How to Stuff a Kong for Dogs & Puppies
Kongs: What are these hollow lumps of rubber, and why do Pride in Pets recommend them? Simply put, Kongs are hollow rubber toys that have been designed to be filled with food. They also have a hole at the opposite end for safety. They’re brilliant as a boredom-buster and offer a great form of enrichment. They can also be your best friend for training your puppy or dog!
Let’s start off with a quote from a recent training client…
“Without a doubt, the most invaluable toy we have purchased for our Puppy, thanks to Amy’s recommendation! I would never be without one and I daren’t think about the state of our sofa if we hadn’t!” Dawn, Dog-Mum to Willow
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! There has to be a million and one ‘naughty’ things that your puppy or dog can’t be doing whilst they’re enjoying one. Willow was a typical nibbly puppy, into anything and everything, and most especially the delightful little tassels hanging from her Owner’s sofa! They proved simply irresistible to those sharp puppy teeth, and by the time I had arrived for their first training session, it was already clear that little Willow had made her mark. And not just on the Sofa. Eek!
It’s very normal for puppies to explore their world with their teeth, but keen to save her sofa and to avoid a trip to the Vets, a desperate Dawn pleaded with me to get her to stop- and I grinned as I told her I’d bought my secret weapon- reaching for the pink rubber Kong toy in my training bag. Over the next few days, we built an addiction to Kongs with little Willow, used them for feeding her breakfast and dinner, and along with some management of the environment, Willow’s owner started to Crate Train her for when she couldn’t supervise her in the living room. The change was miraculous, and the sofa tassels paled into insignificance! Who wants to chew the sofa when there’s delicious liver paste to be had?
The beauty of a Kong is that stuffing them with goodies keeps your puppy or dog busy, stimulates their brain, and gives them an opportunity to work for their food! On the first session, I asked Dawn what she had been feeding Willow, and she showed me to a huge pile of dry food still sitting full in the bowl on the kitchen floor.
“You do know you’re wasting 400 opportunities for training in that bowl!?” I said to her, referring to each and every ‘free’ piece of kibble.
We stopped Willow’s free feeding, and used soaked dry food in her morning and evening Kong, but saved the goodies for the really intense stuff- car travel, crate training and learning not to chase the cat! As well as Kongs, Willow has Snuffle Mats, Licki Mats and Toppl feeders to enjoy, and she’s not chewed anything in the house since. Dawn even uses Kongs to leave with Willow when she has to stay home-alone, to keep her occupied.
See our infographic below for some great Kong ideas- and if you’re interested in learning more about our Puppy or Dog Training packages, visit www.pipleicester.co.uk/behaviour-training