Backyard Tetherballs for Dogs (Should You Buy One?)

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 8 min.
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Your dog loves nothing more than playing. Whether it’s tug-of-war, chasing toys, or playing with balls, dogs love it all.

Dogs can have a lot of fun with tetherball toys as they fulfill all of these elements of fun.

They come in all kinds of sizes and shapes and there is so much choice that you can be sure to find one that will suit your dog’s needs as well as your own.

Tetherballs fun for dogs
Backyard tetherballs for dogs

Adding in a flirt pole also means that you can kick back and relax while your dog tires himself out.

So, let’s dig a bit deeper to see if backyard tetherballs for dogs are right for you and your furry best friend.

What is a tetherball for dogs?

A tetherball for dogs is exactly the same as a tetherball set for people in that it’s usually a long pole with a cord attached that has a ball or toy on the end.

Tetherballs made specifically for dogs are shorter than ones for their human counterparts to make it easier for them to play and have fun.

Can dogs play tetherball alone?

Yes! You can set up a tetherball toy for your dog to play with by himself.

Tetherballs in backyard
Can dogs play tetherball alone?

This way, they can burn off energy whilst you’re otherwise engaged or if you’ve had to pop out for a while. The great advantage to this is that they keep dogs occupied.

There’s nothing worse than a bored dog that goes into destructive mode! If you’ve got more than one dog, you’ll find that they enjoy playing with it together.

And, when you are home, it’s a great toy for you to engage in some active play too.

Keep In Mind – Aside from keeping him occupied, tetherball has other benefits for dogs. It can help your dog improve his agility and allows him to exercise daily without much input from his human parents.

Do tetherballs help dogs with exercise?

Tetherballs are great for exercise – either solo or with a human playmate. However, exercise requirements do vary by age and breed.

Larger and younger dogs need a bit less activity. Smaller, working breeds will need more exercise.

Your dog should be exercised until he’s tired but not completely exhausted. Being overtired can be bothersome or even dangerous for elderly dogs or young puppies.

Whilst walks are a great form of exercise, playtime contributes too. However, if you’re a human, playing the same repetitive games or tug-of-war can be tiresome.

For this reason, tetherballs are great as your dog can play alone or with little input from you.

What do I need to look for in a tetherball for my dog?

If you’re beginning to feel persuaded that a tetherball is ideal for your dog, there are some things that you may wish to consider before you buy one.

Size

When looking for dog toys, you should always consider the size of both your dog and the toy you are looking to buy.

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Not all toys are suitable for all sizes of dog.

Firstly – It is important to consider your dog’s size and strength. If your dog is a toy or miniature breed like a chihuahua or toy poodle, a large tetherball set designed for a giant breed such as a Newfoundland or Great Dane is not going to cut it.

Be realistic on your dog’s behalf – he’ll thank you for it!

Some tetherballs come with adjustable heights or come in a selection of sizes so that you can choose the tetherball that best suits your dog’s size.

Breed

Whilst the size of your dog is of utmost importance, sometimes the breed needs particular consideration too.

Even if your dog is on the small side, some smaller breeds are muscular and have great strength.

Miniature bull terriers are one such breed that can really throw their weight around.

The last thing you want is to have bought a tetherball toy set that your dog pulls over in minutes because he’s too strong for it.

Heads Up! Many tetherball toys come with weight guidance as to their suitability for different dogs. Checking your dog’s weight before you buy a tetherball toy is a good idea.

Age

Your dog’s age is also very important.

If he’s a new puppy, he’ll need little amounts of exercise, so he doesn’t get too tired out.

Depending on the breed, he’ll also be ready for more intense exercise at different ages.

Having said that, most bigger puppies and adult dogs can happily enjoy playing with a tetherball in their backyard.

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But there may be also a time when tetherball may not be the best idea for your dog, particularly if your dog is elderly and has health conditions.

Older dogs may need a softer toy as elderly dogs have weaker teeth, and they also lose strength.

These are all things to consider when you’re thinking about getting a tetherball for your dog and you should reassess toys such as tetherballs as your dog ages.

Material

Choosing a tetherball for your dog isn’t always easy.

Your dog may have his preferred toys and materials but, more than this, you need to consider how safe toys are for your dog.

Not all materials are safe for dogs, especially puppies and younger dogs that might chew and destroy them and even eat chunks off them.  

Before you choose a tether ball, think about what toys your dog usually loves and which materials he tends to destroy.

A tetherball made of dog rope is a great choice for tug of war but isn’t ideal if your dog is a chewer.

On the Other Hand – Rubber is great for chewy dogs but can be too hard on the end of a tetherball if your dog could launch it and hurt itself and others as it swings.

Durability

Following on from the materials, you need to consider the durability of the tetherball.

If your pet is into vigorous play, you need to consider finding a tetherball with a pole made out of flexible fiberglass or metal.

It will also need to have a touch ball or rope. Balls made from thicker rubber are perfect for dogs that like to shred.

You also need to consider a tetherball toy with a nylon cord to ensure it doesn’t snap easily.

Other tetherball toys are suspended with a durable bungee cord, which makes a great long-lasting choice.

Control and Stability

Tetherballs have different set-ups.

Some have bases that are buried in your backyard and others are designed to be hung from tree branches.

Whilst these are often easy to fit to a branch, you do have to take into consideration how strong the branch is and the weight and size of your dog!

Placement

Where you are going to place your tetherball will have an impact on the design and style you choose.

If your dog prefers indoor to outdoor play, you will need to think about the different sizes and styles of tetherballs available.

How Long Is Tetherball Rope?

It should go without saying that an outdoor tetherball set should be weather resistant.

This doesn’t just mean waterproof; it also means resistant to extremes of temperature and UV light.

Sometimes – Strong sunlight can cause materials to become brittle, which is no use for a toy that is going to be pulled and played with frequently. 

If you’re looking for an indoor tetherball, size might be a concern to avoid the tethered toy whacking into your precious furniture and light fittings.

Cost

When it comes to buying toys for your dog, sometimes the price can be an important factor to consider.

As the adage says, “buy cheap, buy twice”. Tetherballs that are poor in quality can sometimes be destroyed really quickly.

If your dog loves his tetherball but destroys it after a few days, he’s going to be very disappointed.

Aside from the durability, inexpensive toys can be made with harmful or questionable materials.

For this reason, you should always buy the best tetherball for your dog that you can afford.

Brands

A popular brand has a reputation to consider.

Often, this means that their products come highly recommended. This can be because they’ve been tested and reviewed and have been proven to be of superior quality.

Additionally, large brands often have excellent customer service, which is of great importance should something go wrong with your purchased tetherball.

They also answer questions and will replace products if there’s a fault.

Customer Ratings

As with all purchases for your furry friend, you should read some reviews for the product and the brand to get an idea of whether it is of high quality and good value.

Better still, ask your dog-owning friends for recommendations!

Final Thought on Backyard Tetherball Toys for Dogs – Should You Buy One?

We all want the best for our dogs – if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be reading an article about whether we should buy them a tetherball toy!

But making a purchase can often leave us confused about whether it’s right for our dog. How do you know it’s a good choice?

Having read the above, you can rest assured that you have considered everything before you go out and buy a tetherball.

So, back to the question: should you buy a tetherball for your dog? Yes! Absolutely. Your dog will love you forever (although, of course, they already do!).