Thursday, 20 September 2007

dogs using enrichment toys

Dogs need activities that involve problem-solving. I am a firm believer in the 'use it or lose it' theory. If you want your pet to be intelligent, then you should give her experiences that extend her problem-solving capabilities.

Many months ago I bought a toy with great potential - the 'Home Alone' toy from the Aussie Dog company. It's a ball on a springy elastic hanger. In the ball there's a marble, which makes an interesting clacking noise as the ball swings around. (I sure hope the neighbours think it's a fascinating sound...)
The dog has to figure out how to obtain treats that are placed in the ball. So, not only is this toy intellectually stimulating but it also provides physical activity.

I spoke to the maker of the toy at a Pet Expo and he guaranteed that it would interest my dog. Well, it's taken a while, but Penny does play with it. She's evolved her own way of using it. She leaps up and pushes it around so that the treats I've inserted in the ball spring out and scatter on the ground.


Amber-Mae said...

Ooops! Can't seem to watch the video... It's something like a Kong right? I've tried it once but as never really into it. Even if my mommy puts in a treat inside it, I still can't seem to sniff it coz it just smells of rubber. Hehehe!

Love licks,
Solid Gold Dancer

parlance said...

It's a hollow plastic ball hanging on an elastic strap. That's a picture of it up the top of this post. The idea is that when Penny pulls on the strap, the ball flicks back up in the air and makes a rattling noise. I put treats (just kibble) in it and they fall out of the hole. Penny doesn't pull on it like the animals do in the photos on the Aussie Dog site. She just pushes it from side to side.

jabari said...

ok we will try again! I am very jealous of Penny and her great toy. My muvver has not bought one for me. She thinks i will just pull it down and chew it up.(how she knows me)

parlance said...

No no, Jabari, even you couldn't pull this one down and chew it up! I've seen photos of elephants and lions playing with these! You are a lion amongst dogs, I know, but I think you would have met your match in this toy.