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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My pup is 5 months old. She loves to toss around her Kong to dispense the dry kibble. But she won't eat anything in it that is or has been frozen. She'll sniff at it then completely ignore it.

I've tried dry kibbled mixed with a little pumpkin (which she loves) but she won't eat it frozen in a Kong toy. She lets it thaw and the kibble gets mushy and easier to get out but she still won't touch it. I've mixed cooked chunks of chicken breast with moistened kibble then freeze it in the Kong but she also ignores it. I even bought her a big Kong with a larger hole and tried using plain yogurt and peanut butter but she's just not interested.

Is this normal for a pup her age? Do I have a chance that as she grows she'll learn to enjoy the work it takes to get the frozen meal out of the Kong? I was so looking forward to giving her some long-lasting food entertainment but after several failed efforts I'm at a loss.

FYI, she will eat a frozen raw chicken wing in about 5 minutes so "frozen" is not the issue.

Edited to add . . .
My biggest concern is that she does not seem to be able to self-entertain. She is not fond of "dead" toys. She always wants someone to play with her. So what I'm actually looking for is some way to give her some fun entertainment while giving me a break. :)
 

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Some dogs have to be "taught" to use the Kong. My dog was one of them, and they still aren't his favorite.

My dog didn't get it at first. I had success by just smearing a little peanut butter on the outside of the hole of the Kong so he started associating the Kong with yumminess that wasn't overly hard to eat. I did that for a few days, then progressed to smearing it around the hole and a little on the inside so he had to actually lick the inside. I continued that for several days and then smeared the peanutbutter pretty much all the way down. Once he got the hang of that I started freezing it - and then stuffing it with other things.

My dog much prefers his Lickimat and it takes him about the same time to finish that as a Kong and he actually likes it. And they are like half the price and are the only thing that really scrapes the plaque off his front teeth, so it's win win win for us.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I never considered that she would need to be taught how to eat from her Kong. I will try the peanut butter method and see how that goes.

A Lickimat might be a nice change once in awhile, especially after my girl is older. She's only five months old. Right now, I try to limit her meals to 95-100% kibble so that her diet is as balanced as possible. I'm already a little concerned about all the extra protein (hot dog, baked chicken) she gets during her puppy class and at-home training. After her first taste of high-value treats, she now balks at doing puppy push-ups for a measly piece of kibble. :)
 

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I have had a pretty similar experience as you with the kong and my puppy is the same age. She will lick where the hole is to get the peanut butter but that's about it. She does not seem interested in trying to get out anything that is inside. Not sure what kind of a dog you have but my pup loves playing with the flirt pole. Right now however, I am her favorite chew toy. She loves those ankles. We are working on it with her. I was also concerned with all the calories of the treats. I get the training treats made by Natural Balance as well as the puppy treats by Wellness. I also cut each treat in four pieces to cut down on the calories. She still thinks she is getting something wonderful. My pup is under 10 pounds however so I can get away with that.
 

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Thanks for the reply. I never considered that she would need to be taught how to eat from her Kong. I will try the peanut butter method and see how that goes.

A Lickimat might be a nice change once in awhile, especially after my girl is older. She's only five months old. Right now, I try to limit her meals to 95-100% kibble so that her diet is as balanced as possible. I'm already a little concerned about all the extra protein (hot dog, baked chicken) she gets during her puppy class and at-home training. After her first taste of high-value treats, she now balks at doing puppy push-ups for a measly piece of kibble. :)
If you soak the kibble in water until it gets a little soft, you can then spread the pieces into the Lickimat and freeze it and the kibble will stick in the grooves for her to have to get out. I do that for my dogs on the rare occasion they get kibble and it works great. Unless the kibble you feed has large pieces, in which case it might be a little harder to fit them into the grooves (but you could smash it up beforehand, if you're so inclined).

I forgot to mention that I only give my dog the lickimat frozen because it is too easy for him if it isn't frozen, regardless of what I put in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Right now however, I am her favorite chew toy. She loves those ankles. We are working on it with her.
I am still having mouthing and nipping issues with my pup as well. It's better than two months ago but still a problem. I've found that I absolute MUST have kibble or some other small treat to feed her when I want to pet her, put her leash on or take her leash off. Reaching toward her has become a signal for her to play bite, and now I'm working hard to break that habit.

The real problem comes when she's wound up. She gets super hyper and extra bitey. Sometimes, she'll bite and latch on hard. She did that today when she was running through her tunnel in the backyard. She ran around like a little rabbit, went through the tunnel, out the other end, jumped up and latched onto my sleeve, catching a bit of skin in the process. :-(

If you soak the kibble in water until it gets a little soft, you can then spread the pieces into the Lickimat and freeze it and the kibble will stick in the grooves for her to have to get out.
I am going to soak some of her kibble and put it on a plate or feed it to her off a spoon. If she takes it, then I'll see about the Lickimat. I'm not sure if she can be trusted not to chew up the mat after eating her food. It'll likely be something that I will have to closely supervise.
 

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What breed?

Some dogs are going through teething phases around 5 mos, so his gums may be sore as his adult teeth are coming in. Try something softer for the next month.
Also, don't freeze the Kong until the adult teeth are fully in and the pain from teething has settled down.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What breed?
Some dogs are going through teething phases around 5 mos, so his gums may be sore as his adult teeth are coming in. Try something softer for the next month.
Also, don't freeze the Kong until the adult teeth are fully in and the pain from teething has settled down.
She is a border collie. She's definitely teething. Earlier this week, I caught her chewing on something. I reached in her mouth to get it and it was a tooth!

She's been a mouthy little thing ever since I brought her home. Today, she nipped me in the fleshy area under my arm. That was definitely not a teething thing. She was very excited about having her tunnel set up in the backyard for the first time. She ran like a rabbit around the yard, then I'd get her to go through the tunnel and reward her as she came out the opposite end. Two times she (roughly) took the reward. The third time she jumped up and latched onto my sleeve, bringing a quick end to her playtime. As I led her toward the house, the jumped up and got me again, this time connecting teeth to skin. OUCH!
 

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Being a Border Collie makes a big difference. Look up Bite Inhibition training, and taking treats gently. It may be as 'simple' as she's bored and wants to play more. You might look into some 'thinking' toys, like a Buster Cube, and other toys where she has to push 'levers' to uncover treats. Training classes and two daily sessions of training at home may help. Consider finding a dog for a playdate, such as a Lab, that might help teach her not to nip and would help drain off some of that rambunctious energy. She might like herding classes ... such as Treibball: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFpH_WLC4qs Just for interest, you might look up Chaser the dog, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86KbGFe-jeM
 
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