on August 21, 2010
I have a 12 week old golden retriever. This is his favorite toy since it provides him with treats. It's mine because it keeps him busy for a good 30 minutes- which, as any puppy owner knows, is a long respite from puppy antics. Although the plastic looks like it's a bit weak, it seems to be holding up extremely well. Especially since puppy has learned to pick it up and drop it.
*Add puppy's food along with small treats so that he doesn't get an upset tummy.
*If it confuses him at first (mine sat and barked at it) then put all the treats on the top of the toy, closing the 'trap door'. This makes it much easier for him to figure out how to get the treats. As he gets the hang of it, put the treats on the bottom and open the door to the widest, slowly closing it as he gets the hang of it.
This might not be great for you:
*If you don't have a fairly big non-carpeted space- I don't think it would move too great on carpet. You don't want treats spilling out on your carpeting anyway.
*If your dog is very sedentary. To get the treats, the dog really has to bat this around- so a sedentary dog may loose interest quickly.
*If your dog is not food motivated(as few dogs as this may be)- once again, may not have much interest.
*If you have a very small puppy- small breeds may have difficulty with this as it needs to be batted very hard and it may be too large for them to get it to tip over (is weighted to stay with hole up if not hit hard). However, that depends on how active your puppy is.
on September 6, 2010
Received quick! Great seller.
This is smaller than I would have guessed. It's hard to get a feel for sizes here but the 5" is a large handful. It has adjustable difficulty, and I use this product to feed my dogs their kibble. Otherwise they inhale their food and get sick.
One of our dogs is easily frustrated, and one is really good with these puzzle toys. For now I have taken the center panel out entirely, as we don't want it that difficult and it allows me to put more food inside. It can hold about 1 cup of food and still be easy enough to screw it back together. With the panel in it will be a bit less. At some point in the future I may put the panel that increases difficulty back in for the more clever pooch.
One of my dogs managed to pop the thing open, but he's only done it once, perhaps it was luck or I didn't screw it tight enough. No damage to the ball. On more than one occasion I've found it difficult to open myself, it's just an awkward size for my hands my husband does not have the same difficulty, the dog drool does have a glue like effect.
If you are looking for a device to slow your dogs eating, this helps. It also helps wear them out a bit and allows them to utilize the scavenge instinct, feeder toys were highly recommended by our dog trainer. I think it's well worth it, but if your like me and have big dogs you'll have to refill them a couple times.
My dogs chew through most feeder toys (a German Shepherd and a Doberman), and they have not done damage to these yet. I try and take feeder toys away before they do damage, but it can happen so fast. The size of these and round shape makes it hard for them to do fast damage. They have tried a few times, but they can't get it into their grinding teeth due to the shape. They can both pick them up, but it's awkward to gnaw on.
Overall I would recommend it. I like to keep a variety of feeder toys on hand and I'm happy to have these in circulation. If eventually they do break it, I will likely buy another. This is our 5th dispenser. Our dogs seem to particularly like it because with the panel out, they can SEE kibble.
on November 11, 2010
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.
on December 12, 2010
When I first gave this to my 5 pound maltese/papillion mix, I thought it was going to be a big success. She is rarely challenged and this seemed to do the trick. However, she is so persistent that she was able to get both of her bottom canines through the outer hole (which is slightly oval shaped and not round - thus why she was able to get both canines through). Then she somehow jammed her little jaw through the hole and got the entire piece stuck on her jaw. Although we were watching her the entire time, we didn't even realize she had done this until she starting acting strange - trying to wildly buck the ball off of her jaw, rocking back and forth in a sitting position (which she only does when she is nervous or anxious). Only when we tried to take it from her did we realize that it wouldn't come off of her jaw and that it was cutting her and making her bleed. The only way it was coming off (without hurting her further) was to break the plastic piece that was attached to her jaw, but we didn't have anything strong enough (cardboard/carpet cutters didn't even work - the plastic is very strong). Luckily, the emergency vet is only about 15-20 minutes away - and they were only able to get it off of her after sedating her and using bolt cutters to shatter it! The cut to her jaw also was not bad enough to need stitches or antibiotics, so we lucked out. But she was traumatized by it, and the poor thing was forced to bear the pain of it cutting her jaw and having her mouth open and drooling for about an hour. I think this toy would work for a larger dog, or if the outer hole was round, so, the only reason I'm giving this a low rating is to draw attention to the fact that it is dangerous for very small dogs, especially if they are food aggressive.
on September 2, 2015
This ball is not meant for small dogs. I would have originally given it a 5 as it kept my yorkie occupied and all he wanted to do was play with this.
As of today, his jaw and two front teeth got stuck in the hole, which we had no idea until we started hearing him freak out and cry ( he is always around us when using this toy). As it is hard plastic, we were unable to break the ball so we had to bring him into emergency. In order to get his jaw unattached, they had to sedate him and break the ball with which was quite the process.
on March 9, 2011
I received it on monday, by today, wednesday, it is shattered. My 5 month boxer puppies managed to open it, it's not that hard. They chewed the inner piece.
This is an awful and cheap hard plastic toy, not resistant at all.
I'm not going to buy anything from this brand anymore, better stick to Kong's toys.
on August 13, 2012
I docked this one star because it's actually 4 inch diameter instead of the 5 inch it claims but as of right now that seems to be the only real flaw. Besides that, this is wonderful for my border collie puppy. I actually ordered a second one as a backup for when it will inevitably need to be replaced.
Things to note:
This is made of hard plastic so it will be NOISY on hard surfaces. This is not the seller's or manufacturer's fault people, it's the dynamics of sound.
They're the aforementioned 4 inches, which is just inconvenient enough to roll under your sofa. So it's a bit of a pain if your dog isn't smart enough to keep or get them out from under furniture.
They only hold about 1/2 cup of food in them if you want to use the divider. Probably 1 cup plus if you don't but then you're missing out on some of the IQ factor.
You need to make sure the divider is seated properly and that you screw it together tightly if you don't want your dog to manage to unscrew it. Again, people, your lack of understanding/failure to read the directions is not the fault of the seller or manufacturer.
It's not a babysitter. Just like ANY.OTHER.TOY. you get for your pet; you need to supervise their playtime with it. Don't blame the toy for getting chewed to bits because you threw a little kibble in it, half a&$ed screwed it together, threw it in their kennel, and left them alone for 12 hours.
Don't get this if you're not prepared for slobbery hands. You WILL have to take this away from your pet and possibly empty the last few kernels out and it WILL be coated in dog slobber.