Tag Archives: News & Reviews

Toby Pup’s Marathon

Toby Pup enjoys a (KONG) Marathon play session!

With Toby Pup’s episodes of high energy occurring at regular intervals, he really benefits from having something to focus it on. Thankfully, the KONG Company’s range of Marathon toys play right into his paws!

These fun rubber toys have a recess in the side that is shaped specifically to hold a Marathon treat firmly in place. The treat is mostly beneath the surface of the toy, and whilst Toby can still reach and taste it, it is deliberately difficult for him to get a good hold on it. Also, as he does manage to wear the treat down, it goes deeper into the toy and becomes harder to reach.

One added bonus we found is that the toys are hollow, allowing for small additional treats to be hidden inside as an extra incentive!

Toby has used his Kong Marathon Ball several times now, and although he has obviously got better at it, it still keeps him very well occupied.

Here he is in action:

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Toby Pup and the Treat Ringer Orb

Toby Pup tries out a Treat Ringer Orb from Starmark

Toby loves trying out new toys for us, and today we introduce him to the Treat Ringer Orb from Starmark.

Starmark’s Treat Ringer toys are made of firm plastic and they have a wide outer with a hard to reach rail inside.  Edible Treat Rings are pushed onto this inner rail for your dog to try and remove. Not easy!

The Ringers are supplied with some treat rings, but they are available separately too for when you need to refill.

For most dogs it can be quite a challenging toy at first and during Toby’s initial 20 minute session he did not manage to remove one singe ring. However, during play the rings do become softer and easier to work.  Plus, as with most toys, dogs become more adept over time so in subsequent sessions he does manage to remove the treats eventually.

A couple of months on, and Toby still loves it!

See how he got on in our video below:

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Toby Pup starts Clicker Training

Our new pup Toby takes to Clicker Training!

Toby pup joined us in early December, and he has certainly been a live wire!

Almost immediately, we introduced him to Clicker Training. We wanted to start on some early basics, but also to channel some his mental and physical energy.

As with most puppies, Toby swings from 0 to 100% activity very quickly and he has a very short attention span. In amongst the feeding, sleeping, and play, we introduced a number of very short training sessions.

The result? Once he had made the connection between click and treat (3-4 very short sessions) he really took to it! His attitude changed from mild interest to extremely attentive, and instead of the rising excitement that he experiences during play, he remains fairly calm.

As soon as he sees us wearing the treat bag or holding the clicker, he instantly goes into ‘training mode’.

It is such great fun to do, and watching him work out what is required is both amusing and fascinating in equal measure.

See how he is progressing in these two videos:

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Our pets have the Munchies

Archie, Daisy, and Jack road test our new Pet Munchies range

With three dogs in our household we can get through quite a few dog treats, so it’s great that we can choose something healthy to give them.

Thankfully Pet Munchies premium gourmet treats are 100% natural and use good quality human grade meat and fish, so we don’t need to worry about what our dogs are eating.

We tested some, and they certainly went down a storm.  You can see the results in the video below!  Daisy, Archie, and Jack love the taste, and the choice of flavours too!

Chicken, liver, venison, lamb, fish, duck, all slow roasted in their own juices to make them extra tasty.  Surely even the most fussy dog would find something there to enjoy!

We find these particularly effective in training.  The Chicken, Chicken and Liver, and Sushi Dog Training Treats are already an ideal size, but to add in some variety, we chop some of the meaty strips into pieces and mix them all in.  What an effect that variety of reward has!

Cats needn’t miss out either, with three tasty varieties of Pet Munchies Gourmet Cat Treats!

See our full range of Pet Munchies.

Jack seems distracted…

Jack seems distracted in a clicker training session

During an impromptu clicker training session with Jack in the field, teaching him to go around a pole in the ground, we noticed that he seemed to be a little bit distracted and kept wandering off unexpectedly.

Whilst it is true that he does have quite a short attention span, we were near a livestock pen at the time and at first we assumed that he was more interested in the livestock than us. In fact, the real reason was completely different.

This is what happens:

Please excuse the poor sound quality.

Jack likes working for treats but he really responds to praise and attention too, so we try to use a combination of both to keep him interested.

We noticed that he would only wander off after we verbally praised him and gave him a rub. At some point in the past, we have inadvertantly taught him that the praise and belly rub marks the end of the session. Rather than being distracted, he is simply heading home because he thinks it’s all over.

We may need to fade that behaviour if we intend work with him for more than 30 seconds at a time…

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Daisy and Archie with the Puller

Daisy and Archie play with the Puller exercise toy

Here we have Daisy and Archie playing with the Puller Exercise Toy for Dogs.

The Puller has been designed with exercise and stimulation in mind, and just 3 simple exercises – running, jumping, and pulling – over 20 minutes will provide a workout for all of your dog’s muscle groups, and is the equivalent of 5km of intensive running. Perfect if you like to keep your dogs in tip top condition.

This video shows the Standard size, which should be suitable for most dogs, but Mini and Maxi sizes are also available.

Today though, we are taking advantage of another feature of the Puller – it is great fun to use!

Daisy and Archie certainly love them!

Daisy tries a Slow Feeding Bowl

We change Daisy’s bowl to a Slow Feeder

Daisy is a very fast eater, and tends to bolt her food down at an alarming rate, so although her mealtimes are usually without incident, we decided to change her to a ‘slow bowl’ to help reduce the risk of health related problems. Bloat, for example.

Although there are a number of circumstances that might lead to bloat, many of which may not be fully understood, this is a fairly easy change to make.  We also modified our routine a little some time ago to allow more time between feeding and exercise.

There are several slow bowls available, but we decided on the Trixie Labyrinth Feeder.

See how she got on…

Target Training with Daisy

We try Target Training with Daisy

In this session, we introduce Daisy to the Treat and Train (briefly) and concentrate on some basic Target Training. The Treat and Train isn’t really necessary for this, but we had it on hand. A clicker and treats would be every bit as effective.

In target training, you are teaching your dog to touch a target of your choosing – in this case a target stick – which you can then use to direct or lure them during future training situations.  Once your dog touches the target reliably, you can position that target wherever you want your dog to go.

The interesting thing about this session is how Daisy swings between good ‘touches’, and behaving as though she’s never seen the target stick before, only seconds apart.  This isn’t uncommon, and the key as always is consistency.  We are rewarded at the end when, after a pause, she realises what she needs to do and touches beautifully.  You can almost see the mental cogs turning…

See how she got on…

Archie meets the Treat and Train

We try Archie with the Treat and Train Remote Dog Trainer for the first time.

We recently introduced Archie to the Treat and Train, a treat dispensing device that can work at a distance by remote control.  Although it works up to 30 metres away, we stayed at close quarters during this session in order to aclimatise Archie with the machine.

It works on the same principle as clicker training, where the first step is to click and treat your dog ‘unprompted’ to cement the connection between the clicking sound and the treat/reward.  This link between the click and the treat is paramount to the success of clicker training, and so it is with the Treat and Train.  The only difference is that the Treat and Train beeps rather than clicks, but that’s a minor point provided you follow the same preliminary steps.

Archie does like to play games like this, so after a while we moved on to some basic targeting with a target stick. It isn’t advisable to move on too quickly in a session, and in most circumstances we would have left it with the Treat and Train only (ending on an high point), but he was happy enough to have a go.

See how we got on…

Daisy and the HyperDog Ball Launcher

Daisy enjoys a workout with the HyperDog Ball Launcher!

It’s no secret that Daisy likes toys she can chase, so we gave her a try with a HyperDog Bal Launcher from Hyper Pet.

Unlike more conventional tennis ball launchers that you swing in an overarm fashion, the HyperPet launchers work more like a catapult. You place the ball in a ‘sling’, pull back on the strong elastic, and let go (of the ball end)…

We used a Single Ball Launcher, but a larger, 4 Ball arrangent is also available.  It has the same sling and elastic, but there is space underneath to carry 4 HyperDog tennis balls, and it also has a support that sits over your arm for stability.

Daisy had a fantastic time, as you can see below!