Product Review: Salty Dog Canvas Toys

I don’t review a lot of products here anymore. We have a pretty comprehensive collection of well-made, long-lasting toys. Silas doesn’t eat a lot of new foods. I try my best not to buy him things just to buy them.

At the beginning of August I ran across an entire new toy company, though, and I couldn’t resist.

Salty Dog Canvas is a small Canadian company. The owner learned industrial sewing making boat sails and awnings, then got sucked into the world of dog sports. Now she makes amazing dog toys, entirely from North American components.

I bought two of them:

Salty Dog Canvas toys

(Yes, my photo backdrop is covered in dog hair.)

I love these toys. Both of the ones I bought are a Planet Dog toy attached to a bungee handle. I am a big fan of Planet Dog. Alas, we play all of our fetch indoors, which means that rubber balls either bounce into or roll under something they shouldn’t. Attach that same ball to a bungee handle, though, and it can’t roll under the sofa.

The more tug we play, the more sold I am on the bungee tug. When you have a smaller dog and slippery floors, it’s easy for you to do all of the tugging work, while the dog just holds on and slides around. A tug toy with some stretch not only offers you some shock absorption, but it also guarantees that the dog does his share. You really want that pull back in order to get the strength and balance benefits of playing tug. If you have a larger dog, I suspect that the same dynamic works the opposite way. Unlike some wimpier toys we’ve tried, these have a good, strong stretch.

I should also mention that the nylon handles on these are much more comfortable to hold than our other toys. This is a high quality fabric, with none of those scratchy nylon edges.

I wouldn’t leave these around for the dog to access unsupervised. These particular Planet Dog toys are not rated for extensive chewing, although Salty Dog does use some of their stronger toys in other models, and any determined dog could cut through the nylon handle. I have to be particularly careful with the  raspberry model, because Silas thinks the berries would be a lot more awesome without the handle. That said, they’re showing zero wear so far from vigorous tug games.

For those crunchers out there, Salty Dog also makes great faux-fur pockets for water bottles on a similar stretch handle. In fact, no matter what your dog is obsessed with (tennis balls, squeakers, braided fleece), Salty Dog probably makes a toy they would like. For good or for ill, that includes a small number of real fur toys.

I bought our Raspberry and Orbee toys at a small retail store in Canada, but the website does ship to the US.

Bottom line: a big hit.

12 thoughts on “Product Review: Salty Dog Canvas Toys

  1. Those are pretty rad looking! They’re also exactly the kind of toy Elka wouldn’t play with the way I want her to (by grasping one of the rubber toys) but rather, she would only want to chew on the nylon. Sigh.


    1. Silas also likes to tug on the nylon part, especially for the orange one, but the toys do give some nice heft for tossing.

      I put them away when we’re done, because he does get into a fabric chewing mode sometimes.


  2. Those look pretty sturdy. I’m thinking when we move aboard the boat some of Honey’s less sturdy stuffies and balls won’t make the trip.

    Off to check out Salty Dog.Thanks for putting them on my radar.


  3. Those look cool! I wish Kaya & Norman were more into toys. Kaya is a regular old tennis ball dog and Norman actually loves the tennis balls that have half the felt hanging off. He’ll totally ignore an expensive dog toy for a broken tennis ball:/


    1. Silas is a tennis ball fan, but we don’t have a good place to play with something that bounces so much.

      There are various ways to teach a dog to love playing with toys, but unless you really need it for sports training I don’t see much reason to bother.


  4. Those look like really good toys, thanks for reviewing them! I agree, I love planet dog toys and with a stretchy thing attached, they look like they’d be great for tiring out a little tugger.


  5. Oh man, these are some seriously cool toys. I’ve been looking for some non-squeaky tug toys that will stand up to shepherd jaws. Thanks for reviewing them!
    One question: the raspberry toy says “all size dogs,” and I love the idea of a toy that would actually fit in my pocket. But does it seem small relative to Silas? Would it be too petite for a bigger dog (about 57 lbs) who gets a little chomp-y in her enthusiasm?


    1. Silas is about 30 pounds, and it’s a good size for him. A bigger dog with a strong bite might miss the raspberry part and bite down on the tug. I’m not sure. The Orbee toys are pretty common around here–it might be worth your time to track them down in a local store and see what size the raspberry really is. If you decide the raspberry one is too small, they have some of the smaller Orbee balls on a tug, too.

      Have you seen the Udder tugs?
      Their plain tug is another big favorite here. The one we have won’t fit completely down in your pocket, but it is easy to stick in a back pocket. (Warning: they reek of cow for the first few weeks.)

      I should probably write a whole post just about our favorite tug toys.


      1. Good to know about the raspberry! I’ll hold it up to Nala’s big head next time I’m in a store and make a guess.
        I hadn’t seen those udder tugs–I already see one I’d like to try out! Thanks for the warning about the smell, though. Right now our dog toy bin smells like Orbee mint; it will make an interesting change, I guess?

        I would totally read a favorite tug toys post! I’m growing confused and befuddled (and could easily become quite poor) by these initial dog ownership stages of finding toys that work for us!


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