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
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
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.
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.
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
I have to tell you about my favorite training treat, Bil-Jac. You can already see how this review is going to go, LOVE EM! When I was a wee little pup going through all the basic training Mom always used these. They are small really tasty treats that smelled like heaven. These little things could get my attention in a hurricane. Mom did complain they had a really strong smell and was glad the came in a sealed pouch but no complaints from me!
Small size, perfect for training
Strong smell to get the pups attention
Nom Nom Nummy!
No Corn or Soy!
Strong smell (only a human complaint)
A moist treat, so if not left it in the sealed pouch it will drys out (but I would still eat it).
Yes for training or quick rewards, however because of my size for a normal treat I would rather have a cookie since they last a couple bites were these I just suck down.
As I said above they are a moist treat that will dry out so don’t dump the whole package into your treat pouch, just enough for that day. Also they aren’t moist, like touching raw meat, more like Playdough.
Saw a new pack in the store, it looks like they slightly changed the packaging, but I still have a couple bags at home. Hopefully they haven’t changed anything else.
Bil-Jac Treats (back side)
Bil-Jac Size, The treat is on a dime, there is also a quarter there for reference.
Wiggly Giggly you made me laugh, you also tasted good. Yep, you know what that means, I ate it or as much as I could before you were whisked by Mom. I got this bright colored dumbbell during on of my many adventures to the pet store. Mom first spotted and picked it up and it made a funny sound, you know one of those sounds that makes you turn your head sideways. From the moment I heard that sound I wanted it and with my patented puuuleeeazzze momma I promise to love it forever look I shot to Mom, it was quickly bought and paid for. When I got home Mom tossed my new toy to me to let the fun begin, and begin it did. I carried it around for a few minutes waiting for Mom to turn her back, then I began my quest to find out what made that noise. Unfortunately less than 5 minutes into my quest I was discovered and it was taken away never to be seen again. I do mourn the loss of this bright funny sounding toy and wish it lasted longer, perhaps if it was a little tougher I would have gave up finding the noise maker and just enjoyed it.
I always have my eye open for new chew toys. If you haven’t noticed by now I love to chew, I was raised on Nylabones so I am always looking for something of equal quality. To me a good chew is something that lasts a while (hours to days+) and of course tastes good! Mom has got both Trey and I rawhide, non-rawhide bones (Dreambones), real bones, bully sticks and other various chews but rarely had something lasted as long as Nylabones. The only thing even close is rawhide which comes with its own dangers. I have to say these Prairie Dog brand Elk Antlers Mom picked up at Petco (they have open bins with them) are right up there with my Nylabones. They are tasty (especially the marrow we try to get out first), they are rock hard, don’t splinter and don’t leave carpet stains (well I leave slobber marks) like rawhide or bullie sticks. So far I think these will last as long as a well loved Dura Chew Nylabone.
Before I was allowed to get an antler Mom did some research. Based on everything she read she looked for a non-bleached whole (not split down middle) antler. She also learned you do NOT want to order them online. If you read all the reviews on Amazon you will get people that loved what they got and others that complain all because of size variations. The antlers seem to be sold by length which doesn’t give the whole picture because something 6 inches could be the width of a dime and something 4 inches could be the width of a silver dollar. With that type of variation it is best to go get them in store and hand pick one that works for you.
Last as long as Nylabones of equal size
Doesn’t splinter like cooked bones
Helps to keep teeth clean
Can cause damage to molars if you try to split in half.
Hit and miss with online ordering
$15-$30 depending on size from Petco, Petsmart and other local pet stores.
Yes, but under three conditions. First do NOT order online, go in store. Second don’t get one that is split in half exposing all the marrow because we will eat all of that first and fast (will be gone in no time). Finally ONLY if you are not the type of dog that will try to split them in half. With these, Nylabones and other hard chews you do run the risk of breaking molars (choosing a proper size will help with this). If you were raised on Nylabones like me, you know how to work these hard chews down to nubs.
Like other chews, be sure to dispose when they get down to a size, that they are a choking risk.
There are also deer and moose antlers available, however they say Elk is recommended because of the marrow ratio and the deer antlers are even harder, more likely to cause tooth fractures. Good information can be found on Mountain Dog Chew’s website
Okay, I have to confess, I have a cat toy that I don’t share with the cats. That’s right the FroliCat BOLT Laser and I love this thing. It is a laser that when you turn on it has a laser that goes around in circles but it switches back and forth so it is not just round and round. When it comes to this thing I am obsessed, Dad will turn it on and I will stomp that laser into ground, biting it until I get tired and or it does its auto shut off after 15 minutes. Mom and Dad now hide the laser because I will walk up to it and stare at it until someone turns it on, I will even stare at it, then look at Dad then back at it until he gets up to turn it on.
My big complaint is that I am on laser #2 and from the way the motor on this one is sounding I may have to beg for #3 pretty soon. The first one had some battery corrosion, but even after cleaning it up the laser was really dim.
Somewhat random circle pattern
Auto Shutoff after 15 minutes
You may have to hide it
Not durable, odd for a toy you don’t directly touch.
If you love lasers, YES!! If you don’t know, I suggest your parents buy one of those cheap lasers pointers you can find at the pet store cat section or Walmart (around $5) before you buy this one which is around $23.
There is also a FroliCat Dart, we decided not to get this one because it would have to sit in the middle of the room so it could spin around, the Bolt however can sit up on a something on the side of the room so it doesn’t get stomped on or knocked over.
Excuse the dirt, but isn’t that the sign of a well loved toy? I have to show you one of my two favorite frisbee/disc type toys (I’ll talk about the other later) it’s the Flying Squirrel made by Chuck It. This frisbee/disc type toy is made of a canvas type material with rubber like weights on each of it feet for balance. What is great about this toy is the hang time it has when Mom or Dad tosses it in the air it takes much longer to come down to the ground than normal frisbees. The hang time is a great confidence builder for pups learning to catch frisbees or dogs that are just not good at catching them. I have to admit, I am not the best at catching flying objects so when the squirrel goes flying can usually catch it and I am able to make a victory lap around the yard. The hang time is a great upside for learning, but if you are an experienced frisbee catcher than this toy will bore you, because that great hang time takes away from this distance and speed so it’s not as challenging. Back to the love.. this frisbee is pretty tough, well tougher than normal plastic ones. The squirrel has been around our house for well over a couple years and still doesn’t have a hole (can’t say the same for my Kong frisbee but that is another review), take in mind Trey (my big brother) and I will frequently play tug-o-war with frisbees if there is no clear winner in the race to catch it.
Excellent hang time
You don’t get the distance or speed compared to a normal frisbee
Since it is Pet Dental Month I wanted to share my favorite way to brush my teeth. Nope, it doesn’t involve a toothbrush or one of those finger brushes, it’s a treat! Mom gets these Checkups Dental Bones from Costco and I get one everyday after dinner. I like these better than the other “Kirkland Dental Chews” that Costco offers. It’s not a matter of taste its the size. For a big mouth like mine those small chews are gone fast and don’t really make it to many parts of my mouth. With the Checkups they are larger and take me longer to chew. Due to the size I tend to work harder at it and I think more teeth end up touching it. Texture wise I think I would say its chewy, basically it doesn’t just break apart when chew, your teeth have to sink into it and work it apart.
Great for big dogs
No Corn, Wheat or Soy (they make me itchy)
Even in broken in half, too much for smaller dogs (bag lists smallest dog weight at 20lb)
Costco seems to always be running out!
Yep, taste great and even if they only take a little bit of plaque off, it’s better than nothing.
Do they really work?
Not sure, I am not a doggie dentist, but the vet has always said Trey and I have pearly whites and healthy gums.
I thought I would share with you one of my older toys, my Dogbon Rubber Chew Bone. Most of my older toys only lasted because they were at the bottom of the toy box or they are truely durable. This toy falls under super durable and super fun! It is a semi-clear rubber bone, looking at it I would normally say it is nothing special but to me it is. It’s special to me because it makes fun sounds, well it doesn’t, I do! Normally when I chew on my Nylabone there is just a standard grinding sound, but when I chew on this I manage to make a squishy squeaky sound sound that sounds like two pieces of wet rubber rubbing together. If I am not in the mood for Nylabone but want to chew this is my first choice, I will dig to the bottom of my chew toy box just to find it. What is nice is after all this time I only have teeth marks on it, no chunks missing yet.
More give than a Nylabone, but has taken more bites
If you drop it on the floor, being rubber it does less damage
Much like a Kong but a little more slippery texture (probably why I can make my funny sounds)
Harder to find, as of now I only see a small one listed on Petsmart’s website and none on Petco. I think I got mine at Petsmart 2 years ago.
A REALLY HARD chewer might kill
Yep, although I haven’t killed mine I could see a bigger mouth that wants to kill it would take off chunk unlike a Nylabone, but if toys like the Kong toys work for you then this should.