Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,574 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Someone in this household doesn't know how to use the Kong. I'm not sure if it's me or Alvin.

I tried giving Alvin a Kong when I first got him, but he just licked the easy stuff off the rim and walked away. Now, a couple years later, I thought I'd try again. I figured the Buster Cube has taught him to work for a meal and raw bones have taught him to chew for one. So I mixed up a batch of yogurt and kibble, stuffed the Kong, and put it in the freezer.

He was definitely excited when it gave it to him. He licked the frozen yogurt seal away and bit out the first couple pieces of kibble. He batted the Kong around with his paws and chewed it for about ten minutes, but he's back inside now and the Kong is defrosting on my lawn. I can't blame him...for all his chewing and pawing, nothing came out of the Kong. I wouldn't want to play with a toy that wouldn't give me my dinner, either. Frankly, I'm not sure how I'M going to get the filling out and I have thumbs! Just wait for the stuff to melt, I guess, and then pour it out.

So what's the deal? Did I fill it wrong? Should I have taken it out of the freezer before it became totally solid? Should I have only plugged the hole with the yogurt and left the kibble inside dry so that he only had one obstacle to overcome? Or do people who use Kongs just have dogs who are extremely motivated?

Perhaps a few of you could give the explicit steps you follow when preparing a Kong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,387 Posts
I don't freeze my kongs. Sometimes when I have to put them in their crates I put peanut butter in them. Sometimes I'll put in a kong treat, but that's rare cause the treats are kinda pricey so I make them last as long as possible. It takes ffffooorrreeevvveeerrr for the kong treats to finally come out...but my Belle is really excited when it finally does, lol. And I"m talking forever as in days or weeks. :) GL!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
I usually just put treats inside Belvie's kong. I tried the frozen peanut butter (well, it wasn't completely frozen) and he lost interest in it in about 10 min. When it's stuffed with treats, he'll keep playing with it even after the treats are gone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,277 Posts
I think you've gone about as far as yogurt and kibble will take you with your dog. My dog would act the same way with that fare. But put peanut butter in there or a nice mix of chicken, green beans, & potato? She'll go at it until everything is all gone. For her, about 2 minutes. She's a really fierce kong user. I think your dog is just telling you that what you're giving him is not interesting enough to warrant much work on his part.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
566 Posts
I'll just stuff Kina's kong with plain Kibble. I'll just really wedge it in there. She'll bounce her Kong on the floor until she can get every last kibble out. Where there are some kibble wedged in there that she can't get out, when she gets tired she'll leave it, and then come back later and try again.

My other dog Sadie, was never interested in her Kong. She'd just grab the easy stuff out and leave the rest there and didn't even bother playing with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
498 Posts
I usually just put treats inside Belvie's kong. I tried the frozen peanut butter (well, it wasn't completely frozen) and he lost interest in it in about 10 min. When it's stuffed with treats, he'll keep playing with it even after the treats are gone.
Ruby is the opposite... she isn't interested in kibble in it, even mixed with peanut butter which she loves. So she usually gets peanut butter and canned pumpkin.

How I do it:
First I push peanut butter down to block the hole. Then I add some pumpkin and a little water (if I have time to freeze it before giving it to her). Then I fill it up with more peanut butter and stand it up in the freezer until I need it.

Frozen or unfrozen, doesn't matter much to her, and she will go back to it several times after getting everything out of it. I also use the kong bone, which she is just as enthusiastic about. If I just need a quick distraction for her then I will use a knife to swipe peanut butter around the inside edge of the kong.

Is it the right size for Alvin? If it too small then he may be having trouble getting his tongue in to properly get to the kibble mix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,071 Posts
With Basil, I either put a slice of cheese in his, or fill it with his crunchy blueberry treats and plug the end with peanut butter. I never freeze it. When it's cheese, he usually licks all but the contents of the last ball out of there, so I end up washing it out. When it's treats and peanut butter, he'll lick out the peanutbutter and get one or two of the treats, since they're really wedged in there, and work on the third one later. It helps motivate them if there's something really good smelling at the very bottom, so I've put a liver treat or piece of cooked chicken in the bottom to keep him interested. I've also kind of have observed that he never can lick the last ball clean, be it peanut butter, cheese, yoghurt, whatever, so sometimes I stick one dry treat in the bottom and fill the rest up with something lickable. Makes clean up easier, lol!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,263 Posts
Sometimes it can really help to use something that is relatively easy to get out of it but very high value. Have them use that for the first 10 or so times so they get the hang of the fact that something good always comes out of it. Then start upping the ante, making it more difficult to pull the food out.

Oh, and don't give one right after dinner unless you have a food monster like mine :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
What exactly did you expect him to do? Keep him busy for hours on end???
Try using it as a toy to play fetch, hide-n-seek etc. My dog loves the kong... and not just cause it has stuffing or a treat in it. There is a lot of different games you can play with your dog using a kong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,761 Posts
Sometimes it can really help to use something that is relatively easy to get out of it but very high value. Have them use that for the first 10 or so times so they get the hang of the fact that something good always comes out of it. Then start upping the ante, making it more difficult to pull the food out.
Agreed...I started off easy - bit of peanut butter smeared on the inside walls with dry kibble in the middle so that she was rewarded easily (kibble) and had to work a teensy bit for the "good stuff" (PB). I didn't start freezing them until she had a strong desire to work at the thing and was emptying the darn thing as fast as her bowl.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,574 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
What exactly did you expect him to do? Keep him busy for hours on end???
Try using it as a toy to play fetch, hide-n-seek etc. My dog loves the kong... and not just cause it has stuffing or a treat in it. There is a lot of different games you can play with your dog using a kong.
Er...I expected him to eat the food out of it. :confused:

He isn't interested in it as a toy. He doesn't appear to be terribly interested in it as a food dispenser, either, but it sounds like maybe I started off with too challenging of a mix. I considered just dropping the kibble into it, but the hole in the XL Kong is large. The kibble just rushes right back out. No need to push it around or "work" at it at all. So there clearly has to be SOMETHING holding it in...just not something as difficult to dislodge as frozen yogurt!

I'm not set on using the Kong. It's just that I'd like to mix up dinnertime by maybe using something other than the Buster Cube occasionally and the Kong is a cheaper alternative than other treat dispensing toys.

I'll start with something yummier than kibble and easier to remove than yogurt and see if I can work him up to a bigger challenge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,804 Posts
I also start of easy and then slowly make it a bit harder. Try putting kibble in there and just a layer of peanut butter to hold in it. It won't take him long to empty it, but thats ok for the first several times.

After 10+ times of doing that, try putting some large biscuits in there. Ones that still come out somewhat easily, but are a bit harder. Mix those in with some kibble and then cover with peanut butter.

Then try filling it with kibble, and then putting yogurt or peanut butter just over the hole and freezing it (so the kibble is still loose inisde). That way when he works through the frozen part the kibble comes out easily.

Then do the above with some of the bigger biscuits.

At each step I give it to them at least 10 times or more so they slowly learn to work harder for the food/treats. As it gets harder too put some more rewarding things in there, like a few bits of chicken or something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
I use straight yogurt, no kibble. I fill the kong about 2/3 of the way full of yogurt and then stick it in the freezer. When I want to give it to her, I take it out, fill it the rest of the way with yogurt, and serve. ;) By the time she's worked her way through the top third, the rest of the kong is starting to thaw.

Sometimes she leaves yogurt in there, sometimes she licks it fairly clean. She really likes yogurt.

Maybe that's the problem.
Why exactly is this the problem? Is there a rule that says "DOGS MUST PLAY WITH KONGS" and not eat food out of them? Luna has ZERO interest in her kong unless it's stuffed with something, and that's perfectly fine with me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
968 Posts
My dog loves his kong. He'll still play with it when it's empty, but he really loves it when there's food in it.

What I've been doing lately that he really seems to like is from the outside of the kong I plug the little hole with peanut butter and then pour in some yogurt, then spoon in some of his food, canned version, then kibble, then yogurt, then top it off with canned food and stick it in the freezer.

I think he likes this version the best because there's a different variety of things in it and it's not all the same all the way through so he gets to experience wet food, yogurt, kibble, wet food, yogurt and then a bit of PB at the very end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
I use straight yogurt, no kibble. I fill the kong about 2/3 of the way full of yogurt and then stick it in the freezer. When I want to give it to her, I take it out, fill it the rest of the way with yogurt, and serve. ;) By the time she's worked her way through the top third, the rest of the kong is starting to thaw.

Sometimes she leaves yogurt in there, sometimes she licks it fairly clean. She really likes yogurt.


Why exactly is this the problem? Is there a rule that says "DOGS MUST PLAY WITH KONGS" and not eat food out of them? Luna has ZERO interest in her kong unless it's stuffed with something, and that's perfectly fine with me.
I think you misunderstood my reply... I meant maybe the problem is that she assumed that it will eat whatever she stuffs into the kong. If a dog is not very food driven it doesn't matter what you stick in there they won't be interested for long. Using it as a toy was just a suggestion... there are no rules to using a kong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
I think you misunderstood my reply... I meant maybe the problem is that she assumed that it will eat whatever she stuffs into the kong. If a dog is not very food driven it doesn't matter what you stick in there they won't be interested for long. Using it as a toy was just a suggestion... there are no rules to using a kong.
Yes, i apologize. I did misinterpret your reply. Sometimes it can be difficult to gauge people's attitudes/meanings on online forums. ;)
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top