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doggy faves

July 13, 2010

We picked up the most super-awesome device in the history of doggy devices a few weeks ago.  It’s a wireless doggy fence.

Up until a few weeks ago, we had 2 free range dogs.  Barley never left the 1/2 acre of grass surrounding our house.  Jezebel, on the other hand, would prefer free range of the rest of our 8.5 wooded acres – and then some.  Let’s just say, while her and I were outside one day, she decided to visit our sweet neighbor lady, who fortunately, loves dogs.  There was jumping and licking and tail wagging from Jezebel, and we decided that our neighbor should probably not be subjected to that anytime we’re both outside.  Even if it is adorable.  Because there’s a reason we’re all living on large parcels of land in the woods.

So we picked up this PetSafe Wireless Pet Containment system (ps does the phrase “pet containment system” make anyone else giggle?), and it is swell.  It’s pricey – it normally retails for about $300 (we waited until we had a 15% off coupon at the local big box pet store, which brought our cost down to about $255), but it’s cheaper than installing a physical barrier (the DIY fence we built at our last house cost about $700 for about 25 ft of cedar fencing) and much easier than digging a hole for a wire around the house and under the driveway.

After only a few days of training, Jezebel seems to understand where her boundaries are (and, okay, she got shocked once on the lowest level pulse… and looked pathetic the rest of the evening, and I felt so bad about it that I almost cried, and I probably would have actually cried had I not accidentally given myself the same shock when walking around the yard testing it out.  Nope, that wasn’t my brightest moment, but at least I can attest that the shock doesn’t actually hurt, it just startles.  And then I walked around the rest of the day saying, “I can’t believe I shocked myself!”  Gah.). We actually turned down the setting so that there’s no shock – Jezebel here’s a beep when she approaches the boundary, and so far, our little pup hasn’t tested her boundaries.  Even when I walk the trash to the end of the driveway, or am somewhere out of her range, she’ll sit near the boundary and watch.

I love that we can take the unit with us to my parent’s house when we go to visit, or we could take it camping, if we ever went camping.  It’s relatively small, and it just sits on our 3-season porch.  She’s got a 1/2 acre to roam (you can set the boundary up to a 1/2 acre), some of which includes the woods, and most often, that’s where we’ll find her – digging holes in the woods.  If we felt the need to expand her area, we could pick up another unit, placing it at the other end of the house.  If Barley ever decides to stop napping and start being active, we could get a second collar for him.  (He’s so lazy.  It’s not likely that we’ll need it.)

And, on that note, I thought I’d mention some of our favorite dog toys.  Jezebel has been chewing through toys like crazy, but here are some of the ones that have lasted at our house…  We don’t frequently buy dog toys that squeak because Barley is terrified of them (as in, tail between the legs, hiding in the corner).  Luckily for him, though, if we do get a squeaker, sister destroys it in like 0.2 seconds.

So here are our faves, in no particular order:

1. The Kong – these things are about as durable as dog toys get.  Shove it full of whatever treats we have laying around, and let the dogs have at it.  It’s even better when stuffed with PB or yogurt and frozen… it can keep our doggies busy for quite a while.  Barley’s has lasted 3 years with no signs of wear, and the dogs chew on them frequently (even when there aren’t treats in it).

2.  JW Pet Hol-EE Roller Dog Toy – another super-durable dog toy, this was one of the first toys we bought for Barley 3 years ago and it has virtually no signs of wear.  We typically stuff a treat in here and throw it in his kennel while we’re away, and more recently, Jezebel has been throwing the ball and chasing after it – even when there’s not a treat in it.

3.  Everlasting Treat Ball – Jason bought this for Barley as a moving to Kalamazoo present, and it was a good one.  To be honest, I think the fancy treats that fit in the ball are a bit pricey, so we just stick regular treats in the center of the ball (see where the X is in the picture below?) and it takes the dogs a while to wrestle it out of there.  Whatever these things are made of is super-durable and chewy, and the dogs will occasionally pick it up just to chew on it.

4.  Nylabone Double Action Dental Chew Bone – Many of the Nylabone products we’ve bought have been devoured in hours.  This bone, though?  The dogs love chewing on it, and it’s harder and more durable than some of the others we’ve purchased.  Barley will only chew on the white parts of the bone, but Jezzy, I think, prefers the rubbery softness of the blue part.  Maybe she’s just into dental hygiene?

5.  Hartz Chew N Clean – Probably the most durable thing we’ve bought for less than $5.  The dogs love these, and I think we’ve got several of them floating around here…  The only downside is that I’ve only been able to find them at Walmart.

6.  Busy Buddy Bouncy Bone – The dogs love this.  Treats attached or not.

7.  Hurtle a heifer & other fabric-y dog toys from Fat Cat – These have been the most durable cloth dog toys we’ve come across… that is, they take Jezebel a good 2-3 weeks to completely destroy, whereas other fabric dog toys have only lasted a day or two…

And, of course, no post about the dogs would be complete without a picture of them.  This one kind of fits their personalities perfectly…  Barley’s all, I just want to nap, and Jezebel is like squirrel!

And now, I want to hear about your favorite dog toys/treats/containment systems/etc!  I know that a lot of you have more pet ownership experience than I do, and you’ve probably heard of super-awesome stuff that my pups would love, so please share!

Here’s where I note that I’m not being compensated to say any of these swell things about any of these products, it just seemed like many of you also have pets, and these things have made our lives as pet owners much nicer (and our doggies much happier), so I thought I’d tell you about it.  But if the makers of these contacted me to try them out, I know two doggy product testers who would be *thrilled*!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Katie permalink
    July 13, 2010 12:30 pm

    Gracie loves to chew on deer antlers. It made me feel much better when I realize that no little deers had to die for her chew toy as they shed their antlers annually. Anyway, they last forever and aren’t as disgusting as other rawhides.

    • July 16, 2010 9:53 pm

      Eww. Although, who am I to talk, my little dog has been chewing on a skull she found in the woods for months now…


  2. japortma permalink
    July 13, 2010 1:40 pm

    Well, my future puppy will enjoy her PUP-PERONI, just like Barley and his (favorite gramma Baylor) now enjoys his…

  3. July 13, 2010 2:58 pm

    What a great invention! We were considering something like this for our front yard, just as a precausion because we live near a busy road. I usually have to sew our doggie plush toys up quite often (holes), but the boys love anything that squeaks!

    • July 16, 2010 9:55 pm

      It’s an amazing invention. I didn’t know about it until a few weeks ago, but now that we have it, I can’t believe we let her roam free before! I feel so much better knowing that she’s staying close!

      Do you use dental floss to sew them up? My aunt swears by it – it’s stronger than regular thread.

  4. July 13, 2010 4:43 pm

    Our family dog, Shaq, was the most beautiful German shepherd but he wasn’t that bright. We use to have a very fruitful grapefruit tree in our backyard which produced so much fruit they would go to waste. I’d throw one for Shaq 2 or 3 times before he’d bite into it and realise how bitter they were and shake his head around. Then, he’d pick another freshly fallen piece of fruit up and bring it back to do it all over again. He’d happily bite into about 20 of them before giving up.

  5. July 13, 2010 6:01 pm

    This reminded me of a joke email I once received; dog toy or marital aide?

  6. July 13, 2010 6:19 pm

    The pugs love the Kong, too. They also have this gadget that looks like a water bottle, but instead of a spout, it has a rope toy. You can fill it with treats and they have to figure out how to maneuver the rope to get them. They go nuts over it.

    • July 13, 2010 8:27 pm

      We had one of those… until Jezebel destroyed the rope… it’s not much fun anymore…

  7. mom permalink
    July 14, 2010 12:39 am

    Your brother’s smelly socks he leaves all over the house are Comet’s favorite toys! I would mind except when it gets right down to it, cotton socks can be a lot less expensive than most doggy toys out there!

  8. July 15, 2010 12:23 pm

    I’ve never heard of this system. It sounds great to me. Thanks for telling us about it. 🙂

  9. July 18, 2010 12:52 pm

    Chris had a pet containment system for Frankie at his old house in Vermont before we moved to Maine and shacked up together. It worked wonders and we brought it to Maine with us, but once we were here we figured out that Frankie had learned the concept of “staying close.” Now we don’t use the system and he just happily hangs out in the yard. I know you’ll love the comfort of knowing your baby dogs are right outside.

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