Dog Toy Review: Foobler!

The kind angels at Nekojam kindly gifted Mango a Foobler for a review! And if you have a timid dog, I think this will help you!

If you haven’t heard of this awesome product, it’s

“A self-reloading puzzle feeder for your dog with a real bell that challenges, stimulates and feeds your dog for up to 9 hours.”

Foobler!

More info after the jump! Read on!

Why you should get it:

I saw the awesome Kickstarter Project (that has been funded) when it first came out, and it tempted me because:

  1. It’s an IQ toy! I want Mango to exercise that brain of his. Who doesn’t want a smarter, problem-solving dog?
  2. It’s self-reloading! 6 pods = dispensing 6x!
  3. Time-release. I can keep dog occupied from 1.5hours to up to 9hours (!!) if I set the dispense timer, ranging from 15/30/60/90 minutes.
  4. The bell that signals that pod is being “reloaded” to dog, so game starts all over again! Pavlovian response much?
  5. Physical and mental stimulation. It’s not exactly easy to get the food out, so some movement on dog’s part is required. Eat and exercise, why not?
  6. This might be a solution for dogs who gobble their food! Really taking “eating slow” onto another level.

Mango and initial meeting with the Foobler (super wary face)

My Concerns:

I did not buy it during the Kickstarter project as Mango has some issues like:

  1. Mango is wary of toys bigger than his head.
  2. He has a fear plastic toys, or more like the sounds they make when they hit/roll around on the floor.
  3. He’s wary of erratic movements (toys/humans/cats/anything)
  4. He isn’t too fond of balls.
  5. He plays very gently with toys, and the Foobler requires some major pushing/nudging to get it going.
  6. I don’t like the idea of him eating off the floor and leaving drool everywhere.
  7. I was afraid I would be spending money on the Foobler and he’s not going to touch it, at all.

That said, don’t worry! If I can get Mango to overcome his fear, I don’t see why you can’t do it too if your dog has issues like him! Read on~

Muffin: “What is that…?”

I wonder if they will actually make a Foobler for cats. It will be good if it’s a little smaller for cats, because this size and weight…. is definitely not suitable for any of my cats. Muffin is curious about it but it didn’t budge when she pawed it, so she lost interest soon. Let me know if anyone tries it with their cat(s) and succeed!

 

Foobler, up close and personal:

The Foobler, out of the box.

Lid with 6 pods. Twist lock closure.

The bottom power pod with power button. Twist lock closure.

The power pod with timer.

What I did with Mango (for cautious/fearful dogs):

For cautious/fearful dogs who are afraid of big/moving/noisy (because plastic rolling on floor is noisy compared to a soft toy) toys, there’s a steeper learning curve. But it’s still achievable!

What I did in steps: (increase when dog is comfortable)

  1. Don’t insert batteries. Batteries give the Foobler weight, which in turn makes it more difficult to tumble around for dogs who are afraid of such toys.
  2. Don’t shake the Foobler (I did it to test Mango out then he stood outside the room, furthest from the Foobler for a day. Bad move). Leave it in the middle of the floor, let dog explore. (Mango simply stood the furthest he could get from the Foobler at first)
  3. Scatter treats around Foobler. Encourage dog to approach it for the treats.
  4. Place treats on the Foobler’s cover’s grooves. Encourages dog to touch the Foobler.
  5. Place treats under the Foobler. Encourages dog to nudge the Foobler to get the treats under the Foobler.
  6. Place some treats dangling from the dispensing holes in the outer shell. Lets dog know that “food comes from here!” (though I may have gotten this step wrong, but this was what I did to help Mango).
  7. Fill topmost pod, with dispensing hole in inner core at that pod, right at the bottom dispensing hole.

    Fill pod that is located nearest the dispensing hole at the bottom (the outer shell has 2 dispensing holes) and allocate that pod to be the current dispensing one, with yummy treats, all the way to the brim for easy dispensing. You want dog to just nudge it and food comes out to let dog associate Foobler = yummy food. I discovered that the above method works best for Mango as just one light nudge with a full pod will dispense food! Helps to encourage him to do it more often! (Not sure if you understand what I’m trying to say though…)

  8. Put yummier treats at the bottom of the pod, and layer with kibbles till full. Dog learns that he needs to work harder for the yummier bits inside!
  9. Adjust dispensing pod to next one to increase difficulty.
  10. Insert batteries to increase weight of Foobler. Start from the same pod in Step 7.
  11. Adjust dispensing pod to next one to increase difficulty.  (Mango is currently at this stage, but will progress as written here)
  12. Turn on Foobler, let dog hear the chime, treat dog near it. Chime = food! Turn off Foobler, use as per normal, try the chime again later. Repeat until dog comes to Foobler when it chimes.
  13. Put a little food in all pods and reward when dog touches Foobler after chime (hang around Foobler at the timing you set).
  14. Try leaving dog with Foobler for 2 consecutive chime intervals and watch dog. If wary, repeat Step 13 till dog is comfortable then proceed to leave dog alone with Foobler for the day.
  15. Ta-dahhh! You have a Foobler professional now!

The above steps are what I’ve come up with for Mango due to his fear of things that are erratic, makes noise and bigger than his head. Currently, we’re at Step 11 and I’m waiting for him to be a little rougher with the Foobler then I’ll proceed with Step 11!

Some posts from Mango’s Instagram account.

Mango’s first few encounters with the Foobler. Totally standing at the other end of the room.

Day 4; Overly gentle Mango attempting to get some treats! Still scared but willing to nudge it. Took 4 days for him to touch it voluntarily.

Day 5; removed the batteries to lower the learning curve and it worked! Foobler is easier to roll around and dispense treats!

Day 9; Willing to nudge it more actively/harder now.

Day 11; Dribbling the Foobler now! No longer just nudging it.

Mango forced the #foobler into a corner and it's stuckkkkkkkk. This super fail #fooblerallstars. Why u so silly????

A post shared by Mango The Sheltie (@mangothesheltie) on

Day 20; Lent the Foobler to bf to try on his sis’ dog Cobie (pomeranian) for a week+ and this is right after getting it back. Not bad! He still knows how it works! And silly dog pushed it into a dead end.

Day 30;  Rotated the dispensing pods and once he got used to the increased difficulty, then proceeded to add batteries into the power pod here! The slow increase in difficulty didn’t deter him from getting the food out and in fact, he’s starting to nudge it harder! Hehe

Somebody's rolling the Foobler like a pro now! And batteries have been added for the extra weight. #fooblerallstars #Foobler

A post shared by Mango The Sheltie (@mangothesheltie) on

Rolling the Foobler like a pro now! He nudges it harder now so it dispenses more readily.

Day 01: Wary and tense dog with unfamiliar weird toy

Day 20: Relaxed and happy!

Kibbles and treats dispensed

Now:

 

Why I love the Foobler:

  1. It keeps Mango occupied.
  2. He now eats very slowly, which is awesome because he gobbles his kibbles.
  3. Mental stimulation. Every time I adjust the difficulty, I can see him trying to figure out what works now.
  4. Boosts his confidence. He’s less afraid of trying new things, hearing loud noises and erratic movements!

“Is the food coming out?”

Why should I buy from Nekojam?

You can now get the Foobler from Nekojam, here!
Nekojam is the exclusive retailer for the Foobler in Singapore.

Also, quote “MANGO” at checkout to receive a $5 discount*!!
*Valid for regular-priced Fooblers only.

Happy Mango!

For more information on the Foobler:

(some links can be found in this entry but consolidated here for easy reference)

What are you waiting for? Buy buy buy! Remember to quote “MANGO” at checkout to receive a $5 discount*!
*Valid for regular-priced Fooblers only.

Note: This entry is entirely my own views and opinions on the Foobler which Nekojam kindly gifted to Mango. You can obviously tell how much I love it. Hehe.

Thank you Nekojam!

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Dog Toy Review: Foobler!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s