Indoor, Outdoor & Kids' Trampolines

How to Use a Kong Dog Toy – 90% of Behavior Problems Eliminated


Kong toys: you’ve all seen them, you’ve all probably got one. Today I’m
going to show you how to stuff it fast, easy, and so it works. Ian here with Simpawtico Dog Training and
before we start stuffing Kongs, please make sure you’re subscribed so you never
miss any of our videos. And don’t forget to check the description below for notes,
links, and resources about the stuff we talked about. Now a Kong toy can be a great tool to
keep your dog busy and to help you teach your dog important skills. But with all the
recipes on Pinterest and the blogosphere it can be kind of a pain to figure out what
works. And even after all that effort your dog might just be like, “Meh.” Look: I’m a big advocate of the KISS
principle, or “keep it simple, stupid.” There’s no need to overcomplicate things
and in my opinion most of the products and recipes out there complicate a very
simple idea. Another big concept you’re going to hear
several times is that it’s not what it is it’s what you’ve trained it to be. If
your dog isn’t into it we don’t give up and move on to the next
gimmick. We train them to be into it. We train them to love it. You ready to do
that? Let’s dive in! Selecting kong toys is as
easy as heading down to the pet supply store and picking some out. There are
some details to keep in mind though. For one thing Kong toys don’t hold as
much as you think they do. My rule of thumb is to pick up the one
that looks right and then by the next size up. Additionally I’ve seen dogs give up out
of frustration if they can’t get it easily enough. One size up will make for a bigger hole
and at least in my experience seem to help the dog buy into it a lot more
readily. That leads us to the second point: Don’t buy just one. Get four at the minimum.
That way you have them on reserve so you can fill, use, wash, and rotate. Otherwise if you’re not paying attention
you’ll get caught without one ready when you need it. The red classic Kongs are pretty
standard. The black ones are the toughest for
super chewer. All the other colors are about the same as the red ones as far as
toughness goes. Also, there are several types of toys
like it. The classic Kong isn’t the only one out there. the Petsafe Squirrel Dude is also very
good. The Kong Biscuit Ball can be used with a raw diet. The Premier Busy Buddy
Football works well for treats or cheese sticks and you can use this for short
settle downs. Although, undoubtedly, the Classic Kong is
the best made, and the most durable, and probably the most readily available. Forget about buying any of that stuff
marketed in the pet stores to stuff a Kong. It’s overpriced, and it’s basically just junk
food just like the human version. Seriously is that stuff even food? Second
like I said there are tons of recipes out there for all sorts of creative ways
to stuff a Kong. These are a much better alternative for
sure. However they’re time consuming and also
largely unnecessary. If you enjoy doing it and you have the time for it, great. Knock yourself out. However don’t get into
those bigger recipes unless you enjoy doing it. As a special
treat on occasion they’re great. But do not fall into the
trap of trying to up the ante or increasing the value of the stuffing in
the toy to try and get the dog interested You’re coming at it backwards. It’s not
what it is, it’s what you’ve trained it to be. So
train the dog to love their Kong and then you can stuff it with whatever you
want. With this in mind you’ll save money and time, and you’ll train your dog
better if it’s filled with a more commonplace ingredient: their own dog
food. Since we’re going to be using our dog’s food, we need to measure it out. As a
responsible owner you should be monitoring their daily intake of food by
having a routine, but flexible, feeding schedule,
and never free feeding. Free feeding is just shooting yourself in the foot as far as
behavioral teaching goes. Don’t be lazy. By simply using routine
feedings you’re also starting to empower their normal food to be a training
reward which is a much better, more nutritionally balanced option than only
using treats. This plays into strategic reward scaling, and I’ll link to my
article on that in the description. So measure out your dog’s food for the day, set out about a third of it aside,
moisten the rest, and spoon it into the toys. Then freeze it. That leftover third is used for training.
Anyone in the family can take food out for training with this. If you plan ahead
and prepare three or four toys at a time, they’ll be on demand as you need it. Just be sure to keep up on the rotation.
You don’t want to be caught without any toys in the freezer and a hungry dog.
When we first start chew toy training our dogs they simply take their meals from
the toy. A bowl is nice and convenient but in these stages it’s a waste opportunity. Save the bowl
for down the road after we’ve got them hooked on their Kong. When you take a
loaded kong out of the freezer place a dollop of something easy and tasty to
start with over the big hole. Just smear some peanut butter, some plain yogurt
or some cream cheese over it. Now they take their Kong meals in a crate or
on a bed. The same place, every time. Routines are
the backbone of training. As a dog works at it the Kong thaws quickly and food
starts to fall out. The more they work, the more food they get. This is a self
rewarding activity it’s called Autoshapng because you’re dog is
practically traiing himself at this point. All you did was engineer it to work
and set it up. Right from the get-go this is conditioning the dog to love being by
itself. Chewing and eating at the same time
releases a payload of endorphins into their brain like a huge pleasure bomb. As
we progress – as your puppy gets older or your adult dog picks up the skill – we can
go back to using the bowl and keep the food filled Kong as the ace up your
sleeve. Job number one is that it helps teach a
dog to be alone. This one thing then solves a bunch of
other problems like: boredom (which always leads to mischief), barking incessantly while
you’re away (your neighbors will definitely appreciate it), destructive chewing (such as your table
legs and futon cushions), raiding the trash, and bigger problems like isolation
distress which is commonly mistaken for separation anxiety, and of course true
separation anxiety which can be debilitating for a dog. Training with an
interactive toy like a Kong will also help you with settling down after being
jazzed up or crate training and potty training for both copies and newly
adopted adult dogs. Attaching an anchor to a Kong gives you more options. Feed a
string or rope through the small hole, knot it, and pull it tight. Now when you fill
it, it will be frozen in place. Once the toy and the normal food is empowered it
can be tied to the inside of crates for crate training. It can be tied to trees in the yard for
summer fun. Lots of possibilities open up once you’ve got your dog hooked on a Kong. Stuffing the kong won’t do all of these things by itself. You do need some regular to toys and you do need to interact with your dog in other constructive ways. A properly stuffed Kong will act as a force multiplier and help you get the job done much, much
faster. Coupled with the chew toy training we
talked about in the Types of Toys video you solve about ninety percent of the
most common behavior problems. So good luck guys! And keep in touch. What
are some other ways you use the Kong, and what kind of questions do you have about
it? Let’s connect in the comments. Don’t
forget to check that description for notes, links and resources, and thumbs up
this video if you got some good info. As always keep learning, keep practicing and I will see you soon. Thanks for watching!

Reader Comments

  1. what is wrong with free feeding? my dog has perfect weight and i do free feed him. I don't give him human food, leftovers, rubbish (like low quality dog food containing corn etc), he eats when he is hungry and can controll it himself. one day we go for a long walk or run and he will eat a lot, another day we do not exercise much so he naturally eats less. btw? peanutt butter or cream cheese for dog? you give your dog shit, it's not healthy for them. save it for your own breakfast and stop encouraging dog to eat our food

  2. What do you do when you've got two rescues, one is 4 or 5 and the other is 2 or 3. One of them, the younger one, is very food aggressive. We have to feed them separately and pick up their bowls as soon as the finish.

  3. The Kong worked great, but the puppy gets really protective of the toy with the food in it. What do we do when she growls and gets overly aggressive with the Kong with us?

  4. My dogs just chase one kong around the yard and try to get it out of each others mouth’s without food

  5. Question! I am trying to find the right size Kong for our new puppy. We use it for morning feeding and hand feed in the evening while training. Our challenge is that one Kong doesn't fit all of the food he's supposed to eat in the AM. He's 11 weeks and 5 lbs, so we use a small or med size Kong (trying different sizes to see what works best) but need to feed him 1/3 cup of kibble. Should we size up to a Kong that's big enough for the food (but may be too big for his mouth!) or do we use multiple kongs? If we use multiple kongs, should they be given all at the same time? Or should we disperse them throughout the morning? Or one after another (I'm afraid this last option may teach "when you finish one, you get another one!") any feedback is happily welcome!

  6. My dog loves the biscuit balls but he loves treats to much so if i let him play all day he gonna be eating cookies all day.

  7. I never knew how to fill a Kong properly! Thank you! Can’t wait to put this in to action with my new dog!

  8. I am just asking because I did not understand one bit, but do we quit the bowl and whenever it's time for the dog to eat, do you give it the kong filled with treats instead of the bowl?

  9. The idea of the rope scares me since dogs can end up digesting the rope causing major health issues if not death.

  10. My dog just chews them up, even the black ones. He’s not even a big dog, he’s a cockapoo. I don’t understand lol

  11. Congrats for the Youtube Algorithm's blessings! I was surprised to find out it was an almost-3-years-old video. Glad to have stumbled upon it even though I don't have a dog YET 😉 Awesome editing and incredible value packaged inside this video. Keep on rocking!

  12. I have a black kong toy for my Yorkshire terrier and she keeps biting it. But theres no marks. Also I didn't know how to use it! Thanks!

  13. Cool video! I have a question. I got my first dog 3 years ago and she's an amazing puppers. I've never been able to get her hooked on anything that requires effort to get to. It could totally be because of my lack of knowledge as it's my first dog, but I was wondering if it's normal for some dogs to just not take to this sort of thing? She hates hard things and loves soft things (like stuffed animals) so I'm thinking maybe that's why?

  14. I can’t wait to try this! I tried peanut butter smeared inside and she had no interest. But she’s part Bassett hound part beagle and EASILY bored. I try everything, running, walks, fetch with balls and sticks. Nothing wears her out and sometimes she just lays there and whines about being bored. The only thing that helps is if I take her around my parents house to play with their dogs. But I can’t do that every single day. God I hope this works.

  15. My Suzy dog eats the red Kong easily and the black Kong also with a little more effort. The black Kong ball is nearly indestructible because the hole is much harder to get her teeth sunk into. Only the black Kong ball for my doggie.

  16. I have a Italian greyhound that is almost 8 years old that we rescued and he does not go P on command, and recently I found that he is peeing on an antique cupboard in our living room and has destroyed it. How can I stop him from doing that?

  17. My 2 year old dog luv her Kong's in the summer we make her peanut butter and chop up a banana and mix and freeze them or make up dog ice cream and mix fruit.. like banana, apple, melon and peaches.. or sometimes we mix it up with ice cream carrots and cucumber and apple

  18. It was interesting to hear your interpretation of KISS – I’ve never heard somebody say that it stands for Keep it Simple, Stupid. I learnt it as Keep It Simple & Straight(forward) when I first became an instructor.

  19. It’s an awesome video, but I didn’t understand if it substitutes a meal? Or is it extra. I hope I get a reply since I’ve just found these video

  20. I usually put just a couple of dry kibble in first before whatever else. My dog seems to get frustrated getting the last bit out if it's sticking to the bottom

  21. Is this not similar to free feeding? You are essentially making the dog work for food just so they will remained entertained while you are away

  22. I don't see how this will help train your dog…your basically just distracting your dog with food. if you put food in front of your dog obviously your dog will be into the food as all dogs are, but what happens when the toy is empty…your dog will no longer have a distraction…

  23. Step 1: Explain what a Kong is..
    You just jump into it like everybody knows what the hell this weird toy is. I've lived all my life with a dog and never heard of this toy. They also have never had behaviour issues.. Or been interested in deep frozen food

    So Step 1: Explain what a Kong is!!

  24. For a while there my pup hated the car and I used the same trick to help her get a good association with it.

  25. What size should I get for a 16 weeks labrador retriever? We checked the weight guide on the Kong, but it seems he can't get the frozen kibble out of it?

    But he loooooves the Kong especially in the heat.

  26. Awesome video!! I so wish I had seen this when I had my dog with major separation anxiety. This would have worked for him I believe

  27. The Mercedes commercial before this video shows a dog named Tofu hanging out of a moving vehicle. With no restraint on , if they were in an accident that dog would be either thrown from the car or tumble around inside like laundry in a dryer. This is so unsafe and I don’t think it is a very good representation for your channel.

  28. So the puppy wakes up, gets out of the crate, then goes back in the crate with the kong (after going outside)?

  29. How many kong toys should I give my puppies (I have two) a day. I know I shouldn't have but ,I fell madly in love and now it's too late. So now I just have to find a way to deal with it and learn to teach them in spite of the fact I have to do it twice. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Mary

  30. I don't understand… if you eventually wind your dog off kongs/similar food toys, won't they just lose their shit and want to chew everything lol? Won't they become reliant on kongs…?

  31. I do realize that you don't have control over the sponsors on you tube, but as a pet lover and owner, I just thought you should be aware. I have a new puppy and enjoy your videos and am trying to implement your methods. Thank you very much for your quick response. Keep making the videos. It is great to have the advice at my fingertips. Sincerely, Ruby and Mindy the puppy.

  32. Ok question- I went and bought all the Kong’s , tried this with frozen Kong’s. He couldn’t get the food out at all!!! I even tried to pick some out and it was rock hard. Why do you freeze them?

  33. Hi, I see the benefit of a kong and would love for my pup to get interested in it…but even if I stuff it as in the video, she doesn't go for it. Licks a bit, gets 1-2cm in and then gets discouraged, doesn't put in the effort to release the food. What can I do? How stuffed/loose should the food be inside? I froze it as in the video too, but I don't quite understand why it needs to be frozen? I must be doing something wrong… Thanks

  34. I have a doubt, what size should I buy for a beagle puppy? I’m ordering it online so I really can’t make out the size!

  35. Very useful. I was only using peanut butter. Wasn’t aware of the water/food/freeze & next size up 🙂 Gonna try. Wish me luck!!

  36. I never got a Kong bc I thought that if you fill it with peanut butter (or any kind of food) it would get all over the dog's paws, fur, rug, cushions, etc. Doesn't that happen??? Who wants a dog smelling like peanut butter all the time bc it's smeared all over its fur and skin underneath, and then everything else the dog touches???

  37. Thanks for this video! It seems to work great! And so simple. My corgi is trying it for the first time now, as we speak. It might be a bit too frozen though, although hè seems to keep at it

  38. I'm getting a new Airedale the first week of Sept and I have a question about the Kong. First I believe your crate training video says no food in the crate. So should I use a filled Kong for night sleeping?

  39. What do we do to stuff a kong in winter? Really don’t want to give my 14 week old puppy freezing food on a freezing day?

  40. Be VERY CAREFUL .My Staffordshire bull terrier bit the end of a red Kong and it lodged in his stomach .The Kong was advertised as indestructible they are definitely not and you could end up with a big vet's bill …like me

  41. Kong toys are helpful for when I'm too sick or exhausted to play while dogsitting my uncle's very, very energetic puppy.

  42. I am lucky enough to be home with our pup for the first 4 weeks (from age 8-12 weeks) just wondering, when I do head back to work, could I give this to our pup in her crate when I leave? Or would she then have to potty before our lunch break walk 3 hours later?

  43. Does anyone have any suggestions for a dog that does not seem to be interested in chewing a kong? I followed the instructions on filling the kong but my 9 week old border collie licks the peanut butter off, licks a few pieces of kibble from the end and then leaves it. I am also after any other methods for tiring a smart puppy. He is still waiting for his second vaccinations and so is house bound. I play tug, ball, train and give him some chew toys (he shows little interest though more since I roughed up his nylabone) yet he still seems to have the energy to go chew furniture or eat dirt in the garden.

  44. What if the watery dog food leaks or falls apart when trying to put it in the Kong? Also, do I give it to my puppy immediately after taking it out if the freezer? I really want to do this right lol

  45. Trying to get the dog to sleep through the night… will this be ok for a bedtime snack to tire her out and sleep later? please, please, please work! 🙂

  46. Is there not a worry about puppy choking if you leave long with food in crate with them if you are away and not supervising?

  47. Thank you so much. I just adopted a 7 year old Chihuahua She hates being left I'm going to try this thank you again

  48. My puppy is super food motivated, so I know that would be great for her. However, when I feed her she really needs to go potty afterwards. That means if I feed her meal in a Kong and leave, she would have to hold for the next 4 hours. I want her to be distracted when I leave, but not holding her pee and poop for that long. What do you suggest?

  49. My puppy doesn’t bite the kong at all, all she does is lick it :(. Any tips ? I want her to use it as a teething tool and when she’s older as a chew toy.

  50. I'm getting a young dog soon (1 year or 2 old). Do you recommend feeding them through the kong before introducing a bowl in the home?

  51. Will this work with my wife? She gets yappy and has some separation anxiety. She is also getting a little "plump", too many chocolates I'm afraid. What are some healthy options to keep her intrested in her new kong? Thanks!

  52. Thank you so much! I couldn’t work out how the kong worked as all the food fell out immediately my puppy got hold of it.

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