* Prices may differ from that shown
This product is made by the Company of Animals and not wanting to contradict the previous reviewer - but The Company of Animals is a UK based company, owned by the highly regarded behaviourist Dr Roger Mugford and is based in Surrey, UK.
The dog pyramid is weighted in the bottom like those old toys you used to get as a child - 'weebles wobble but they won't fall down' everyone remembers them, right? The dog pyramid comes in various sizes and colours. Pyramid products available now are the original size as pictured, a size down for smaller dogs, another size down again for rabbits, ferrets and other small animals, and a slightly different shaped pyramid but also a smaller size for cats.
Evidently the world is finally waking up to environmental enrichment, and the benefits of activity toys and delivering food to animals that makes them think and interact rather than just eat from a bowl.
So in the case of the original dog sized pyramid, the dog has to keep hitting the pyramid to get the food out, it has to wobble sufficiently hard enough - in that it swings back and forth - that the food comes out of the two holes which are situated either side near the top of the pyramid. When you first get the product and introduce it to your dog, you may need to show the dog that there is food inside by doing this yourself, your dog will soon be investigating where the food has come from and should get the hang of it fairly quickly.
Compared to traditional treat balls, (which just roll and have holes on the side, but no maze inside which means the food just falls out,) the dog pyramid is a bit harder for the dog to get the food out of, but this along with it's wobbling irregularity is what makes it so good in my opinion. Certainly my dog really enjoys using it, and bashes it around up and down the hallway, with no ill effects to the pyramid, the plastic is surprisingly durable, and it will also withstand a bit of chewing if they try to bite the pyramid. WARNING: It is not a chew toy!!
The pyramid twists open at the top allowing for easy cleaning and refilling, I would recommend people try feeding their dogs meals in an activity toy such as this as it will mean the dog has to think about what they're doing, and help to train their brains.
*What is The Company Of Animals Dog Pyramid?*
The well established American company, the Company Of Animals, produces this robust, interactive puzzle dog toy as part of their extensive range which also includes Kong pet toys, Clix training equipment, the Halti head collar and the Furminator grooming tool.
*The product itself*
If entertaining dogs was ever to make it's way into the Olympic games, then I can guarantee it would be the one activity that I would most certainly win gold in! This is for the simple reason that keeping dogs entertained seems to be the story of my life since my two bonkers mutts invaded my home!
As I'm sure almost everyone knows by now, I have two gorgeous 'fur-babies' who go by the names of Grace and Benson and to put things simply, these two dogs mean the absolute world to me. Although generally, I'm rather mean about them, and like to make out that their heads are completely and utterly full of fluff and that they are very dim dogs, but in reality this couldn't be further from the truth and they are actually two very clever canines. Well, most of the time anyway, we'll exclude all recent 'running into closed patio door accidents' and their on going belief that if they sit at the bottom of a tree and bark at any squirrel they see in it, then said squirrel will just come down and issue an invite for the dogs to eat him.
Anyway, lets move on shall we, before I cause the poor woofs to loose all their remaining street cred.
Because the dogs are so high energy and very intelligent, providing bits and pieces to keep their minds active is an on going task and for this reason, I'm constantly on the look out for new toys that I think will present a bit of a challenge to them, whilst at the same time providing them with the enjoyment of a great new toy.
The Company Of Animals are the brains behind perhaps the worlds most popular dog toy, and certainly Grace and Benson's favourite, the legendary Kong. So when I spotted this toy in their range and deciding it looked like something the dogs would enjoy, I didn't hesitate in placing my order.
The Dog Pyramid is a rather unique idea and has a design that I have not seen before in any other dog toy- the Pyramid is a food releasing toy, that is designed to provide both physical exercise and mental stimulation as the dog must work out what he is required to do to release the food that is contained inside the toy. Where it differs from other food releasing dog toys however, is that the base of the Pyramid is weighted, therefore it always self-rights to the vertical position, no matter how much the dog batters or paws at the toy.
The hole in which the food is released from though, is at the top of the toy, on one side, so to enable the dog to access the food, he must realise that he must knock the toy around with his paws or nose with quite some force so that the Pyramid lays horizontally for a brief moment, and some food falls through the hole. So all in all, it's quite a demanding toy, and seems a great idea for all these canines that are quite simply too bright for their own good!
The Dog Pyramid comes packaged in minimal packaging, the toy is simply slotted into a cardboard sleeve with gives all relevant information about the toy, how it works, how to use, cleaning instructions and a few safety reminders. Of course, contact details for The Company of Animals are also provided, and the packaged is recyclable once no longer required.
*Price & Availability*
I've yet to ser the Pyramid stocked in any offline pet shops although it is widely available across the internet, so finding one to purchase should not create too much of a problem. The Pyramid comes in a choice of three colours (pink, red or blue) and in just the one standard size.
I purchased our Pyramid from Canine Concepts (www.canineconcepts.co.uk) for £9.99. Although they currently have them on sale with £2 off, so if you fancy one for your dog, Canine Concepts is the place to go!
In the 5 years (almost) that I've had Benson, and the two years that I've had his little 'sister' Grace, it seems that we must have tried a very large proportion of dog toys on the market in a bid to keep them entertained. Whilst we've had a few diamond finds that the dogs loved and are still in one piece to this day and others may last a few weeks or months at tops, unfortunately, the vast majority seem to meet an ugly death at the paws of my furry monsters on the very same day they receive them, or if they are lucky , they may last two or three days being brutally murdered!
This is because Grace and Benson are chewers! Some dogs are diggers, others barkers and some may not be much at all, but Grace and Benson, well, they firmly believe they were put on this planet to chew and it's an activity they insist on doing (or at least trying to do) 24/7. Whether it's a toy, a rawhide bone, a stick or the cat, as long as they can chew, they simply don't care!
This is why I am possibly majorly responsible for the state of England's land fill sites- they are all filled with thoroughly destroyed Grace and Benson toys!
Now, when I spotted this Dog Pyramid toy online, I was instantly intrigued, if there is one thing the dogs love as much as chewing, then it is eating, so the fact that this toy released food gave it a head start before I'd even looking into it more. Also, the fact it was made by The Company Of Animals, a company I have huge faith in made it a winner for me- my order was placed and a few days later, the Pyramid was delivered.
Taking it out of it's packaging, on first impressions, I was really pleased with it. It was made from thick durable plastic and certainly appeared very robust and more than capable to withstand a play session with my two crazy canines. The weighted aspect was very good too, I placed the toy on the table and each time I tried to knock it down, it shot right back up again. Initial inspection passed, it was now time to see what the dogs thought of it!
The packaging advises me to use either pieces of dry dog food or small biscuit treats, so this is what I did, I poured a small amount of their normal dry food into the Pyramid and set it down on the floor for the dogs.
Both of them were instantly very curious regarding it, they kept coming up and nudging it with their noses but Grace, the complete and utter whimp was very taken back when the toy kept popping back up the vertical position. Honestly, how that dog can call herself a Rottweiler is beyond me! But anyway, it didn't take long for Benson to take advantage of Grace's whimpish ways and he soon nabbed the toy for himself.
Benson is a very fun loving dog, he could find enjoyment from the simplest of items but it's quite clear when he REALLY loves something as his tail wags so fast and furiously that no item on sideboards or coffee tables within his height range is safe and he will play growl continuously. This toy passed both the wag-o-metre test and the growling test with flying colours, and Benson was playing with the toy for absolutely ages. He would pounce on the toy and pin it to the floor with his front paws, eat a piece of the food that fell out and then bounce back, letting the toy straighten itself out again, and then he would pounce once moved. He really, really loved it and continued playing in this way until every last morsel of food had been released, and even then, he was still more than happy to continue his game of pounce and bounce for quite some time afterwards.
The statement that The Company Of Animals says about the toy, in that it will also self right to the vertical position, is most certainly true. The toy was taking a right old battering from Benson's paws, but no matter how much he whacked it, it would always shoot straight back up which in itself, would entice Benson in to another game of pouncing on the toy.
We've had the Pyramid a few weeks now and whilst Grace never really took to it, Benson is still getting regular enjoyment from it. The toy is large enough to fit a reasonable amount of kibble into so occasionally I like to use it as a novel way to feed Benson his normal dry food, as it makes him work for his food and gives him plenty of mental stimulation and exercise whilst doing so, it livens up meal times for him a bit as it makes a nice change from simply eating from a bowl.
All in all, a great little toy, which would be suitable for all high energy and bouncy dogs, that love to pounce on items. It's fun self righting element combined with it's food releasing aspects makes it a winning combination for all dogs with excess energy to spare and thanks to it's strong and durable construction, it's suitable for all dogs, regardless how big.