Saturday, September 04, 2010

Not Glacier Approved

Since we have so many dogs-four in total, three of whom are huge-we are always trying out new dog toys/treats and any other dog products that we can get our hands on. All of the boys, and our one girl for that matter, love nyla bones, Busy Bones, Roll Over and a few other tougher chews. When we were at Leader Dog, we were told that nyla and Kong were the only acceptable toys for guide dogs-for various reasons. The problem I have run into is that Glacier can destroy Kongs and so I have had to branch out. I learned that very quickly when I gave him a King black Kong the second week I had him and he ripped the top off in twenty minutes.
I have managed to find a few other toys he hasn't destroyed yet. Like his purple squirrel for example. It's this gigantic purple rubberish squirrel that you can stick treats in. He loves that thing, so we now have two. Nyla bones have managed to stand up to Mr. Jaws of Steel as well. We also have a gigantic red ball, called a Jolly Ball, that the boys play with in the backyard; another Leader Dog "no no." The Leader dogs are not supposed to have balls because it teaches them that they can have balls, which could be potentially dangerous. That said, this ball is huge with a handle at the top and I'm pretty sure they won't mistake it for a kid's basketball or baseball when we're out working.
To further demonstrate Glacier's terrific chewing power, I gave him a hockey puck once just to see what he would do. Seven minutes later, I removed it from his slobbery mouth because he was pulling chunks off of it. So you see, finding toys for my "pretty boy" is a pain in the rear end. To look at him you would never know he was capable of such destruction.Everyone pegs Roscoe for that kind of behaviour, but alas, it's the pretty white dog that everyoen thinks is a girl. lol (How they determine this I have no idea because he has a massive head).
So, in the pursuit of a new chew that could stand up to Glacier's great chompers, Mr. K and I purchased three elk antlers; one for each boy. Everything I have read about them says that they are durable and can last up to three weeks. The woman at the pet store suggested them for us and picked out the medium ones for us. She was sure that they were the right size for our boys. In the excitement of getting our boys a new toy, I forgot to mention Glacier's chewing abilities. We have only started going to this store, so the owner is not aware of Glacier's history-so she is completely blameless.
We returned home and put each boy in their own area to chew their prizes in peace. I was getting ready to do my ride for the day and put Glacier in the exercise room with me. Kyo was happily chewing away in the kitchen and Roscoe was in the computer room with Mr. K. It too me a few minutes to get changed and get the room set up; water, music, heart rate monitor, Aria in her crate Etc. By the time I was ready to hop on the bike, Glacier had finished his antler and I don't mean a little bit done. I mean, all done. All scraps were cleaned up, no crumb was left uneaten. In less than a half hour, Glacier finished the treat that was supposed to last weeks. I was shocked. Here we had spent twelve bucks apiece and he had demolished it.
Concerned that the treats weren't all they cracked up to be, I went and check and Kyo and Roscoe who were still happily chewing away. They had hardly taken the tip off. Even now, a few days later and a lot more hours of chewing later, Kyo and Roscoe's antlers remain intact. They are whittled down to about half of what they originally were, but they are still in existence. Even baby Aria's had a go at the antlers. Now, she is a toy breed, but she must try everything her big brothers have. :)
I guess what I'm saying is, the elk antlers are good if you have average chewers, or even a little above average chewers. Kyo is an above average chewer and Roscoe is about average, so they are a good measuring stick. But if you have a labrador with jaws that belong on an alligator, elk antlers are not the way to go. :)