Want to make training fun? A Kong toy makes you and your dog’s interactions Simpawtico! So what is a Kong? If you have never used one before then you will certainly want to get one. Simply put, a Kong training toy combines food and fun in a medium that will last many a chew. Today we will talk about what a Kong toy is and how to use it to train your furry friend. We’ll follow that up with some information on how you can find them as well and soon you can see why Kong is ‘the king’!
So, what is a Kong toy?
A Kong is a doggy toy made from specialized rubber which makes it both chew resistant and temping. To add to the fun the Kong toy also has a hollowed cavity that you can stuff with your dogs favorite foods or with treat-creams (that you can freeze for longer lickin’ fun for your dog!). Many trainers and dog owners swear by them as a great distraction that your dog will love as well as a motivator for learning tricks. So how is a Kong used in training?
How to use a Kong dog toy
Okay, so you got a Kong toy for your puppy and you are wondering how to use it. One of the best uses is keeping your dog occupied. If you are crate training your dog, filling it with treat-cream or peanut butter, for instance, is a great way to use the Kong. Freeze it for best results, as it will take your doggy longer to get all of the treat filling this way (and don’t worry, they love every minute of it!).
How to use a Kong toy for training
While employing treats, you can end training sessions with a Kong as a ‘super reward’ when your dog has shown a good response to their training. Your Kong can also be used as a distraction when you need your dog to calm down quickly (Kong are WONDERFUL for this!). Beyond this, get creative! You can hide the Kong by itself or inside another toy inside your yard for a game of ‘hide and seek’ (an important precursor to tracking training). Sounds great, no? So where do you get them?
Where to find Kong toys
As far as where to find them, it’s actually quite easy. Most pet stores will carry Kong toys or if you prefer to skip that trip you can easily get them online. We’ve compiled a few examples for you if the online route sounds preferable and so that you can see what they look like.
While you can get smaller ones, usually most folks will start with a medium sized Kong. This gives an accessible chewing size with a good holding capacity for snack-stuffing. You can definitely find smaller ones if you need to but usually a medium is a pretty good fit for small and medium sized doggies.
Kong for larger dogs
If you have a larger dog then this is the Kong for you! These durable toys have been produced by the same company for 30 years and that should tell you how much dogs everywhere love them. All Kongs are made from a natural rubber compound that will last for many playtimes so you won’t have to replace it anytime soon!
Kong Stuff-A-Ball for fetching-fun
A little variation on the classic Kong models. While all of them will bounce when you throw them this one also gives your pup a little bit of chasing fun. This one is made for
” This one also gives your pup a little bit of chasing fun.”
larger dogs and has the added function of cleaning your dogs teeth, due to the ‘denta-ridge’ shape employed in their design. With one of these and a classic Kong you are set for playtime and for relaxing time.
Other fun uses for your Kong toy
There are lots of other ways to get creative with your Kong toy. Here are some fun examples:
- Maypole Kong – Tie a Kong ball to a string on a pole or a tree so that your dog has to catch it when you toss it lightly. The ball will spin around the pole as your excited dog circles it and pins it down to get at the treat goodness.
- Kong ball fetch – Teach your dog to fetch, rewarding them by filling the ball once it has been returned a few times.
- Trash training – If your dog is raiding the trash, catch them in the act and say ‘No’. Then show the Kong and get them to follow you to their doggie bed or puppy crate. Slowly they will learn that the Kong is okay for snacking and that the trash can is off-limits.
Other benefits of your Kong toy
Aside from the training and standard distraction functions that the Kong performs you can also use it to:
- Keep your dog from barking
- Give them something that is okay to chew (to save your shoes)
- Alleviate boredom when they are in the crate
- Use it as an emergency distraction for those times when your doggy needs to be calmed right away. You can always have one or two loaded and in the freezer for just such occasions
A Kong dog toy is a must-have when you consider all of these benefits
Some final words
In this article we’ve taken a little time to introduce you to the benefits of Kong dog toys. Whether for chewing and pacification or as a novel means of play, the Kong is a design that is perfectly suited for your puppy’s needs. Get one and you can see for yourself. With a little creative application the Kong toy will surely prove to be one of your doggies favorites. After all, the design has been popular for over 30 years now. It’s hard to argue with that kind of success. We wish you and your doggy lots of fun-filled days with your Kong!