A few weeks ago, we got Tasha some new treats (ones that neither Tasha nor I are allergic to!) and a few new puzzle toys. I decided to wait awhile to review them because then I could get a good idea of how well they held up to our destructo-pup. She doesn’t destroy our stuff but her own toys are often another story, in fact, we will have to get her a new Kong Extreme soon, because after 5 months, she is starting to pull pieces off of it. These are toys designed for police dogs!!! So, some toys can handle her, and others can’t, but if you have a less destructive dog, these toys might work well for you.
New Puzzle Toys:
The Starmark Bobs-a-Lot
: This is a feeding puzzle toy that took Tasha a while to get the hang of. It is designed to be like one of those bounce back punching bags, so you hit it and it pops back up. Tasha instead was forcing it to stay on its side and rolling, which is not the most efficient method to get the food out. Plus, it has a heavy bottom that really hurts if it hits your ankles. The good news is that it really gets Tasha thinking, especially when we had to sit with her and teach her how to do it correctly. She has not even tried to chew on it, but it is an interactive toy and is not designed for you to just leave your dog alone with it. It also seems to be fast becoming a favorite.
The Busy Buddy Magic Mushroom
: This toy is not really my favorite. It dispenses the food rather quickly and is showing some wear from Tasha picking it up in her mouth and throwing it around. I did find recently that the top half of her IQ ball fits inside and can make it more challenging, but it does not give her the same amount of work as her other puzzle toys. This would be a good toy for starting dogs on puzzle toys, but it is not very variable on the difficulty level. Perhaps, it would work better with the bigger dog food pieces?
The Busy Buddy Barnacle
: This toy is a treat puzzle toy with three different size chamber. It would take Tasha a long time to get the treats out and I understand why, even I had difficulties. They have these flaps that you can cut back to decrease the difficulty but once you cut them, you can’t increase the difficulty again. The way the opening of the toy was ridged, I even had trouble getting the food out for her. She also managed to tear the rubber on the side within a few uses. I would not recommend this toy.
Barkworthies Natural Hickory Beef Chews
: I have the link to Amazon so you can see what the bag looks like, but I wouldn’t buy them from there. I got a 5.29 oz bag at Mounds for just over $5. These treats are worth every penny! Because they have a strong odor, Tasha is easily distracted with them from things that cause her anxiety and she knows that when she smells them, she will get one if she behaves. Clipping Tasha’s nails went from a two person job because of her squirming to me being able to do it by myself and giving her a treat after each nail. She will just wait in whatever position you put her in when she smells these treats! Plus, each treat is only 4 calories so they work well for training treats in more hectic environments. They are a bit more expensive, but we are used to that now because of all of her allergies.
Exclusively Dog Buddy Bits
: I got these in both the cheese flavor and the peanut butter flavor for $4-$4.50 per 5.5 oz bag. Each treat is about half a calorie and Tasha loves them! We were working with some of her doggy cousins this past weekend as well and even though one of the dogs was a picky eater, he loved these as well! They work really well for training treats and these are the ones we send with Tasha to daycare (because they like to give her a lot of treats). I will admit that with LD’s goading, I did try one of each and they taste really good (don’t worry, he tried them first). I am seriously considering buying one of the 15 pound bags that they sell on Amazon, but I have to figure out how to keep them fresh. They also don’t leave a strong odor on my hands after I give Tasha a treat. I would definitely recommend these! They are also Kosher, so it wouldn’t be a big deal to take them to my sister’s house (a rare occurrence for food in general.)