The Lead Designer of BARK Explains What Goes In to Creating the Perfect Dog Toy

Quartz visited the New York City offices of BARK to speak with the creative lead Mikkel Holm Jensen about what goes into designing toys for dogs. Jensen, an industrial designer who had previously worked at LEGO’s Future Lab likened making toys for children to making toys for canines.

Designing toys, designing experiences for dogs and their people, Ithink it’s very similar to designing for kids. One of the things I loved especially at LEGO is taking the kids seriously and I think the same thing goes for the dogs. … We pick up their poop. Like it is silly so we can’t be that serious.

Jensen went on to talk about the things they do take seriously, the design of the toy for the enjoyment of both dog and human, the safety of the toy and the appropriateness of the toy, although one big exception has been made with their best selling toy ever – “The Dognald“.

Sometimes we’ve had human characters as the thing that the dog would bite into and I think they’ve been not as fun as we thought it gonna be, It wasn’t seen as appropriate for the dog to kind of chew up the vet. …It just blew up. We saw two groups of people buying it; one ‘I’m a big Donald Trump fan. I want my dog to be part of this as well’, the other one ‘I’m really not into Donald Trump I want my dog to bite into this character’.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.