Archive for Puzzle Toys

26 Sep 2012

Seamsters Rawhide and Rubber Puzzle Toy

3 Comments Chew Toys, Kyjen, Puzzle Toys

Rating: (1/5)
The Kyjen folks sent me a new toy for the dogs to try out recently; Seamsters, The First Rawhide and Rubber Puzzle Toy, by Dog Games Puzzle Toys™.  Touted to be a “Rewarding Long-Lasting Boredom Buster”, I thought this could be a great toy for my dogs.

Seamsters Rawhide and Rubber Puzzle Toy

Seamsters Rawhide and Rubber Puzzle Toy

The package states:

  • Restitchable for repeatable fun
  • Stands up to the toughest chewers
  • Cleans teeth and strengthens gums

It also claims that it is “a toy that’s meant to be ‘destroyed.’” Basically it’s a two piece rubber bone “stitched” together with rawhide stips.  The package comes with two refills for the rawhide stitching.  The bone is hollow so you can also add some kibble to the bone when you restitch it for added interest and fun.

When I gave it to the dogs, Moxie was all over it, and quickly carried off to keep it all to herself.  Cassie wanted that toy too, but Moxie was not feeling very generous.  She worked at the bone for over an hour, happily chomping away at the rawhide stitching and had a great time with it till she had all the stitching off, and the bone was opened up.  After that, she let Cassie take one half of the bone, once the “good stuff” was gone!  She’s nice like that!

Seamsters Rawhide and Rubber Puzzle Toy

Seamsters Bone is not very durable

Within MINUTES of Cassie having the rubber bone to play with, she had chomped right through it and started tearing bits of rubber off the edges. NO!  I was really excited about this toy and not at all expecting it to be destroyed in one night.  But there is was, in pieces on the carpet.  Moxie also had started to pull off pieces from the other half of the bone.

I took the bone away, much to their disappointment. The next day, I tried restitching what was left of the bone, just to get a complete review of the toy…

Soak the rawhide to restitch the bone together

The rawhide refills need to be soaked in warm water for a few minutes to soften them up.  Then you can put some kibble or treats in the middle of the bone, and stitch it up.  I was expecting this to be a messy/slimy process, but it wasn’t slippery at all.  I’m not seamstress, but I got the job done.  Would I want to do this often?  Probably not, even if the toy was more durable.  But it wasn’t the slimy icky project I was anticipating. Once the stitching is complete, you let the rawhide dry and stiffen up before giving it to the dog.

I did want to give Cassie a go at the toy, so the next day I let her have the bone to play with just until the rawhide was gone.  And I watched her like a hawk so I could take away the bone part as soon as she got it pulled apart.  After that, the toy got thrown out.

It’s very disappointing that the rubber part of the bone isn’t at all durable.  The toy itself is a good idea, but I can’t recommend it for enthusiastic chewers.  If your dog is not much of a chewer, it might work out, but do keep a close eye on it for signs of damage.  You can buy it here.

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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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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

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