Customer Reviews

924
4.3 out of 5 stars
StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy, Small
Size Name: SmallChange
Price:$9.97 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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337 of 345 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2010
Size Name: 6 inches x 6 inches x 8.5 inches
We purchased this yesterday and it didn't take long for our dog, Einstein to figure it out. It's a great way to keep them busy. We put treats in it for the first go, but today he's having his breakfast via the Bob-A-Lot.

The video I've attached is his first encounter with the Bob-A-Lot. Now he's a pro in less than a day!
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162 of 170 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2009
Size Name: 6 inches x 6 inches x 8.5 inches
I am a pet sitter and I have tried out many food dispensing toys with many of my clients. I originally bought this toy as it was a recommendation from a local dog trainer. I really like the concept, although I also really love the Premier pet products and for the price premier beats Star mark by a long shot. Not all dogs that came and stayed with me enjoyed this toy, some got bored and frustrated with it, while other's were entertained for hours. The trick is using a high value treat when just starting out like Zuke's mini's or jerky type treats. After the dog gets used to the idea of this toy ,you can start using dog food. This toy only comes in one size, and has one major fault. The screw on top can be easily chewed off. I have had this toy for three months and had no problems with a number of different breeds and sizes of dogs, until one Alaskan Malamute decided to chew off the top. I plan on contacting the company to see about a replacement. Overall ,I would like to say that this is easier than the Premiers Tug a Jug toy, but not as durable. Dog toy company's are doing a great job though. Enjoy this toy, and start with supervised sessions and do not leave your dog alone with it until you are sure they will not chew off the top .
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223 of 239 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2011
Size Name: 6 inches x 6 inches x 8.5 inchesVerified Purchase
I've purchased five different food dispensing toys. The 5-inch IQ Treat Ball, the Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball, Large, the StarMark Interactive toy, and the Premier Pet Busy Buddy Twist N Treat Dog Toy, Medium, and the Premier Pet Busy Buddy Twist N Treat Dog Toy, Large.

Please note that you cannot clean the insides of the StarMark or the Omega ball. Unless you want old gunk hanging around for months, these two toys will last ... very short. I kept each for only a couple of months before tossing them out. The only two I use to this day are the Premier Pet Buddy, Large, and the IQ Treat Ball.

Of all of these, each one has its benefits and shortcomings:

The Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball is the perfect material for my dog - he's not a huge chewer. It hits the wall and makes a gentle "thud" sound. However, with the new design, the hole that dispenses the food is much too large and dispenses a ton of his treats right from the getgo - this is not enough to keep my dog entertained for more than a few minutes! The Omega Ball fits the most food - I believe I can get up to a full cup of kibbles into it. Note that the only way to clean this toy is to put water in it and shake. I made the mistake of putting dishwashing liquid in it, shaking, and trying to get rid of the suds. It didn't happen - the suds persisted. There's a tiny air hole on the other side... not that that helped get rid of the suds. I threw the toy away.

The Premier Pet Busy Buddy Twist N Treat Dog Toy, Medium is my least favorite. Whilst it also does not make a lot of noise, you can't necessarily control how fast food comes out because it relies on twisting it just right- and when the toy is knocked around, it untwists, and just spills out all the food, too - well, at least makes the hole bigger so food comes out much too fast. This is my least favorite food dispensing toy. The Buddy is also the smallest - you can only fit 1/4 to 1/3 cups of food in here if you seal it tight. The one great thing about this toy is that you can actually clean it.

The Premier Pet Busy Buddy Twist N Treat Dog Toy, Large, is my very favorite. It's sturdy, food comes out at a decent pace and when my dog knocks it around, it doesn't cause the opening to get bigger. I can put his entire meal inside this toy (unlike the medium size) easily and it's not a huge balancing act to make sure nothing falls out. I can clean it, and it doesn't roll away like the IQ ball into places my dog cannot reach. It's slow rolling so he can guide it easier. Plus, it's quiet and only makes a gentle thud. No matter the size of your dog, get the large. My dog is a 25-28 pounder. The large is much sturdier than the medium.

The StarMark Interactive toy is very large. You can fit a lot of kibbles in there. That's a bonus. Also, you can make the dispensing method more difficult in two places. However, you cannot open the thing to clean it and I certainly would NOT put water in there, as it's odd shaped, and I really don't like what may happen if I try to pour water in there and shake. I would highly recommend that you start with this toy rather than one of the balls if you plan on buying a StarMark toy. The reason for this is that my dog was used to rolling or pushing a toy to get his food out. So instead of gently nudging the StarMark toy, he would try to roll it, which ended up being really loud for me. He has never figured out that you just need to push the top to get the food out and just pushed harder to get the thing to roll.

Finally, the 5-inch IQ ball is perfect in the sense that it lets you control how fast it dispenses, but it's SO LOUD. My dog gets all worked up at the ball and gets very aggressive with it because of the loud noises it makes. He reacts to the noises and I think it gives him anxiety. Not to mention all the loud clanging makes ME have anxiety. I'm worried the neighbors will complain!

Another thing about the IQ ball is that because it rolls so easily and fast and furious when my dog pushes it and it is so small, it often goes under a piece of furniture so that my dog can't reach it. So much for keeping my dog distracted so I can do other things - I often have to get up and get the ball for him out from underneath a piece of furniture. This was not a problem once for the Premier Pet Busy Buddy Twist N Treat Dog Toy and not so much for the Omega ball because it rolls more slowly and when my dog pushes it, it doesn't travel that far. Obviously this is not a problem for the StarMark toy, as that toy is quite large.

Finally, the IQ ball only fits about a 1/2 cup of kibbles. There is a white enclosure to manage the dispensing of food. You can fit another 1/4 cup above the white enclosure, but it's a pain because you have to make sure none spills over to the side before twisting - hard to explain, but trust me, it's a pain. 3/4 cup of kibbles max, and only a 1/2 cup is easily put in.
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83 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2009
Size Name: 6 inches x 6 inches x 8.5 inchesVerified Purchase
I bought this for my lab who eats WAY too fast. I had tried one of those brake fast bowls, and it worked with one of my dogs, but it barely slowed my gulper down. Because we have lost two dogs in my extended family to bloat over the past few years, the speed at which my dog could put it away scared me. Anyway, he loves this toy--I put in his kibble twice a day and let him go. It takes him about 45 minutes to get it all out, and his tail wags the entire time. From his old 15 seconds to 45 minutes--that's awesome!!! What a great invention!
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2010
Size Name: 6 inches x 6 inches x 8.5 inchesVerified Purchase
We have a 10 pound mixed Maltese. When I took this out of the package I was a little concerned that it was too big for her but she quickly proved me wrong on that score! She first tried to get the treats out of the hole with her tongue but soon discovered that when she bumped it with her head while still trying to get them out with her tongue that she got better results. Then she figured out how to knock it around with her paws. She was hilarious to watch and she eventually got all the treats out. It's too big and hard for her to chew on and she lost interest when the treats were gone. I'm planning to put her regular dried food in it so I'm not tempted to overfeed her just to watch her play with it!
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2010
Size Name: 6 inches x 6 inches x 8.5 inches
I have a pit bull and a bulldog. Between the two it is hard to find a durable toy, most treat dispensers are chewed to unusable on the first serving. This dispenser really holds their interest and has yet to be destroyed. The yellow top has been chewed up, but the toy is still usable since there is an inner slide you can use to cover the top hole. But warning, this is made of very hard plastic. My dogs bat this around the house and since my floors are tile/wood it can get quite loud, the baseboards also take a bit of a beating. So if can't handle noise and do not have garage/outdoor area for the dog to enjoy this in, this may not be the product for you.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2010
Size Name: 6 inches x 6 inches x 8.5 inchesVerified Purchase
I love this thing, and my dog does too! Unfortunately, she's chewed the top off of her second one after less than a month of having it, and after she threw up some plastic I decided this is her last one. I'm going to try the Kong Wobbler instead for her safety. My dog doesn't chew through any other items (no shoes, nylabones, soft toys, etc) so it was disappointing that the Starmark folks didn't get this crucial aspect right.

Pros:
You can customize the settings to make it harder or easier for the dog to get the food
The hardest settings would keep my smart dog occupied for 30 min!
Clean. You can pour kibble right in, no need to stuff by hand

Cons:
Supposedly chew-proof plastic is *not at all* chew-proof
review image
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2012
Size Name: 6 inches x 6 inches x 8.5 inchesVerified Purchase
First off, ignore those 1 and 2 star reviews. I'm sorry but if your dog chews through something, it's your fault for not supervising and correcting. I have a lab (strong chewer) and this toy has survived 6 months+ of teething, new teeth, and now adolescence.

The toy is great. On first play, take off the cap and open both doors to the widest possible to make it a learning experience. The dog needs to understand this is not for chew but for treats. If your dog chews, correct and try again. Over the weeks and as your dog learns how to use the toy, you can make it a little harder by slightly closing the top cap, then closing it more, then slightly closing the bottom door, etc.

my ONLY complaints and lack of 5 star review:

1) i wish it was coated in rubber for that it wouldn't make loud bonking noises when it hits furniture/baseboards
2) i wish i could unscrew it in half to fill it with 1 cup of food fast rather than sloooooowly filling it through the top cap hole. (unless i'm missing something, this is the only way to fill it)

i would buy this again and have recommended it to friends with dogs.

be patient and be a good owner. don't be lazy and expect this to be the panacea for your dog's alone time. it's a great "get out of my face for 10-20-30 minutes" toy.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2011
Size Name: SmallVerified Purchase
Searching for an interactive toy to feed my beagle his meals from, I first tried the Smarter Toys 3-Inch IQ Treat Ball Dog Toy. It split open too easily in rough play and only had the capacity to hold half of a meal.

Next I tried Premier Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug, Medium/Large for it's larger capacity but it broke at the lid (to Premier's credit they replaced it but I feared it would simply break again).

Now on to the Bob-A-Lot. This is a heavy, well made product. I was surprised by the weight. My dog can pick it up but can't carry it for very long. I feel it's not going to break like the others did. That said, the extra weight makes it a noisy toy especially on hard wood floors.

The small Bob-A-Lot holds a little over 1 cup of food (large holds 3 cups) but there is a caveat. This is the capacity of the lower chamber. There is actually a separate chamber in the top of the toy that only holds about quarter cup. As a result I have to shake and shake the toy myself to get the food to drop into the lower chamber to load in a complete meal. It's either that or insert food 1 piece of kibble at a time. I wish this toy screwed apart like the IQ Treat Ball or Tug-A-Jug. Despite it's appearance, it does NOT screw apart in the middle.

Also slightly annoying is the bottom door doesn't stay fixed into position well. The IQ Treat Ball smartly has several positions for the door to stay locked in. The Bob-A-Lot door is fully adjustable but has often come open more than I want during feeding. As a result the kibble will spill out faster which ruins the challenge. I inquired to Starmark support and they suggested that I use a bit of cardboard or some such to try and jam the door into a specific position. This right here tells me that some additional design could be used.

I'd say that the Bob-A-Lot was designed with dogs in mind but not humans. It's a chore to load in the food. And then the door opens too much giving the dog an easy meal. I might even guess that it takes less time for my dog to empty it than it takes for me to fill it. Overall it's the best option I've found but I'm still searching for the perfect combination of all 3 of the toys.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2010
Size Name: 6 inches x 6 inches x 8.5 inchesVerified Purchase
Great food dispensing toy. Slows down fast eaters and offers them a great challenge. You can change the difficulty factor from easy to hard. Also gives him something to do when I have to leave. We had a "Buster Cube" before, but that made too much noise on the hardwood floors. This is much better.
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