You may already have seen the article I wrote on more practical gear I take to dog fields (check that out here) but this isn’t about that – this is about fun.
Our dogs are mad about chasing balls but that wears thin after a while and it’s not a recommended dog training strategy (over stimulating and nurturing athletes!). There are of course fields that we go to that are ‘no balls required’ – so big they’re like a walk in the countryside or so full of interesting stuff that balls aren’t even on the radar. But for more everyday fields, we’re always looking for things to do to keep the enrichment levels high.
And then there are those of you poor folks who have dogs with zero interest in balls and you have to work considerably harder than the rest of us to get the most out of a dog field visit.
So here are our top entertainment items (after a stringent canine testing and approval process) for taking to a dog field: (Please note we never recommend anything cheap and cheerful because it just wouldn’t last a second with our dogs who are incredibly strong for their size and weight).
Anyone who has ever met Fleur knows that we don’t go out with a Max Glow Chuck-it (and preferably a backup).
It’s not just that they glow in the dark, it’s that they whistle when thrown (brilliant for low light) and they stand up to endless chewing without damage.
Her bezzie Geoffers is also in Team Max Glow whereas her brother is Team Ultra Ball but they are all Chuck-it Aficionados and are adamant all other balls are rubbish.
BDF Tip: if you’re using a wanger, make sure you get the right size!
If you live in a house with a dog that likes to chew stuff and you don’t know about Goughnuts, get a cuppa, I’m about to change your life.
These are advertised as the world’s most durable dog toy and as yet, I’ve not found anything better for super chewers.
We invested in 2 Goughnuts at Crufts in 2020 and there’s barely a scratch on either of them in November 2023. Both our dogs are destructive gits when they choose to be, and have torn through every so-called ‘tough toy’ they have ever had… until Goughnuts.
I only took the chance on Goughnuts because they have a very robust guarantee (lifetime – really) – I honestly didn’t believe they were as good as they claimed. I WAS WRONG. If you have a chewer (whatever the size) and can bend your head around the cost (they are not cheap but we have saved a FORTUNE on chew toys and treats) you will not regret investing in a Goughnut.
BDF Tip: wash thoroughly before use – they have a rubbery smell to start but it does fade fast
If you haven’t tried one of these you are yet to discover that your dog is part cat.
These are perfect for medium-sized dogs with tonnes of energy – just take care that both of you don’t end up staggering about the place looking like drunken fools because it’s easy to get dizzy.
There are tonnes of these on the market – they vary considerably in quality and sturdiness and the telescopic ones, whilst great for smaller dogs can fail with a weightier dog.
This one is steel and the entire thing is just a lot more robust than the ones that look like adapted budget ski poles.
This is the only item in our list that isn’t designed for dogs – it’s for horses. The Horseman’s Jolly Ball is as much a strength training tool as it is a toy! We love ours for use in smaller fields with less ball-lobbing space – the handle makes it slightly unpredictable and perfect for retrieving.
The thing we love about this most is that it’s moulded rubber and can’t pop! Ours is the big version below.
The come in a few colours, sizes and weights so check the options below.
BDF Tip: I can’t tell you how much time we spend looking for our precious Chuck-its in fields that have longer grass in the summer… the Jolly Ball is our go-to in fields where the grass is long or we’re liable to waste half a session doing unscheduled search activities!
If you’re really looking to mix it up a bit and want to try your hand at scent work, this is one of the most popular beginners Scentwork books on the shelves. Scentworks is so simple, and so rewarding – it’s easy to do and a brilliant everyday activity for regular dog fields users looking for something new to do with their dogs.
Note: We’ve figured out that vendors switch up the deal days through the fortnight that Black Friday has become – if you don’t see a deal on the item you’re looking for, bookmark the link and revisit it in a few days time.
I’ve also made a list of things that might have cracking deals for dog field owners but if you trudge around fields with your dogs, you might find some of them interesting too. Check those out here.