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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15 Sep 2011

Hard Core Fire Hose by Kyjen

No Comments Kyjen, Pool Toys, Ruff Toy Recommended

Durability Rating: (5/5)

The Hard Core Fire Hose Tug ‘n Fetch by Kyjen is one tough toy! We’ve been using it as a pool toss all summer now, and it remains almost unscathed, despite frequent exposure to harsh chlorine, sun and dog teeth.

The bumper is made of super tough fire hose material, with additional reinforcement at the seams. The bumper itself is about 16″ long by 4″ wide and is heavy enough to toss easily to the middle of the pool. It also has an attached bungee webbing handle that provides a bit more swing to the toss, and is also great for playing tug, and for hanging up to dry. We have a magnolia tree we decorate each day with dripping pool toys to dry.

Both dogs love to fetch and retrieve this bumper from the pool, and then play a fierce sounding game of tug with it, before it gets returned for another throw.  The bungee handle is a bit stretched out after a season of use, but other than that, there are no signs of wear on the toy.  Nice!

In a previous post, I reviewed the Ripstop Training Dummy by Zanies which has been going strong for about 3 years now (wow!) but is finally showing signs of wear in the ripstop fabric and the styrofoam core. We certainly got our money’s worth from that toy and will buy it again.

The Hard Core Fire Hose toy seems to be stuffed with stuffing fluff, based on the feel when I squeeze it, so time will tell if it can make it to three years.  Even so, we are extremely pleased with the quality and durability of this toy after one season of play, and are happy to recommend it for all your water babies out there.

We used to bring bumpers to the beach, but learned the hard way that there’s no guarantee it will be retrieved once the dog has had enough.  Cassie suddenly decided she was tired, cold and DONE one afternoon, and we sadly watched a previous bumper wash out to sea and make its way toward Plum Island.  Hopefully another dog got a great new gift from the sea!  So, after that learning experience, I wouldn’t bring this to the beach for fear of it washing away with the current.  A nice free stick will do just fine!

Moxie loved this toy so much, we used it to entice her to finally jump in at the edge of the pool, instead of running to the steps.  We were mighty proud of this accomplishment, and give the Fire Hose toy credit for giving her the inspiration.  Cassie (the show-off) likes to perform swan dives from the diving board and catch the toy as she hits the water.  It’s mighty impressive.  She is available for birthday parties and barmitsvahs. :)

Note that this toy is meant to be an interactive toy, not a chew toy.  We have left this toy by the pool, but I wouldn’t recommend leaving it out as a chew toy… we’ll put this toy away for the winter {sigh} when the pool is closed up, and look forward to using it again next year.

If you’d like to purchase this toy or any other recommended toy from this site, head on over to our Amazon shop, and check out our Pool Toy selection.
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Welcome to Ruff Toy Reviews

For dogs who love their toys… to death! Our dogs, Cassie and Moxie, are rough on their toys! We are always on the hunt for dog toys that are as tough as they are. In this blog, we’ll test out dog toys for toughness, durability and fun, and let you know how they fare in real dog situations.

20 Jul 2011

Wordless Wednesday – July 20

No Comments Wordless Wednesday

Cassie goes off the board

... with the greatest of ease...

Moxie masters diving off the edge of the pool

We’re so proud of Moxie for learning how to dive into the pool like a trooper!

29 Jun 2011

Wordless Wednesday: June 29

1 Comment Wordless Wednesday

When good dogs roll in stinky things…