Do you expect the Kong Classic dog toy to provide your dog with an alternative to chewing things she isn’t allowed to?
You may be disappointed.
The red Kong Classic is widely known as a chew toy. It’s even available in an extra strong black version for really heavy chewers. The Kong company states:
“Our super-bouncy, red natural rubber compound is perfect for dogs that like to chew.”
Since my 9 month old Castro Laboreiro mix puppy loves to chew I bought him a Kong Classic.
I soon learned that it isn’t the perfect chew toy I expected it to be.
In fact, my chew-loving canine doesn’t chew on it at all which renders it useless as a means to keep him from chewing forbidden items such as shoes, furniture, plants and other things in the house and yard.
Despite the fact that my chew-crazy furry friend doesn’t try to maul the red rubber item like he does with bones and furniture, it’s still a great dog toy.
This is what my dog does instead of chewing his Kong
It’s often stated that when you insert peanut butter in the Kong and freeze it, dogs will enjoy hours of chewing pleasure.
Well, not my dog, he just licks the delicacies till they go soft. Maybe he’s smart, or just lazy, but he just doesn’t chew it.
I also use the Kong to stick treats inside so tight that they are stuck. Once he can’t reach the, for instance, dried beef tendon he leaves it. He can’t be bothered with it anymore.
“Kong Classic lick toy would be a more suitable name”
Despite being a little disappointed in the fact that my dog doesn’t chew his Kong I do think it’s an invaluable dog toy. *
Actually, it’s even more than just a useful toy.
7 Benefits of the Kong Classic dog toy
1. Lets him savor treats
That dried tendon would be gobbled up in no time if it wouldn’t have been stuck in the Kong. By sticking it in the Kong he is forced to nibble and lick the tendon, trying to get it out with his front teeth while pawing the Kong down. Needless to say this keeps him busy much longer.
2. Makes your dog eat his food more slowly
By putting his kibble in the Kong eating becomes a game. My dog licks the kibble out, throws the Kong over so that kibble falls out, and takes it to the yard where he also gnaws his bones. Especially if your dog is a speed eater you can slow his eating by inserting it in the rubber toy.
What I often do is put half his meal in his bowl and put the other half in his Kong which I then hide in the yard. Upon the command ‘search Kong’ he eagerly starts sniffing until he has found it.
This not only makes dinner time more playful but also has learned the command search. Next I plan on teaching him the commands ‘ bring Kong’, ‘fetch Kong’, and practice some more ‘ leave it!’.
3. Aids crate training
Gives your dog something to pass the time in her crate. Which is especially helpful in case your dog has separation anxiety or suffers from another behavioral issue.
Even though my furry friend doesn’t chew it he can be occupied with his toy. Sadly this doesn’t last hours, or even half an hour as some dogs tend to be animated with Kongs, but it does help with the transition of the first few minutes of spending in the crate and me leaving the house.
4. Can be a great behavior modification tool
Canine therapy is often done with clickers but in my experience a Kong dog toy can be at least as helpful. Granted, you’re not pinpointing the exact moment your dog behaves the way you want as you do with a clicker but here’s why a Kong works wonders.
Just like by distracting your dog with a ball when encountering something scary on the street you can use a Kong to distract her thus avoiding the trigger that causes the problem behavior.
I have used his Kong to distract him from trying to chase cats while on the leash and thus almost pulling my arm from its socket. I also used it to stop him from barking to (often frightened) strangers.
5. Helps with medical treatment (i.e. treating his ears)
When I insert delicacies such as Koni sausage in his Kong he tends to run off with it. Similar to bones I give him he wants to take them outside to his favorite spots where he will enjoy his newfound treasure.
I found this urge to help me to medically treat my dog. Here’s how..
Initially my dog didn’t allow me to drip his ears to treat an infection. He would snarl, growl, and snap. He was heavily resisting as he was probably very scared and/or in serious pain. By building his trust gradually he now accepts treatment.
A stuffed Kong works better than a normal treat which is eaten instantly. The Kong, he wants to take to his treasure trove but the command ‘wait’ makes him patiently focus on his treat which allowed me to drip his ears with drops.
6. You can use it as a reward vessel during training sessions
While training you keep the Kong in your hand and when it’s time to reward simply keep the Kong in front of her so she can taste some peanut butter or whatever is inside the toy. This way you avoid having to grab into a satchel to get some dog treats.
Opinions may differ but you may find this a more convenient way of dispensing treats during training than let’s say a pouch or simply keeping treats in your hand.
7. A Kong can help your dog learn to fetch
Does Wolfgang ignore balls you throw at him? Perhaps a Kong stuffed with his favorite treats will make him get off his butt. Once he’s gotten the hang of it he may have started to like the game in itself and you have gained an effective method to channel his energy.
Convinced the Kong Classic is a versatile and fun dog toy?
What do you think of the Kong Classic dog chew toy?
*Of course your dog could be chewing his Kong like there’s no tomorrow. This was an overview of the pros and cons of the Kong Classic dog toy based on my personal experiences.
It’s what I think you should know before buying. Does your dog have a Kong? Or do you consider getting one?
Have questions? What do you think?
Let us know below.