Sarah Wilson

Dog Expert

How to Teach Your Dog to Love a Nylabone


NylaboneHard nylon toys (the Durachews by Nylabone and Benebones are top picks) have been a staple in my dog toy box for decades. They last a long time, provide hours of chewing delight to dogs who know how to use them and can be put into the dishwasher or soaked to clean.

The most common downside I find is that people simply hand these to their dogs and, when the dog doesn’t immediately start to chew it, think their dog never will. Not at all! Your dog just needs some help learning how to use them and off most dogs will go.

As with all hard chews, some dogs will chip or crack teeth. Personally, I have not had this experience but, on the Internet, you will find many who have. All chews have some risks. Edible chews and softer chews can cause digestive issues or blockages, especially in the hard-core chewers.

So, know your dog and make your choices accordingly.  Dogs need to chew and some dogs MUST chew hard daily. We either supply them with items we like or they will select items they like. That’s the choice you have.

If your dog is nylabone clueless, here are a few ways you can get them started on these close-to-indestructible dog toys:

  • Rub them between your palms and/or blow on them before handing them to your dog.
  • Store them in with your dog’s dry food.
  • Store them in your box of treats or treat jar.
  • Rub wet food into the durachews with nubs and crannies.
  • Smear a bit of peanut butter or a cream cheese/soft cheese into those same spots or on to the end of a regular chew. The smear should not be visible or, at most, barely visible when you are done.
  • Try the flavored ones.
  • Deliver them for brief periods then put them away.
  • Hand them to your dog with great drama as if this is the best toy in the world! (Read both Creating Calm: Tactical Toy Use and Building a Toy Obsession for hints on this.)

Over the years, I’ve gotten most dogs started on these durable toys which are not only good general chew toys but one of the few toys I have found to be safe in crates as well as easy to thoroughly clean.

I hope with these hints, you can have the same sort of success with your hard-chewing dog.

Also of interest: How to Prevent Possessive Aggression in Dogs



  1. Hi Sarah,

    Love the website and all the tips you post regularly! My golden retriever loves to tear up shoes and soft things, but shows no interest in chewing durachews or any hard chew 🙁 i’ve tried the things written in this post but they don’t seem to get him interested. Do you have any other suggestions?


    • Hi Eren –

      How much excitement to you have in your voice and face when you hand your dog a hard chew? How much praise are you using when he is carrying it? Really, REALLY sell it. Most dogs can develop some interest in these with human persistence and creativity. Keep at it and let me know what ends up working.

  2. I have tried almost all these things, plus, I put the nylabone in dirty laundry also, to take on the owners smell, this helps with dogs who like to chew owners things. Also I have had success with getting another dog to chew on it, then see if they’d like it, you know they like to have what the other dog has. LOL I never have put it in dog food bag, that’s a good one.

    • Thanks, Jamie. Yup, the old “I want it because he wants it” dog. Absolutely! And love the laundry idea. Thanks for sharing your experience. – Sarah

  3. I save an empty peanut butter jar and I keep the nylon chews out. When I come in their room I stick chew into the empty jar and scrape it around then give it to them. I have given my dogs several nylon chews. Nylabone,fido,benebone all good nylon chew brands. They don’t start chewing unless I do this. After they start they keep chewing. They just need a little help to start chewing a fresh one

  4. Sarah,

    Thank you so much for this advice. I purchased the regular one for my newly adopted 1 year old and she could care less for it.

    After storing it in an almost empty food bag for a few days my dog started chewing on it. After a few minutes of chewing I took it away and gave it back to her an hour later and now she is obsessed!

  5. Is it a good idea to let my 8 month old lab play with the next door neighbor lab? Or will this create a problem… like mine trying to bark or want to play all the time with dog thank u so much for your help

    • Good question, Pat. Your dog WILL want to go over and play constantly. If you have hard fence between, than at least that should contain your dog. If you do not, then expect your dog to race over to fun often.

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