Dog Treat Toys: Buster Cube vs. Kong Toy

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I’ve tried both the Buster Cube and the Kong toy with my dogs.


They both dispense treats as your dog plays with them.

While the Buster Cube definitely has its place and time in our home, my dogs generally prefer Kong toys most of the time.

Here’s why…


The Dog Buster Cube

A dog playing with the dice-shaped Buster Cube. In the 1980’s, I purchased the Buster Cube for my dog. It was quite a novel idea at that time… a dog toy that could also dispense treats!

Since this was back in the day before Kongs had really caught on big, everyone who saw my dog playing with the Buster Cube wanted one for their pet.

The biggest things that make the Buster Cube different/better than the Kong toy:

  • It’s more like a game for your dog. He has to physically nudge and roll the large cube with his nose in order to get the dog treats to fall out. So it’s an interactive dog toy that’s never the same experience twice.
  • It’s more challenging than a Kong toy because it only provides intermittent reinforcement. There is zero reward unless your dog manages to push the Buster Cube with enough force (or in the right direction) that makes the dog treats dislodge and fall out. Whereas a Kong toy provides immediate and constant reward with every lick. With the Buster Cube, the dog treats are dispensed according to your dog’s determination and the amount of time he spent playing with the toy.
  • You can even regulate the degree to which you want the treats dispensed, depending on if you want more treats to fall out with gentle nudging or fewer treats.
  • It’s durable and long-lasting. As I said, I got mine in the 1980’s and I still have it. It has survived regular use from all 3 adult dogs that we’ve raised since the 80’s. (My dog just played with it yesterday and had a great time.) On the other hand, Kong toys, since they’re made of rubber, tend to wear out after a few years. The opening where you insert the dog treats starts to break down first — it becomes tacky and begins to disintegrate.


Here are some tips for using a Buster Cube to mentally exercise your dog.


The Dog Kong Toy

After having the Buster Cube for a few years, I later discovered Kong dog toys — mostly after hearing everyone else raving about the effectiveness of Kongs as chew toys and as treat dispensers.

I began to notice that the Kong toy was different/better than the Buster Cube in these ways:

  • It’s a quiet toy. On the other hand, the Buster Cube is noisy. (Hard plastic rolling around on un-carpeted floors becomes disturbing after awhile.)
  • It accommodates the use of hard and soft treats, as well as wet and dry treats. You can’t use soft treats or wet treats inside a Buster Cube because there’s no way to clean out the inside. It can only be filled with dry dog kibble. On the other hand, a Kong toy can be filled with anything — hard or soft, wet or dry! Here are some dog recipes that work great in Kong toys.
  • It can literally be chewed on for hours — even years — without destroying it. The Buster Cube is too big to fit within a dog’s teeth, so there’s no real chewing or mouthing on it at all.
  • It’s made of a durable, bouncy rubber, so your dog is encouraged to toss/roll/throw it around. On the other hand, the Buster Cube is made of hard plastic and it could possibly crack if dropped, kicked, or thrown hard enough.
  • It comes in lots of fun shapes, sizes, and “toughness levels” — so the possibilities are endless when it comes to stimulating all sizes and ages of dogs for hours on end.


Here are all of our best tips for using Kong toys.


I like to help Dog Parents find unique ways to do things that will save time & money -- so I write about "outside the box" Dog Tips and Dog Hacks that most wouldn't think of. I’m a lifelong dog owner -- currently have 2 mixed breed Golden Aussies that we found abandoned on the side of the road as puppies. I've always trained my own dogs and help friends train theirs, as well. Professionally, I worked at a vet and have several friends who are veterinarians -- whom I consult with regularly. (And just because I love animals so much, I also worked at a Zoo for awhile!) I've been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started... and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). My daily motivation is to help first-time dog owners be better prepared from the first day your new puppy enters your home. I like to help dog owners understand what's 'normal' and what you can expect in terms of living with and training your dog -- how to get through the ups & downs of potty training, chewing, teaching commands, getting your dog to listen, and everything else that takes place during that hectic first year! When I'm not training, walking, grooming, or making homemade treats for my dogs, you will find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I've written over 600 articles for dog owners on this site! Many of them have upwards of 200K shares.

3 thoughts on “Dog Treat Toys: Buster Cube vs. Kong Toy

  1. I actually use both. I like to mix it up a little for my dog. She likes the challenge of the Buster Cube and also enjoys the soft “pate” that goes into the KONG. I usually freeze the KONG for her and it’s very enjoyable in the summer of if I am going to be away longer. She also tried to puzzle board (where you hide the treats under ‘doors’) and she lost interest in that really fast. So the Buster Cube and the KONG are both staples in home. Love them both!

  2. Depends on the dog, I guess. Mine (basset hounds) would never chew on a Kong unless they were trying to get something out of it–and one figured out how to empty it in 5 minutes no matter what I did, whereas the Buster Cube would keep them busy for hours (they wouldn’t stop until it was empty. So neither was a chew toy for us, but the cube was more entertaining to them.

    1. Good point, Susan. Depends on the dog. I recently discovered it may also depend on the age of the dog. It wasn’t until my dog was about 6 years of age that he finally became interested in the Buster Cube. And if you fill it with dog kibble and turn the setting to “more difficult”, he’ll play with it for a LONG time until the treats are all gone. (Unless it rolls off the carpet and onto the hardwood floors – then he doesn’t like the sound and can’t maneuver it well enough to make it fun anymore :-D

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