Let the Games Begin
Dogs never get bored with KONG because with KONG, you never play the same game twice. Here are some simple and more advanced games for you and your star athlete.
Fetch & Retrieve (Easy)
Sit at one end of a hallway and throw a KONG Classic toward the wall at the other end. Get your puppy to chase and return the toy. Sit with your legs and arms spread out, and keep Rover from running away from you.
Find the Goodies (Easy)
Put your puppy in a down stay and then put stuffed KONG Classics in a variety of hiding places. The rule is, he or she has to wait until you’re finished hiding the KONGs. Then say GO! and watch the fun. It’s okay to coach.
KONG Triple Challenge (Easy)
Dogs love the challenge and reward of a food-based puzzle. In fact, most of the people in our community use treat-stuffed KONG toys to entertain their dogs. It’s a great way to keep your dog occupied and productive when you’re busy or away from home. However, there are times when just one treat-stuffed KONG won’t do. You might need two or three to occupy your intelligent and active dog: long dinner parties, nights out, workdays, or home projects. All of these situations can be potentially stressful, boring, or opportunities for misbehavior. But here’s a game to keep that from happening. To play the KONG Triple Challenge, use three different types of rubber KONG toys. For example: one KONG Classic, one Classic Goodie Bone, and one Classic Stuff-a-Ball. Stuff all three with your dog’s favorite KONG treats, kibble, or your own recipes. Make sure to stuff each toy differently, packing some of it more tightly to increase the challenge. The variation presented by the three separate food puzzles will keep your dog involved and thinking. But most of all, your dog will be happy and busy with an activity that will keep you happy, too.
Rolling KONG Disc Chase (Advanced)
Try rolling a KONG Classic Flyer on the ground, like a wheel. It’s a great way to get your dog interested in chasing a toy. Roll the disc on its side using a roll toss. Hold the disc upright in the palm of your hand with your thumb on the gripping ridges, roll the disc back toward your bicep, then fling it outward to the ground. Get your dog to chase after the disc. If he goes for it, be sure to praise or reward him with any KONG Treat. If your dog doesn’t go for the disc, don’t worry and don’t show any frustration. This is just learning after all. Just keep trying — eventually you’ll have a breakthrough. This same technique also works extremely well with the KONG Traxx tire toy.
KONG Disc Retrieve (Advanced)
Once your dog likes the idea of chasing and picking up the KONG Classic Flyer, you’re ready to teach retrieving. Play your usual game of rolling the KONG Flyer. But this time, when your dog picks up the disc, call her name. Tell her to bring the disc back. If it works, praise or reward her with any KONG Treat. After repeated retrievals, start asking your dog to give or drop the disc, always rewarding with praise when she gets it right. Here are some things you can try if your dog doesn’t bring the disc back or drop it when you ask.
- Get your dog to return the KONG Flyer by offering to trade it for another one. Sneaky—just roll the first KONG Flyer as usual. When your dog picks it up, call for it to be returned. Then, when he or she gets close, show the other disc and get ready to throw. Most dogs will drop the first disc. If it works praise or reward with any KONG Treat.
- If your dog proves to be a little stubborn, you can use a 30-foot training lead. After you roll the disc and your dog picks it up, call his or her name, tell her to bring the disc to you, and then gently pull on the lead. Praise your dog as you pull. If your dog drops the disc, stop pulling, retrieve the disc and start again. Please remember to not throw farther than the lead.
Catching the Disc (Advanced)
When your dog has mastered bringing the KONG Classic Flyer back to you without the second disc or the aid of a lead, you’re ready to begin learning the catch. Stand a few feet away from your dog and gently toss the KONG Flyer into the air. While doing this say, “Catch.” Repeat this process until your dog catches the disc. Be patient. This can take some time to accomplish. As soon as your dog catches the disc, be sure to give lots of praise or reward with any KONG Stuff’N Treat. Now you’re ready to move on. If you’re right handed, position yourself on your dog’s right. If you are left-handed, go left of the dog. Make sure the dog sees the KONG Flyer. From where you’re standing, throw the disc a short distance in front of you. When your dog gets good at catching short throws, go longer. If you have a dog that likes playing fetch with a stick or toy, you can expect an easy transition to catching a KONG Flyer. Good luck and have fun.
Very Important: Before you head out with your new KONG Classic Flyer, think about these simple rules to keep safe:
Always play on a flat, grass field free of holes, rocks or other potentially dangerous obstacles. Don’t throw near trees, fences, posts or other obstructions. Only play during the day or in brightly lit areas. Always have water and shade available for your dog to prevent overheating during practice. Keep workouts short at first, allowing your dog’s stamina to build. The KONG Flyer should be used for retrieving, not tugging, since tugging can be counter-productive to learning how to catch and retrieve. Also, don’t let your dog get too possessive of the KONG Flyer or show any aggression towards you while handling the disc. You should always control how and when games are played. Finally, the KONG Flyer isn’t meant as a chew toy. But of course, we have lots of other toys for chewing.