Ace loves fetch in all its forms –- ball, stuffie, or flying disc. She will retrieve whatever I throw. I usually default to playing ball when we are outdoors.
Like people, dogs enjoy novelty and variety in their toys, and Ace got a real treat this week when we tested three different flying discs on a sunny day at our local dog park.
Ace and I already owned the Kong Classic Flyer in size small ($12.99, 6.5-inch diameter; large: $13.99, 9-inch diameter). Made from the same familiar red rubber of the Kong Classic Dog Toy, the Classic Flyer is flexible and designed to be friendly on the mouth. It is made in the U.S.A. This flying disc is a favorite at our dog park; I often notice its distinctive red color flopping out of some lucky dog’s mouth as she flies past me.
Aside from the awesome color, there’s a lot to love about the Kong Classic Flyer. The small is a good size for Ace, and it has a deep rim that is easy for her to hold in her mouth while running back to me. At times, Ace has difficulty picking up the Classic Flyer when it’s laying flat on the ground. I’m a bit clumsier than the average dog mom, but I can usually throw the Classic Flyer fairly straight with little effort.
One drawback is that the Classic Flyer is pretty dense, and that makes it heavier than you would expect given the size. On the flip side, I suspect the Classic Flyer would be a durable choice for big chewers, and for really big chewers, the Kong Extreme Flyer promises to rise to the challenge with extra-durable rubber. I like that rubber is easy to hose off after an intense play session, when it’s slick with drool and pieces of grass.
Ace and I tested another rubber flying disc that is also made in the U.S.A., the K-9 Flyer by Ruff Dawg ($15.99). I’m familiar with this brand because we own The Stick, another fun fetch toy. This disc comes in regular size (9.5-inch diameter) and in the K-9 Flyer Jr. size (6.5-inch diameter). While the K-9 Flyer Jr. would have been a better size for little Ace, she did quite well with the regular size, due in part to its great flexibility.
In contrast to the Kong Classic Flyer, the K-9 Flyer is thinner. This also means it is lighter and more easily carried by a little dog. You could roll or fold this disc for easier transport.
The K-9 Flyer comes in several different colors, including the nifty tie-dyed blue-and-yellow pattern Ace tested. The K-9 Flyer is slightly concave, and this shape made it relatively easy for Ace to pick up once it had settled on the flat ground. Although I’m not sure why, Ace caught this disc in the air more often than the other two toys we tried.
In a twist on the classic flying disc design, the Chuckit! Flying Squirrel by Canine Hardware is more of a flying square. Made of a rugged fabric wrapped around a wire frame, the Flying Squirrel was the most lightweight of the three discs we tried. It has a “paw” at each corner, the underside of which is wrapped in a glow-in-the-dark material to enhance twilight play. The packaging describes the Flying Squirrel as more visually interesting to your dog due to its four-cornered design. The Flying Squirrel comes in two colors and three sizes (small: 9-inch square, $10.99; medium: 10-inch square, $12.99; large: 11-inch square, $14.99).
The Flying Squirrel was the most fun for me to throw. The packaging instructs you to throw it by a “paw,” snapping your wrist for a good spin. Although it did not fly as far as the round, rubber discs, Ace seemed to be having a great time.
The shape of this toy includes arched sides, so Ace could scoop it up off the ground quite easily without pawing it. Because it is lightweight, she tended to give it a mighty shake when running it back to me. The Flying Squirrel was pretty dirty by the time we got it home, but I was able to get it pretty clean with the stream of my garden hose and a little effort.
Dogster Scorecard for the Kong Classic Flyer
- Quality: The Classic Flyer is made from the brand’s signature durable red rubber. It is heavier than you might expect.
- Style: This red disc stands out in a crowded dog park.
- Function: The Classic Flyer is easy to throw but can take a few tries to pick up off the flat ground.
- Creativity: Kong updates a classic toy with their durable rubber.
- Value: Kong is made in the U.S.A. of durable rubber, so the price seems appropriate.
Dogster Scorecard for the Ruff Dawg K-9 Flyer
- Quality: The K-9 Flyer is a flexible, lightweight rubber that feels like it can hold up to some serious fetch.
- Style: I like the assortment of bright colors, including the blue and yellow disc we tried.
- Function: Ace found this disc easiest to catch in the air, and its concave shape made it easy to pick up.
- Creativity: This disc can be folded or rolled for easy transport to your favorite place for fetch.
- Value: Like Kong, Ruff Dawg’s products are made in the U.S.A. of durable rubber, and I think that’s worth a little extra money.
Dogster Scorecard for the Canine Hardware Chuckit! Flying Squirrel
- Quality: The Flying Squirrel is constructed for durability, like other Canine Hardware products I’ve tried.
- Style: I love the squirrel design and vibrant, easy-to-spot colors.
- Function: The Flying Squirrel doesn’t go as far as its rubber disc counterparts, but it’s easy to pick up and carry, and very fun to throw.
- Creativity: It’s a flying squirrel. Enough said.
- Value: The price is right for this fun little toy.
I’m calling this contest a draw; all three flying discs tested were fantastic products with different strengths. Though all are more expensive then a cheap plastic disc, they appear to be much more durable and more gentle on dogs’ teeth, so your dog can keep on fetching for years to come.
Dogster readers, what’s your go-to toy for outdoor play? Share your recommendations in the comments.
Read more reviews from Ace’s Mama here!
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- Four Things You Should Know About Your Dog’s Growl
About Ace’s Mama: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its micro-climates, farmers’ markets, and secret stairway walks. When she’s not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace’s adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster.