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Dog Trainer Robert Haussmann’s Favorite Enrichment Toys

The Wildest Collective expert shares his top toys and tools, from classics Kongs to snuffle mats to slow feeders.

by Avery Felman | expert review by Robert Haussmann, CPDT-KA
August 3, 2022
dog trainer robert haussman, aka dogboy, shares his favorite dog training tools and toys
The Wildest

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The lasting anxieties of the pandemic have affected all of us — including our furry family members. From socialization issues to separation anxiety, there are plenty of things to navigate as we return to the office and our schedules are forced to adapt accordingly. Thankfully, expert dog trainers, such as Robert Haussmann of Dogboy NYC, offer us solutions to some of these stress-inducing quasi-post-pandemic woes. We got the scoop on the best interactive, enriching, and training toys from Haussmann, including some of his pup’s personal favorites. Below, you’ll find everything from a wobbling Kong to a treat dispensing ball toy, courtesy of The Wildest Collective trainer.

KONG Classic Dog Toy

Kongs are a faithful industry standard. They can be filled with an array of mushy mixes of food or extra treats to engage your dog in chewing, licking, and problem solving. Kongs also promote foraging for food, which dogs thoroughly enjoy. For an extra special time consuming treat, it’s fun to fill a Kong with peanut butter and freeze it overnight. It’s always a good idea to keep some frozen filled Kongs on hand to keep your dog entertained when you need it most. They can also be used to make a positive association with your absence, crate, etc. Who wants to eat out of a boring old bowl when you can make meals an adventure?”

$14 at Chewy
KONG Classic Dog Toy

“Kongs are a faithful industry standard. They can be filled with an array of mushy mixes of food or extra treats to engage your dog in chewing, licking, and problem solving. Kongs also promote foraging for food, which dogs thoroughly enjoy. For an extra special time consuming treat, it’s fun to fill a Kong with peanut butter and freeze it overnight. It’s always a good idea to keep some frozen filled Kongs on hand to keep your dog entertained when you need it most. They can also be used to make a positive association with your absence, crate, etc. Who wants to eat out of a boring old bowl when you can make meals an adventure?”

$12 at Walmart
red ball toy

The tricky treat ball is my dog’s personal favorite! Like the wobbler, the dry food goes in the ball and your dog then needs to push, paw, and roll the ball around to get the food to fall out of the single hole in the side. It may take some time for your dog to figure out how it works. It’s fun to roll the ball around with your pup and to use it as an opportunity to bond and play together. Once they figure it out, it’s like winning the jackpot every time.

$5 at Chewy
red ball toy

“The tricky treat ball is my dog’s personal favorite! Like the wobbler, the dry food goes in the ball, and your dog then needs to push, paw, and roll the ball around to get the food to fall out of the single hole in the side. It may take some time for your dog to figure out how it works. It’s fun to roll the ball around with your pup and to use it as an opportunity to bond and play together. Once they figure it out, it’s like winning the jackpot every time.”

$5 at Walmart
green slow feeder

“Lick mats engage your dog’s mouth and are especially helpful in giving vigorous chewers and nippers something else to do besides eat your rug. Soft foods, such as peanut butter or canned pumpkin, can be smeared on the textured surface for your dog to lick clean. To keep your dog stimulated and busy, they can also be frozen, which allows them to last much longer. I use these to create positive associations with bath time and other grooming activities. It’s highly enjoyable, engaging, and — most importantly — delicious!”

$7 at Chewy
green slow feeder

“Lick mats engage your dog’s mouth and are especially helpful in giving vigorous chewers and nippers something else to do besides eat your rug. Soft foods, such as peanut butter or canned pumpkin, can be smeared on the textured surface for your dog to lick clean. To keep your dog stimulated and busy, they can also be frozen, which allows them to last much longer. I use these to create positive associations with bath time and other grooming activities. It’s highly enjoyable, engaging, and — most importantly — delicious!”

$20 at Walmart
ruffwear collar in turquoise

“I use this on my own dog who is shaped like a whippet — it’s a fantastic everyday collar for dogs who are already calm and responsive on a leash. There is no tool that makes up for the relationship between you and your dog and the work and effort you’re putting into training that dog. A lot of times, people use devices to suppress behaviors instead of teaching their dogs appropriate behaviors.”

$20 at Ruffwear

Products are always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?)

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Avery, editor at The Wildest, and her cat, Chicken

Avery Felman

Avery is an editor at The Wildest. She has written for numerous publications, including Refinery29, BuzzFeed, and V Magazine. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her boyfriend and cat, Chicken, and has high hopes that one of them will let her adopt a dog.