Review: Busy Buddy Bristle Bone

The girls were extremely excited to try this offering from Chewy.com: the Busy Buddy Bristle Bone.

Busy Buddy Bone review / Doggerel

This ingenious toy, devised for very heavy chewers (which both of our pups are), integrates thin, replaceable rawhide rings into the bone.

img_1168

We got to try the large size, which currently sells for $14.95 at Chewy.com. As soon as I let them try out the one we received, I knew I’d have to buy another one. They were both very interested in the bone and possessive over it. I bought another one in our next Chewy order, and they have both really been enjoying themselves with this toy.

They did figure out how to unscrew one of the ends of the bones and remove the ring, however, so I’d suggest that this is a toy for supervised play time.
img_1172

Eden went to the vet for her annual checkup just last week, and the vet tech, whose opinion we treat like gold, actually recommended this toy to us. Eden was developing some buildup on her molars, and the vet tech said she really liked this toy for keeping the plaque at bay.

We’re all very pleased with this bristle bone! It’s always a pleasure to discover a new toy that can stand up to these heavy-duty shepherd mouths.

Is your dog playing with anything new lately?

Disclaimer: We were provided with this product in exchange for our honest review. We never review products that we wouldn’t heartily recommend to friends.

Advertisements

Review: Purina Pro Plan Savor Tender Strips

As we settle back in to our normal life, the girls are pleased to know that we’re resuming some reviews of products from Chewy.com. We are not paid for our opinions, and we only review things that we feel comfortable about recommending. We are provided with a free sample and asked to write a review, which Pyrrha and Eden are only too happy to help with.

IMG_0780

This time, we got to sample Purina Pro Plan’s Savor Tender Strips.

This is a soft treat that is easily breakable into tiny bits, so even though the strips are big dog-sized (about 4″ to 5″ long), you could break them up into small pieces for training.

IMG_0779

We don’t feed Purina and haven’t been terribly interested in most of their offerings, to be honest, but I was pleased to see that lamb is the first ingredient in these treats.

A bag of the lamb and sweet potato treats currently sells for $5.99 at Chewy.com.

IMG_0782

The girls are trying to contain their excitement:

IMG_0784

(*Note that is a pinecone between them. Not something… untoward…)

They are big fans! I have been using broken-up pieces of these strips to entice Pyrrha while I apply some antibiotic spray to her in the morning (she has an ongoing minor issue), and it certainly helps distract her from any small unpleasantness.

Do you have a favorite type of treat that’s currently in rotation at your house? Do share!

In exchange for our honest opinion, we were provided with a bag of these treats from Chewy.com. I was not paid for my opinion, and I only feature reviews of products I am comfortable recommending to good friends.

Review: ToughHound collar

IMG_2607
ToughHound ID collar in neon pink.

Pyrrha was asked to try out the ToughHound All Sports collar, which retails for $29.95. This heavy-duty, nylon/plastic collar comes in a range of bright colors with an attached, stainless steel ID plate (see below).

edIMG_2606
ID tag close-up. (Details blurred.) Font: Bodoni.

The ID plate can be customized with four lines of text from a choice of 13 fonts. I liked the wide range of font options (being somewhat of a design snob) and I ended up choosing a bolder, serif font for readability, although there are plenty of “fun” fonts to also choose from.

IMG_2621
Pouty model.

The collar feels very hardy and I imagine it will last a long time. The thick, plastic material also make it very easy to clean. I’d guess that this collar would not get “collar stink” that cotton or nylon-web collars often acquire over time.

ToughHound collar review

Pyrrha wore the collar for Sunday’s play-date with the boys and it held up to all kinds of wrestling and romping. The collar comes in three widths (she’s modeling the 1″ collar, the largest size) but I do think it is a collar that’s best for big dogs. The plastic material is somewhat heavy and I think it might weigh a smaller dog down a bit.IMG_2624

All that said, Pyrrha is enjoying this rough-and-tumble sports collar and it is nice to have that complete reduction in the noise of jingling tags. In short: Pyrrha recommends it. For more information or to order, please visit Dog Bark Collar.

DISCLAIMER: I was provided with a collar in exchange for this review, but all opinions are mine. Please also note that Pyrrha and I do not endorse bark collars or shock collars, which this company primarily sells.

Pup links!

A meditative mutt. Photo by Winnie Au.

Dog-related links from around the Web this week:

Your Complete Guide to the Diamond Pet Food Recalls. If you read any pet blogs at all, you’ve surely already heard about the big fiasco with Diamond Pet Food’s recall of a whole host of kibbles infected with salmonella. I was dismayed to read about it, because I had kind of decided to feed our future dog Taste of the Wild, which is one of the brands included in this voluntary recall. Were any of you affected by the recall? Will you be switching brands because of it? (Poisoned Pets)

Lure and Clicker Training to Teach Sit: Advantages and Disadvantages. Patricia McConnell discusses the pros and cons of using either a lure or a clicker to teach a dog how to sit. She also wonders if anyone is a combination trainer, perhaps using a mix of both techniques? (The Other End of the Leash)

Dogs Are Born to Run. Interesting citation of a study that claims that dogs, like people, can experience a “runner’s high.” (The Bark blog)

Four Easy Ways to Eliminate Tag Jingle. Some tips and tags to prevent the constant jingling of tags. (*Although I sometimes like noisy dog tags, in that they can always tell me where the dog is in the house…) (Unleashed Unlimited)

Ted Recommends Stagbars. Ted the long-haired chihuahua likes these particular stagbar chews and thoughtfully explains why. (Tinkerwolf)

Film: Badlands (1973). M.C. reviews Terrence Malick’s beautiful film Badlands and the dogs who play a role in it. I’m looking forward to seeing this myself, as it’s one of my husband’s all-time favorites. (The House of Two Bows)

The Long and the Short of it. I love these old-fashioned/woodblock-print-like key fobs and tags, all printed with a variety of classic breeds; would make a nice gift for a particular breed devotee. (Under the Blanket)

Rosie’s Bloopers. This is the goofiest pointer ever! These photos are hilarious. (Paws on the Run)

His Face Every Time I Catch a Fish. This is… so good. This man’s hound makes the exact same expression of curious bewilderment whenever there is a fish in the boat. (Full Pelt)

OK, and now, one of my new favorite animal Tumblrs is Animals Talking in All Caps. (It’s exactly what it sounds like.) Some of my favorites that include dogs:

WOULD YOU GUYS STOP ARGUING ABOUT POLITICS
AUGH! NO, NO! THIS IS GIN!
SEVEN YOUNG LADIES STAND BEFORE ME…

Review: Dog Sense

Dog Sense, by John Bradshaw

John Bradshaw’s new book, Dog Sense, is one of the most heavily academic and scientific dog books I’ve read so far–and I loved it.

The book came highly recommended by my dog training hero, Patricia McConnell, and so I knew I had to read it at some point. (She also provides a much more thorough and interesting review of the book on her blog.) I was excited when I saw that it was coming in at our local library and quickly put it on hold.

Dog Sense is a sizable tome, but it’s well worth wading through all of the research to get to Bradshaw’s arguments. I think a lot of the strength of this book is his strong and profound statements debunking many widely believed myths about dog psychology and behavior.

I’ve already quoted his important statement on the popular misapplication of “guilt” onto our dogs. His other significant contribution is his thorough debunking of the old “dominance” model of approaching dog behavior and training. Many other respected dog trainers, like McConnell herself, have written about how this model needs to be rejected, but I don’t think I’ve read a case as strong as Bradshaw’s for why we need to stop talking about and treating our dogs as if they behaved like captive wolves.

In a nutshell, here’s Bradshaw’s case for why the old “dominance” model of behavior is based on three false concepts:

  1. It’s derived from the way that wolves behave when they are living unnaturally in captivity.
  2. Feral dogs, when allowed to establish family groups, don’t behave like wolves at all. Feral dogs “are much more tolerant of one another than any other modern canid would be if it lived at such high density.”
  3. Dogs kept in similar captive circumstances do not develop hierarchies of dominance, based around competition and aggression.

It was helpful reading such a heavily researched opinion on why the dominance model is outdated and, frankly, wrong. What’s daunting is how many people still believe it. The majority of dog owners, at least in America, talk about their dogs as if the dogs were sneaky tyrants, just waiting for a moment to usurp their human’s power. It’s a sad and limiting way to think about our dogs and I’m grateful for Bradshaw’s fresh perspective on this issue.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who lives with or around dogs. If you’re not already familiar with the new movements in dog psychology and research, this book will undoubtedly revolutionize the way you consider and communicate with your dog.