The folks at Kong contacted me several weeks ago about doing a review for their new product, the Kong Wobbler. I'm a big fan of Kong and their products - I've got everything from Theo's original baby Kong (he still gets his bedtime treats in it every night) to the zoom groom - so I was pretty excited to take part. When it arrived in the mail, however, I knew we were going to have problems. And by that, I mean that Theo was not going to be the best dog to show off how fun and engaging this new toy can be. It's rather large, you see. If you've read this blog with any regularity, you can probably guess how Theo would react to something large. Not well. But they were also nice enough to include their new Kong Stuff'n treats as well, and there was no question of Theo liking those. Oho, no. So I hunkered down and did my best to introduce the Wobbler to
The way the Wobbler works is it has a heavy, round-bottomed base and a hollow top with a small hole where the treats come out. As the dog nudges and paws the Wobbler around, its heavy base brings the toy back upright, keeping the furry one guessing. As they roll the toy around, the treats dispense from the small hole in the top, rewarding their brave curiosity and playfulness. Sounds awesome, right?
So I put some of these IQ treats inside, knowing Theo would go nuts over them. They are 100% salmon. What's not to like? If nothing else, I would buy these treats again. And as you can see, the base unscrews from the top for easy filling, though you can also just drop them through the hole in the top. After I snapped this pic I broke each piece in half, which was recommended on the packaging. I wanted to make things as easy as possible for Theo.
After I sealed it back up, I told Theo to come and check it out. He approached with much caution. And then immediately put about 5 feet between himself and the toy.
I tried to make it easy for him. He just had to snatch the treat out of the opening. No nudging or pawing necessary...
Nope. But you knew it wouldn't be that easy...
Unwilling to go near the Wobbler, Theo pretty much just hung his head like this and whimpered all pathetically. He does that when he's stressed. He was trying to get me to unscrew the top and just let him have the treats. But I wouldn't give in. I tried everything I could to help him work up the courage to at least try out the Wobbler, but he wasn't having it.
The best I got was this very hesitant sniff, but he bolted again right after. I left the Wobbler sitting there outside my office, hoping with the pressure off (I did have my evil camera out, after all) and the smell enticing him, he would give it a nudge or two. But he just parked his booty his usual, cautious 2 feet away and whimpered for a good 10 minutes before leaving it to take a nap in his crate.
The next day I tried again. This time I tipped it around a bit, showing him how it was supposed to move, and how it wasn't going to pop out a machete and hack him to bits if he nudged it. Nothing. So then I tipped it over so a treat popped out. He came over, ate the treat, sniffed the hole, then backed up and cried, expecting me to tip it over again so more treats would come out.
This is my dog people! Why play with toys that dispense treats when you can just complain until your human does it for you? Arg!
But I don't consider that any reflection on the product. I actually like the Wobbler and think it would be a great toy for a dog that isn't scared of its own shadow. I own no such dog. *sigh* I'm hoping to get together with some of my Corgi friends next week. I'm going to bring the Wobbler along and see if I can't find a non-defective Corgi to tell me what s/he thinks of it. I'll post a secondary review of that outing as well. And speaking of non-defective Corgis, you can also check out Kelly's review of the Wobbler at Corgi Butts.
PS: Sorry for the blurry shots. When I win the lottery, I will invest in a camera that can handle the "action" of a Corgi constantly moving. Consequently, all the pictures I have of my sister are similarly blurry because she never stop talking long enough to get a clear shot. Sorry, sis, it's true.
PPS: You know I'm joking about Theo being defective, right? I love Theo, chicken tendencies and all. In fact, sometimes it's awesome having a dog that runs for his mommy rather than getting in the middle of a bad situation. All dogs have their issues, and if being a 'fraidy-dog is one of Theo's, I'll take it.