Like everything else, I have very strong opinions about what dog toys I use with my puppies.
Since I have Mini Aussies, which are born to herd and retrieve, my number one toy is a Frisbee and I start teaching that skill from the time they are old enough to romp. It is absolutely the best way to exercise your dog safely and gives them hours of pleasure. The old adage, “a tired dog is a happy dog”, can’t be quoted too many times. Like everything else, there are discs and there are discs that are safe and dog friendly. The hard “freebies” can wreck havoc on a dog’s teeth, so I purchase my discs from http://www.skyhoundz.com/, the provider of competition discs for all size dogs. Since my dogs are less than 25 pounds, I use the SofFlite. They fly long distances but are flexible. I buy the “seconds” by the dozen and when the disc gets ragged, pitch it and start with a new one.
My second favorite toy is a Kong, especially the hard black super Kongs. They can provide hours of safe entertainment for a crated dog if they are stuffed and frozen with something yummy. Sometimes, I stuff with their normal kibble and block the holes with a dab of peanut butter. Other great stuffings are banana and yogurt, pumpkin, oatmeal and banana or even a little cream cheese. I keep a supply in a zip-loc in my freeze for when company comes and I want them entertained. With some testing, you’ll check what works well for your dog and doesn’t cause stomach upset.
Dogs love balls, especially if they have any retriever instinct. Since tennis balls can be swallowed and their “fuzz” chewed also causing damage to teeth, I like to use a chuck-it, replacing the balls with the ones available that have a hole which is much safer. http://www.amazon.com/Chuckit-Pocket-Ball-Launcher-Colors/dp/B000PKWKMQ/ref=pd_sim_petsupplies_4
My dogs also love a herding ball and it is hilarious to watch my little 13 pound girl nose it all around my back yard. She is in heaven and can play for hours by herself. So many dogs love it, it has been turned into a dog sport called Treibball.
My last favorite are Nylabones. I have seen disasters happen in a short period of time with rawhide chews, so I teach all my dogs to chew a Nylabone as soon as they get teeth. My dogs prefer the wishbone shape for some reason, perhaps because they can maneuver it with their feet while they chew, but there are a variety of shapes and flavors. The goal is to purchase one that will not bite off in chunks and is the right size for your dog that they cannot lodge it in their throat. http://www.amazon.com/Nylabone-Dura-Wishbone-Original-Flavor/dp/B0010P0YSW
Dogs need exercise and dogs need entertainment to keep them from being bored and destructive. Safe toys are an answer.