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Friday, December 19, 2014

Puppy Puzzles - A Review

Puppy Puzzles
Fit Dog Friday

Living in Oregon we get very jealous of our blogger friends who live in the sunny states of California and Florida. While they are basking in weather that is sunny and 65, we are being drowned out by loads and loads of giant rain drops that soak you clear through if you so dare to step foot off the front porch. We do have fun though in the rain; Oregonians are Crazy - HERE.  One thing to know though..we live in the Willamette Valley portion of Oregon which is particularly wet in the winter. If you live in Eastern, or Southern Oregon you get less rain and more sunny days. The hubby has been threatening to move us to the Rogue area (Southern Oregon) in the future for this reason. 

Well thanks to this lovely weather, the dogs don't want to go outside...we practically have to drag them. Just the other day the hubby was standing in the rain, calling them into the yard to "go potty", and they just looked at him like he was crazy, and refused to leave the front porch! My poor wet hubby ended up returning to the house, bundling the dogs up in their coats, and then scooting them off the porch just to get them to go potty before bedtime!  Haha!

Also brought by the Piranha Puppy Princess of Destruction!
Don't let that cute face fool you...

"Who me? Destructive?"
We thought that we had busted her destructive chewing when we did the Crate Training - that link HERE if you need help, we got her successfully trained and the chewing stopped so we quit locking the dogs in their crates. Our ultimate goal is to have them loose in the house while we are gone - Dante has already proven himself trustworthy but Ziva had to earn it too.
Well...bad weather leads to dogs not wanting to go outside..which leads to not getting as much exercise, which leads to puppy brains getting bored...and the resurfacing of the Piranha Princes! 

Recently she has shredded: 

- two beach towels
- one kitchen hand towel
- corner of the front door rug
- my Christmas Tree skirt
- the corner of Dante's bed
- two doggy towels
- one washcloth
- my favorite couch pillow
- her plastic leash snap
- my dust buster vacuum attachment
- and my slipper

Hmmmm...anything else?
At least she hasn't been as naughty as Cairo over at Walks With Rama!

So now we're back to Crate Training...unfortunately this means Dante too...we can't leave him out and Ziva in or else it causes her to be anxious, it can also cause jealous in some dogs. 
She once again must learn to stop chewing, our goals are a little different this time. We want to re-establish the crate as a place of calm and sleep, and re-establish appropriate chew things.

So now i'm looking for good puppy puzzles to keep her occupied! So I went shopping and this is what I came back with.

The Hol-ee Treat Ball
Made of non-toxic natural rubber this toy is designed to be rolled around, as it rolls treats are dispensed through a small hole.
I was a little disappointed with it... If you are going to feed you dog a meal and want to slow them down - then this is a great toy for you! But if you are looking for a puzzle it's too easy, and it gives the treats out too fast. They say hours of endless play but honestly if you kept it full of treats all the time you'd end up with a tubby pup! 
I ended up placing a piece of tape over part of the opening to slow Dante and Ziva down and I filled it with their kibbles. After they played with it for about 30 min, I decided that I'm going to return it because on second look - it's going to be way to easy to just destroy. But it was fun while it lasted! They loved getting treats out of it. Please however be sure to supervise - if you have pups like mine this toy can be destroyed in an instant!

We give this toy 2 out of 4 paws approval!

Dante loved it!
"Everlasting" Treat BentoBall
This toy I was a little more impressed with! The treat was very hard and goes inside the BentoBall which is a odd shape so it rolls around while your dog is trying to chew it.
Dante figured it out though and somehow managed to pop the treat out. I then put it back (no easy feat!) and he did it several more times in a row! He learned how and could duplicate it...little stinker. So I ended up giving it to Ziva once he had eaten one treat.

Ziva loved gnawing on it and had a hard time getting at the treat so it kept her occupied for quite a while! But not long definitely need to supervise you dog with this toy because it can be destroyed and eaten. Oops....

Should have seen this coming...

This toy was much more fun, it was harder to get at the treat, and if I had watched her better I could have stopped her from completely destroying it. But unfortunately it was not made with bullies in mind. And now I'm back to the drawing board!

We give this toy 2 out of 4 paws approval!

I think for the future we'll stick to horns, hooves - filled with frozen peanut butter/goodies, and the very durable Kongs filled with frozen treats. As well as antlers, and other all natural chewies.
I do want some puzzles though so I will continue my hunt!

Do you have any favorite puzzles you think we might enjoy? We'd love to hear your suggestions!

FitDog Friday


  1. We love our Kong wobblers. Though Wilhelm has to play with the large one or he goes through the treats too fast Huxley has to use the medium one because he is too gentle.

  2. Those both look like great toys to me, but then Rocco's not quite as vigorous a chewer as your pups! I find that all our interactive toys need supervision and we don't play any of them for very long. Rocco's got something like the JW pet toy and we only play with it for about 10 minutes, otherwise he'd be as big as a house! You might look at some of the Nina Ottosson toys but you will need to supervise those. I like freezing Rocco's dog food (I'll use canned or something like Honest Kitchen) in a Kong. That's about the only thing that lasts him a while!

    1. Ottoson toys! Thanks for that i'm heading to their website now!

  3. Our pups have a similar food dispensing ball, and while it's great to make their meal-time last a little longer, it definitely doesn't have any puzzle-solving features. We stick with stuffed Kong toys & antlers (a little peanut butter on the antlers really entices them to chew for quite some time!).
    Rainy days are always a bummer ~ we have our pups run up & down the stairs and play hide & seek with them to burn some energy :-)

    1. The laser pointer has become a new friend of mine, Ziva chases it around on the floor and it helps me burn off some of that energy! :-) We also love antlers, but they are sooo expensive! We've gotten lucky in the past and had friends give them to us.

  4. My girls are not fond of the rain, either! Thankfully they are not destructive, though!! Zoe does get bored and she will whine at me a bit sometimes but that's about it. LOL

  5. Large black kongs and antlers are about the only things brown dawgs cannot destroy. Our dogs are crated when we are not home (can't really leave two intact males loose). But we have been talking about leaving Thunder loose when the other dogs are in their runs. He will be 9 in March and hopefully he won't do something

    1. Haha! That makes sense. We'd like to leave both our pups out so if someone were to want to break in they'd be stopped at the door by two angry barkers. That's my only hang up, so for now crating and hopefully Ziva will grow out of it. :-)

  6. Too much rain + not enough exercise = mass destruction. Love when a dog destroys an indestructible toy ;)

    1. Yup, my motto is "An exercised dog is a happy dog!"

  7. Ah yes, I am familiar with the destruction of which you speak. ;-) Sometimes I will hide and rotate chewy toys so the pups think they are getting something new, or stockpile several over a period of weeks and dump them all out on the floor at once if I need them to be occupied for a while. Looking forward to swing what puzzles you come up with!

    1. hahahaha!!! Yup we're getting smart now and starting to rotate toys. :-)

  8. Wow, we have a treatball we've had for years and no one has ever tried to destroy it. We really love it! Little sis Bailie sometimes destroys things, but not in the same magnitude as you are experiencing.

    1. I wish it would have lasted longer, but tis life with a bully! :-)

  9. Taco is also a MASSIVE chewer. (Strong bully cheeks!) Bionic is one brand we have found to be very durable, and they have a toy called the Bionic Stuffer which is a treat dispenser. We have the Bionic Stick and it has proved very rugged. We have a Hol-ee Roller X Extreme (much more durable than the original) and we stuff it with fleece scraps like this: but that would only work if Ziva doesn't EAT what she chews. :) I also make the cheapest of treat dispensers: I put a few treats in a 1/2 gallon milk jug, crush and twist it up a bit so they don't come out easily and let him go to town! We have a huge graveyard of failures, when companies say toys are "tough" or "rugged", some have obviously never met a Taco or a Ziva!

    1. Ziva tends to swallow things that she chews on, hence generally sticking to natural chews. The puzzle toys would always be supervised, I love the milk jug idea! I bet Dante and Ziva would love to chase around a milk jug. :-)


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