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Given we both have to work and our dog Waffles spends a 6-7 hours at home during the day alone, wandering the house. Sometimes, when my parents are out of town and I have to babysit Waffles brother from the same litter, they get to play all day together. But outside of that, I'm looking for the best puzzle toys for our maltipoo Waffles to self entertain himself.
Every dog is different, and they may solve puzzles at varying rates. We've tried a handful of store/internet bought toys, some hit and miss.
PetSafe Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug Meal - One of the first puzzle toys I bought for Waffles. He loved dragging and pushing the toy around, but he was never able to figure out how to get the treats out. Perhaps I was using the wrong kind of treat that was too big, but I could barely figure out how get the treats out. It's not clear what size food is optimal for this toy. My suggestion to PetSafe: include some sample food with your toy instead of forcing us to buy your overpriced branded food for the toy). In the end, Waffles ended up destroying the rope and the toy was toast.
StarMark Bob-A-Lot - This is one of the other puzzle toys that Waffles has really enjoyed. It's much better than the Tug-A-Jug, because there are valves to control how much food is dispensed with every shake. Therefore, even his regular dog food will work in this toy. He'll scratch at it and push it until all the food is out. It took Waffles many months to get accustomed to this toy, but this is a hardy and difficult to break puzzle toy.
All in all, with all the toys of try, I'd recommend one of the two for starters. There are many more to try, in addition to homemade puzzle toys, which is likely the next post.