We love work-to-eat toys at Store For The Dogs. Not familiar with this kind of dog toy? You've probably heard of the first one that was big on the scene: The Kong. Here are eight things you didn't know about this iconic dog toy.
...aren't just for peanut butter! There are lots of recipes for stuffing a Kong.
...were developed in the 1970s by a 25-year-old Colorado auto mechanic named Joe Markham who was trying to get his dog, Fritz, a retired police dog, to stop chewing on rocks.
...have a design based on a rubber suspension part from a VW bus. Markham's dog enjoyed chewing on various car parts he found in the garage, but was specially interested in a bulbous, hollow black part he found.
...were initially shunned by all the pet stores Markham approached to carry it. Nevertheless, he poured all his money into a commercial saying that it was "Available at your favorite pet shop," in the hopes that shops would want to stuck it if they got a lot of calls from people asking for it.
...bear an uncanny resemblance to the 28,000 year old Venus de Willendorf sculpture.
... were called "Tuffys" for a period of time.
...were named because one of the early distributors was a company called King, and someone remarked that the toy looked like King Kong's ear plug.
...fit into a special dispenser called the KongTime which could dispenser four of them over the course the course of the day. Sadly, the KongTime is no longer produced, but occasionally one pops up on eBay. Sources:
- Feldman, Amy. "Learning Through Suffering." Forbes. 26 February 1996. Print.
- Jones, Rebecca. "Cornering the pet market; ideas must pass chews of approval." Rocky Mountain News. 5 October 1996. 2D. Print.
- Kong Company