The other day I walked down to the pet store down by the library and picked up a Premier Busy Buddy Kibble Nibble toy for Gimli. There are a lot of puzzle toys out there for dogs that are supposed to make it so that they work for their food and I’ve been trying assorted ones on and off with him. I’ve tried the Buster Cube, which he seemed to think was okay, but I couldn’t make it hard enough to last any length of time. I eventually gave it to my parents to try on their dog Bowser (an Aussie-Sheltie mix). Why I thought it would last longer for him is beyond me. It lasted maybe five minutes for him before he started just barking at it because it was empty.
Anyway. I did find that Gimli loved the Premier Busy Buddy Twist ‘n Treat toy that I got him. I filled that one with bits of hot dogs and chicken originally though, so that could be why. 😛 It was also a LOT easier to clean. That Buster Cube was not cleaning friendly – it didn’t come apart at all. However, the issue I started having with the Twist ‘n Treat was that the parts moved too freely. Gim was able to twist it as he pushed it across the floor so that it would turn just enough to make it very difficult to get the treats out at all. He just ended up trying to lick them out when that happened, but it was pretty pathetic looking of him.
Now I’m attempting this Kibble Nibble game. It’s a pretty big toy for a 20 pound dog, so I decided to just feed him his meals in it instead of filling it with treats – make him work for a change. I put in his normal kibble ration along with some bits of freeze dried chicken and jerky treats and set it on the floor at dinner time. It didn’t take him very long to figure out, but the way the toy works is that there are little flaps that you can cut off of the openings to make it harder or easier for your dog. I wanted it to last, so I left the flaps intact. After a couple of rounds of pushing it around and only getting 2 or 3 pieces out I crooned “good boy!” from across the room at him and Gimli stopped, stepped back and gave me the most incredulous look. I had to bust out laughing- he doesn’t usually have to work quite so hard for a meal. 🙂
I actually really liked this toy – it took him much longer to get all of the pieces of food out. I think part of that was that it was mostly just kibble in it and not chicken and hot dogs. The more inciting the stuff on the inside, the faster he figures out how to empty it. I really like the fact that he can go back to it whenever he gets hungry and he’s still having to work for his food. It’d probably be excellent for nibblers AND gobblers – because it slows the gobbler down so much for each piece and makes the nibbler still work for his food even though he didn’t finish it all in one sitting.
So, we’re keeping up with the Kibble Nibble. The only problem I found was that SmartyPants over here figured out how to lodge the egg between the couch and a bag just tight enough so that he could unscrew one side and open the thing up – effectively defeating the purpose. It was pretty funny to watch, though. 🙂