Bonnie has a habit of gulping her food down if we put it into a bowl so a few days after we brought her home we have completely ditched feeding from a bowl. Instead we use her breakfast and dinner kibble for either training sessions or put it in an interactive feeder. This has helped with her gobbling her food, gives a great mental workout as she is excited to work for her food and means we can fit training into our daily routine. I do use high value treats for outside training and more distracting/difficult training in general but inside in the living room she is still content to train with kibble.
We use the original Kong to keep her occupied when she is in her crate. It is really durable and she hasn’t managed to chew any bits off, for any heavy chewers there is also the Kong Extreme. There are loads of recipes out there (check out this UK based Facebook group for inspiration) which I want to try in future but at the moment we mostly use frozen peanut butter and kibble, or kibble and yoghurt. Bonnie is super food motivated so other dogs might not want to work hard for kibble so other high value treats might be more suitable like liver or fish treats etc.
We usually use the Kong wobbler at breakfast time. We have the large size and it fits quite a lot of food. The top screws off so makes it super easy to fill and clean. It is made out of strong durable plastic that is very hard for Bonnie to grip onto with her mouth and I feel that it is generally safe for unsupervised play. She really enjoys playing with it and bats it about with her paws and nose to get the food out. The only downside is that it is quite noisy rolling on any floor except carpet and also hitting into walls.
We use the Nina Ottisson Brick whenever we can fully supervise as I would be worried she would eat or ingest the small bones or the brick itself as it is plastic. This fits a lower amount of food and is a bit more awkward to fill and clean than the wobbler. There are different difficulty levels based on whether you use the bones and how many. We really try to encourage her to pick the bones out using her mouth to increase her confidence with picking up items using her mouth – when we first got her she wouldn’t take objects like balls, antlers or dentastixs from our hand. She loves to sniff out where the last bits of food are.
Overall I think interactive feeders are great and I would love to branch out and get more of them so please leave any recommendations in the comments!