What are Kong dog toys and why are they so popular? Nearly every dog owner has heard of them, and you may have tried a Kong toy or two for your dog.
Kong dog toys were originally introduced to the market in 1976. With a strong rubber exterior, they have a hollow interior that pet owners fill with treats.
Some use little bones or treats while others have even used peanut butter, which is a great incentive for some dogs. And you can even find recipes for treats to stuff into a Kong toy.
Weimaraners, as you know, are active and intelligent. They love to invent ways to get to the hidden treats in the toy.
This is a great distraction for your dog and keeps your puppy busy for quite awhile. If she suffers from separation anxiety, for example, you can use a Kong toy to distract her and keep her happy while you are away. At least for a short time.
Giving your dog a Kong toy treat when you leave, gets you out the door, almost unnoticed!
Kong for Dogs
There are some good reasons why buying a Kong for dogs has been such a hit…
Because dogs have different chewing habits, the company offers Kong dog toys in various sizes and designs. If you are buying a Kong toy for your puppy, look at the smaller sizes. The different sizes are based on the weight of your dog.
For full grown Weimaraners, you need to get the large size Kong toy.
Kongs used to be classified by color, with specific colors for different size dogs. However, now they come in many different colors and you’ll need to read carefully to make sure you are getting the right size and durability for your dog.
If your dog is a very high-energy chewer, as many Weimaraners are, look for the black KONG Extreme toy.
If you’re looking for novelty and variety, Kong toys now come in many shapes. And the company also makes soft toys without stuffing and even footballs that bounce erratically.
Variations of Kong Toys
Beyond the traditional snowman-like constructed Kong that’s considered a “classic”, the company also makes
Shaped like an automobile tire, these are great for practicing “Fetch”
This toy is meant for puppies, and it is a good choice for puppies who are teething. It’s made of a softer material, and it soothes gums that are sore from teething. Like the Classic, you can stuff treats into this toy. It’s meant for puppies who are up to 9 months old.
Balls come in a number of different shapes and sizes. This one has nubs that stimulate your dog’s gums.
Think Frisbees. These are shaped like a disk and you use them the same way as Frisbees.
The Kong dental toys are designed to help clean teeth and massage your dog’s gums.
If your dog is a hearty chewer, remember to select the BLACK toys, as they are the toughest!
How Did Kong Toys Get Started?
How did this stroke of genius come about?
Joe Markim, the owner of the Kong Company, had a German Shepherd with teeth problems. The dog constantly chewed on rocks, sticks and household items.
Its teeth were showing signs of wear, and Joe wasn’t exactly thrilled with his dog’s chewing on furniture and clothing in the house.
One day Joe threw out the suspension part from an old VW bus. The part is made of rubber, and it is shaped like the Classic Kong toy.
Joe’s dog retrieved the part and had a great time playing with it. Joe threw it out again, and the dog found it and continued to play with it. Then Joe had an idea.
For 6 years, he experimented with different designs to find a dog toy that met his dog’s needs. Fortunately, his designs took into account the changing needs of dogs as they age, giving us choices in toys as our dogs get older.
Joe finally got the design right, and the KONG company was born.
Tips on Loading a Kong Toy
So, even though these toys are great, they are sometimes not that easy to load. Here are a few tips that will make it easier.
If you can do this quickly, your dog won’t drive you nuts while he’s waiting!
- Place the Classic toy in a cup or glass, with the large opening at the top. This will hold it in place, acting as a “third hand” for you. Like you would use a vice, if you were doing some wood working.
- Gently squeeze the opening so that it gets wider and is oval shaped. This will allow you to spoon the stuffing or treats into the toy.
- For the “stuffing”, I suggest that you make it the consistency of peanut butter or toothpaste. If it’s too runny, you’ll end up with a mess in your house.
- You can fill the toy completely, or with just a small number of treats or a small amount of food.
- Freezing it is an option. If your dog is teething, this feels good on his gums, just as a frozen teething ring soothes a teething baby’s gums.
Kong Dog Toys for Weimaraners
The Kong toy provides exercise and yet another way to relate to your pup, which is incredibly important to the Weimaraner breed.
The biggest key to success is making sure you adjust the size of the Kong dog toy as your dog grows. As dogs mature, their chewing is stronger, and the toys meant for smaller dogs can be chewed apart.
Follow the guidelines for size (how many pounds your dog weighs) when selecting a dog toy. Or, if you have a very active chewer, consider buying the next larger size, which is more durable.
The name Kong represents a brand that dog owners trust. Kong toys remain among the most popular, nearly indestructible toys in the pet market.
Price-wise, they don’t break the bank and they remain very competitive in terms of your household budget.