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Pickle Pocket, Tug-a-Jug and Stuff-a-ball
  • McYogiMcYogi
    Posts: 518

    I'm reviewing 3 toys that I got at the same time to entertain my 3 shibas while they were being treated for HORRIBLE flea allergies from Flea-Stock 2011. I was hoping the treats would give them something to chew on besides themselves, because I was getting worried they would eat their little feet off if they didn't have anything else. There are also a few threads lately that have been asking about ways to keep dogs/puppies busy, so hopefully this can help.

    Tug-A-Jug found here:
    I got the medium size and it was $15 or $17 at Petco

    Pretty much the only dog interested in it was Yogi, my oldest male. No one else could figure out that pulling the rope was how to get treats, which surprised me because they very much like their other rope toys. Yogi quickly lost interest when he couldn't figure out that you had to shove the rope back inside, and treats don't fall out if you just nudge it, and Yogi is too small to really toss it around on the air. Stinkier treats helped a little, but they never got them all out and the cheese or hotdogs or whatever had to be removed if I didn't want them to spoil.

    Recommended: not for my small dogs. Maybe a big dog could toss it in the air, but it's still pretty heavy.

    Pickle Pocket found here:™/
    There is only one size, and it's really heavy and dense and it was a hefty purchase at $20, especially with no available reviews and fairly negative reviews about the brand's other toys

    Starmark (of the everlasting treat ball) came out with this, and the employee at Petco said it was brand new so she couldn't give me advice about it, so I was hesitant to buy an expensive, un-proven toy.... but I was pretty desperate. I'm glad I gave it a shot, because it turned out to be the one the dogs absolutely loved. There are 3 little grooves that you can stick things in (I used regular kibble) and you can wedge them down far or shallow so it can potentially take the dog a long time of working on it to get it out. I stick some kibble in deep and some in shallow, and they like to work on it for hours sometimes. And the squishy material has lasted so far, even with chewing. I think the design makes it difficult for the teeth to get a really good grip, so chewing damage is limited that way.

    Recommended: Definitely! It worked great for my heavy chewers so far, and it really does keep them interested for a really long time. It probably lasts longer than a frozen peanut butter kong, if you can imagine such a thing! I think the price is too high for such a simple piece of rubber, so I probably won't purchase another. It also gets lost all the time because it rolls under furniture, so I forget to use it regularly.

    Stuff-a-ball found here:
    One size, $13 dollars at Petco

    I went for the Kong toy because they are usually very durable, but did NOT buy the "Kong Genius" puzzle-type toys because they were clearly made from a softer material then the classic red Kongs. This Kong has one x-shaped hole at the end that you can shove things in. Gufi, my youngest male, decided this was his favorite toy. He quickly figured out that by nudging it around so the big hole is on the bottom, kibble just falls out. Yogi uses the "pick up and drop it" method which works well too. It is not chew-resistant, and Gufi has opened up the hole significantly so that the treats don't stay in nearly as long.

    Recommended: Great for light chewers, but if the dog is really determined he can rip it apart. The little tabs around the "X" hole are perfect for nibbling. So far it's been worth it, especially since it kept a dog so entertained.

    Does anyone else have opinions on any of these particular products? I hope his helps in deciding what toys you should use for your pup when you need him to be busy.

    Post edited by McYogi at 2011-10-09 19:50:41
  • Thank you for doing the review and share your experience of these toys with your Shibas.

    I enjoy seeing pictures of the puppies new members post, but it is great to see some other useful information.
  • I haven't tried any of these, but yay for reviews! The pickle one sounds interesting. We have a number of other type toys where you put in treats, but Bel is so quick with them it is ridiculous (she gets the nudge and treats fall out type really fast). I do think the pickle might be good even for her, though!

    This does remind me, though, that I have some toys I could review if I ever get time!
  • JonJon
    Posts: 47
    Thanks for the reviews. We almost picked up the Kong ball yesterday, but decided to go with a regular kong instead. Depending on how heavy a chewer Louie is, we'll have to get the ball as well.

    Thanks again!
  • catloreecatloree
    Posts: 1541
    Thank you for sharing your experiences with these products! It's always great to have options for keeping a Shiba busy. I'll have to look for the Pickle Pocket, it looks like something Elwood would enjoy.
    Catherine (human), Elwood (Shiba), & Sadie (Pomeranian)
  • I've had both the tug a jug and the kong stuff a ball. We found the tug a jug totally useless. Violet had no interest in it. She tried rolling it a bit and did pull the rope a few times, but pretty much immediately abandoned it.

    The stuff a ball was much more successful. We usually just put in kibble. She's a very light chewer. She uses neither the drop method nor is she strategic about holes. She's a bit odd though because she basically loves toy balls, especially those that are meant to be filled. She used to endlessly entertain herself by rolling these balls (including the kong) for hours, much to the consternation of our downstairs neighbor who asked us if we had gotten new rolling chairs. The appeal of the kong over the other balls is that the material and edges make it so that if she slams her little paw down on it hard enough, it bounces and rolls, allowing her to chase after it a bit (she does the same with tennis balls).

    Bear is too lazy to play with any of these. I wouldn't purchase the tug a jug for any of my dogs again, but the stuff a ball was a worthwhile value. I do think that the stuff a ball is probably more entertaining for dogs that aren't super food oriented (the challenge level is not high) but play a bit like cats. The shape and material of the ball made it's trajectory a little less predictable and therefore more entertaining for my dog who likes to engage her chase instinct.
  • McYogiMcYogi
    Posts: 518
    Great to know someone else thought the tug-a-jug was worthless, @violete_in_seville. Thinking of modifying it or at least ripping out the rope so I have another one of those.

  • LaRen616LaRen616
    Posts: 221
    I love the Tug-A-Jug but I also have 2 large breed dogs, I feed them both 1 meal in it a day.

    I LOVE Starmark products! They are wonderful, I have the Everlasting Treatball and the Everlasting Fun Ball, I have never seen the Pickle Pocket before but now after reading your comments on it, I have to have one! Thank you for sharing!

    Sinister ~ 5.5 yr old black male GSD 3.11.09
    Draven ~ 16 month old male Dalmatian 6.20.13

    Cats: Chaos, Mayhem, Monster, Wicked

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