Kirby has a lot of toys, and I do mean a lot of toys! Stuffed animals that squeak, flat animals that squeak, a monkey that talks, a dog that barks, balls of assorted sizes, plastic toys that squeak, toys made for playing tug-o-war, even a puppet animal for hand play. These are all fun toys he immensely enjoys.
Most of his toys have a name so it's always fun to tell him to go get a certain toy. 95% of the time he does get the right one. However, other than chewing or squeaking the toys himself, he usually needs another dog or person to play with him.
Interactive toys have been popping up all over the web and in advertisements. Kirby is almost two years old (a teen in human years) so we felt it was time for him to move from his "baby" toys to "learning" toys.
We don't want to overwhelm him or set him up for failure so we are starting with the simple ones first. As he masters them, we will move on to the more difficult ones. This is the Busy Buddy Twist n Treat made by Premier.
It's a 2-piece adjustable rubber treat dispensing toy that can be filled with any small treats. It has small holes so the dog can smell the treats. The rate of treat dispersal can be adjusted from easy to hard depending on the interest and ability of the dog. At first we left the openings the largest to allow treats to fall out regularly. Once Kirby got the hang of the game, we screwed the openings tighter to make it more difficult.
This toy comes in three sizes, small for dogs under twenty pounds, medium for dogs twenty to fifty pounds, and large for dogs over fifty pounds. Because we were at PetSmart, Kirby was able to try it in the store, so even though he only weighs 14 pounds, we got the medium sized one which has worked well for him. If your small dog is more delicate then do choose the small size. The toy ranges in price from $9.00 to $18.00
A dog can eat only so many treats before he starts becoming pudgy fido. Therefore, take care when using this toy. I would suggest once a day but if you use treats for training on a regular basis then every few days. Just adjust accordingly. If your dog eats kibble then another option with this toy is feeding his meal in it. This can keep him busy for quite some time. A handy little gadget when you are busy or have company.
Here's a video of Kirby playing with his toy. At first treats were falling out right and left. A few twists and he had to really work on it. A few times he looked at us as if asking for our help! This toy is Kirby approved with 5 wags!!
Premier has several interactive toys for your dog!