Training Methods - Kong

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Taylor
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Joined: 28 Apr 2011, 15:24

Training Methods - Kong

Post by Taylor » 04 May 2011, 13:27

My husband and 10 year old son have just taken our 18 week old Labradoodle to puppy classes. The trainer was a big fan of Kongs, something which I'd never heard of before in all my years of dog ownership. Kongs generally seem to be very popular, but this trainer has instructed us to only feed our puppy using a Kong in future, ie making her normal food (Chudleys Junior) into a paste and piping it into about four Kongs a day. Is this normal? My son and I are not all that happy with this idea, mainly because we don't see the point - she's mostly a very calm, gentle girl, and hasn't really developed any bad habits, probably because she has company and attention all day as myself and three of my children are at home all day with her. This trainer has also told us to trim the fur around her eyes, claiming she can't see properly, is this a normal thing to do with a Labradoodle? We've never had a Labradoodle before and I'm a bit nervous about trying to trim around her eyes, but if it's something we're going to have to do then I'll have to grit my teeth and get on with it.

Any advice would be really wonderful.

C

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Bid
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Re: Training Methods - Kong

Post by Bid » 04 May 2011, 13:49

I've heard of people feeding dried food in a kong, but mixing it into a paste seems a bit odd :? , and I would think it would be frustrating for them - did they say why? I know some people will scatter the food around for the dog to gather and eat, to give it something to do when left.

I do trim around the eyes of my doodles, I think it must be more comfortable for them as well as helping them to see.

Do tell us more about your girl, and we do love photos on here too! :D
www.dogtrekker.co.uk
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Nimitor
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Joined: 22 Mar 2011, 17:22
Location: Cornwall

Re: Training Methods - Kong

Post by Nimitor » 04 May 2011, 16:15

Hi,Wes is 20 weeks old so they are much the same age.I trim around his eyes or else his "fringe" gets really thick and shaggy. He has a kong at night but I don't make it into a paste, never heard of that, I would ask your trainer why she thinks it is a good idea to do so.Wes can be very fussy about his food and I am sure he wouldn't eat all his meals from a kong anyway. Would love to see some photo's of your pup x
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Leah
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Re: Training Methods - Kong

Post by Leah » 04 May 2011, 16:48

I would understand the advice about feeding all meals in kongs if she was being very destructive or was being left for long periods as this would keep her occupied and encourage her to chew appropriately. But if she has plenty company and exercise/attention I wouldn't bother personally.

When Monty was teething I gave him regular frozen kongs to stop him finding his own things to chew and if I am going to be out for a few hours I will give him a long walk then leave him with several kongs filled with all his meal and some little treats. That way he has to work a while to have his meal and then settles down happily.

A kong can also be useful if we are out visiting, out for a drink or have a nervous visitor over as it keeps Monty busy for a while.

If you feel your dog can't see out of her hair it's quite easy to trim, just do it after her walk or while she's busy chewing something, you can use blunt-ended scissors if you're nervous!

Leah

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JeanG
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Re: Training Methods - Kong

Post by JeanG » 04 May 2011, 17:23

Hi Taylor - sorry but I think it's a crazy idea! Maybe the trainer has her reasons but i don't see the point of making a dog work for it's dinner, especially if it's normally well behaved anyway! I think she's probably thinking that it's mental stimulation and motivation but I think doodles have plenty of this anyway!
I agree about the hair though, just put her on a table, get someone else to try and hold her head still, talk to her soothingly and feed treats while doing it. Hold the hair between 2 fingers like hairdressers do and then you can't possibly get her eyes. someone holding her head means you can't chop your own fingers off either :o :o Good luck :D :D
Jean & Bella xxx
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annvinton
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Location: Tiverton, Devon

Re: Training Methods - Kong

Post by annvinton » 04 May 2011, 18:46

I don't know why the "paste" idea, but I do know some people say that they spread / hide
their dog's kibble for them to find. I think this is for several reasons. To mimic the hunt. To stimulate the brain.
To keep them busy. To stop them gobbling their food too fast which can cause bloat - a VERY serious condition
which requires URGENT attention from the vet. (You can get special food bowls to slow down their eating.)
Some people do this for every meal, some just now and then.
My boy, Ben, loves :D playing 'hunt the kibble' and it does mean you can use his normal food for a game
and not extra treats which may cause weight problems. I just throw a handful out in the garden for him to find.
He also enjoys ' hunt the kong' when I fill a kong with kibble and maybe a few other goodies and then hide it
indoors or out.
A lot of people fill kongs with a selection of cheese, grated carrot, apple etc. and leave it with them when they go out.
(Sometimes frozen.)
But, like you, I am home all day and don't bother with this. It's up to you to find ways of keeping your dog busy.

Hair over eyes? Just use blunt ended scissors - it is much nicer if you can see their eyes - and they can see where they're going!

Ann & Ben

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Jennifer
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Re: Training Methods - Kong

Post by Jennifer » 04 May 2011, 18:47

Hi there, I feed Teddy mostly every meal from a couple of kongs, I moisten his dry food and mix in the wet and I do this because he doesn't chew his food, he inhales it!! I have always done this and he is now nearly a year old, he has never been much of a chewer so far and I think it gives him something to do when I have to go out in the mornings. It makes him work for his food and its tiring for him so he settles down to rest after.
I would also trim the hair around the eyes if you feel it is in the way, Ted doesn't have much of a fringe so I haven't had to bother. :)
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Barneyboy
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Re: Training Methods - Kong

Post by Barneyboy » 04 May 2011, 19:55

I haven't fed my dogs from bowls for nearly 10 years. Dogs need mental stimulation and feeding from a Kong (or anyone of the other devices on the market) keeps their brains occupied and prevents them making their own amusements.

I think you've struck lucky with this trainer - she's helping you to think like a dog
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groover
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Location: glasgow

Re: Training Methods - Kong

Post by groover » 04 May 2011, 22:18

Hi there

Her suggestions aren't as crazy as you think.

As others have said, feeding from a kong keeps them occupied for a while and makes their meals (which lets face it is the highlight of their day :lol: ) last a bit longer. I did both. normal meals, or moistened some food and stuffed it in kong. Just decide what suites you and your puppy. I tended to stuff a kong if we were going out and just deducted it from Herbies food allowance for the day
lots of doods need a wee trim around the eyes. Once you've done it a couple of times its not so scary.

xxx
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Taylor
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Joined: 28 Apr 2011, 15:24

Re: Training Methods - Kong

Post by Taylor » 05 May 2011, 10:34

Thank you so much everyone for all your great advice. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one to think that feeding all her meals in a Kong is a strange idea! However, given that a couple of you highly recommend it I'm going to give it a try - although maybe doing half her food in the Kong to begin with and half in her bowl. I'll work out how to post a photo of her later this afternoon, just now we're going to try to give her a haircut, then it's off to our next puppy class.

Oh, and I really tempted fate yesterday saying how good and quiet she is - this morning I went down to find she'd managed to break into the kitchen bin, the contents of which were strewn all over our rather large kitchen floor, minus any food scraps, of course, she does LOVE her food. It's as well she's so very cute and gorgeous as I wasn't at all amused :mrgreen: .

C

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kizzie whizz
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Re: Training Methods - Kong

Post by kizzie whizz » 05 May 2011, 19:03

The trainer sounds a bit pedantic when she says you Must feed All of your dog's meals in a Kong. Surely as long as your dog is happy and fulfilled it shouldn't matter. What does the trainer say about feeding raw food?
I like to keep the kong for special occasions. It is a treat for those rare occasions when they have to go in their crates. We have toys that take kibble too - a giggle ball, pyramid or any of the Nina Ottosson games keep us amused.
(I weigh out the daily allowance of kibble each morning so that I know exactly how much they are having each day. When it's gone it's gone :lol: )

Do your research, know your dog and make up your own mind.
Wendy, Kizzie Whizz and Murphy
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blueboysgirl
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Joined: 08 Jul 2010, 08:12
Location: Cambridge

Re: Training Methods - Kong

Post by blueboysgirl » 05 May 2011, 20:43

I would understand feeding from a Kong if the dog was bored, destructive, or had a medical reason that meant they shouldn't wolf their food down.
I use my kong for when we have visitors so he's not pestering people.

Bruno's a year old and I've only just had to cut off two bits of fur that always fall around his eyes, but he's an F1, so not that much hair anyway.
Claire and Bruno
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