Kong Genius Leo Review – Willie Throws His Smarts Around

rubber dog toy

Tough Toy Pros Review

We really like the Kong Genius Leo, even if we don’t care about linking to Genius Mike or any other pieces available. Kong’s Genius Leo does what every tough dog toy is supposed to do:  It keeps Willie out of my hair for more than a minute and doesn’t wimp out on me.

rubber dog toy
Willie checks out his rewards after a good toss in the air.

To be absolutely fair, the product description for this toy on Amazon does say it is a good toy for the average chewer. It makes no claims to be an indestructible toy for heavy chewers. As well it shouldn’t, because I don’t think it would stand up to a sustained attack by an aggressive chewer. I think it would last a lot longer than most toys, though, so don’t get me wrong on this point.

The Kong Genius Leo is a good, solid toy that entertains well while it tolerates average abuse admirably.

It just wouldn’t do well enough to earn five stars for toughness here. I do love it for the way it holds Willie’s interest as he tries to shake out the treats inside.  It’s made out of sturdy rubber, though it’s not the thickest rubber it could be, coming from Kong. Because of this, it retains a bit of flexibility, which I think makes it feel like a good chew to Willie. It is not a toy he chews heavily or for long periods of time, however.

You could put any small treats inside from holes in either end. Willie tosses this toy wildly into the air over and over, trying to get the treats to fall out. On its side, this toy has a split opening in which I slide pieces of larger treats to keep Willie working at it longer. Because Willie is prone to throwing it around the house, I have to be careful to keep him contained in an area where he’s not knocking glasses over and such. It’s a great toy to take outside.

Kong says the toy is named after Leonardo DaVinci and is designed to stimulate curiosity and hold a dog’s interest. Kong recommends it as being helpful to combat boredom and separation anxiety. I agree with them that it does or would do all these things.

Keep reading below for Willie’s review, and to learn about reviews from others who used this toy.

treat dog toy
Feels good to chew on for a bit, too.

Willie’s Review

Genius? Who? Where? Forget those MENSA mutts. I go with brute force every time. And you want to know something? It works every time. I fling this thing around like a rag doll and little, yummy treats fall out like it’s a pinata. Why change strategies now and try to get all smart about it? I’ll stick with what works. Pass the pinata, please.

Internet Reviews

Amazon:  3.3 out of 5 stars with 444 reviewers.
Chewy:  3.3 out of 5 stars with 43 reviewers.
petco:  3.4 out of 5 stars with 5 reviewers.
PetGuys:  5 out of 5 stars with 4 reviewers.

Low Reviews

38% of reviewers on Amazon give this toy 2 stars or less. The neck of the toy is a particular weak spot in the product design and dogs are able to chew this piece off easily. From there, it’s all over, as dogs find it just as easy to keep shredding. It is often noted that the rubber this toy is made from is not up to par with Kong’s usual strong rubber standards. People are disappointed in that.

High Reviews

65% of reviewers on Chewy recommend this toy. 48% or reviewers on Amazon give it 4 or more stars. It entertains dogs and holds their interest while trying to get treats inside, giving some owners a peaceful break. Some reviewers find the toy just as useful even after the neck is chewed off. It lasts many users a considerable amount of time as long as their dogs don’t get too aggressive with it.

Overall Impression

As the product itself states, this toy can only tolerate average chewing. You will definitely want to supervise your pup’s use of this toy to ensure he/she doesn’t swallow chunks of rubber if bitten off.

Product Specifications

From online product descriptions:

  • Reduces boredom and separation anxiety for average chewers
  • Interlocks with other Genius toys for an added challenge
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Treat-releasing puzzle toy
  • Stuff with snacks or kibble


Small :  7.8 x 5 x 2.5-inches
Large:  9.5 x 5.5 x 3.3-inches
XLarge:  10.5 x 6 x 3.8-inches


Small is $4.35 on Amazon and Chewy
Large is $6.03 on Amazon and Chewy; $9.49 on PetGuys.com; $11.24 on petco.com
XLarge is $16.09 on Amazon; $15.99 on Chewy

Best Bargain:  First, if you have a larger dog, the large size Genius Leo will probably be large enough, unless your dog is a real beast. Willie uses the large, and the Xlarge is not that much bigger, though its price is way higher. As is often the case, I did not find a better price anywhere online than what Amazon and Chewy offers.

I hope you found this review of the Kong Genius Leo dog toy helpful. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

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2 thoughts on “Kong Genius Leo Review – Willie Throws His Smarts Around

  1. I’m envisioning your pup flinging this toy around with total excitement and it’s giving me a chuckle! We have two miniature doxies (one recently passed away unexpectedly) but he was the one that would have loved a toy like this to keep him from getting overly anxious. My other pup isn’t as interested in chewing, so all the tougher chew toys don’t get moved from her toy basket (unless my human kids locate and run around the house with it.) My other pup is also very food motivated, and since this doesnt sound as tough as a regular Kong toy, this sounds like it might be a good fit for her (not too tough to chew, but enough to keep her interested in working for the reward.) Thanks for the review!

    1. Leah Presser says:

      Aw, I’m sorry for your loss Martina. Thanks for reading! It’s kind of funny to think of my big ‘ol pittie Willie and a mini doxie playing with the same toy – just be sure to get the small size if you get one!

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