Moe has been a victim of dog labor since he was a clueless little puppy. While other dogs and puppies joyfully lap up their food from their bowls, Moe’s bowl contains a meager half of his daily food amount. He is forced to work for the other half. To be fair our goals are altruistic. It is all in an effort to ensure that he exercises his mind as well as his body.
There are many treat dispensing toys and puzzles available and these are the instruments of labor for our hungry puppy. After Moe developed a food allergy, he is on a strict no grain, fish based diet. As such his “treats” are mainly the kibble we feed him. The labor all started with a simple ball that would dispense food when rolled. Easy enough for a hungry puppy, with boundless energy, to conquer. Next came a plastic cube that has to be flipped over to get food. Then we added the Tug-A-Jug that requires a sophisticated series of tips, and rope pulling before Moe gets any food. Surely an extreme measure but one that Moe has mastered and can now complete in a few minutes. Finally there is a Kong toy that dispenses food when tipped in the proper direction.
Every morning and evening Moe must work his way through one or two of these devices to get half of his food allotment.
Some may think it is cruel to force your dog to solve puzzles to get food. We think it is good mental exercise and from the excitement Moe shows when given one of these puzzles he thinks it’s fun!