Puzzle Feeders

This forum is all about training and behavior. Everything from potty training to working titles!

Postby Hundilein » January 14th, 2012, 7:45 pm

I'm not sure where to put this, so if there's a better place, someone please move it :D

I'm looking for some suggestions. I'm working on some new enrichment strategies for the dogs at the shelter where I work and one thing I'm thinking about is utilizing puzzle feeding toys more. We currently have Kongs that are stuffed by volunteers, frozen, and handed out twice weekly or so as extra snacks. These are great, but not terribly practical for daily feeding because of the prep time needed and the number it would take to have enough for all the dogs full daily rations.

Factors to keep in mind:
Ease of filling - operations staff can barely keep up with the current workload, so anything that adds any length of time to the feeding routine will not work
Cost - obviously lower cost is better
Ease of cleaning - toys that can be easily bleached are preferable, since they can be re-used with multiple dogs
Noise - these will be used in kennel runs with concrete floors, so the quieter, the better
Size - small things clog the drains; also, need to be big enough to fit a dog's daily ration of food
Durability - we have some tough chewers and there's no way we can supervise every one during feeding time

Thanks in advance for any thoughts! I'm without internet at home until Tuesday, so if I don't respond right away, that's why.
Sarah and Renee - aka wild child
User avatar
Hundilein
Loyally Bully
 
Posts: 660
Location: Gone to Carolina in my mind

Postby amalie79 » January 17th, 2012, 10:36 am

I have to leave the house about an hour before Adam gets up in the mornings, so I put half of Luna's breakfast in a Kong genius. I stop up the neck with a treat (the little Natural Balance treats for "small dogs" wedge in perfectly and quickly). It was getting hard to add her kibble, so I made a funnel out of the big plastic case that our cat's feeding tubes came in, just cut off one end. The large will hold 1 to 1 1/2 cups of TOTW.

Since I need her to be occupied for a while, I also first put a large dog biscuit in there and fill around it with kibble, then I use a strip of jerky and feed it through so it covers the side opening and fold it in to cover the bottom opening to. I also try to stop the neck up with something soft-- Red BArn food roll, or Natural Balance Tillman treats, or Buddy Biscuits. I stuff it until there's no give at all and it feels rock solid! ;-)

I used to do this for Robin, and she had a great time with it. I didn't even have to stuff it very solid, just add the kibble. She had a system that took her a little while:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CMIJO2-k5Q

River had the extra large and took more of a crunch-it approach:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxvXw62Nvjg
"In these bodies, we will live; in these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life." --Marcus Mumford

--Amalie
User avatar
amalie79
Loyally Bully
 
Posts: 633

Postby TheRedQueen » January 17th, 2012, 10:46 am

Yeah, I was going to suggest the genius...but couldn't figure out how it could be easy/fast to fill. It also doesn't hold up well to really strong chewers (but I'm not sure what really does)

The bob-a-lot is another good one...it's noisy though...and not cheap...same with the Kibble Nibble.

But...you might contact the companies...Kong is good about donating stuff to Service Dog groups, maybe they have a thing with shelters too
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
User avatar
TheRedQueen
I thought I lost my Wiener... but then I found him.
 
Posts: 7184
Location: Maryland

Postby amalie79 » January 17th, 2012, 11:03 am

The Kong Wobbler was just too damn noisy for me. And our new genius is cracking already-- Luna takes an approach more like River's. Making a little funnel is the easiest way to fill it, otherwise I wouldn't bother. I'm too lazy. :D

Trying to think of what else we use. I think that's the only one that actually gets their meal... I use the Everlasting Treat Ball and the large and medium Everlasting Fun Balls-- those things hold up to tremendous chewing. Luna pops the everlasting treat out immediately, east it all in one go, and proceeds to get diarrhea. But it's a great treat toy without the special treat.
"In these bodies, we will live; in these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life." --Marcus Mumford

--Amalie
User avatar
amalie79
Loyally Bully
 
Posts: 633

Postby TheRedQueen » January 17th, 2012, 4:46 pm

See, I don't like the everlasting treat ball...it lasts my guys seconds, and the food holder portion doesn't last long either. I do have one of the balls from Starmark, but haven't used it yet...hard to fill from the looks of it
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
User avatar
TheRedQueen
I thought I lost my Wiener... but then I found him.
 
Posts: 7184
Location: Maryland

Postby Tubular Toby » January 17th, 2012, 5:34 pm

Toby popped the treat out of Everlasting Treat Ball immediately and then proceeded to take chunks out of the rubber in no time flat. =( But nothing really withstands his chewing. Haha

The Kong Wobbler is the only thing that has held up to Toby thus far, but it's loud and expensive.
-Kristen
Owned by Totally Tubular Toby

Buy the ticket, take the ride

http://tubular-toby.blogspot.com/
User avatar
Tubular Toby
Confident Young Bully
 
Posts: 521
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma

Postby Hundilein » January 18th, 2012, 9:45 pm

Thanks for the insights everyone! I figured if anyone knew the magical perfect solution, someone here would. Sadly it seems likely that, as I feared, there simply is no magical perfect solution. I'll keep weighing the pros and cons of each option and see what I can come up with.
Sarah and Renee - aka wild child
User avatar
Hundilein
Loyally Bully
 
Posts: 660
Location: Gone to Carolina in my mind

Postby CinderDee » January 21st, 2012, 8:11 pm

This is such a great idea for shelter dogs. I use 3 or 4 different ones for Zuzu but I don't think they're exactly what you're looking for. This one might work unless you would be concerned about a dog trying to eat/swallow it. I use it when I don't feel like listening to the racket from the other ones.
http://www.amazon.com/Premier-Buddy-Twi ... supplies_5

There's also the squirrel, which is supposed to be tougher than the others.
http://www.amazon.com/Premier-Busy-Budd ... 634&sr=8-1

I hope you find what you're looking for. It will be really good for the dogs!
Dee
User avatar
CinderDee
I'm The Bug Whisperer
 
Posts: 3414
Location: Forever in my heart...

Postby call2arms » January 25th, 2012, 12:51 am

We have the squirrel. Jack chewed the head off recently, but until that point, it was great - I would put a liver treat in it, and sometimes it would take Jack a looong time to get it out, or it would even get stuck in one of the sides (obsession anyone?).

The flying saucer - that one got chewed up in no time.

We also have the busy buddy bottle with a ball at one end + a rope sticking out of it. Neither of my guys have figured out how to get the food out, they just chew the clear plastic end, the one where treats can't come from, lol.

I wanted to try the kong Genius but I feel like it really won't last long.
“Your birth is a mistake you'll spend your whole life trying to correct.” Chuck Palahniuk


I love pus but I hate people.

I can say words like undifferentiated gonads now!
User avatar
call2arms
Boys Stink
 
Posts: 2349
Location: sunshine, lollipops and rainbows everywhere...

Postby Tubular Toby » January 25th, 2012, 1:13 am

Actually, the squirrel one has held up quite well to Toby's chewing. And with the prongs, it holds food and treats quite well. Don't know how I forgot about that one.
-Kristen
Owned by Totally Tubular Toby

Buy the ticket, take the ride

http://tubular-toby.blogspot.com/
User avatar
Tubular Toby
Confident Young Bully
 
Posts: 521
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma

Postby TheRedQueen » January 25th, 2012, 8:59 am

the Tug a Jug is really noisy...otherwise I might have suggested that one...but it's easy to fill, but I know a lot of dogs that chew through them. I like Treat Stiks, but again, noisy and dogs eat them quickly if so inclined.
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
User avatar
TheRedQueen
I thought I lost my Wiener... but then I found him.
 
Posts: 7184
Location: Maryland

Postby call2arms » January 25th, 2012, 11:49 am

Do you know of any way to help my 2 doofuses figure out the tug-a-jug? I literally showed them but both just try to eat through the screwing end, not the brightest bulbs in the bunch! If I let Iggy at it, I'll find him with the open rope end in a corner of the wall, chewing wildly at the hard plastic part! "But that's where I SEE the food!" lol
“Your birth is a mistake you'll spend your whole life trying to correct.” Chuck Palahniuk


I love pus but I hate people.

I can say words like undifferentiated gonads now!
User avatar
call2arms
Boys Stink
 
Posts: 2349
Location: sunshine, lollipops and rainbows everywhere...

Postby amalie79 » January 25th, 2012, 11:54 am

I don't have one because they're so noisy... So I'm just throwing this out there...

But maybe try a smellier treat to start with, like sausage, chicken-- something so that they are drawn to the scent coming out of the opening and not the visual of it inside the bottle. :|
"In these bodies, we will live; in these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life." --Marcus Mumford

--Amalie
User avatar
amalie79
Loyally Bully
 
Posts: 633

Postby TheRedQueen » January 25th, 2012, 4:57 pm

amalie79 wrote:I don't have one because they're so noisy... So I'm just throwing this out there...

But maybe try a smellier treat to start with, like sausage, chicken-- something so that they are drawn to the scent coming out of the opening and not the visual of it inside the bottle. :|


I also ended up taking the ropes out...letting them learn it, and then putting a tennis ball inside to make it harder later on
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
User avatar
TheRedQueen
I thought I lost my Wiener... but then I found him.
 
Posts: 7184
Location: Maryland

Postby call2arms » January 27th, 2012, 12:02 am

Hum, I guess dried liver wasn't smelly enough? I'll give the smellier treats a whirl.

Erin, the "taking out" of the rope is permanent, I guess you cut it?
“Your birth is a mistake you'll spend your whole life trying to correct.” Chuck Palahniuk


I love pus but I hate people.

I can say words like undifferentiated gonads now!
User avatar
call2arms
Boys Stink
 
Posts: 2349
Location: sunshine, lollipops and rainbows everywhere...

Postby TheRedQueen » January 27th, 2012, 11:03 am

call2arms wrote:Hum, I guess dried liver wasn't smelly enough? I'll give the smellier treats a whirl.

Erin, the "taking out" of the rope is permanent, I guess you cut it?


Yes, I cut the ropes out...I found that they were getting too gross anyway... :rolleyes2:
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
User avatar
TheRedQueen
I thought I lost my Wiener... but then I found him.
 
Posts: 7184
Location: Maryland

Postby amalie79 » January 27th, 2012, 11:15 am

TheRedQueen wrote:
call2arms wrote:Hum, I guess dried liver wasn't smelly enough? I'll give the smellier treats a whirl.

Erin, the "taking out" of the rope is permanent, I guess you cut it?


Yes, I cut the ropes out...I found that they were getting too gross anyway... :rolleyes2:


EWWWWW. I hadn't thought of that. Ga-ross.

Not to completely hijack the thread here, but I finally found something that lasts a little bit in the Everlasting Treat Ball this week-- I put peanut butter on the undersides of the little flaps and then put a few full size Buddy Biscuits in there. Luna crunches the biscuits, and the little pieces and crumbs mix with the PB to make a super thick paste along the inside edges and THAT takes a while. :)
"In these bodies, we will live; in these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life." --Marcus Mumford

--Amalie
User avatar
amalie79
Loyally Bully
 
Posts: 633

Postby Malli » February 9th, 2012, 4:39 pm

I'm not suggesting these for the shelter dogs, but since there is already a topic...

anyone with experience with these?
http://www.gear4dogs.com/buster-food-cube
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
_______________________________________
"You didn't know of the magical powers of the break stick? It's up there with genies and Harry Potter as far as magic levels go." SisMorphine 01/07/07
User avatar
Malli
E-I-E-I-O!
 
Posts: 6341
Location: CANADA EH?

Postby HappyPuppy » February 11th, 2012, 2:15 pm

I have one and it is the noisy-est, most ear cringing one of the 3 feeders I have. Works great tho Ruby usually leaves a piece of kibble or two in it but the hard plastic is so loud I have to put it in another room. I like better the kong wobbler better and a ball that looks like a hamster ball with holes in each end.
Ruby Underfoot, CGC
User avatar
HappyPuppy
Supremely Bully
 
Posts: 1019
Location: Costa Mesa, CA

Postby Malli » February 11th, 2012, 3:44 pm

the Kong Wobbler is quieter??
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
_______________________________________
"You didn't know of the magical powers of the break stick? It's up there with genies and Harry Potter as far as magic levels go." SisMorphine 01/07/07
User avatar
Malli
E-I-E-I-O!
 
Posts: 6341
Location: CANADA EH?

Next

Return to Training & Behavior

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot]