destroying the rope will be the first thing Luke and Sheba want to do after romping around with it, and my biggest concern, I am so glad to know it can be replaced.
    Thanks for the tips too, I think I’ll try it out with a smaller amount of water to start. Luke can carry some pretty heavy things, but Sheba is not quite as strong.

    • It sounds perfect for Luke! I know he is a strong and energetic pup! Sheba will love the rope too I am sure!

  • My dog is obsessed with tugging, she even wants to play tug with her tennis balls, which I keep telling her you can’t do lol!

    • We love the Tuggo because you can play with them or she can play by herself if you add some water or sand!

  • My dog loves tug toys but he destroys most of them so this would be great! He is a newf/cheaspeake bay retriever cross.

  • Our older dog has calmed down a bit with age, thankfully chewing only on his goodies. Our puppy eats everything -every.thing.! He’s literally chewing a hole through the floor (or trying to- I have no doubt he’ll succeed if he keeps sneaking around us. We’d love something indestructible and it would be great to get our older dog playing a bit more too!

    • We agree! We are donating our extra Tuggo to a Pitty rescue. I know they will love it because they are such fun at playtime!

  • Our Bella does. She loves tug of war but usually ends up ripping whatever we are playing with. She is super strong so this would be perfect for her. Thank y ou!

  • I have three pups who love to play tug of war – a pit mix, a puggle & a Chihuahua…the pit mix is a sweetheart & lets the Chihuahua win…most times. Thanks!

  • My sisters Goldendoodle destroys toys in a matter of moments! He couldn’t get his jaws around the central ball, so this might last a season!

  • Every toy we have gotten Lucy she has knocked herself silly with it. I do believe Tuggo may solve her problem and she can take it on and not knock herself out!

  • Schooner and Skipper would love to have a Tuggo. They love to play tug of war! Plus Schooner will chew on the rope while tugging on the rope until he can chew through the rope and poor Skipper goes flying!

  • Our crazy girls would love to play with this toy they would have a total blast during the summer.

  • HA! Our boy Buzz would love it, as he is the king of fetch and he just loves to play with balls overall! I have a feeling that even our girl Missy might be enticed by the water inside of the ball..she usually doesn’t care too much about toys, but add water to the equation and she’s in!!

  • Oh yes, my dog has what it takes for a Tuggo. He is a four year old Australian Shepherd that is high energy and always on the go. He plays with a mini donkey and they run and play tug of war.

  • Dixie, our Golden is only 15 weeks old and loves to play tug. Once again, we have to perform “surgery” on her favorite tug ball because she ripped it. Would love to have something more durable.

  • My year and a half baby is our newest member.she is a lab pit mix.anything she can get to chew,she loves to destroy,lol.if she doesn’t destroy this,it’s a guarantee to be on my shopping list.thanks so very much for sharing.

  • my dog loves playing with other dogs, so i bet he would love to bring this to the dog park to share with his friends!

  • This is a great summer toy for my dogs!
    Both are extremely destructive , removing all fur from tennis balls, the sutures from baseballs, and unbraiding rope toys !
    This would be a great toy for them , especially considering the fact that it floats on water – since they love playing in pools or beaches because of the Miami heat !

  • I’m trying to win this for my Dad’s dogs. They definitely have what it takes to take on the Tuggo. They are Great Danes. The male chews up toys pretty quick so he needs something that can withhold his bite. 🙂

  • Although Nala is a corgi, her best friend is an Aussie and they live to play tug! They’ve ripped apart sofa pillows together along with stuffed toys and many other toys. I think they would meet their match with one of these toys! They’d have tons of fun!

  • I have a spaniel mix and terrier mix that love to play tug with each other. I think they would love this toy! I love that you can get a replacement rope too 🙂

  • Sasha and Strider would love this. They go through toys really fast and this one looks like it would last

  • I do believe my Jack Russell Terrier mix has what it takes to take on a Tuggo Dog Toy. He loves to pull!

  • my dog and my sons dog are always playing tug of war with the toys we have now, this would be great for them to play with

    • For sure! It really is such a fun toy for multiple dogs to play with, you just have to play around with how much water to put in!

  • Shiloh’s not really a large dog, but he’s pretty tough and is crazy about tug. Wager is a little guy, but his “real” name is Challenge Accepted- and he lives up to it!

  • My dogs are crazy energetic and toy motivated so they would love these! I have two four year old pups one pit and one bulldog.

  • I am so jealous! Rodrigo LOVES his Tuggo toy. He immediately got to work chewing off the rope. On day 3, the rope was gone and he just played with the ball like he was playing soccer. Then the ball rolled off. We live on 5 acres. I’m too tired to go find it now. But I will have to or we’ll never find it – LOL.

    • Hi Kim! How funny! It sounds like Rodrigo is the perfect kind of Tuggo dog and it certainly up for the challenge!! I’m guessing the ball could be anywhere and will turn up when you least expect it! Ha! Thanks for checking out our blog, we are big fans of yours!

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