fetch machine with remote control

These Are the Best Outdoor Dog Toys to Give You and Your Pup Endless Summer Fun

Replace that tired old tennis ball for these exciting toys and backyard games.
By Brie Dyas
May 03, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

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A good play session with your dog does more than get you both exercising in the fresh air. That time spent fetching, running, and exploring stimulates their intellect, encourages social skills, and furthers your bond. How often these sessions should be to reap the most benefit depends on your pup. Energetic breeds like bull terriers and German shepherds can play for hours, but more mellow breeds like the Saint Bernard or basset hound prefer a short play session. The best kind of outdoor dog toy for your pooch will depend on their interests and activity level!

How to Choose an Outdoor Dog Toy

When choosing an outdoor dog toy, the fun factor comes second to material and construction. If you'll be getting a lot of time in at the beach or pool, the toy should feature a quick-dry material (like heavy-duty nylon, neoprene, or pet-safe rubber), be made to float, and be very visible. If you'll be logging a lot of hours in the park or dog park, the toy needs to be lightweight for easy carrying, hardy enough for lots of chewing, and also easy-to-spot among grass and dirt. Try looking for pet-safe rubber, heavy-duty cotton rope, and pet-friendly polypropylene.

For backyard exercise, also consider the space advantage you have on your home turf for extra skills-building and training opportunities. Large-scale toys like agility courses, tether ball-type games, and fetch machines are great for pups and their pet parents with fenced-in yards.

Best Outdoor Dog Toys

Wondering where to start? We broke our favorite outdoor dog toy picks into the three categories to help you choose the best outdoor dog toy for your hound, depending on how you'll spend your time this summer: in the backyard, swimming at the beach, or on-the-go. Remember: No matter where you go, always supervise your pet when playing. Now get ready for endless summer fun!

Best Backyard Dog Toys

Best Outdoor Dog Toys for Water

Best Outdoor Dog Toys for On-the-Go

tether tug outdoor tug toy
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Tether Tug Toy

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Your dog may love an endless game of tug-of-war, but your muscles (and back) don’t. When you need to take a breather, the Tether Tug outdoor dog toy is your perfect stand-in. Simply anchor the metal base into the ground, insert the heavy-duty fiberglass pole, add the extra-strong nylon/cotton rope, and attach a favorite toy. This version is made for big dog breeds, but there’s also a smaller size available for more petite pooches.  

Shop now: Tether Tug Toy, $75; amazon.com

outward hound interactive training toys
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Outward Hound ZipZoom Dog Agility Training Kit

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Agility courses aren’t just for dog shows and competitions. This simple DIY kit adds a tunnel, weave poles, and an adjustable jump (and hoop!) to your backyard almost as quickly as you can say “Go!” The agility run is a must for highly active dog breeds who live to zoom all over the place, but it’s also a fun learning opportunity for encouraging the natural problem-solving skills inherent in every type of pup. 

Shop now: Outward Hound ZipZoom Dog Agility Training Kit, $50; amazon.com

dog splash sprinkler pad
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Peteast Splash Pad

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Whether you have the type of dog who loves to play in the water or want a fun spot to cool off in the summer, this pop-up “water park” is an outdoor dog toy that’ll get tails wagging. Powered by a simple garden hose, this splash pool/sprinkler is made of durable PVC material that can stand up to jumping and playing. It’s also BPA- and phthalate-free, giving you peace of mind when your dog inevitably treats the pool as a giant water bowl. 

Shop now: Peteast Splash Pad, $32; amazon.com

GoDogGo fetch machine
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GoDogGo Fetch Machine

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While it may be a little pricey, this machine is one of the best outdoor dog toys to keep them busy when you’re all fetched out. Three time interval and distance settings let you control the experience to your dog’s abilities, while the automated “safety arc” directs the ball up and out so your pup is safely out of the launch pattern. You can use the remote to launch the ball, or let it run on its own for independent play

Shop now: GoDogGo Fetch Machine, $150; amazon.com

Chuckit water dog toy
Credit: Courtesy of Chewy

ChuckIt! Amphibious Bumper Floating Pet Toy

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Simple yet engaging, this outdoor dog toy brings tug-of-war or fetch to the beach, lake, or pool. Made of extra-durable nylon, rubber, and memory foam, this toy is designed to be highly visible and practically unsinkable. (It floats “high” on the water so it’s easier for pups to grab.) The material cleans with a quick rinse, though it’s worth noting that it is better for dogs who aren’t super chewers

Shop now: ChuckIt! Amphibious Bumper Floating Pet Toy, $10; chewy.com

Kong wet wubba dog toy
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Kong Wet Wubba

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If your dog loves swimming in the pool, the Wet Wubba adds a new element of fun to the exercise session. The outdoor dog toy has a shape that just says “fetch me,” with two balls and four tails that are covered in a very bright neoprene fabric. (Tip: Hold the top and let your pup grab the tails for tug-of-war.) The fabric dries in a flash once you’ve convinced your furry friend that it’s time to go inside. 

Shop now: Kong Wet Wubba, $12; chewy.com

Kurgo skipping stones dog toy
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Kurgo Skipping Stones Dog Toy

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A tennis ball may already be your pup’s favorite outdoor toy when you play in the pool (or if you have an outdoorsy dog who loves a good trip to the lake). However, they get a little slimy—fast. These skipping stones are the better alternative. Constructed from a BPA-free rubber blend made of biodegradable materials, the “stones” won’t absorb saliva and can’t get waterlogged. They’ll skip on the water (just like a real rock) then float for an exciting twist on fetch. You can also use them on dry land—the unusual shape has an unpredictable bounce pattern for extra fun. 

Shop now: Kurgo Skipping Stones Dog Toy, $13; chewy.com

Hyper pet frisbee dog toy
Credit: Courtesy of Chewy

Hyper Pet Flippy Flopper Frisbee Dog Toy

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Frisbees are always a great choice for dogs who have a lot of energy to jump and go longer distances. (The Australian shepherd easily comes to mind.) However, the usual plastic options can be a little tough on teeth. Instead, grab (and throw) this outdoor dog toy, which is made of a lightweight rubber and durable nylon that flies through the air and floats in the water. The bright colors make the toy extra-visible, too. 

Shop now: Hyper Pet Flippy Flopper Frisbee Dog Toy, $8, chewy.com

Planet dog orbee tuff dog chew toy
Credit: Courtesy of Chewy

Orbee-Tough Diamond Plate Ball

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When you’re taking frequent trips to the park, you want an outdoor dog toy that’ll withstand all the chewing, playing, and dirt that a good play session brings. This bouncy ball stands up to all that and then some, since it’s made from a durable plastic designed with tough chewers in mind. There’s also a place to pop in a treat to turn the ball into a simple puzzle toy.

Shop now: Orbee-Tough Diamond Plate Ball, $11; chewy.com

Chuckit flyer dog toy
Credit: Courtesy of Chewy

Rugged Flyer Dog Toy

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Even the most high-energy dogs will meet their match with this high-flying outdoor dog toy. This brightly colored frisbee is made from mouth-friendly polypropylene, but the really unique feature is the molded ridges. These add a little extra “grip” when tossing or fetching. Note: If you have a dog with a strong bite, seek out an option without ridges. While the toy promises to be durable, they could still break off if your pup is powerful (or determined) enough. 

Shop now: Rugged Flyer Dog Toy, $10; chewy.com

Chuckit sport dog ball launcher
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

ChuckIt! Sport Launcher

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A good game of fetch can often feel more like you’re the pitcher in a Major League Baseball game. You’ll leave the park or beach with a smile instead of a sore shoulder when you bring this outdoor dog toy with you next time. The ladle-like launcher makes tossing the included ball a breeze. Plus, it can throw the ball faster and farther for high-energy dogs well-versed in fetch, (looking at you, hunting breeds).

Shop now: ChuckIt! Sport Launcher, $8; amazon.com

dog rope toys
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BLUEISLAND Dog Rope Toy

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Big dog breeds often need bigger toys, especially when it comes to anything that can be used in a game of tug. This impressively sized rope toy more than fits the bill. Made of extremely strong and thick cotton, this outdoor dog toy offers three feet of fun with five knots and two “tassel” ends. It’ll stand up to games or as a good toy for your pup to wrestle with at home. 

Shop now: BLUEISLAND dog rope toy, $16; amazon.com

Flirt pole dog toy
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Squishy Face Studio Flirt Toy

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This outdoor dog toy is kind of like those fishing pole-type cat toys, but way, way bigger. The concept is similar: You hold a pole that has a cord with a fun toy at the end attached. In this case, the pole is way longer (24” for small space play, 36” for larger areas), the long cord is made of bungee material and the toy at the end is colorful tassel made of durable polyester webbing. Wave it around and watch your dog chase and try to catch the toy. We like this one for the days you just feel like standing still but your dog wants to run and chase!

Shop now: Squishy Face Studio Flirt Toy, $28; amazon.com