We’ve been getting to grips – and then letting rip – on the Orbee-Tuff Zoom Flyer from Planet Dog.
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It was William Cowper, an 18th Century poet, who once said that “variety is the spice of life, that gives it all it’s flavour”. Of course he wasn’t talking about durable frisbees, or any other dog toys for that matter – but his words are akin to the mission statement of durable dog toy manufacturer Planet Dog. They focus on variety – seeking to bring us closer together with our four legged pals through durable, innovative and creative toys. So did they succeed with the Orbee-Tuff Zoom Flyer?…
We’ve been a fan of Planet Dog for some time now at Chew and Chase, but I have a mixed history when it comes to frisbee’s. There was the ‘incident’ on holiday c.1984 when my new frisbee sailed gracefully over a barbed wire topped fence and into a field of bullocks, never to be retrieved. Since then, I’ve successfully landed these toys in streams, trees, the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, a tent occupied by a young couple, and into the back of more parked cars than I care to remember. Yes, I really suck at frisbee.
So frisbee’s have never been at the top of my toy list for my dogs. I say my toy list because the toys that I got for my first dog were, for a while, ones that were easy for me. You see, we humans sort of get caught up in what’s easiest and best for us don’t we? I would just buy the same toys again and again, and play the same thing again and again, in the same park again and again. But going back to the William Cowper quote once more, a dog behaviorist told me that if I really wanted to get the best out of my relationship with Molly, and for her to really fulfill herself and be happy, we needed some variety. This meant having a range of toys – some just for her to please herself with, but some also for the two of us, that we could use to play together in different environments. I needed to exercise Molly’s mind at the same time as exercising her legs.
Our playtime in open spaces since has been filled with balls to chase, obedience to learn, things to tug, and frisbee’s to catch. Most frisbee’s I’ve ever had for Molly, having survived my laughable throwing skills, have very quickly become useless through poor durability. Molly gets quite over-excited with such toys, and has bitten clean through rigid ‘dog friendly’ frisbees in the past. Rubber alternatives have fared just as poorly, as she enjoys a good shake and kill after the catch. How many of us have stood and watched a fiver worth of toy get ripped to shreds among a lot of huffling, gruffling and general thrashing about?
The Orbee-Tuff Zoom Flyer then, was entering our test with a high degree of skepticism. Obviously, the first obstacle to clear was my lack of ability to throw a disc in the vague direction of anything that was not a tree/stream/field of bullocks/tent with people in/parked car/opposite oceans etc… Although the Zoom Flyer is flexible, it’s got a sturdiness to it that makes it really easy to fly. In fact, the less effort I put in to it, the better and farther it would go. All of a sudden I’m thinking a pro-career in Ultimate Frisbee is calling. It doesn’t take long at all to get a feel of how to grip and release for an effortless throw, and having dislocated my shoulder and broken my arm in separate incidents in the last 18 months (I don’t just suck at frisbee) I must say how delighted I am to discover it really isn’t a strenuous toy to use. So I’m pleased to say the Zoom Flyer came through that first test with flying colours…. sorry, couldn’t resist that one.
Being made of the same durable rubber compound you find in other Planet Dog toys, it consists of a softer rubber outer ring, with a hardened inner circle. But both types of rubber have lasted incredibly well over the last 3 weeks of testing, and we’ve played with it daily in among other toys. There is some wear and tear on it now – lots of little tooth marks and scratches can be seen on the surface, but nothing that affects the integrity of the toy. It should be pointed out that this is not a chew toy, but it has lasted a lot longer than some toys that have been designed for chewing! I shouldn’t be surprised, this is Planet Dog stuff after all, and it looks set to be in great condition for a long time to come yet. Being a solid piece, there’s no weak spot or ‘angle’ that your dog can exploit to start to destroy it, unlike some frisbee’s on the market that have hollow centres or other features. A new Zoom Flyer will also smell wonderfully minty, which drives the dogs absolutely bananas. And after this long it still does whiff of mint, although I’m not so keen to put it to my nose after such extended use in the mud. It’s safe and non-toxic, and rinses clean easily (the frisbee, not my nose).
The dogs absolutely love it. With a bit of practice you can start to vary their play with this toy – fast, ground-hugging, grass-cutting chases can be mixed with more gentle lofting, arcing spins – these will keep your dogs mind working as fast as their legs as they try to figure out how to catch a variety of throws. There is some delight to be taken too, when your pal sails through the air with all the confidence in the world they’re going to make a stunning catch, but a little bit of wind just lifts it out of their reach as they snap their jaws shut – MISSED! Try again Molly… and if your pup takes one to the face (see below) it’s softer outer ring is soft and gentle enough that no harm can be done.
The toys come in two colours – there’s blue and orange, and also a glow in the dark variety with a blue centre. The bright colours make the Zoom Flyer easy to find if your aim is a little off target, and they look fantastic too.
With an RRP of £17.45 the Zoom Flyer is an investment toy, but you really do get what you pay for: well made, excellent durability, easy to throw, lots of fun and most importantly, it get’s you involved and being part of the play with your dog. Our verdict? – if you want to get interactive outside with your dog, then the Zoom Flyer is going to be hard to beat. If William Cowper were alive today, he’d definitely buy one for his pooch!
The Zoom Flyer retails with us at £13.95 and we give it the following Chew & Chase ratings:
Win a Comfort Collection Collar and Rope Lead PLUS a Planet Dog Zoom Flyer in our new competition!
You can win a Longpaws Comfort Collection Collar and Rope Lead PLUS an Orbee-Tuff Zoom Flyer in our new competition – here’s how – simply like our Facebook page at facebook.com/chewandchase
The competition is open to UK residents only, and closes at midnight on Sunday 28th February 2016. The winner will be announced on Monday 29th February 2016.