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How to Use a Kong Dog Toy – 90% of Behavior Problems Reduced

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About this video:
In this video Ian Stone from Simpawtico Dog Training shows you how to use a kong dog toy so that it’s fast, easy and effective at reducing 90% of the most common behavior problems. Crate training, potty training, barking, chewing, and even anxiety can all be addressed by teaching your dog to love their stuffed Kongs. Embracing simplicity, our approach isn’t just about Kong recipes, but focuses on teaching the dog to love the Kong so that it becomes an automatic training tool. Kong stuffing can be super easy, for puppies and adult dogs.

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53 thoughts on “How to Use a Kong Dog Toy – 90% of Behavior Problems Reduced”

  1. I always passed this toy up due to not wanting my pup playing with what looks like a prolapsed rectum. Finally bought it and it should have been the first toy I purchased. My Sadie loves it too.

  2. For those that are curious, a size small Kong holds about a tablespoon of medium small kibble while the large size holds just under half a cup.

    1. I never got a Kong bc I thought that if you fill it with peanut butter (or any kind of food) it would get all over the dog’s paws, fur, rug, cushions, etc. Doesn’t that happen??? Who wants a dog smelling like peanut butter all the time bc it’s smeared all over its fur and skin underneath, and then everything else the dog touches???

    2. cyc7lops You do not overstuffed the Kong, so it gets liked out by the dog. No mess. I put a little chicken baby food and crunchy, natural peanut butter (no sugar = less messy), and put them in the freezer.

    3. @cyc7lops No. If it’s frozen then they are melting it with their toungue while licking the top layer and working their way down. Frozen food can’t fall out.

  3. I use my dogs’ kibble to stuff his chew toy and he goes crazy. You don’t need to stuff it with unnecessary food and treats(unless you want to) as long as your dog loves the Kong toy, it won’t matter what you put in it 👍

  4. I stuff my pups kong with dog food pate, I give her it every time I leave her in her crate and I have to go out ! Now she is super excited whenever I get the kong and runs into her crate because she knows she’s going to get her treat haha

    1. @Dorothy Atchison I’ve always fed my dogs in their crates. In the beginning it helps house training tremendously. They are in there a short time after they finish eating and then go outside for a washroom break. I have never had a negative experience with any dog using this routine. The only way I can see it being a problem is if someone does not give their dog timely washroom breaks after they finish eating.

    2. @Rotella Marsiglia crate training is really tough on them when they are older. The trick is to make it a happy place … treats etc @Zak George Youtube channel has some great videos on this. Good luck

    3. @Dorothy Atchison why? out of hundreds of professional trainers I worked with while working in a vets office you’re the only one who has said that. this is not a rule. this helps with a wide variety of harmful behaviors. also please note that when you don’t explain your rule, we cant understand it. so I’m sure if anyone took your advice they are now feeding their dog right before they go in the kennel which defeats the purpose of doing either thing.

      but the rule isn’t to not feed them in there. the rule is to not let them crap themselves. you cant just not do something because it might backfire later. just don’t let it backfire. he is in the kennel because that is where you have the most control, and he is in a more vulnerable position to listen to you. There are many ways to use this to your advantage. This includes diapers, if you are really that worried about it. Not feeding on the kennel is a largely missed opportunity to form a stronger bond with your dog. the kennel should be thought of as the dogs house, his personal space. of course he wants to eat in there. don’t you want to eat in your room? you don’t poop in there, do you?

  5. I discovered this video very recently, and I now send this to all of my training clients as another resource to look to when I explain the benefits of using a kong. Thank you for putting together such a clear, concise, and simple explanation about kongs! It’s really appreciated!

  6. I have about 40 kongs charges in freezer. Shared between 3 dogs they are a regular tool to add interest to the day. They get hidden for some dogs and are given instead of food for my little piggy dog. Couldn’t manage dogs without them.

  7. New Subscriber Here!!! THANK YOU!! This video just opened a whole new way for me and my pooch to see the Kong. DEF using this for crate training and alone time as she suffers from separation anxiety.

  8. I am long overdue in thanking you for this video. My adult Jack Russell fell into a deep, destructive depression when her Lab/Shepherd brother died and started pretty much trashing my house whenever I went to work. Meanwhile, I rescued another dog (a few months later) who was underweight and needed to put on about a pound and a half. I filled a kong for each day of the week, modifying only in that I topped them with PB before freezing and gave one to each of the dogs before leaving for work. It has worked so well! Neither have separation anxiety and the formerly skinny guy is in perfect shape. Thanks!

  9. I have three dogs, and they love the kong toys! They love the challenge and it’s fun to see the different solutions they come up with to get the food out!

  10. These videos are great! Have been watching them all in preparation for the arrival of our little pup. Such good, clear info. Thank you!!!

    Now we have our 8 week old miniature dachshund puppy. We have just started crate training her with the kong, but she eats very little in any one sitting, meaning she ends up leaving it half full. You mentioned that you can leave the kong with your dog all the time, but is it ok to leave a half full kong in the crate all day or is this a kind of free feeding?

  11. Used it for my 10 wk old Boston Terrier’s lunchtime feeding yesterday. It was GREAT! Took her quite a while to eat, and it entertained her while I was working (she’s in a pen 2 feet away from me). This is going to be a gamechanger for me. Now if only I could get the tips from the puppy biting video to work as well lol.

  12. Amen to this. I can’t count how many dogs behaviors I’ve fixed or reduced by this tactic. People always hate hearing it or don’t want to but it’s true.

    1. @BijouLover8 more questions then answers. Usual the case with me. See behavior in a dog is a something that steams from our own actions. We may not see it but eventually it creates their behavior. It’s hard to just go off of what you text I have to see this all in action. Probably best you do some research and find a really good trainer. That is my honest and genuine advice. It could be the lifestyle, it could be their dog-nality (personality). A good trainer would be able to help. I’m in WA but deployed. Let me know if I can help in any way.

    2. Simpawtico Dog Training

      @Bone Afide that’s just simply not true. Chewing is exceptionally emotionally satisfying for a dog. Having a strong urge to chew isn’t a problem—provided there are good chew toys—and dogs can be taught to use this as a recreational activity and to cope with types of frustrations. Not sure why you would deprive a dog of things to chew.

    3. @Bone Afide especially in the teething stage… let themm cheww…
      and he also mentioned using a kong is not meant to be the only source of your dog passing time, but that you should still exercise your dog/ interact with them and do training…

    4. @BijouLover8 Get a lick mat. They have them at pet stores. You can spread soft food on it, freeze it and stick it on a wall or place on the floor for the dog to use. Because it’s a textured mat, when licked, feels therapeutic (soothing/calm) and provides the dog with mental stimulation.

  13. Great advice! Just tried this with my 3 month old puppy and had over 30 minutes of peaceful bliss as he chewed his little heart out, happy as anything and the constant little drops of food kept him interested. Brilliant canine ninja move

  14. Trust the process. My dog has a severe separation anxiety. Leaving him all alone? A horror story. Step by step, using Kong and leaving him alone from half an hour to hour or two hours we ended up here – where as soon as my dog sees I’m preparing Kong for him, he just cannot wait for me to get tf out of the house. He associated it quickly. Before, he couldn’t be left alone for more than half an hour. Now.. the time doesn’t matter at all. Up to six hours, no problem. But please, people remember, that this solves a lot of problems yes, but a good exercise for the dog, before leaving him alone, is even more important !<3

    1. @JD Pan yummy food can distract a dog a good while but most importantly before you leave your dog for the work shift, be sure to walk them first thing and remember to play with them, the more you spend time and bond the more trust the dog will instill and will understand you’ll be home just before dinner time

    2. @April MacLean it’s not about the food. It’s about the attention span. Also, if owner in the house, ignoring them outright whilst bad behavior is not acknowledging it. But….big but….if owner ignores dog whilst I pad games, news, work, etc. That time used to be set aside, but now has been acceptable. This needs to stop. They do not understand this new device that you have all of a sudden taken more interest in than them.

    3. Simpawtico Dog Training

      @JD Pan this can happen, yes. This tool is best for helping with boredom and low-level stress. Once being alone or being separated starts to drift into anxious territory you’ll need to address that in a more detailed way, and leaving a work to eat toy simply won’t cut. That said, even in those cases once you dial it down to where it’s a minimal issue you can reintroduce these things.

  15. A must for my Pomeranian. I fed her in her Kong and other treat dispensers as a puppy, now she loves these tools. I do use a bowl now, but the treat dispensers are set out for keeping her busy and less anxious while I’m out

  16. I am so glad my partner found this channel for us to watch lots of videos, 9 days before we pick up our Labrador puppy. I’ll be binge watching and learning to make sure we give her the best possible start into our family and that she’ll be a happy, healthy and well-behaved dog :-). Thanks for your fantastic content!

    1. Well done for learning BEFORE you even get your puppy. Far too many people wait till they have a problem (that could easily have been avoided) to find out what to do and then finally if they can’t solve it they call a dog trainer like me (The Dog Training Angel) to teach them how to fix it. That’s after the dog might have destroyed half their house or eaten something dangerous that the vet has had to remove. It’s far cheaper to learn before getting the dog and to hire the dog trainer to come six times over the first couple of weeks to help teach the puppy all the essential commands: Leave it, watch me, sit, stay, come, lead on, mat, wait, bed/crate, touch, drop it, off and down and anything else you fancy (shake (after shower), paw, high five, roll over etc). Good luck with your new dog.

  17. Thank you for this timeless information! I’ve watched this video several times over to digest all the great data. My 2020 Christmas present to myself was a 10wk old purebred GSD puppy. I came home from the pet store with a blue large sized Puppy Kong, and filling this with peanut butter has him in love with Kongs, and eagerly entering his crate when I need to leave the house for 45-90mins. After watching your video, I’ve gone out and purchased an X-Large Kong Classic, which holds a full 1/2 cup of food, and 6′ of thick parachute cord that I’ve strung doubled thru the Kong’s top hole as a 3′ long chew-proof tether. It’s loaded up with Max’s vet approved dry food and sitting in the freezer waiting for a more extended time that I may need to leave him alone. Your suggestion to buy one size bigger than looked appropriate was great, I was surprised this Kong only held half a cup. As an imminent 100+ lb adult dog – the healthy weight my vet says my dog will achieve when he grows into his ears and paws – he’s currently on a diet of 1+1/8th cup of dry food 3 times a day (when not given wet food, or canine rice/meat/veggie meal for variety), so the Kong doesn’t hold a full meal for him, but just under half a serving. I will most likely purchase several more XL Kong/tether combos so I have the ability to present a full serving of food to him entirely frozen in Kongs.

  18. Great video. I recommend using a blender for better consistency and to prep in bulk. Basically I blend dog food, water and a bit of peanut butter. I keep the blended food in my Magic Bullet blender containers in the fridge and just spoon the mixture into the Kongs whenever I’m prepping. Super quick to just scoop/funnel it into the Kongs and it freezes better when it’s blended.

    1. Curious to ask what kind of ratio of food, water and peanut butter you used to stuff?

      We just adopted a dog and I just saw this video and currently have 2 in the freezer with just food and water and will dab the pit edge with peanut butter like the video when we leave later to do some errands

    2. @KevAng039
      I only use a little peanut butter cause I don’t want my dachshunds to get fat. I usually mix it in with the food so that the smell is on all the food, but it probably doesn’t matter much. I think freezing it is the most important part.

  19. “I’m gonna show you how to stuff it fast.”
    Immature me and my husband: 🤣

    Great video by the way! Also, I use a small pink Kong for my indulgent cat. It’s helped keep her from gorging and puking when she eats!

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