I love that dogs have such fun with them, and that Kongs can truly enrich their daily lives. Dogs often consider them a higher quality fetch toy than regular balls, perhaps because of their erratic bouncing. It’s cool that many dogs who chew everything else to pieces can enjoy the same Kong toy for years. (I am aware, of course, that a small percentage of dogs do chew them up, though the Extreme Kongs work for many of these heavy chewers.)
Kong toys can alleviate boredom for dogs by giving them mental exercise, and they are great for independent play as well as play between people and dogs. I use Kong toys to treat many behavioral issues from high arousal and destructive chewing to separation anxiety and aggression.
Are Kongs in your life? What do you and your dogs love about them?
Karen B. London, PhD, is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer whose clinical work over the last 17 years has focused on the evaluation and treatment of serious behavioral problems in dogs, especially aggression. Karen has been writing the behavior column for The Bark since 2012 and wrote The Bark’s training column and various other articles for eight years before that. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University, and teaches a tropical field biology course in Costa Rica. Karen writes an animal column, The London Zoo, which appear in The Arizona Daily Sun and is the author of five books on canine training and behavior. She is working on her next book, which she expects to be published in 2017.