Kong (dog toy)
Kong (sometimes KONG) is a popular line of dog toys and cat toys introduced in 1976. The classic Kong resembles a snowman-like structure of three balls pushed together. Kongs also come in several variations for dogs of different ages and sizes. Made of rubber, they are hollow in the middle, and can be stuffed with treats or frozen to provide long-lasting distraction for anxious or high-energy dogs.
They come in four rubber types; red for average chewers, pink or blue for puppies, purple for seniors, and black for tough chewers. In addition to the typical snowman-like Kongs, Kong has also made a very successful line of dental chews, balls, pull toys (such as the Kong Wubba and the Kong Tugger Knots), Frisbees, a dog binky, floating toys, squeakers, and various interactive toys and accessories. For cats, Kong also has a line of toys including a cat version of their "Wubba", as well as scratching boards, catnip, and other chew toys.
The toys are produced by the Kong Company of Colorado. The company founder, Joe Markham, invented the Kong in the 1970s, when he noticed his German shepherd Fritz damaging his teeth by chewing rocks. He found that Fritz enjoyed chewing on a hard rubber Volkswagen Bus suspension device, and spent about six years experimenting with different compounds to produce a chew toy of similar size and shape that he could sell to pet owners. A friend commented that the toy looked like "an earplug for King Kong"--hence its name. Originally, Markham sold most of his products to Israel, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom, but the Kong began a rise in sales in the United States in the mid-1980s, and have remained popular there subsequently. The book Planet Dog (2005) describes the Kong as "possibly the best-known dog toy in the world".
- Story of KONG Kong Company Website
- Rebecca Jones. "Cornering the pet market; ideas must pass chews of approval". Rocky Mountain News. October 5, 1996. 2D.
- Nora Carerra. "It's a dog's job". Rocky Mountain News. October 6, 1997. 1B.
- Sandra and Harry Choron. Planet Dog: A Doglopedia. Houghton Mifflin, 2005. 287.
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