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Discussion Starter #1
I heard about a puzzle toy for dogs and don't know where to find it or what it was called. Maybe one of you can help?

I believe it's made out of hard rubber and it's a ball shape that a dog would roll around and treats would come out. The special thing about the one I am searching for is that it it has 3 or so difficulty levels. Somehow inside you change the difficulty of getting the treats out and it's a puzzle for the dog to nose it around in a pattern? to get treats out. I helps the dog not be bored I guess.

The reason I'm looking for this is we have something like that for our cat (it actually just rolls around and dispenses cat food or treats, no difficulty levels to it) and Sunny looks as if he hopes for something similar when I fill it up for the cat and there's nothing for him.

~Haley
 

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We have a kibble nibble. Here is a video of Kodi using it, please ignore an angry Mia barking in the background. This is his favorite treat dispensing toy. Trust me we have many!

I believe the one you're talking about with 3 levels is the IQ treat ball. Its on my wish list!!! IQ Treat Ball - Dog Supplies
 

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There are also some soft toys that are puzzles (no treats). I have a number of them for one of my Cresteds and when the Poodle came along she was also hooked on them. We have "snake in the grass" which I really recommend because the snakes which are hidden in holes in the fabric tube, are attached with elastic. So even when the dog fishes them out they don't become separated from the toy. I also have "squirrels in a tree", "rabbits in the hat", "farmers overalls" which has various toys stuffed in pockets of the overalls, a crocodile with eggs stuffed in its belly, and another similar one. Yes I can spend a lot of time reassembling so they can have the joy of unassembling... If you get the Fosters & Smith catalog a number of them are in there. There are also some really expensive wood puzzles made in Sweden I think, that hides treats under various doors and the dog has to figure out to slide the doors open to get the treats. I think you can see those in the In the Company of Dogs catalog.
 

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There are also lots of treat dispensing toys that are puzzles, but they aren't balls. Nina Ottosson Interactive Toys

My dogs love them, but it's a game you play together, it doesn't work to leave them at home with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
All of these are so interesting! I've bookmarked them and will certainly consider them for future poodle gifts. It doesn't matter if the games are to be played together or occupy while I'm away, I was trying to find toys that Sunny would actually play with. He's so not interested, in bones and toys, only chewing things like rawhide. I think the treats inside will interest him a lot.

Thanks!
~Haley
 

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Have to say. Rawhide that is beef hide is not digestible so I don't recommend using it. Similar products made of Pork are a better choice as the body can break that down. And, lastly I have to say my dogs' favorite chew is Elk Antler. This is commercially "produced" by Wapiti Labs of Minn - HOME Wapiti Labs, Daily Elk Velvet Antler Supplements for Animals. Elk naturally shed their antlers. These all come from Wolf Creek Elk Ranch that they own and is monitored by the Minn Board of Animal Health. They don't splinter, can be used by large and small dog (they come in diferent sizes, but my Cresteds work big ones I got for the SPoo), they are expensive but they last just like a hard bone. And they support bone, joint and muscle health. They are completely natural so no "stuff" to worry about.
 

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Teddy started barking when he heard Mia barking. LOL

We have the soft puzzle toy that looks like a beehive with three bees that come out. I sometimes put treats in it before stuffing the bees in. It's funny to see Teddy with his head half stuck in one of the holes.
 

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HaHa! I didn't realize you could hear her barking so much until I uploaded the video! I swear she didn't sound that loud when I was recording. I gave her a TreatStik (another favorite in this house). But she saw me put Kodi's food in the kibble nibble, so she wanted to play too.

The Nina Ottossman toys are on my wish list!! As soon as I'm out of school we'll be getting some. A friend has a few, and Mia LOVES them!

Kodi also likes the soft ones... but he destroys plush toys in seconds... so we don't have any of them!
 

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Kong now also makes a hard plastic kibble dispenser. My sister gives her Aussie his meals in it to slow him down. He plays by the rules for a little while, then gets impatient and figures out how to unscrew it and get to all the kibble inside!

I make my own kibble puzzles that I will leave with Dexter--just put boxes with kibble inside larger boxes so that he has to tear everything open to get to the prize. It doesn't take him long, but he seems to enjoy the combination of destruction + food.
 

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Kong's is the Kong Wobbler. Here is a video of Mia playing with it for the first time. My guys get most of their meals from something they have to work for. They love using their brains to figure things out.

Another favorite is the Tug-A-Jug. Kodi doesn't like this one but Mia does, I can make this one harder or easier buy removing the string, or adding a small ball inside so it covers the opening. She was getting distracted by the kids playing outside

I also add a small ball to the kibble nibble to make it harder for Kodi to get his food out.
 

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I make my own kibble puzzles that I will leave with Dexter--just put boxes with kibble inside larger boxes so that he has to tear everything open to get to the prize. It doesn't take him long, but he seems to enjoy the combination of destruction + food.
Teddy would love that idea, but I would have to hire a housekeeper. :D
 

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We've also used Buster Cubes and Tricky Treat Balls (besides Nina Ottoson toys, Tug a Jug and Kongs). You can make your own with old plastic bottles, milk jugs, etc. Cut kibble or treat sized holes in them (I use dehydrated meat) then file the edges (you can use a nail file or slow dremel) a bit.
 

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Sophy is not very toy-oriented, but she loves the Kyjen squirrels-in-a-tree, especially if I hide a few treats in it. Having three squirrels makes it great for fetch games (one for each dog, plus one for me to wave enticingly!), and the squirrels are small enough for my tiny dogs to pick up easily, but also big enough to play tug with. (It is much cheaper in the US than the UK, by the way - especially if you spread the shipping costs by buying several different toys.) Her other favourite toy is a set of children's stacking beakers - I build a tower, she knocks it down, a rather repetitive game that I get bored with long before she does! I also hide treats under some of them, and let her find them, or between one inside the other.

We've just got the Ottosson Dog Brick - they have only had one session with it, but it was very, very popular! I don't think they found it intellectually stretching, but certainly had a lot of fun, so I am now saving it to be a very special reward game.
 
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