Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Kibble Puzzle Toys

Our dogs rarely get something for nothing - meaning they need to work for their food. I try to use every opportunity for feeding as a chance to train and or keep their brains engaged. Which is why we love kibble puzzle toys!

The main rule for a puzzle toy in our house: It must be virtually indestructable & withstand the chewing it will get.

Our favorite puzzle toys are (right to left)

Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug - this one the dog needs to use a combination of problem solving skills to get their food. Beth is not as food driven as the other two - so this toy is boring for her. She just doesn't get into it like Bonnie will. Ranger likes it but I think he gets frustrated with it too. Bonnie loves this toy so much she hauls it around with her even after it is empty. If I give Ranger or Beth their food in this toy I need to maker sure to put Bonnie outside - because she will freak.

Busy Buddy Egg / Kibble Nibble - This is Ranger's favorite. It is easier to get the food out than the Tug-A-Jug but still keeps them busy. They have to roll the toy end to end to get it to dispense food. They figure this out pretty quickly. It is very durable and the dogs will try and play with it after their food is gone.

Canine Genius - This one is a hit for all the dogs, however it did not pass our durability test. As you can see in the picture - it is missing it's top - because Beth decided she wanted to try and chew the food out instead of rolling it around. Needless to say, this one is used under strict supervision.

Puzzle Ball - All the dogs love this one! However if I feed Beth in this toy she morphs into 'Ball Bonkers Beth' and tries to get me to throw it for her constantly (as seen in the video). If I leave the room she will get all of her food out of it. Bonnie and Ranger just roll it around until all the food is dispenses. It is very challenging and depending on the dog I can change the rate of kibble dispensed

The trick in our house for using these toys is to give the dog their toy in a separate room, then when they are done immediately put them away. If I do not do that I have guarding issues with Bonnie - she will take all the toys when they are empty. She then puts them in a big pile near her and tries to rip snouts off of any dog who comes near her. Bonnie can really be a Brat. *sigh*

I put together a goofy little video of the dogs working for their dinner. Enjoy!


Nibbles Treats said...

Smart toys for smart dogs.

Tinkerbell, Oscar and Tucker

Mason Dixie said...

The tug-o-jug I had all of 1 hour before I chewed the rope off and all the goodies came out. (see my earlier post this week) So I think I outsmarted the bottle. BOL

An English Shepherd said...

Great idea, but don't tell my Mum and Dad ;-)

Paws on the Run said...

I love the way she is so timid with the ball! That first little hit with her paw was hilarious.

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Suzuki said...

Those look like pawsome toys!
Big licks to you

Raising Addie said...

That is really neat!

So each one gets their own toy with dinner separately.

How do you handle bones? Do they share are do you find guarding issues? I want Lucie and Addie to not have guarding issues and feed them together which is no problem. Addie always wants what Lucie has. Is there a good way to get them to share their bones?

Have a great day!

BCxFour said...


I am not 100% sure how to prevent guarding issues other than making sure I watch and step up when I see one starting to be a brat. Bonnie has turned her guarding the bones into a game and truly lives up to her nick name "freckeled monster". She knows better than to pull that stuff around me though. We have no food issues because I feed my dog all separately - what I mean by that is if they are not getting their food in a toy, they are fed at least 10-15 ft apart and I stand guard over everyone to make sure that they wait until the dog walks away from what is left of their food to dive in. Generally they have formed their own pecking order as they do - and we dont have any issues.

Gosh I hope that made sense!

victoria said...

i have an 18 pound terrier mix who chewed up the top of the canine genius as well.. there went one expensive chew toy. :P

i found your blog through a friend and have spent the day sneaking time to read the entries, i love your photos and stories! absolutely fantastic. i love border collies but i know i couldn't give one enough exercise to satisfy it where i live. :)