On my way to TNT, I often travel through the traffic circle at the Clearbrook exit in Abbotsford where there is this art sculpture with hanging raspberries, or so they say…When I saw the sculpture for the first time, I burst out laughing… “Why would anyone hang a bunch of Kongs in a traffic circle, I asked myself?”
As a certified dog person, I couldn’t help but think there are many things one can do with Kongs but I had never thought of hanging them up as art. Well, why not? Raspberries for the ‘regular’ folks and ‘Kong art’ for the dog folks of Abbotsford. So next time you pass through the Clearbrook traffic circle, look up at the ‘Kongs’ and think of some of the 50 activities your dog and you can use a Kong for. I bet you’ll never look at this sculture the same way ever again.
50 Ways with KONG
reprinted with permission – original article published June 16th by Dr. Jez Rose in the Dog Star Daily
Despite the world-wide success of the KONG chewtoy, very often owners will tell me that their dog doesn’t play with it or didn’t seem very interested in it. I believe that KONG is the finest investment you’ll ever make for your dog and with a little imagination; it’s easy to see why. Here are 50 different things you can do with the standard Classic KONG or Extreme KONG chewtoy….
- Retire your food bowl! Break it up and use it as crock for the garden or maybe plant a nice indoor plant in it! Because you can stuff your dog’s daily food allowance into a KONG instead, offering him much more stimulation and exercise than simply gobbling it out of a bowl.
- Why not stuff with peanut butter, your dog’s regular food, small pieces of fruit and then freeze it? Within a few hours you’ll have a great, frozen food-stuffed chew toy to increase the fun time it takes for your dog to extricate all the food!
- Replace your tennis balls or other throw toys with a KONG and use it for retrieve and catch games. The shape and design of KONG makes its bounce erratic and helps stimulate innate chase instincts.
- Why not put a few small pieces of cheese and peanut butter into the KONG then pop into the microwave for a few seconds so the cheese melts and the KONG gently warms? Remember to check it’s not too hot before you give it to your dog!
- Hide the KONG with a few treats inside around the garden or inside the house and teach a “find” cue to get your dog’s innate nosework and hunting drive stimulated.
- Tie a rope or chain of old socks to the KONG and play chase! You can loosely stuff with a few treats so that the dog is rewarded along the way for interacting with the KONG.
- KONG bobbing! Place a large bowl of water and a KONG or two into the bowl. Entice your dog to fetch the KONG out of the water!
- Thread some rope through the KONG and stuff with your dog’s favourite treats. Now tie this to a tree or at a height just out of reach of your dog so he has to jump up to get to it.
- You can never have too many KONGs. While one is the in the dishwasher, you can be playing with another and while one is in the freezer, you can be preparing another. Buy three and play “find the lady” using some tasty treats under just one of the KONGs. Mix them up and have your dog sniff out which one has the treats in.
- Stuff your KONG and then seal it into an A4 envelope and give to your dog. They’ll have great fun rolling it around or shredding the envelope to get to the KONG inside!
- Push your KONG toy into an old sock and throw it around or fire it like a slingshot! Stuff it first and it gives yet another barrier to the KONG which your dog will have great fun working out how to get to the treats inside.
- For a change, roll the KONG is raw egg and then roll in grated cheese or a little garlic powder.
- Invert the stuffed KONG and bury into the ground or into a washing line hole.
- Warm KONG under your arm or in the microwave or simply left in some warm water for your puppy’s first few nights at home. Something warm to cuddle up to has been shown to help relax your new addition by mimicing the warmth felt when cuddled up with its Mother and siblings.
- Keep Puppy KONG in the fridge to help soothe those gums for when puppy is teething.
- Plug the small hole with peanut butter or cheese and then fill the KONG with fish stock, orange juice or beef stock and freeze for those hot summer days when something tasty and cold is just what the doggy doctor ordered!
- If your dog likes water, place KONG on top of a sprinkler so the water sprays through the KONG. If you’ve already get your dog interested in KONG, they’ll love this change and gave great fun trying to get it while getting wet!
- Place plenty of dry treats inside and play catch between 2 people. As the KONG flies through the air, the treats will fall out and your dog will love running between the two of you, chasing the KONG… and the treats!
- Use a stuffed KONG to stimulate your dog with “Houdini” style games. For example, place it into a crate/cage and close but do not lock the door.
- Seal the small hole with peanut butter or cheese, fill with fruit juice or garlic water and then seal the large end with more peanut butter. This ones a bit messy so best given outside!
- Hand a KONG Tails or stuffed KONG from a tree and make even more exciting by hanging it using bungee cord!
- Use several KONGs to create a pyramid or pile of KONGs stacked up but only one of which has the treats in!
- Put all of your dog’s toys away apart from KONG. Play with and interact with your dog using only the KONG toy for a week and you’ll never have to buy another dog toy again.
- Place KONG into old socks, wrap in newspaper or straw to vary the texture and noise.
- Place a trail of liver treats leading to a stuffed KONG toy. Start with a short trail then gradually increase the length of the trail so it becomes a rewarding hunt for the KONG!
- Set a plastic pipe or wooden pole into the ground and balance a stuffed KONG toy on top. The dog has to knock the KONG off in order to get it.
- Replace the tennis ball on a swing ball with a small stuffed KONG! You and tour dog will have great fun hitting the KONG and gobbling the treats. Make sure you use dryer treats as the wet stuff will splash you!
- Tie a loosely but well-stuffed KONG to a remote controlled car….
- Wrap your KONG in bacon and drag along the ground to help teach your dog nosework or tracking skills. A well-stuffed, bacon-covered KONG is the prize reward at the end.
- Stuff the KONG, place in a cardboard box and smear the KONG contents about the box a bit. Now seal the box and give to the dog.
- Use KONG Time for regular dispensing of stuffed KONGs
- Stuff your KONG with soft paper soaked in fish oil, beef stock or fruit juice.
- Tie a KONG to each end of a thick rope or braided thick fleece fabrics for extra rigidity to create a dunbell which can still be stuffed.
- If you’ve got enough space, show your dog the well-stuffed KONG and launch it into the air on a see-saw type launcher made from a pivot (like a rock) and a plank of wood.
- Thread 5 or more small or medium KONGs onto a long line or long piece of rope, knot it to secure them and tie a handle at one end to drag along, use for chasing or even tug games.
- Thread a rope through the KONG and place lots of loose treats inside. Now suspend between 2 trees or across your garden between fence posts and encourage your dog to jump up at the KONG to dislodge the treats like a KONG pinata!
- Thread your KONG onto a training line or piece of fleece and tie it to your belt, leaving it long enough so it drags on the floor. Now run!
- Stuff with squeezy cheese, layers of paper, treats and small pieces of cheese for an extra tricky extrication.
- Use both the KONG classic and KONG xtreme so you have two different coloured KONGs. Use them to aid recall and for a fun game by teaching your dog to retrieve a specific colour on cue. Now teach your dog to drop them in a bucket and they can tidy up the toys for you!
- Play “distance catch” from Dr. Ian Dunbar’s K9 Games.
- Tie your stuffed KONG to a bungee cord and attach to a door frame, using it like a baby bouncer with a KONG in place of the baby!
- : Buy 4 KONGs and alter each one so that they all look the same but one does something different, to add some variety and keep your dog guessing. For example, you might stuff one with a variety of different treats, another might have its daily ration of food, another may have been dipped in orange juice and another might have been rubbed in a scent or have a squeeker inside.
- Split your dog’s daily ration of food into 4 or 5 and place into 4 or 5 KONGs. Now hide them in different places about the house or garden.
- Once your dog understands that KONG = fun and tasty treats, you can carry in your pocket and use as a reliable distraction to aid recall, proofing a stay or simply getting your dog’s attention.
- Instead of buying a plastic game, why not invest in 4 KONGs and place treats in only two of them, but change which KONGs, and how many, have the treats in. This keeps your dog guessing. Place them in a sit/stay while you prepare them and release your dog for extra control and stimulation.
- Teach a “go to” exercise placing the KONG in strategic places you wish your dog to be. He’s more readily going to go to the KONG than he is “bed”.
- Take an old towel and rip it into 4 pieces. When you’re next on your walk, rub each one of the pieces on something interesting – maybe a piece of grass that dog is sniffing around a lot, on another friendly dog or along some lavender bushes. Place them each into a different plastic bag and when you get home, push each of the pieces of towel into a different KONG.
- If you prefer feeding from a bowl and have a dog that scoffs his food, using strong but non-toxic glue (there are many different varieties available), glue a KONG into your dog’s food bowl and put food into it to prevent scoffing or fast-eating.
- Cover your KONG with doggy toothpaste and freshener to keep your dog’s breath fresh.
- Carefully unpick a stuffed dog toy and remove all of the stuffing. Now place your unstuffed KONG inside and stitch teddy back up. You’ve now got a soft and cuddly but super bouncy and very erratic fluffy toy to bring out that chase and hunt instinct!