Thursday, December 3, 2015

Puzzle Toy Review: Outward Hound Whirli Treat

The Outward Hound Whirli Treat is a poorly designed puzzle toy that consists of a ball with holes in it, and a stand. Theoretically the stand holds the ball so that it can roll in place, making the puzzle slightly more difficult to solve. In reality the ball falls off the stand the moment anyone touches it or breathes near it. It's really quite difficult to get it to spin on the stand without knocking it off, and the dogs don't seem to realize that this is how it's supposed to work. There are two large holes in the ball, and nothing else to keep the food from pouring out immediately. Seriously, I doubt the designers of this toy ever actually tested it with a real live dog. This is supposed to be a level 2 difficulty puzzle, and like the Tic Tac Twirl it is another that ejects all the food immediately when nudged.
Whirli Treat doge toy
Photo by Erin Koski

Puzzle Toy Review

Capacity: 4/5
I can fit at least a cup of food in here, and it will take slightly longer to empty than a bowl.

Loading Speed: 3/5
A soda funnel works pretty well.

Unloading Speed (standard dog): 1/5
There is literally nothing stopping the kibble from just pouring out.

Unloading Speed (superdog): 1/5
Mere seconds.

Size: 1/5
Even Ru can't use this thing without knocking it off the stand, so I have no idea what size dog it is supposed to be for.
Whirli Treat useless dog toy
Photo by Erin Koski

Durability: 1/5
The two parts separate instantly when touched. Maybe the rest will stay together. I have to say that the Kyjen toys we have seem very sturdy while the Outward Hound-branded ones are much more glossy and flimsy. I don't like the new color scheme, either.

Noise: 2/5
It's a hard plastic ball, rolling unfettered across my hardwood floors. The only saving grace is that the dogs empty it instantly and then ignore it.

Locatability: 2/5
It's a hard plastic ball rolling unfettered across...well, you get it.

Washability: 2/5
The ball doesn't open up, but the holes are big enough to stick a bottle brush through.

Versatility: 1/5
Rolling the ball on the stand is difficult, I can't imagine any kind of animal that would attempt to use this toy as intended rather than letting it roll off the stand and dump food everywhere.

Total: 18/50

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