I saved the best for last, at least my favorite Kong toy. Drum roll…tatatatatatatatatat.. It’s the Kong classic. Why having such a boring toy as my favorite? Because Mom fills them with love.. okay, not love dog treats and PEANUT BUTTER!! These Kong Classics can be used a general chew toys or something to play fetch with but their best use is as a treat filled goodie ball to bribe us pups. Mom stuffs the ball with either treats or just plain dog food but then she plugs the hole with peanut butter and puts them in the freezer overnight. Then when Dad leaves for work in the morning Trey and I each get a Kong ball and head into our crates to eat our sweet treat.
Multi-Sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL)
Lots of room for treats and peanut butter
Really hard chewers can destroy if left unsupervised (our vet posted an article on it)
YES, but only if you parents are going to fill it with lots of love aka treats and peanut butter!
Mom got me a Kong Traxx (tire) since I have an obsession with another tire toy I had but to be honest this one does nothing for me. I have two other non-Kong tires, one is smaller and the other is a much larger tire and they both get much more play time. I like to hold the smaller tire in my mouth and squeeze it (collapse it) while the bigger is used for general chewing, tug-of-war and just play carry around and give to Mom toy (I am on my 2nd of those).
Overall I would have to say this toy is just too small for chewing because if it did interest me, just feeling it, I would have killed it. However if you are just the type that likes to mouth toys they you would probably like it.
Flexible rubber for pups that like the mouth toys
To small for the 30-65lb chewer it is recommended for
Not for the chewer, I think this would be great for a large puppy for the dogs that like to carry and/or mouth toys.
Here is another Kong ball I have, the KONG Squeezz Ball Dog Toy. This is another fun ball I keep around the house. I normally play with this one when I am looking for a squeaking ball. I’ve had this thing for a couple years now and it is still in good condition and the squeaker still works. I can’t rave but definitely can not complain about the toy, after all it is still in good condition. I wouldn’t rave about it only because I have a large selection of balls and this one tends to get left in the toy box most days since I like the slightly bigger, heavier Kong ball I talked about earlier in this series.
Bigger than a tennis ball so it doesn’t fit in the thrower, although that is okay because I use this as an indoor toy.
Wubba Wubba Wubba.. I just love the name! To save you some time, if you are a chewer just say NO. Yes they look like loads of fun, but unless you have someone responsible (looking at you humans) to tell you no, then your won’t be able to resist the urge to kill these. If you are looking to have fun with your human then these are a fun supervised toy (like a frisbee). As you can see from the picture below I have Wubbas. The toy on the right (not Trey’s paw) is designed for water use. Mom bought this toy for me in hopes if would get me to swim, but fat chance on that, if my feet can touch the bottom I don’t go any deeper. The toy is a light weight neoprene type material is good for water toys but bad for chewers, give me 10 second alone with this toy and I will kill it. The toy on the left is a regular Wubba which is just two balls covered in a tough nylon. The nylon decent for rough play, but those strings on the bottom wont last a chewer, if you look close you can see the damage I have already done. However this can be a fun toy to play fetch with, when you throw the Wubba it has a lot of surface area to grab and catch it without a lot of additional weight. It is also a fun toy to grab and shake, assuming you hold it by the big end otherwise OUCH!.
Easy to hold
Easy to throw
Several options for water, general play and cuddling
A Kong chew toy that is also a dental stick? This has got to be the perfect chew toy, right? Well I don’t have any pictures of this because it long ago disappeared but you can find a picture on Kong’s website under Dental Stick. As you may (or may not) know by now I am a chewer so Mom figured a chew toy that is supposed to be good for the teeth so it would be a good thing for me, but she was wrong.
Well not to say that is product isn’t good, it is just not good for me. I have to admit, I loved the toy it has a wonderful texture that made me want to really chew on it. I would stand with in in my mouth and just squeeze it in my mouth and work it around. However it didn’t take me long to realize if I held it in between my paws and grabbed the end I could chew off the ridges. It was really a shame, I should have just packed this away and hid it in my crate so I could enjoy it out of view. With the ridges quickly ending up as red bits on the floor the toy quickly disappeared into that toy boy in the sky (same place the dryer puts your missing socks).
I have to admit this toy has been in our toy box since before I was born. Mom bought this toy for Trey years ago but before I came along, Trey preferred to love on soft plush toys so it got very little play. Going back through my puppy pictures I found a few with this toy. I think Mom hid this away when I got bigger because she was afraid it wouldn’t last with my reputation for toys (with good reason bawhahah). However since we barked about doing a Kong series Mom decided to pull it out of the toy box and let me have it.
After a bit of play here are my thoughts, although it looks like a tennis ball it is a bit more durable with thicker walls than a standard tennis ball. It has the nice fuzzy soft feel of a tennis ball and it is nice to hold. Being long you can hold it in the middle and still have enough out the side of your mouth to waive it in front of your brother/sister but still play keep away. Surprisingly the squeaker does seem to be holding out (normally first to go on my toys) but I think it is because I haven’t narrowed down the location of the air hole so I haven’t stuck my tooth in there yet to pop in/out the squeaker.
Like a tennis ball but tougher
Here is my 2nd favorite Kong toy, the Kong ball. This ball comes in 2 sizes a small and a medium-large. The small is 2.5 inches and the M/L is 3 inches and I of course have the M/L. I love this ball, it is a solid rubber toy and has a bit of bounce and seems indestructible to me. In our house, tennis balls normally last 1 play session (fetch) before they are splitting, but this ball is solid, it has no give at all. The size is also perfect for my mouth at 3 inches I can hold it fine but I can’t grip it in my back teeth or as Mom calls it, The destruction zone (where most toys go to die) so I can’t kill it. After several months of carrying this thing around, inside and out there are not even teeth marks on it. I don’t think I really have a complaint on this one, except it doesn’t bounce as well and doesn’t get thrown as far because it is heavier than a tennis ball. Although Mom does complain if I have this in the house and drop it on her foot.
Lasts a bazillion times longer than a tennis ball (for me)
Still has bounce (nothing compared to tennis ball)
Bigger than a tennis ball, so for a mouth my size it doesn’t allow me to chew on it
Price, its about $15, but if you play fetch a lot it should save you in the long run if you go through a lot of tennis balls.
Bigger than a tennis ball (also a pro) so it doesn’t fit in the tennis ball thrower.
The second Kong product I thought I would bark about this series is the Kong Classic Flyer aka Kong Frisbee. Trey and I have a collection of cheap Frisbees that we got free from dog events. Those freebies are stored away for a rainy destruction day since those last 1 throw with us. When Trey and I pay frisbee it’s more than a game, it’s a competition. It’s all about who can get it first, followed by a game of tug-of-war normally broken up by Mom or Dad. This competition immediately leaves plastic freebie with holes from our teeth and after a couple throws they are toast. Since we enjoy the game so much Mom put out a little extra money to try this Kong flier. After a few plays I have to give it an okay review.
First the flyer is made of the typical Kong red rubber, making it heavier than the typical frisbee so it doesn’t fly as well, but it does fly. Also with our game of tug of war we have ripped a hole in it so it has been reduced to backup frisbee. On the other hand if we didn’t play tug-of-war I would give it better marks since I do love when I get hold of it I can shake it and slap myself in the face (I don’t know why, but I love toys that do that). Personally I have 2 other frisbee options I like a little better, my Chuck It Flying Squirrel has much better hang time in the air and is just as durable, then the Dura Doggie Disc which has better distance is a lot more durable.
More durable than standard plastic frisbee
Floppy enough to shake and slap yourself (if you like that)
Great toy if you don’t play tug-of-war but are still rough on them
Looks like it will stand a bit of chewing
A softer rubber than wont hurt your mouth if you chew while carrying it.
Pricer than normal frisbees (approx $12)
Doesn’t fly as nice as my Chuck It Flying Squirrel or Dura Doggie Disc
Wont hold out with two dogs fighting over it.
Not Really. I wouldn’t just say “no” because it is a decent product, but I like my other options better. I would recomment the Chuck It Flying Squirrel for dogs learning to catch frisbees, it has a better hang time. Then for those who want flying distance and/or durability I like the Dura Doggie Disc. Honestly I think Kong should consider buying out the Dura Doggie Disc before they get a good hold on that market. Dye it red stamp their name on it and I would believe it was theirs, great design and durability are things I think of with Kong. I did look online and saw that Kong has an “Extreme” version that is black, we might have to take a look at it next time we are in Petsmart or Petco.
1 Mr Barksmith’s Carrot Cake Smoothie
Retail Price: $4 ($24 for a 6 pack at Bjs)
1 Barkworthies Junior Bully Stick
Retail Price:$3.15 from Barkworthies
For a total retail price of: 32.02 NOT including shipping
Just an FYI on the BarkBox Price
As of 3/20/14, and this includes shipping to Continental US
$29 for 1 month
$72 for 3 months ($24 per month)
$114 for 6 months ($19 per month)
$199 for 1 year ($16.58 per month)
Get $5 off if you use this link (my referral)
YES! Unless you are entering frisbee competitions this is a great flying disc, it has good hang time and decent distance for being a heavy duty toy. Of course just like all frisbees it is not a toy you can leave a chewer alone with but it will live through a game of dobie tug-o-war.
Ever get that need to destuff the your toys? Have a hard time resisting the urge to spill white fluffy guts all over the floor? If that is the case I have a the toys for you, they will fulfill that urge over and over again while driving your humans nuts!
The toys are the Plush Puppies Hide-a-Squirrel or Puzzle Plushes made by Kyjen. These are soft toys inside of toys that make for a fun filled time if you like to play surgeon on your plushies. I have 3 of these toys, 1 Hide-a-Squirrel and 2 different Egg Babies that make for a fun time. If you look in the pictures below you will see that they are toys that are already have destuffed bodies (or lightly stuffed in the squirrel tree) that you put little toys into. Once they are stuffed just hand them over to your surgeon and watch them find that opening within seconds. I know when I find the opening I start pulling eggs and tossing them everywhere until the toys are empty it give me such a high! Once the toys are out I like to run around with at least one in my mouth as a prize. Since I just “destuffed” the big toy I do tend to let the small toys live longer than I normally would. Mom tends to think the pure joy I get from this toy is disturbing but if I am happy then so is she.
I do have to say you have to keep on your humans about being ready to reload these toys. After just a few tries I figured out where the opening are and how to destuff them quickly, in fact Mom tends to give me all 3 at once to buy more time. Even with 3 toys it takes me less than 5 minutes to complete my task then start my victory lap, followed by the need to destuff the heads of the Egg Babies. That’s right there is something there I can still get my white fluff from! Of course that is the cue for mom to start reloading the toys for another round. Since I am so good at these puzzles I don’t get to play with them as often because Mom and Dad have keep restuffing and after so many rounds they get tired of it.
Satisfies the need to destuff toys
Requires a lot of human interaction (if you are a toy guarder forget it)
Not Durable, same material as a normal stuffed toy
Some toys still have stuffed parts
$10 and Up from Amazon.com and I have seen them in store at Petco
Yes, but only if you are a serial plush killer AND your humans are willing to constantly refill these for you. Also I would not recommend the platypus or any others that have a stuffed head, that is just asking to be destuffed.
Suggestions to Manufacturer:
These toys could be made to last longer if they did a few things. First, the hole the small toys come out should be smaller, making us really have to work to get them out. I realize if it is to hard then a lot of pups will turn to normal surgeon procedures to open them up more. I imagine they could fix this by making the toys a shape were they will come part way out easily but to come fully out you really have to pull or get it just right, like a pyramid shape, or a sphere with protruding “arms” that the small arms come out easy but to pull it fully out you have to put your paws on the toy and PULL. Second no stuffed heads, the platypus has stuffing in its head, luckily the hedgehog does not. last I would like to see the small toys make of a more durable material like the canvas or firehose. As long as the big toy is fluffy I would still feel the need to destuff it, but a canvas egg would be harder to get out and would last longer on my victory laps.
Mom should have known better on this toy. A couple weeks back Mom got new tires on the Penny Limo so while we were waiting we took a walk over to Happy Tails Barkery in Redding to look for toys. After walking around we finally decided on this leather toy. Dad was there and thought this would be a nice tough toy that should withstand some chewing, after all it is leather. We, sorry Dad you were very wrong, this toy was treated like what it really is.. rawhide that is just not processed like rawhide rolls.
This is what was left after I played for it for less than a hour. The red outline is part of the body that is now somewhere in the yard in a steaming land mine. I don’t think much more needs to be said.
Double Stitched Leather
Gone in no time
Squeaker was hard to squeak (although once I pulled it out, it squeaked easy)
Nope, not for the serious chewer, maybe if you were a puppy or the type of dog that takes a week to get through a rawhide roll. Honestly a rawhide roll is cheaper, tastes better and lasts longer.
I have to review these treats I got in my BarkBox just because they are so odd, but odd in a good way I guess. First I want you to take a look at the pictures below and based on your experience with dog treats try to picture what these 100% venison treats will feel like.
Now that you got that image, let me guess you thought these treats would be like jerky, slightly moist thick slices of meat, right? Well, that is completely opposite of what these are. The best way I can describe these is like a meat version of puffed rice, very light weight hollow feeling dry block of meat. Just look at the picture blow, 3 dimes weigh .2 ounces, where 5 of these blocks (check out size comparison) weight .2 ounces. Deceptive right?
Even though these are not what you expected that is not a bad thing, they are pretty nummy. I admit at first I was hesitant but once I finished my first block I really wanted more and Big Brother Tray has been staring at the bag for the last several minutes wanting more.
No Corn/Wheat/Soy just all meat
Although they come in sealed bag since they are not moist they would be fine to carry around without being in a sealed bag.
Deceptive, you would expect a moist treat
Not that they are bad, I did enjoy them but for $10 + shipping I think these treats are a little pricey for what you get, I would rather spend that money on bully sticks. Maybe if you can’t have any grains at all then these might be a good option.
I got my first BarkBox in the mail on 3/19/14 (they ship on the 15th of each month) and I wanted to share with you all the goodies I got!
March 2014 Large Dog BarkBox
If you are not familiar with BarkBox, it is a monthly subscription for your pup that contains all types of goodies. You don’t get to choose the goodies they are selected for you based on the dog size you select when ordering and they vary by month. What is also great is 10% of the proceeds go to charity. The prices range by the length of subscription you get, however if you read a lot of the reviews the total retail price of the items it usually much more than the cost of the box. What is also nice is the items are not always things you would buy yourself so you are trying new things.
Items in Box:
Petprojekt Egg: Retail price $14
Pet Qwerks Doggone Times: Retail Price $7.79
Wagatha’s Breakfast Biscuits: $5.99
Superior Farms Venison Waffles: $9.99
Etta Says Crunch Duck Chew: $.99
Total Online retail NOT including shipping: $38.76
If any of the items are worth reviewing individually (good or bad) I will be writing it up as soon as I have had a chance to play with or eat everything.
Variety of Goodies you probably wouldn’t normally try or can even find locally
Different options based on your dog’s size (0-20lb / 20lb-50lb / 50lb+)
Makes your pup feel really loved
Save $$ if you compare on online prices
Portion of proceeds go to charity
It is a subscription, so you have to make sure you cancel it if you are done.
You may get things your pup don’t doesn’t like is not allowed to have, after all it is a surprise!
As of 3/20/14, and this includes shipping to Continental US
$29 for 1 month
$72 for 3 months ($24 per month)
$114 for 6 months ($19 per month)
$199 for 1 year ($16.58 per month)
Get $5 off if you use this link (my referral)
Yes, but I would probably recommend getting at least 6 months to get the price down.
Their customer service is great! Dad got this as a present for Mom on her birthday (which was really a present for me!) and he messed up on the order but it was quickly fixed up with a call and he said they were super nice.
Time to talk about my 2nd and most used backpack I currently have (new one doesn’t have the miles yet), it is the Kyjen Outward Hound Quick Release Dog BackPack. This backpack is also a hand-me-down much like my first training pack, however this one is a better quality and was purchased back in 2010. Since this is an older model some of the features may have changed but I hope to give you an idea of the pros and cons so you can see if they are improved now.
Starting off with the basic build of this pack. The pack has 2 main compartments, 1 on each side. The compartments are closed with a zipper that has 2 heads which I have both meet in the middle for easy access. There is also an outside compartment made of a net that is not sealed and doesn’t hold anything for very long. The compartments are nice and wide giving lots of room for storage and not too deep to cause sagging when you add weight. The packs are made of nylon and that nylon is also used in the section that connects to each compartment to each other over the back. On the top of the pack (top of my back) there is a large handle, I believe this handle is supposed to be used if I need assistance getting over or through obstacles. This handle might work for an ankle biter, but for a doberman its nothing more than an emergency handle. In front of the handle is a little loop with a buckle, this is used a leash keeper. My leash has two handles for short and long holding so Mom loops each handle into the keeper and it allows me to carry the leash still attached to me but not have to be “on the leash” if we are in a place that allows off-leash. The straps on this leash are the typical adjusting nylon straps with quick release buckles, two straps run underneath (girth) and one around the chest (not a Y strap which I think their newer ones use). The only protection to prevent rubbing is a nylon pad that is attached to pack near the buckles and are supposed to be placed behind the buckles to prevent the buckles from rubbing (so they will easily slide out if you shift). Since this is the only form of protection that means the nylon straps are against the skin. This may be okay if the pack fits perfect and you don’t have sensitive skin, however I am pretty sensitive so this is no enough like it was for Trey. To get around my issues Mom doesn’t strap the girth straps down tight, now this might not work for every dog, it is going to depends on the load and your dog because it could cause more rubbing. For me running with it loose is fine, no rubs and the pack only occasionally slides to the side. If this didn’t work Mom was going to make a fleece sleeve to slide over the nylon then strap it down.
The way the compartments are connected to the pack is by the top part of the pack, this means that the pack fill float out if you go for a swim however is also means they will bounce if you carry a lot of weight. The packs are also removable so you can just take them off before going for a swim without having to unbuckle the harness but to be honest we have never removed them before. If I am on leash I can carry a few water bottles, leashes, and poo bags without any issues because it is a serious walk, but if I am off-leash I am jumping around so much Mom normally just loads the pack with poo bags, hand towels to wipe paws and an extra collar.
Carries decent weight (2 water bottles each side and could have done more)
Durable (lots of miles and no tears or breaks yet)
Pack is removable from harness.
No Y strap on chest (but this might be fixed in newer models)
No protection from nylon rubbing and the buckle protection is a joke
Not breathable, although we don’t sweat it will still retain heat so I don’t wear on hot summer days.
Bounces if you are an active dog
Mom got this for $17 on Amazon.com back in 2010
Yes, for a good mid-range backpack. If you just want to add some weight to your dog when walking or carry a few extra things this pack has served me well. If you have a thin coat/skin then if you find this model I suggest making fleece sleeves to put the straps through. If you are serious about packing weight I would go with a higher range model.
Remember to pack the weight on your dog evenly and check for always check fit during your first several hikes. Also this isn’t my first backpack or my last (I have upgraded!). You can ready about my first backpack here My First Backpack, Dickens Closet Review. I will update this with a link to my review of my newest Ruff Wear backpack when I post that.
Outward Hound BackPack, notice the buckle protector out of place