Thursday, November 20, 2014

TBT: Puzzle Toys We Used to Know

Brisbane can be picky about his toys, some fail to pique his interest while others lose their novelty after a while. Brisbane was my only dog for five years, and I didn't start fostering dogs until after Ru pranced into our lives, so I didn't used to keep toys around just because someone else might like them. A couple of times we have run out of storage space and just rounded up neglected toys and donated them to the local shelter to make room for new toys. Whether they were destroyed, donated, or simply vanished, here are the puzzle toys we had at some point in the last ten years:

Busy Buddy Tug-a-Jug.
Concept: Unscrew the bottom to load with kibble, then screw it back on. The dog can roll the toy or toss it by the attached rope to make kibble fall out the hole in the top.
Fate: Brisbane unscrewed the bottom and then gnawed the threads into oblivion.
Verdict: Would buy again. That was a cool toy and we used it all the time.

Concept: Drop kibble or other treats into the hole and they will fall out as the dog noses the toy around.
Fate: Originally bought for Oakley my dearly departed cocker spaniel in 2004, Brisbane could empty kibble out of this thing faster than I could empty it by turning it upside down and shaking it. Was either donated to a shelter or sent off to a friend for her excessively destructive blind senior German shepherd, Kole.
Verdict: Too easy, would not buy again. Puzzle toys have come a long way in the last decade.

Buster Cube
Concept: Drop kibble through the hole and spin the center shaft to change how easily the food drops out.
Fate: Nobody knows.
Verdict: Will not tempt fate again.

Hi Q
Concept: L-shaped pipes can be interconnected and stuffed with kibble, peanut butter, and assorted other treats. Flaps at the ends prevent food from escaping too easily.
Fate: I used to stuff these with ground raw dog food for Brisbane. When I quit feeding him that way, I sent our red, yellow, and blue Hi Q pipes to Kole.
Verdict: I don't think these are even in production anymore. If they were, I might give them another try.

Busy Buddy Twist-N-Treat
Concept: The two halves can be filled with kibble or small treats or stuffed with peanut butter before screwing them together. The tighter it is screwed, the harder it is to get the food.
Fate: This was the first food toy I bought for Oakley, and after 10+ years it started to look a big aged so I tossed it.
Verdict: Would not buy again, though at the time it was amazing.

Canine Genius Leo
Concept: Fill it with treats and they will fall out as the dog paws and chew the soft rubber.
Fate: Discovered that Brisbane would not chew or bite the toy to get the food out, no matter what was inside. Made a somewhat decent kibble-dropper but was somehow intimidating so we sent it to Kole who enjoyed it very much.
Verdict: Now being sold as the Kong Genius, we have a related toy and I will probably give the bowling pin one another try.

Starmark Everlasting Fireplug
Concept: Holds two Everlasting Treats with space in the middle for extra goodies.
Fate: The only toy Brisbane has ever outright destroyed rather than defeated like the jug. Within a day he had chewed the entire lip around the top off. This toy went into the trash and made me leery of Starmark products for years.
Verdict: Would not buy again, there is clearly a design flaw and plenty of other non-destructive chewers have killed this one.

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