Our dog is a young and chompy dog and needs distractions, especially if we're leaving him home alone for any length of time.
We'd previously had a Kong, which is probably the market leading toy in this style. These toys are designed to be filled with treats, which the dog tries to get out by chewing the toy, thereby crushing biscuits so they fall out bit by bit, or by licking it out in the case of peanut butter or specific dog pastes. The idea is to keep them busy and make them work for their treats, hopefully giving their brains and jaws a workout that saves your home if they have a tendency to be destructive.
After a few months of ownership, Hooligan dog had managed to kill our Kong: he has a strong set of teeth and jaws, and determination once an idea gets lodged in that big old bony head. When we went to the Pets At Home store recently, looking for new toys to keep him occupied, we saw this Sumo skittle and thought we'd give it a try.
What sold it to us was the 'medium' Sumo was about the same size as the 'large' Kong, but £3 cheaper. It is also knobblier with rings around the middle, so looked a bit more interesting to chew.
Like the Kong, it has a hole in the middle, which is intended for stuffing treats into, to get the dog's interest going. One end of the hole is smaller than the other. I tend to jam it with dog biscuits, then seal them in with a dollop of meat paste or the like. It takes the dog a good long while to clean it out to his satisfaction and has made a difference to whether he gets up to anything or not.
It's made from a thick tough rubber, to resist the teeth of gnawing hounds and also makes it bouncy. This means it is quite heavy at 275g - not the kind of thing you want dropped exuberantly on your toe! It's easy to wash out when necessary, just using washing up liquid and water.
Hooligan dog likes it and it is standing up well so far to his abuse. It has some tooth marks, but these are superficial, no depth to them, imprints rather than fissures. Other than that, it is undamaged. He doesn't play with it that much when it isn't filled, but does occasionally have a gnaw or run round the garden with it. As ours is bright yellow, it is easy to find out there when we want it.
I'd expect it to last as long as the Kong did, on current showing. Obviously if the toy begins to break up, you should stop giving it to the dog as they may swallow some of the bits, which isn't good for them, as well as making a mess.
I would recommend it to anyone with a dog in need of entertainment. It is available from Pets At Home at £6.99 for the Medium Ruff and Tuff Hide and Treat Skittle.