Great Dane Tip #2: DIY Great Dane Toy – Large Dog Chew Toy Hack

Sometimes the best toys for Great Danes aren’t even toys at all.

I’m sometimes embarrassed by how many toys we buy for Lucy, or worse, how much we spend on toys for Lucy. So today I’m pleased to present one of Lucy’s favorites, and most likely the least expensive Great Dane chew toy I’ve found.

Don’t Throw that Away! … yet.

We’ve all been there. You make a piece of toast for breakfast, slather it up with some butter then go to the cupboard to get the peanut butter jar only to discover that someone returned a jar that is, for all practical purposes, empty. You spend the next 5 minutes scrapping the sides and bottom of the jar trying to glean what you can, knowing full well you’ll never get enough to add more than the aroma of peanut butter to your toast.

I suggest you save yourself that frustration – go find something else to put on your toast and make your Great Dane very happy by offering the empty jar to them as a treat/toy.

NOTE: I’m talking about a PLASTIC peanut butter jar, and we only play with this “toy” under supervision.

Starts as a Treat

“Is that for me!?” she says in a tone of disbelief.

When I first place the jar on the ground and invite Lucy over to it she approaches with caution as if to say, “are you sure? You want me to take the whole jar? What’s the catch?”

Once she’s convinced that the jar is actually hers she gets right to the business of cleaning off all the peanut butter from the sides that I was unable to acquire with only a butter knife. A Great Dane tongue is much better suited for this task.

The real fun starts when the sides are clean and the challenge of getting the peanut butter off the bottom of the jar begins. This phase of the toy can last the better part of a day.

Play Chase or Pounce

While the struggle for the bottom of the jar continues you can pickup and toss, kick, it around. The hollow sound and unpredictable bounces make it fun to chase. I like to step on the edge of it quickly making it spin backwards. The jar will bounce around especially on a hard floor. One of Lucy’s favorite moves is the 2-front-paw-pounce. When she pulls this move on the jar it sends it across the room still trailing the enticing peanut butter smell and promise of another taste if she can only get that tongue a little farther down the sides.

Chew Toy

That tongue can almost make it to the bottom.

This is the point where she usually resorts to brute force and start chewing on the sides of the jar. This produces a rewarding crinkling, crunching sound that ushers in the chew toy phase of the toys life.

Lucy loves to chew and crunch on this jar all the time enjoying the aroma of the peanut butter with the remnants in the jar to tantalizingly close. She has never been able to actually tear open the jar. Possibly because we monitor her play to be sure she doesn’t.

I wouldn’t leave a Dane alone with one of these jars on the chance that they were able to tear it open. I’m sure that would lead to sharp edges that would likely cause cuts in the mouth and gums.

End of Life

Once the jar has been sufficiently mangled and it’s evident that there is no hope of retrieving anymore peanut butter from the jar, I make the call and bring the play session to an end by throwing the jar away. But not before it’s served as entertainment for several days.


I don’t want anyone to miss this; Lucy plays with a plastic peanut butter jar, only under the close watchful eye of one of her humans. This is a tasty treat and a fun “toy” but it’s not sanctioned by the AKC. So please us caution and common sense.

The Bottom Line

In previous articles we’ve talked about the fact that Lucy is not very food driven and doesn’t get excited about treats like most dogs. But peanut butter, well that’s a different story. Her love for peanut butter is a primary factor in this being one of her favorite “toys.”

  • High play value
  • Price is right
  • Must be monitored
  • Limited useable life-span
  • Lucy LOVES it!

I’m sure Lucy’s not the only one who’s favorite “toy” is something other than an actual “dog toy.” What does your Dane like to play with? Share with the community your experiences in the comments below.

Remember, we’re in this together!

2 comments on “Great Dane Tip #2: DIY Great Dane Toy – Large Dog Chew Toy Hack

  1. Jill Ellen Shaw Tatevosian

    My puppy loves the peanut butter jar as well and will play with it for hours. The other funny toy that the breeder down the street used that has been hour of entertainment is a plastic gallon milk jar cut in half. You have to take the screw on lidoff and toss it. He loves to balance it on his nose. Then he chases both half’s at different times across our tile kitchen floor. We wash out the jar before he has plays with the plastic gallon milk jug. I have a high schooler who is a swimmer and he consumes multiple gallons a week during both seasons. It is amazing to me how much this age can eat. The extra jugs are well loved and played with by our large puppy.

    1. Dave Gillaspie Post author

      “Toys” are where you find them. Milk jug is a great idea, I’ll have to try that.

      I remember having a high school aged boy – it is amazing how much they can consume! Might as well put the milk jug by-product to good use.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *