I recently came across a dog toy brand that I have never seen before, the Nerf Dog. The company seems to be focusing on creating dog toys with greater durability and performance. Intrigued with the company’s statement “3x’s stronger than standard plush”, I started contemplating which of the soft toys I should buy. At first I was thinking the Nylon Tuff Tug which is a plush, nylon ball with a piece of rope attached to both sides. However, seeing a vulnerability in the design—Zeea possibly ripping out the rope where the seam is—I decided against it and instead chose the Track Shot Retriever. The Track Shot Retriever is a nylon and natural rubber plush football that squeaks. There are four alternating sections of nylon and rubber. Each section is triple nylon stitched which is supposed to make this toy stronger than an average plush toy. The nylon is made with a tear-resistant coating which is also meant to strengthen the toy.
I gave Zeea the football and began the countdown to destruction. I was expecting the toy to survive longer than the average plush but in less than 10 minutes, Zeea had already torn open a hole large enough for her snout to fit inside and cotton soon littered the floor. While Zeea worked on the toy I heard a crinkle noise; I had thought the filling was only cotton so I was surprised when Zeea pulled out a thin strip of plastic. I was not surprised, however, to see the squeaker had been removed and punctured. Within the next 10 minutes the football had been completely unstuffed. Suffice it to say, the toy was destroyed like it was just a standard plush. As for the tear-resistant coating, let’s just say Zeea’s teeth tore this claim apart – literally. 😉
Although Nerf Dog makes many different products, including ones composed completely of rubber, I do not believe they would pass the test. Why? The toys claim to be more durable than average but in reality they are only made for powerful moderate chewers (which is not clearly stated on any of the toy labels).
The company’s slogan is “It’s Nerf or nothing”. Well in this case, it’s nothing.