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Not sure which category this belongs in but food seems the closest - which playtoy treat dispenser do you like? I'd like to find one that can keep her entertained for a while and not dispense treats too quickly, and that I can put any small treats in. I see some that have their own brand of treats included and don't want to have to search for that brand for refills. Thanks
 

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I occasionally use them for some of the shelter dogs, so 'toughness' is my primary concern. I've been happy with the Kong Wobbler & also with some of the Starmark treat dispensing balls (the rubbery green one is my favorite, and the football shaped one is good too - I don't use the ones that require their brand of 'Everlasting Treats') All of these will hold any small treats or just kibble.
 

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A food puzzle would be a great Christmas present.

I wouldn't suggest getting any of the food puzzles I have. All are much too difficult to clean and all roll under furniture too easily. One super noisy, the Buster Cube. One collects dirt like mad, a rubber ball with separators inside and one is too easy, StuffABall by kong. So I use dry rinsed out plastic water bottles and milk jugs with a few bits of dry stuff inside most of the time instead. Water bottles make a wonderful crinkly noise lots of dogs like. My dogs are fine with them but something like that needs to be fairly closely supervised as they can be ripped/chewed apart easily if the dog decides that would be more fun than knocking it around to get the treats out.

I am sure you can tell from photos which are easy to clean and which are too round and will roll a lot. Be suspicious of ones with hard plastic as some dogs take those apart quite easily.
 

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I like the simple ball dispensers, but (a) Kabota is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and (b) he got so frustrated at the wooden puzzler, he picked it up and threw it, which worked (the whole thing exploded), but also left a gouge in my nice, new hardwood floors.
 

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I really like the IQ treat ball. It opens up for cleaning & you can adjust the size of the hole so you can adjust it based on your dog's skill level (ie big at first but make it smaller when they get the hang of it). It comes in 2 sizes but I would recommend buying the bigger size regardless of the size of your dog. I have the smaller one & it can fit underneath my TV stand....but there is not enough room for my dog to get under the stand so I sometimes have to fish the ball put for her if it is stuck. (She has gotten better about avoiding that problem though!) However, the bigger one (5" I think) would not fit under any of my furniture (other than things that are tall enough for the dog too like a table, etc). It is also easy to fill since you can open it up to add the kibble/treats compared to another ball I had that you have to add the kibble/treats one at a time through the same hole that the dog will use to get it out.
 

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I really like the IQ treat ball. It opens up for cleaning & you can adjust the size of the hole so you can adjust it based on your dog's skill level (ie big at first but make it smaller when they get the hang of it). It comes in 2 sizes but I would recommend buying the bigger size regardless of the size of your dog. I have the smaller one & it can fit underneath my TV stand....but there is not enough room for my dog to get under the stand so I sometimes have to fish the ball put for her if it is stuck. (She has gotten better about avoiding that problem though!) However, the bigger one (5" I think) would not fit under any of my furniture (other than things that are tall enough for the dog too like a table, etc). It is also easy to fill since you can open it up to add the kibble/treats compared to another ball I had that you have to add the kibble/treats one at a time through the same hole that the dog will use to get it out.
My TV stand is really high, and every single time I feed Kabota, the treat ball gets under the stand. Usually several times. *sigh*
 

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I haven't tried a ton of them, but the IQ Ball is my favorite. It's hard plastic so it is loud, but it's hard enough that my dogs can't dump all of the kibble out immediately, and the holes are small enough that standard kibble works well. It's not large and can get stuck under furniture.
 

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Eva eats almost all her meals from the Kong Wobbler. We both like it, she likes it because food comes out of it and I like it because it is easy to fill, easy to clean and holds an entire 1.5 cup meal of kibble no problem. I wouldn't call it difficult, but it takes 15 minutes or so to get a meal out of it and since she otherwise bolts her food down in 10-15 seconds, I think its healthier for her. Hard plastic thumps around a bit but appears basically destruction proof due to both material and shape (Eva being a dog who destroyed an extreme Kong in minutes, an extreme Kong ball and several other "guaranteed" toy in under 20 minutes). The weighted bottom means it wobbles (its in the name!) more than rolls around so its less likely to get trapped under furniture

I tried the Omega Tricky Treat. Pain the butt to load, pain in the butt to clean as its nearly impossible to get all the kibble out of it due to an interior lip that blocks the last few pieces. Not recommended at all.

Tried the larger size of the IQ treat ball. Easy enough to load, plastic didn't feel as sturdy as I would like, but mostly, it only held a tiny amount of kibble. Like 1/2 cup or less. Which might work for a small dog but was useless for feeding meals to my large dogs. Potentially worth buying for either small dogs or feeding occasional small treats like Zukes. Not worth it IMO for meals for med-large dogs.
 

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Also, if you buy a Kong Wobbler & find it is getting too easy, get a few ping pong balls & add them with the food. It makes it more difficult to get the food out.
 

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I love my kong wobbler, its pretty durable (now you dont want them treating it like a nylabone and chewing on it, but it can take some pretty rough treatment) and its easy to clean :). Lincoln is a pretty smart dude, though and could figure out some pretty tough puzzles, I saw an idea someone posted online for their malinois (seen below ... hope the pic works ... it is NOT my dog or my picture, BTW) and I hope to build one for Lincoln.

If you google search "homemade interactive dog toys" you will get a TON of ideas. :)

 

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Kong Wobbler! Jackson LOVES his kong wobbler. Most toy puzzles I get him he figures out way too fast or he just kind of isn't interested in them. But the wobbler is exciting for him and he loves trying to get kibble and treats out of it in a fairly simple yet time consuming way.
 

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I tried the Omega Tricky Treat. Pain the butt to load, pain in the butt to clean as its nearly impossible to get all the kibble out of it due to an interior lip that blocks the last few pieces. Not recommended at all.
The Tricky Treat Ball is one of my favorites. We use a funnel to fill it - much easier than trying to fill through the hole. It takes a long time to empty, so it keeps the dogs occupied long enough for me to get something done. I don't like that it's not easy to clean.

We have a Busy Buddy Chuckle that takes a while to empty, but it doesn't hold much food (~ 1/3c small kibbles). The Kong genius toys are nice as is Ethical Pet Contempo Finn (we did not pay that much for ours).
 

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I have two of the Nina Ottosson puzzle toys and my girl really loves them. The one is made of a particle-board type material and swivels around and the other looks like a plastic scrabble board or something. The pieces get slobbery but she really does enjoy it a lot. Initally, with both of them, she just got frustrated and dumped them over to get to the treats. I found though, as time went on and I kept giving them to her, that she now slides each level on the swivel toy and actually picks the pieces up out of the base for the plastic one. It's like she got better at it over time. She knows where I keep them and will ask for them sometimes.

I'll have to try the wobbler and the IQ... this isn't the first time I've heard good things about them.
 

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Onyx LOVES the Nina Ottosson puzzles. I have three of the plastic ones. She figures them out soo fast though, the ones that are "hard" she can finish in 5 minutes tops. But she has a whole lot of fun doing them, tail wags the entire time. I love it. I also have this ball with little adjustable holes (for different size kibble) that she has to roll around to get the kibble out. She can empty that in about 2 minutes though. But it's still better than her average 20 seconds from the bowl.

If I want to keep her busy for a longer time, I put food in a regular Kong and smear a small amount of yogurt or something over the hole and freeze it.
 
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