Archive for Other

14 Oct 2011

Busy Buddy Twist ‘n Treat by Premier

2 Comments Other, Puzzle Toys, Rubber Toys

Durability Rating: (5/5)
Looking out the window on this rainy, muddy day, it’s hard to believe just a few weeks ago we were trying to stay cool in the summer heat.  Was it just me, or did the summer speed by even faster than usual? I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at this, since the first half of the summer was spent training for the Boston Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure walk (which by the way was an AMAZING experience!).  The event was in late July on the hottest weekend of the summer, with temperatures above 100!

Cassie and Moxie were, of course, my training partners, walking with me during the months of training in the rainy spring and early summer. I doubt I would have gotten in nearly as many training miles if not for their company, enthusiasm and spirit!

Cassie and Moxie in their gear

Once the walk was over, we turned our attention to quality sailing time… culminating in our 11 day sailing trip to Portland, Maine. Of course, the dogs came with us, and are wonderful boat dogs.

Before leaving on our trip, we visited the pet supply store to stock up on essentials, and to pick out some fun toys to keep them occupied on the boat when us humans wanted to get off the boat for a dinner on the town.

We chose the Busy Buddy Twist n’ Treat by Premier.  This is a rubber toy that holds small treats, and can be adjusted to control how fast the treats are dispensed.  The shape of the toy gives it an off-balance rocking motion when dropped or tossed.  Our hope was that the toy would keep them occupied, but calm so they wouldn’t be stressed when we left them alone inside the boat.  It was a great choice, as evidenced by the contented silence below the decks as we snuck away for dinner!

The Busy Buddy folks suggest their Premier Buddy Berries Dog Treats and Premier Buddy Oh’s Dog Treats to use with the toy.  We didn’t find either of these in stock, but it was easy to find small treats to use.  Kibble would also work well in this toy. Just play around with the size of the opening to adjust to the treats you choose. Very small treats will fall out too fast, so size up to what works for you. The label also suggests using peanut butter or cheese bits, but we thought that might get too messy on the boat.

Cassie and Moxie on Finesse

As you can see from the photo above, the toy got a lot of use during and after the trip.  It does show bite marks, but nothing major.  We notice that this toy is pretty much ignored as a toy unless we add treats to it, which makes sense.

This toy is great for keeping a dog occupied when company comes to the door, to help calm separation anxiety, or even to slow down a fast eater.  Be warned that the Busy Buddy will get slobbery!

All in all we had a great trip — that is until Hurricane Katya decided to churn up the seas and make things rather rough on our journey home.  Luckily my dogs are much braver than I am, and handled the heavy seas well.  We all got to wear our foul weather gear and life jackets for several days, and there is nothing better than cuddling with a warm dog in the v-berth after a stressful day on the water.  Good girls!

Want to give it a try with your dog?  You can purchase this toy in our online store in the Puzzle Toy section, or go directly to Amazon.com with one of the links below.  Have fun!

 
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02 May 2011

Cesar Millan’s 3-Ring Rope Toy

5 Comments Other, Tugg Toys
Nelly and Belle

Nelly and Belle

Cassie, Moxie and I have been a bit out of the blog loop lately!  The weather has finally warmed up and we are outside as much as possible, training for the Susan G Komen 3-Day for the Cure walk that is coming up here in Boston in July.  Cassie and Moxie are great walking buddies, and tired dogs are always good dogs.  We’ll be back though as more toys cross our paths.

Meanwhile, we received this email report from Jeff and Margaret H in Leavenworth, KS about the durability of the Cesar Millan 3-Ring Rope Toy:

“We are the proud owners of a pair of German Shepherd pups, Nelly and Belle (a little tribute to Roy Rogers). Got them a week ago and they just turned 8 weeks old today. We follow Cesar Millan on-line and on TV and thought we had discovered the perfect toys when we saw his products. Purchased the 3-ring rope pull toy and the covered water battle chew toys. While the water bottle toy with its ruff-tuff cover is taking a licking and keeps on ticking, the rope toys literally bit the dust in just a matter of days. Who says puppy teeth ain’t sharp! And shame on you Cesar for putting out a product that was not puppy proof.”

We have not personally reviewed this toy, but are interested in getting your feedback on this and any other toy in your dog’s toy box.

18 Feb 2011

Kyjen Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle Toy

9 Comments Other, Puzzle Toys

Kyjen Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle Toy

I love the idea of puzzle toys for dogs.  Dog toys that exercise the brain and give the dog a challenge to work through can be beneficial in many ways:

  • Help dogs learn to focus on a task for extended periods
  • Teach targeting to specific objects
  • Provide interactive playtime for dog and owner
  • Occupy a dog for a while when you are busy
  • Build self confidence for succeeding in a task

I’m sure others can add to this list.  One of the first puzzle toys I can remember was the Buster Cube… remember that one?  It was a hard plastic cube with an adjustable hole that dispensed treats when the dog moved it, dropped it, rolled it.  I think we still have it here, somewhere. My dog Seamus loved it.  It was a noisy toy, unless used outside on the grass on in a carpeted room.  But of course, Seamus loved to carry it into the kitchen and drop it on the hard wood floor to make it bounce and release more treats.  It drove me crazy after a while!

Lately, some interesting puzzle toys have hit the market and we are hoping to try out a few of them.  Our first puzzle toy is the Kyjen Hide-A-Squirrel, which is a plush toy “tree trunk” with holes and three little squeakered squirrels (that look more like chipmunks to me) that you can “hide” in the trunk.  The dog is supposed to figure out how to get the squirrels out of the holes. Read more

17 Feb 2011

Woodland Amigos by “think! dog play”

6 Comments Other

Woodland Amigos cheap toy at Costco

Durability Rating: (1/5)

I’m a sucker for cheap stuff, I admit, so when I saw the Woodland Amigos 3 Pack Dog Toys by “think! dog play” on sale at Costco (with a coupon) for about $5.00, it seemed like a slam dunk.  Especially since the box stated, “Pet parents suggested – We listened! Now you can have these great toys with reinforced fabric, making the toys much more durable! Enjoy!”

It was cheap and they stated the toys were durable… I took the bait.  Silly me!

I gave the three toys to the dogs last night around 7:30… by 8:30, the stuffing was already flying.  First, Cassie bit the little tails off, then went for the jugular to get the squeaker.  Once she had gotten inside, I took a look at the “reinforced fabric.”  Yes, there was a second bit of thin fabric in there… I suppose that is what they mean by reinforced.  Also the squeakers were sewed into a fabric pouch, which made it easier to get them away from the dogs before they chewed the plastic squeaker.

But, holy cow, there’s a lot of stuffing to pull out of these toys!  Stuffing was everywhere!  When Moxie shook the toy, it reminded me of one of those pillow fights you see on tv… it was practically snowing fluff in my living room!

Three dead amigos and a big pile of amigo guts

I am still picking up stuffing, but I wanted to show you the pile so far.   The dogs had a blast killing these toys, don’t get me wrong.   But even at $5.00, these toys have an extremely short shelf life, and a big mess to pick up.  Save your money!

Interestingly, on the bottom of the box, it states, “CAUTION: It is recommended that dogs be supervised when playing with all toys.  Remove the toy from the pet immediately if any part becomes loose or detached. This product is not to be consumed.”  Do all pet toy manufacturers use the same lawyers?

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