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Retooling A Tug-a-Jug

Lilly first conquered the Tug-a-Jug years ago. After a cleanliness-related mishap, however, the rope became useless. So, I asked Janet Velenovsky, who works with Premier Pet Products on toy designs, what kind of rope I could use to get Lilly’s Tug-a-Jug back in business.

I first interviewed Janet for this magazine article on the history of dog toys. I still haven’t quite reconciled my feelings about the company over its newish shock collar company ties, but we have this toy and want to use it. Lilly loves it. And, it’s too easy without the rope.

Many thanks to Janet, who offered these options via Facebook:

  1. Call Premier at 800-933-5595 to get a replacement rope.
  2. Insert a ball or two inside the jug — one big enough to hinder the release of treats.
  3. Crumple a piece of notebook paper and insert the kibble/treats with the paper.

Option #2 – Adding a Ball

I slid one of the sorrier incarnations of Lilly’s favorite ball into the jug. I worried that it filled too much of the space and would hinder the release of food WAY too much, but I was wrong.

In the time it took me to write the first 2 paragraphs of this post, Lilly had eaten all the cheerios I’d put inside. (If you’ve missed my earlier mentions, cheerios make good, low-cal treats for inside food-delivery toys.)

Option #3 – Adding Crumpled Paper

This option also seemed too hard to me, but somehow Lilly got most of the food out, even with a full piece of paper (8.5 x 11) inside.

I think of it as poor-girl’s Buster Cube, or as Elayne at Days of Speed and Slowtimes Mondays likes to say “a ghetto version.”

Lilly did, however:

  • Bark in frustration while playing with the toy
  • Wing it with considerable force around my office
  • Continue to try and figure out the toy for quite some time (as you can see in the above photo … that’s Lilly thinking VERY hard)

Hearing her grind her teeth against the seemingly impervious bottle made me worry, in fact. So, I put it back in the cabinet when it was empty.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

KB - January 25, 2011

I must comment that I’ve used a lot of Premier’s products, and, in the past, their electronic products have sucked. They break very easily and cannot be fixed. Their spray citronella collars had a life of about a month before stopping working altogether. Those collars couldn’t get wet or they’d quit. I think that, from a business perspective, Premier is filling a need in their company. They *need* a partner who knows how to build electronic equipment because they definitely don’t know how to do it on their own.

Thanks for the rope tug-a-jug advice! We have one but rarely use it because it’s SO loud on our hardwood floors. We should try it again (or pass it along to you!).

Amy@GoPetFriendly - January 25, 2011

I like the idea of putting the ball inside the jug. That Lilly really gets into playing with her toys, doesn’t she? I saw that she was tossing her Wobbler around so much it has to be used only in the basement. So funny!

Pamela - January 25, 2011

I’m glad I stopped over here because Premier’s association with aversive collars is news to me. I’ve always like their products so much.

So I guess I better figure out how to make Honey’s Tug-a-Jug last. Her rope is still doing fine. But I wonder if it’s gotten too easy for her. I wonder how it would work with a bunch of ping pong balls instead of one or two larger balls?

I’ll let you know if I have any success.

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