updated 04/05/2010 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/02/2010 AT 7:45 AM ET
My dog is Dewey pretty smart. He’s a 3-year-old, 70-lb Lab/coon hound mix who can open doors, won’t go outside if its below 50 degrees, and knows how to sneak into bed after we’re asleep without waking us up. He is also smart enough to know how not to work when he doesn’t have to. So when I filled the KONG Wobbler ($8.99) – a new food dispensing toy meant to challenge your dog – with his favorite treats, he wasn’t exactly thrilled.
In the past, I would grab a treat, ask him to sit, and then give it to him. He was perfectly happy with this arrangement. Now I was grabbing a treat, putting it inside a plastic toy, and asking him to work to get it out. Turns out Dewey liked getting his treats the old way better, and he was prepared to wait me out. So for 24 hours, the Wobbler sat on carpet, untouched, while we each stood our ground.
The next day I went to check on the Wobbler and found it in the exact same spot as the day before. Empty. Dewey sat on the sofa and looked at me bored, as if to say “is that all you got?” So I refilled it and put it back. Dewey just looked at me and didn’t move. I left the room and came back in an hour. Wobbler, empty. Dewey, asleep. I filled it once more, realizing that I was giving my dog way too many treats in the interest of writing this review, but this time I left the room and then quietly crept back to watch from the top of the stairs. Dewey waited to make sure I wasn’t around and then proceeded to roll the toy around the carpet like a giddy puppy, got all the treats out, and went back to the couch. It’s not easy, but once in a while I can outsmart my dog.
One of the ads for the KONG Wobbler (made for dogs 10-lbs and up) claims that it will make your dog smarter, which is not something I’m in a big hurry to do. I can say that Dewey really does like to play with it, and he was smart enough to learn that if I actually witnessed him working to get treats, he’d never be able to go back to the good old days of being rewarded just for sitting. I’m pretty sure he was already smart enough to figure that out, but then again, he’s my dog.
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