Monday, October 12, 2015 | NHS Behavior Department
The Kong Classic is a treat-dispensing toy that provides fun and entertainment for dogs of all sizes. Many problem behaviors arise due to boredom or not enough mental stimulation. Providing enrichment items, such as the Kong, will help keep your dog focused on appropriate activities and out of trouble. Made from natural rubber, the Kong is great for chewing and is virtually indestructible. Match the Kong to your dog’s size and chewing intensity. For safety, get a Kong that isn’t too small for your dog, as it may end up stuck in his mouth.
What can I use this for?
- Provide your dog with a Kong while in his crate to give your dog something to do and help build a positive association with being in there.
- Need some down time? Give your dog a Kong to occupy him while you work on other chores or watch television.
- Have a busy dog? Try feeding meals via the Kong. Making your dog work for meals will keep him busy and work the brain.
Introducing the Kong
- It’s important to start simple when your introduce the Kong. This will build confidence and willingness to play.
- Start by putting in a few small treats that easily fall out or rub some peanut butter around the openings. Once it’s clear that the dog knows that interacting with the Kong makes treats appear, it’s time to make it harder.
- Stuff with treats in a variety of sizes – some that fall out and others that take more work. You will be able to see your dog actively trying to get the treats out.
- Once your dog figures out how to get out those tough treats, try packing the Kong with a variety of items.
- For added difficulty, freeze the loaded Kong. This increases the time it takes to finish.
- Be creative with the ingredients you use to fill your Kong. Try kibble soaked in a little chicken broth, or try meat, cheese, fruit or vegetables. Hide the Kong inside another container, such as an oats tube.
- Peanut butter and dog’s dry food
- Plain yogurt with dog’s dry food
- Can of sweet potatoes mashed with Cheerios
- Mashed banana with cheese crackers
- Low-sodium chicken or beef broth mixed with dog’s dry food
- Can of green beans and carrots mixed with dog’s dry food or Cheerios