Back in December I suddenly found myself without a dog in my house so I began the search for my next companion for the coming 15 years or so. After checking on all the resources available to me, I settled on the Labrador Retriever breed, because I had heard a lot of good things about these dogs. I found a breeder fifty miles from me and sent my son to pick out the dog that he liked the best and bring him back home. Hayden returned later in the afternoon with a very large 12 week old white Lab pup, who we immediately dubbed "Marvin". Marvin was typical of the breed--he was friendly, energetic, active and loving. He also began chewing everything he could wrap his jaws around, so I thought that a chew toy of some sort was in order so he would be occupied and my furniture would survive until he grew out of the habit. I set out for Petsmart, and after poking around a bit, I chose a Kong rubber chew for Marvin to gnaw on. It's proven to be huge success, because when he's inside all he wants to do is chew on the Kong.
The Kong chew toy is an unusual-looking thing--it's made out of red rubber and built in three distinct sections. It tapers from a large base to a smaller top--picture a rounded Christmas tree and you'll get a good idea of what the Kong looks like. The Kong also has a hollow center, with a large hole in the larger base and a small hole at the top. The hollow center will hold a variety of doggie treats, which supposedly will entice your dog to play with the Kong while attempting to get at the tasty treat concealed therein. The odd shape of the Kong is another design feature that will capture a dog's attention--if it's dropped, it will bounce around unpredictably and pique the interest of your pup. If the Kong is rolled, it will travel in a circular direction, making it's way back to the dog if it's rolled with enough energy.
How does Marvin like his Kong? Well, in a word, it drives him nuts! One of the first things I learned when I got the Kong was that one of Marvin's large bone-shaped dog biscuits would barely go into the center of the Kong through the large bottom hole. If the biscuit barely goes in, that means that it should be almost impossible to get out, right? Right it is, because Marvin has been working at getting that biscuit out of the Kong for three months now, without any success. That means that when he's in the house, he spends all his spare time attacking the Kong trying to dislodge the treat that I've lodged in the center. Instead of trying to decide which piece of my furniture he wants to dine on, he's busy working on his Kong, so I can safely say that it has achieved its purpose--my furniture is spared Marvin's assaults while he remains entertained and absolutely fascinated by the toy.
The Kong chew toy appears to be indestructible--the rubber is actually quite hard and looks like it can withstand a lifetime of chewing by an active dog. The Kong also comes in different sizes, so if you know the weight of your dog, you can buy the Kong size that is recommended for your dog's size.
I don't recall exactly what I paid for Marvin's Kong, but I think it was $13 or so. In terms of an investment, I've got to say that it's a good one, because Marvin directs his energies towards the Kong and away from other more costly things in my house.
I strongly recommend the Kong for any active, inquisitive dog. Marvin is nuts for his, and if he likes it, then I do too.
Now, if I can just figure out what to do about that digging.......
Thanks for reading.
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