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Family Essential Training for Canine Homes

Classic Kong Is More Than A Toy

I’m sure everyone knows what the Kong Classic toy is. If not click here. It’s a heavy duty, non-toxic toy you fill with treats, then your dog spends time using their brain and brawn together to get the treats out. It comes in six sizes to best suit your dog. But have you ever thought about using the Kong Classic as a training tool? You can!

For create training, separation anxiety, teaching your dog to be comfortable being alone, or any of a variety of applications, this is a fantastic tool. I’ve always simply used it as a treat. I fill it up with three layers of gooey treats, freeze them, and Luna Belle is crazy about them. You can use the spray can Kong fillers, peanut butter, pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin, nothing added, NOT pumpkin pie filling), sour cream, just about anything you dog loves.

But here’s a new twist! First, dish out all of your dog’s dry kibble for a day into a bowl. Fill a Kong Classic with some kibble to measure out what you need. Then put the rest of the kibble aside. Take the Kong, dump that kibble into a bowl, add water. Kibble soaks up water quickly, so you don’t want to soak it, do not let it get soggy, just wet. Next put the wet kibble into the Kong. Seal up the big hole with peanut butter or something gooey and place in the freezer. When the time to use it comes, pull it out and let your dog go to town.

This method allows you to use your dog’s own food, and measuring it out from their daily rations keeps them from getting too much and becoming over weight.

Always have at least three, you’ll be rotating them: Fill, treat, wash, repeat. And yes, they are dishwasher safe, top rack, big hole facing downwards.

For create training, use the command “Crate” or “Go to your room” or whatever you want to use. I use “Crate," I like to keep it simple. The point of this is to let your dog associate the crate and the command with something relaxing and enjoyable. I never advise using their cate as punishment, ever.

Say the command, lure them to the cate with a piece of food, toss it in the crate. When the dog goes in, wait a few minutes, then call them out. Wait a minute before repeating. When the dog is getting in and out of the cate without anxiety or hesitation, you can then close the door for a minute, then open it and let them out, praising them calmly. We want comfort, relaxation, and calmness to be associated with the cate. The next day, when you repeat this exercise, close the door, leave the room for just a minute, and come back in, let them out, calmly. After a short time, you dog will get it, crate means safe, calm, relax, chill space.

Here’s where the Kong comes in. Once you’ve gotten that far, throw the Kong in, close the door, walk away, give them enough time to get all the food out of the Kong before letting them back out. Remember to clean that Kong toy after each use!

When you leave the house for work, give them a frozen Kong Classic! It’ll keep them busy for a while, and by the time they’re done, they should be relaxed and more ready to chill alone at home while you run to the store.

It’s also good for dogs who eat too fast and are in danger of bloat (which can be deadly).

Warning; Don’t go to work leaving a Kong toy behind with them for a whole day. There’s enough room in that thing to hole enough food to possibly make them need to potty some time afterwards. And that also depends on the dog, how long it’s been since they had a meal and did potty, etc.

The point is, if you need to train something long term, train something to be calming, the Kong Classic full of kibble is great!

Important Reminder; Measure the food out from their normal daily food allowance, do NOT let your dogs get over weight! The medical issues that come with it can be expensive and so very inconvenient!