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How to Select Right Kong Toys for Your Dog

By Brandi Barker, MFA, CPDT
Updated: 2010-02-08 1:14 PM 2789 Views    Category: Health and Behavior
 
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The Kong product line is popular for its durability and versatility. It is often my first choice to redirect innate chewing behaviors because it is virtually indestructible by most dogs. However, like any dog toy, there are exceptionally strong chewers who can annihilate even the Extreme Black Kong (considered the strongest).  If your dog has destroyed every toy you have purchased (including the Extreme Kong) you can try the Kong Rubber Ball, Premier Galileo Bone or Boomer Ball toys.

Keep close watch on your dog the first few times you allow chewing from any new toy, even small dogs.  Some of the strongest mouths I have seen were in
little bodies.

The Kong Company has many toy varieties to choose from, including: squeaky tennis balls, durable plush toys and many more. If your goal is to play fetch, tug and hide 'n' seek games , you can choose from any of Kong's toy categories. However, for chewing purposes, I would recommend one of the Rubber Toys.  The Classic and Extreme Kongs are popular choices because the stuffing options are limitless; they can entertain some dogs for hours  and their solid design is very durable for strong chewers.  The Goodie Bone is another excellent toy to teach good mouthing skills.  If you fill one end of the toy with treats while holding the other end, you can prevent nipping while working on good handling exercises. The Dental Stick and Stuff-A-Ball are also great toys to keep your baseboards, pant legs and shoes chomp free.

Some dogs play with their Kongs by rolling them around, tossing them in the air or simply licking out the good stuff. When introducing your dog to a Kong Rubber Toy for the first time, rinse it off very well. You can entice your dog by filling it with peanut butter, cheese or cream cheese so he or she understands its purpose is to engage their mouth. You and your dog can enjoy years of entertainment with the same Kong, clean it out regularly with warm soapy water and always give the Kong in response to good behavior.
 

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With the last name “Barker”, Brandi was destined to work with dogs! A lifelong animal lover; she formally began training dogs in 2001 when she completed her apprenticeship at the Anti-Cruelty Society. In the classroom, she honed her interpretation of canine body language, developed a toolbox of effective behavior modification techniques and fine-tuned her communication skills with dogs and people while only using reward-based techniques. Brandi completed her Master's degree at DePaul University in Developing Behavior Management Practices to Enhance Understanding in Human/Animal Relationships and is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer. Brandi's unique achievements gave her a solid foundation in animal learning theory, ethology and operant and classical conditioning. She uses this knowledge in conjunction with the active listening, relationship development and creative problem solving skills she acquired from a decade in the corporate world. Brandi is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and her philosophy incorporates attainable goals into every day life with a lot of patience, fairness and fun…for humans and dogs.
 
 www.barkerbehavior.com
 
 
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