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StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Pet Toy, Large [link]
I got this one from amazon. It's pretty big, so unless you have some really high couches it should be okay. It has little sliding doors to make the food easier/harder to get out too.
I haven't had it long though, so I can't vouch for durability or anything.
StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy [link]
Pros: you can adjust the size of the hole for different sized kibble, pretty tough, puppy likes it
Con: it's a little annoying to put the food in
Another popular toy that's like this is the Kong Wobbler.
So when you decide what kibble brand you want to use, they should have a feeding guide on the back that will tell you what to feed based on age and weight. I feed Diamond Naturals because I had issues with Iams, Purina, and Hills, but I’ve only been able to find it at Cal Ranch. I wouldn’t feed wet unless the dog needs it as it can cause a buildup of more plaque and the dogs digest it much quicker, which leave them hungrier.
You should start a feeding schedule. I feed my dogs at 9:30 am and 9:30 pm, and they get treats during their training sessions throughout the day. Something else you can do is get an interactive feeder. I like this one because the dog needs to knock it over to get the food. It’s a mental exercise and a little bit of physical exercise too, and it stops them from eating too quickly.
Have you tried these? [link]
The trick for interactive feeders is to introduce them slowly. Put only a small portion of the food in the toy so that the dog is somewhat full, but still hungry enough to be interested. That way they aren’t frantically trying to get the food, but are still motivated enough to try. Then you can increase the amount, or just leave it so that it’s half and half.
I’m a huge fan of the Starmark Bob-A-Lot (large size). It has an adjustable opening so you can use whatever treats you like or tweak the difficulty level. Out of all the slow feeder toys I have tried (and I have tried quite a few) this one seems to get the most mileage and keeps my girl engaged.
For mine, it's puzzle toys that hardest to find. They're not usually made for power chewers, but this bobber thing is great (mostly because she can't get her mouth around it). It has two adjustable doors in it so you can control how often food comes out no matter what size it is
bob a lot
It’s great, it is loud though because he rolls it across our hardwood floors with his nose. So if you have carpet, or tile, I’d try keeping it there.
What toy takes the longest/is the hardest to complete? One day I will be as cool as you and have that many puzzles. The best feeder puzzle (by best i mean takes the longest time so she expels some infinite energy) I have is the Starmark Bob-a-Lot but my dog has gotten so good at it that I think she needs a new one in the mix.
Our guy really likes this guy, but it doesn't hold many treats so he can finish it in fifteen minutes max, if we make the settings difficult. We also have a ball meant for cats that you can just fill up and roll around. I've been looking into Velcro toys that he could take apart, they seem really popular and stimulating.
This food toy I love everything about it: pup learned how to use it quickly, it's easy to clean, holds enough food for each meal.
I can change how fast it dispenses the food depending on kibble size and how difficult I want to make it. Keeps my pup entertained for about 20 minutes which is great in the morning while I get ready for my day. I've recommended it to many friends and have never had a complaint.
It almost sounds like he's not getting enough mental stimulation and sees going outside as fun. You can try to get him some puzzle toys to wear him out mentally, as well as keep up with the not playing until after pottying. My dogs were super chill until about 6 months and then they stopped sleeping as much and wanted to play more. I got them this so they would leave me alone for a while. Good luck.
He already sort of knew "No" when we got him, and I also use it for things like "Don't get in the trash".
As long as the weather is tolerable (I live in the Midwest so it's hit or miss right now) we walk a little over 2 miles every day. Otherwise, we do a lot of fetch and tug in the house. He has a feeder toy ([link]) but he's got that pretty well figured out.
He is always worse if we can't go for a walk but the behavior never really goes away no matter how much we tire him out it feels like.
Our favourite is Bob-a-lot. We used to use a Kong Wobbler, but it was too easy. The bob-a-lot lets you adjust the hole openings so it's more difficult. He has learned how to open the first hole though so it doesn't keep him as occupied as before.
He really likes PetSafe Busy Buddy, Petzone IQ Treat Ball, and Nina Ottoson Treat Maze, but I didn't find them very durable. My 10lb pup isn't much of a chewer, but he definitely cracked the plastic on most of those puzzle toys.
What was your last one made of? Was it plastic coated wire cable? I have one like /u/tokisushi linked for potty breaks and my dog has broken 2 collars (running after cats/squirrels) but never has hurt the tie-out.
Better than a stationary tie-out might be one of those zipline tracks that you string between two trees, especially if your intent is for the dog to get some exercise. Dogs generally do not "wear themselves out" like you are hoping for but it would at least be more conducive to running than a regular tie-out.
I read your other comment about how the dog is not yours and all that, and I totally get where you're coming from. Just thinking out loud, mental stimulation is usually a lot more tiring (especially for puppies) than physical stimulation. Since he's confined to the kitchen a lot, he'd probably benefit from something like a puzzle feeder.
We use one of these for our BoJack(50% Boston Terrier/50% JRT. 100% energy.) They're great, so long as you don't mind a few bits of dog food scattered around the floor of whatever room you put it in.
A slow feeder will slow him down but not much. Try something like this if you feed him kibble. It will slow him down and get a little bit more energy out than a traditional slow feeder. Be warned though that it is hard plastic and loud when it knocks against things.
We have one of these: [link] which our puppy enjoys. She is little and not super destructive, but it is made out of hard plastic and would be super hard to chew up I think. Word of warning if you have neighbors below you, it is a bit loud as it rolls around on our tile/hardwood floors so we just don't use it around wake/bed times.
I don't have much advice on the sleep issue, I have become a heavy sleeper and just slept through my dog whining a little to go out. Now he doesn't bother to try until we get up at 5am. I think my husband said he would whine a few minutes, for about a week and a half before just giving up and going to bed.
But this toy right here is awesome!! You can feed her a full meal out of it, and I have a Pit. He has chewed the top cap off, but under the cap is a sliding piece of plastic to cover the hole that the food would come out of. So it's still usable. :)
My lab/beagle destroys everything. The only thing she hasn't is the rated 10 Tuffy Toy - the one that's tiger tested. The rated 8 one lasted a week.
This has also worked really well for using up a lot of the energy/boredom that makes her chew things apart. And even if she chews off the lid, it has a slot that I can close where I put the food in so it's still sealed.
Yay! I'm glad it works for him!
My dog hates eating out of her bowl. If it's in a bowl, she completely ignores it.
I feed her everything through training, kongs and this wobbler. She loves it. Some dogs are just more excited and satisfied when they feel like they have "worked" for their food.
I give her an occasional snack, but not to help her satiety. (Sounds a little harsh, but I don't care how hungry she acts, I care about her staying lean). Occasional snacks are fine, especially low-calories like applies or bananas.
Someone mentioned a slow-feeder, and it reminded me, I recently bought a toy called a Bob-A-Lot and they love it. It slows down the scarfing and also gives them 20-30 minutes of interaction.
We have a Bobs-a-lot and our beagle gets most her meals that way. Keeps her busy for a good 10min and means she doesn't eat all her food in 2-seconds-flat. Probably not good for chewers, but does have an opening you can re-size depending on what food you have, which is also good if you switch up foods.
You can put her food in this and she'll be distracted for a while. Also, maybe try an alternate walking route?
Agreed, it is a very mild case of separation anxiety that I'm not sure can be "fixed" in some dogs. My pit has gone through phases where she will be fine, eat her food, and just hang out until we get home, to bringing up a shoe to cuddle with. Other than providing the dog things to do, I think they just mope/sleep until their people get home.
Kongs don't work on Lucy, so I put her food in a food dispenser to keep her occupied for a while and have started putting keg cups around the house with a treat underneath so she has to use her brain more during the day.
We have one of these and our dogs love it! I put kibble in it and they'll roll it around for hours, even after all the kibble has been dispensed (hoping that more will suddenly appear!).
I got mine this one for Christmas, and another got this puzzle. We just started so we will see how well this works, but it was an idea from my dog trainer.
Bobbing toy: StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Pet Toy, Large [link]
Snoop: Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Lil' Snoop Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Toy, Small, Purple [link]
Pig toy: [link]
She also likes the Nina Ottoson puzzles, rolling IQ balls, anything with a hole in it that kibble can fall out of :)
Oh, I have a growing list as well!
This has been great for my 5 month old pup - https://www.amazon.ca/StarMark-Bob-Lot-Interactive-Large/dp/B001JQLNB4/ref=sr_1_4. She usually just overturns her puzzle otherwise but not with this one. You can also set it easier/difficult setting. It keeps her busy for up to 30 minutes during feeding and is a good outlet for her energy.
Your vet is right, your dog is training you to give her what she wants - different food and better tasting food.
As long as your dog isn't looking lethargic, doesn't look unwell from missing a meal or behaves differently - I say don't worry about it. I give my dog 30 mins to finish his meal, he doesn't do that? I take it away and he doesn't get his meal until his next one. And he doesn't eat his next meal? Too bad, he can go wait again. Eventually he does end up eating it and it's all good.
My dog gets calories from treats and other things in the day so I don't worry if he doesn't eat his meal that day. If you're really worried, use a food puzzle or a wobbler to get them interested in the same kibble but different delivery method. Switch it up from the bowl to a wobbler sometimes and you will hopefully get a dog that will eat their kibble.
StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Pet Toy, Large [link]
KONG Wobbler™ - Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Toy, Dishwasher Safe - For Small Dogs [link]
Those are two examples. I am in Canada so those are links from Amazon Canada. Feel free to search it up on your own country's Amazon.
oh those are interesting. I usually feed the dogs their dinner in a ball every night and then give them a treat in a kong or on their "licky mat"
I like how that is a more difficult game
Good news is the more food-motivated a dog is, often the easier they are to train.
In addition to making sure your dog does whatever "calm" behavior you want before giving the food (sit, lay down, go to a special place) - I'd strongly consider feeding her via a Bobble, Kong, or puzzle toy.
This will slow down her eating process, help digestion (so she's not scarfing food down in a single gulp, and if she's super-active may provide mental stimulation akin to a long walk or session of fetch.
When my dog was a puppy we used the Bobble and puzzle toys on rainy days when he couldn't get a lot of exercise outside and they worked wonders on exhausting him without physical exercise.
I have a pup who occasionally gets in a picky mood so I got one of these wobbler feeding balls to mix up his mealtime routine.
If he still seems disinterested, sometimes I throw in one or two pieces of a small treat that I know he will smell and go after. It's a lot of fun to watch, too!
Edit to add: Since you mentioned that she sometimes eats it when scattered on the floor... have you looked into a Snuffle mat? They are basically small fringed rugs that the food "hides" in and they have to sniff it out.
kibble dispensing toys:
random combinations of other toys. For example,
* fixed a link
My dog loves the Bobs Alot, we use it for all her dinners. Our dog is not a chewer, and the Kong wishbone is also good for keeping her occupied trying to get treats out.
Absolutely! I usually do training for half of the meal and give the second half in a puzzle toy - we have a Bob a lot, an erratic ball and a weird strawberry thing on rotation at the moment.
We started off with something similar to the foobler, which was great and he still loves to play with it! We also bought this. And a ye-olde kong, which has been good too.
Even though the description says to fill with treats, we put his midday meal (which was just puppy kibbles) in there. After the first use I left the toys out the back for him to play with and he just entertains himself now.
With the kong we'd put some peanut butter or vegemite in there as a treat. The Kong has been good for his teething too and he just likes to gnaw on it even if it's empty.
You've gotten a lot of good opinions, I'll throw mine in for fun :-)
First. I think you're a good dog owner and I think you can make this work.
Many people have suggested a dog walker - I think that is a great idea. I have a coworker who has a dog walker who gathers up a few dogs from his neighborhood, drives them to a park and they have 3+ hour adventures! Plus they get to spend some time riding around to pick up and drop off the other dogs, I think it really fills their dogs day. My coworker does this M-F but even one day a week would be awesome.
Second. Work his brain. I'd start feeding all his meals in a food dispensing toy he enjoys. I used all of the ones I'll link below either for the dogs I work with or my pets.
Bob-a-lot This one is pretty tough and can be left alone with some dogs
Tug-a-Jug This one can be dangerous if they eat the 'rope' but I love how ease it is to fill.
Tricky Treat Ball This one takes my dog FOREVER but holds her interest well. The plastic is really soft so I supervise her using it (while I watch TV or brush my teeth) so she doesn't just lay down and chew at it to get her food. The other thing I like about the soft plastic/rubber is that it is pretty quiet for her to use unlike the other options I've listed.
Buster Cube Not sure if the buster cube was the first of the roll around style food dispensers but it was the only one I knew about for a long time. They're pretty sturdy and challenging.
There are a LOT more food dispensing toys out there but I think the ones they have to move can be a little more exciting than a tightly packed kong they lick at. Kongs are great too, I'd just include them in a rotation of feeding devices.
Another thing you can do to make life more exciting for your dog is to rotate toys. If he has a lot of toys only leave out 2 or 3 on a given day and swap them out for toys you've kept hidden and occasionally introduce a new toy. Some dogs really love novelty.
Finally I think trick training is great. A few 5 minute sessions a day of learning a new behavior, or building on an existing behavior is a great way to beat the boredom.
Some fun tricks you can teach that you can use to make really complex behaviors are take it (hold in mouth), paw target (touch with foot) and nose target (touch with nose). You can use those behaviors along with others tricks to teach him to close doors, open doors, turn lights on and off, put things away, cross his legs, ring a bell, limp, pretend to pee (targeting with a back foot) etc.
Lastly, I'd teach him to search for hidden items in your house. I like to hide something while my dog is out going potty, then watch her search for it while I brush my teeth.
Hope those ideas for easy entertainment help some! Keep the dog, do what you can, you're doing SO MUCH MORE than so many dog owners already. I think he'd be fine if you kept him and just did what you're doing now. :-)
My Pit Lucy is the same way with Kongs. They worked for a while, but she started to lose interest and I was tired of red dye coming off on our rug. Now she has a food dispenser that works great! We fill it up with her breakfast and mix in little treats so that she has something yummy to work for. I even started hiding treats under keg cups around the house while she has to sit and then release her. Keeps her occupied while I'm leaving which is always the hardest part.