It’s a really ridiculous name, but the “Pooch Ball” is a long-term favorite toy in my house. It seems to find its way to the surface of the toy box every few months and today Chase found it when I rotated the toys around. This was one of Rio’s favorite toys as a puppy, my good friend’s dog Tas loved this toy, and Shayne is a big fan.
My “Pooch Ball” is easily 5 or 6 years old and has definitely seen better days. I may, in fact, ask for a new one from Santa Paws this year. It is basically a soft yet durable rubber tube that fits snuggly around a tennis ball. The idea is to get the dogs to figure out how to get the tennis ball out of the tube.
One of the things I love about this toy is watching the different approaches the dogs take. Ms. Brute Force, Shayne essentially pinches the ball out of the tube using her mouth. Mr. Cerebral, Rio, squeezes the ball to one end then uses his feet to keep the ball on the end while he grasps part of the ball and pulls it out. Mr. No-Name, Chase, decided the best route was to grab one end of the tube and shake the day-lights out of it until the ball pops loose.
It doesn’t take long for dogs to figure out how to get the ball out but you can keep refilling it or try putting two balls in or you can stuff in some other type of toy. Even though it doesn’t take long my dogs still love playing with this toy… they get the ball out, give it to me, I throw it the put the ball back in the toy again. The rubber tube also makes a fun toy sans ball–Rio likes to pick it up and fling it all over the house in the air and watch it bounce all over the place.
My dogs are so focused on the ball that they haven’t really tried to chew apart the rubber tubing but the fact that it’s lasted for 5 or 6 years tells me that it’s pretty durable. It’s probably a “know thy dog” toy-if you know your dog loves to destroy everything it probably isn’t the most durable toy…. but if you know your dog likes to figure things out and play with toys (not just destroy them), this toy may be a good solution. It has been durable enough to withstand a variety of dogs–on who have been known to destroy other ‘durable’ toys.
It’s simple but so much fun!