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Do you know why your dog is acting out?
Often, it’s just because they’re bored.
They’ve got a lot of pent up energy and they’re not getting enough mental stimulation.
So how can you use up some of that endless energy and give them a mental challenge at the same time?
One option is training, of course, but another (easier) option is to give them puzzle toys.
Puzzle toys are those that challenge your puppy to think in order to earn a reward.
And Oliver’s favorite puzzle toy is a frozen Kong.
Why Use A Frozen Kong
Golden retrievers were bred to retrieve game and work in the field all day.
They’re really smart, but when they become household companions, they usually don’t have a job to do, so they have all this pent-up mental and physical energy.
That pent-up energy usually turns into mischief, which can be frustrating for a puppy parent.
But this is where frozen Kongs come in.
Frozen Kongs are hollow toys with food frozen inside that make your puppy to work to get the food out.
Working to earn food is very satisfying for dogs, so as they get the kibble pieces loose one by one, they’re mentally and physically rewarded.
It’s also hard work to get the kibble out.
When it’s frozen together inside the toy, your dog has to use their brain to figure out how to get it out.
This can alleviate some of that mental boredom that they’ve been experiencing.
Giving your pup a frozen Kong can help with:
Now, how do you make a frozen Kong?
Check out the instructions below.
How To Make A Frozen Kong
Making frozen Kongs is easy.
Here’s how you make them, step by step.
Step 1: Put some kibble in a bowl with water
Just put enough kibble in the bowl to fill up the kong.
Step 2: Let the kibble soak for 10-20 minutes
I’ve found that if you don’t let the kibble soak for at least 10 minutes, then your pup will get all of the food out pretty quickly.
To maximize the time your pup gets to play with it, let it soak for 10-20 minutes.
Step 3: Fill up the kong with the soaked kibble
If you want to surprise your pup, you can add some treats in there as well.
Step 4: Put a dab of peanut butter at the opening (optional)
You probably don’t need to put peanut butter on the opening — your pup will love the toy with or without it — but Oliver really loves peanut butter.
Step 5: Freeze it
Put the kong in the freezer for at least a few hours, and then give it to your pup.
It’ll take them about 10-25 minutes of pure joy and concentration to get all of the food out.
What Size & Type Of Kong To Get
A medium-size Kong is good for most puppies.
We still have some of the medium Kongs and even though Oliver is full-grown now, he still uses them.
There are also several types of Kongs to get, including the puppy version that’s softer for puppy teeth, and the extreme version, that’s tougher for intense chewers.
We’ve had a few of the regular Kong Classics for two years now and they’re still going strong.
One of the best things to do to stop unwanted behavior and mentally satisfy your dog is to give them a frozen Kong.
It’ll keep them occupied for a bit, and then they’ll usually be ready for a nap after.
I have three Kongs and always keep them in the freezer ready to go just in case Oliver has extra energy, or I need to do something and he needs to be occupied.
You can get the Kong Classic from Chewy here.
Have any questions about using frozen Kongs?
Let us know in the comments below!
And if you know someone who has a pup with a ton of energy, please share this with them!
P.S. If you liked this article, you’ll love this article about the best toys for golden retriever puppies.