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When Food Toys “Fail”

By Eileen Anderson

© Susan Nilson

How many of us have heard about food-toy failures from our friends and clients? “I tried the Kong with my puppy, but she didn’t like it,” or, “My dog is not smart enough for those puzzle toys!”…The most common problem with food toys is that the dog lacks the skills to get to the food and the owner does not understand how to teach him.
Many food toys come with no instructions for the naive dog. For instance, toys that have a cavity that can be filled with food, such as Kongs, are assumed by most consumers to be easy and fun for dogs to use. The marketing materials lead them to believe this, showing dogs chewing, licking and batting around full toys to dislodge the food and even playing with empty ones. However, if the toy is initially presented at its most difficult level, which is often what is shown in advertising, demo videos and discussion groups, many dogs cannot be successful. Read more.

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