As a dog owner, I am always looking for things to entertain my dog when I can't play with her. Riley, my yellow Lab gets bored quickly with some toys unless there is food inside. She has several toys that she'll bring to me and nudge me to play with her, which I do often. But there are times she needs to entertain herself.
Riley's first birthday was yesterday and being my "child", I had to buy her a present. I searched the pet section for something different, not knowing what I wanted. I knew it had to be strong as she's a heavy duty chewer and can destroy most toys within a short time.
I spotted a section of new toys that I had not seen before. Their colors caught my attention first. They were bright blue and lime green instead of red, like so many she already has. There were a couple of styles that I liked, so I chose one and tried it out. These toys are not just colorful, they also make sounds when touched or moved. The sound idea really intrigued me, especially after hearing them, but I was leery. Most toy sounds drive me nuts after just a few minutes. To my delight, these are quite different. They aren't loud or obnoxious as so many others are. I was amused as I played with one of the toys. I decided to buy it, but of course, the color I wanted was at the back of the rack. So, as I moved the others, many of them began to make noises and soon I had a chorus or wacky sounds playing in the pet section and I found this quite amusing. I had high hope that my dog would like this toy because I sure did!
There is a tab you pull out to allow the sounds to play. I had done that to test the sound and then put the toy in my shopping cart. As I wheeled the cart away, I realized the toy was reacting to every bump and movement of the cart and these strange sounds were happening as I shopped. I laughed to myself as I imagined people looking at me strangely as I maneuvered throughout the store. Reluctantly, I put the tab back in and stopped the sound. I didn't want to wear it out before giving it to Riley.
The toy I chose is egg shaped and has a twist top lid that locks in place. You can open it and put treats inside and the dog then works to get them out of a hole on the side. I have not tried this yet as Riley quickly associates food with toys like this and then rarely plays with them if there's no reward.
Since she's a heavy chewer, the first thing I have to check is durability. This is a hard formed plastic that feels strong. The other bonus is that the shape is hard for her to get hold of to try chewing. I feel confident that this toy will last through her attempts to chew it.
As my husband and I watched Riley look at her new toy and react to the bizarre sounds that were coming from it, we were both quite amused. She wasn't sure what to make of this weird toy that rolled around and made noises even when no one was touching it. She was leaping around it and at times would back up and bark at it. The look of puzzlement on her face was quite funny.
The sound toy is new to us and Riley has just been playing with it for just two days, but my opinion is that this is a winner. I may have to go back and buy the other one.
Update On Jun 09, 2009: Since buying this toy, I've had time to see how my dog reacts to it once the newness wears off. She gets bored very quickly, so I was skeptical. I'm happy to say that she's still playing with it often. I know this because I can hear it, even if I'm not in the room. The sound is not loud, but quirky, so it catches your attention.
The only downside is that the cap can be removed by a determined dog, such as mine. For her safety, I decided to remove the cap permanently since she is a large dog and she could choke on it. This part is only needed if you want to put treats in the toy, so the toy is still enjoyable and makes all the noises even without the cap. I highly recommend this toy.
Update On Jun 18, 2009: After the success with this toy, I went back to Walmart to see what else this company makes. There is a lumpy four-sided toy that also makes noises, but I wasn't as amused by those particular sounds. The original toy still makes me laugh when I hear it, so I consider that to be a success for both me and my dog.