4.24.2012

Where the Rubber Meets the Rawhide

About 5 months ago, Kyjen Toy Company sent me a toy for Zeppelin. I told them I would write up a review of this toy. Then, Christmas happened, as did 5 months of morning sickness (so we're going to have to look for good toys for small humans soon!) - and I am JUST now getting around to writing their review! Thanks, Kyjen, for being so patient!

For starters, I will openly state that Kyjen has long been one of my favorite vendors. The innovation is brilliant, the product quality is top notch, and did you know that they are behind Outward Hound products? I openly recommend their Kyjen Tail Teaser at every opportunity, especially for high drive, city dwelling dogs that need aerobic activity. 

So when they offered to send me a toy for review, I was pretty excited. They sent me a large version of their new Seamsters Line , which combines Rubber with Rawhide, mental stimulation with added bonus of making the rubber toy into a puzzle toy as well.


Both dogs got to try this toy, though the Border Collie rather "helped herself" to the Seamster after the Greyhound had his fun.

First, the Greyhound:
Zeppy really doesn't get into toys. He likes Kongs, as long as they aren't too challenging. He does, however, like to chew on things. Bully sticks, rawhides, and once, my glasses. When we presented him with this toy, he got really excited, took it from me, and went to his bed to chew. I figured he'd be done in just a couple minutes, but he worked on this toy for a solid half an hour. I took the toy away from him, presented it to him the next day, and he worked on it until the rawhide was done. He loved it - it was durable enough for him, and he really had a good time!

Second, the Border Collie:
Let me first start off by saying, I strung this toy together incorrectly. The toy comes with a rawhide refill - basically a strip of rawhide that you soak for a few minutes so it becomes pliable, then you thread it through the loops to put the pieces of the toy together. I didn't have to thread anything when Zep was working on the toy since it came pre-strung. When I threaded it, I got confused and went the wrong way, which later would prove to be a bad move on my part.

Zeppy got bored with the toy when it was threaded wrong, so he left it alone after a few minutes of frustration. Sadie, our BC, decided to give it a shot. Sadie's basic coping mechanism for anything challenging is to run through it, tear through it, or throw it into the ground. She started by throwing the rubber toy into the ground (which works for her Linkables), and it didn't work. So she decided to chew through the rubber rungs that held the rawhide in place, which was rather impressive. By the time I realized that she was chewing THROUGH the outer rings of the toy instead of chewing the rawhide (she had her back to me, and chewing rawhide looks very similar to chewing tough rubber!), it was too late for part of the toy. However, I will say, that she had a rather good time, and looked really happy while she was destroying the only toy that has ever given her "brother" any joy.

It wasn't until after this had happened that my husband noticed that the threading was incorrect, which explains everything that happened above.

In Conclusion:
I really do like this toy for dogs that love rawhide, and also need mental stimulation. As stated earlier, for one of our dogs, this was the only toy that has ever given him the mental stimulation that he needs, in a fashion that he enjoyed. He's not a destructive chewer, but does love to chew on rawhides and other animal bits. However, for more destructive chewers, or dogs that have maybe chewed through other types of rubber toys as a coping mechanism, the rubber rings on the outside of the toy might not hold up over time.

I loved how innovative the toy was - taking dense rubber and threading rawhide through it to make a Super-Toy. It's definitely one that I'm going to continue to recommend to my students (puppies will get a kick out of this!), but do keep in mind that there it should be supervised to make sure the dog doesn't chew the wrong parts of the toy. I think threading the toy incorrectly (my fault, entirely!) also contributed to the destruction, but if I messed up the threading, anyone can mess up the threading, so it's something to keep in mind.