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Old 06-17-2017, 03:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Puzzle toys for dogs

I bought a TRIXIE Dog Activity Flip Board https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I was preparing Babykins to take the tricks testing and on the list was using an interactive puzzle with treats - so I took a chance and bought this.

I was surprised how well made it was. It's heavy for plastic and has a rubber ring on the bottom so it doesn't move around our wood floor when she uses it. Babykin loves this toy and I thought maybe some other poodles here would love a puzzle toy. I do supervise her when she uses it. It would work well for a dog that gobbles their kibble too quickly.

My original plan was to donate this when we were done with it, but she loves it so much that now I'm going to alternate it with her Kong.
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Old 06-17-2017, 04:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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We have a couple of wooden Nina Ottosen puzzle toys. The first one we got when Lily and Peeves were fairly young has been a funny thing to watch them with. I loaded the treats under the pegs that had to be lifted out to get the food and then put it down for them and had to work hard not to laugh as peeves worked honestly at pulling the pegs out only to have Lily dive in and take the treats. She is a clever cheater, but I still like getting those toys out for them on rainy days. They have also been good for teaching scent discrimination.
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Old 06-17-2017, 06:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I had seen some of those Nina Ottosen puzzle toys in a discount store when I first got Babykins and I thought - no way a dog would figure out how to work that puzzle...............but clearly I was wrong. Next time I see one at a good price, I'll buy it since I see she enjoyed working for the treats.

I hadn't realize you could use it for scent work.

Poor Peeves - it's tough to compete against poodle smarts.
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We have Nina Ottosson toys for rainy days too, although I find I rarely get them out now that the dogs are older - I tend to just hide tiny bits of kibble round the room and let them play Hunt the Treat. The dogs love them so I must stop being so lazy and dig them out of the cupboard. My tinies never did quite manage the one that requires lifting slippery bone shaped pegs in order to open the drawers, though - I am not sure whether the concept was to difficult, or they simply couldn't get a good enough grip on the pegs, which are quite stiff to pull out. They got frustrated with it, so these days I don't put the pegs in and just let them open the drawers.
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I really love my Nina Ottosson toys. My pug is actually the best at solving them with her tiny paws and an insatiable hunger. She figures them out super fast. I also got a few Kong wobblers and other treat dispensing toys that Lucky prefers. Watching dogs play with these foraging toys are such a delight!
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Snow, I think you bring up a good point - not all puzzle toys are best for all dogs. This Trixie puzzle toy would not work with my daughter's Rough Collie who prefers the stuffed Kongs and wobblers that Lucky loves. Size probably plays a role on how well they can manipulate a toy and how aggressive or gentle they will be with this kind of puzzle. I think this particular puzzle toy is probably better suited to tpoos and minipoos.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylar View Post
Snow, I think you bring up a good point - not all puzzle toys are best for all dogs. This Trixie puzzle toy would not work with my daughter's Rough Collie who prefers the stuffed Kongs and wobblers that Lucky loves. Size probably plays a role on how well they can manipulate a toy and how aggressive or gentle they will be with this kind of puzzle. I think this particular puzzle toy is probably better suited to tpoos and minipoos.
This almost gets to the heart of my question...

Are there different sizes of puzzle toys? What would be appropriate for a Standard iyo.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm glad you posted about this. I've been intrigued by this type of toy but haven't acted upon it because I was a bit sceptical.
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Old 06-19-2017, 04:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think there are a number of things to consider, not just size. Many of the toys have removable parts - if the parts are small enough for a big dog to swallow, or if your dog is a determined chewer, they may not be suitable. Some require a sequence of actions to get the treat, for example the Ottosson Casino toy, which has bone shaped pegs holding the drawers in place. The right peg has to be lifted out before the drawer will open, but my dogs have never grasped this principle and found the pegs difficult to grip in any case. Some are safer for one dog rather than two - Poppy set the Ottosson Tornado spinning so fast that it gave Sophy a painful clonk on the nose and she avoided it for months after.

People reviewing them complain that their dogs chewed the toy to pieces (note that they are meant for supervised use only), or found them too easy (my dogs don't think there is such a thing as too easy!). I find they are best used as an interactive game - sit and wait while I fill two toys (Oh the joy of anticipation), then Ready, Steady, GO! Sometimes I have the dogs wait outside the door while I set up all the toys in a row, and then let them loose to choose their favourites.

Of all the activity/dispensing toys we have, I think the best value are probably the Ottosson treat mazes - they were around £3.50 each when I bought them but seem to have rocketed since then. They come in different sizes - the small works well for my toys, and they are just demanding enough to keep them occupied for several minutes, while providing enough rewards that they don't get bored. They are a bit fiddly to fill, and I don't know how well they would stand up to a determined chewer, but ours are still nearly as good as new. AND they can go through the dishwasher when necessary!
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rj16 View Post
I'm glad you posted about this. I've been intrigued by this type of toy but haven't acted upon it because I was a bit sceptical.
Frankly I would never have bought this kind of toy. We have tons of the original Kongs - my dog loves those. When I was looking over the checklist of dog tricks to earn the trick dog titles - I saw "Game interactive puzzle with treats". Since I needed a lot of tricks, I decided to take a chance on buying a puzzle.

This one has two pegs that the dog can knock or lift off - they sit inside a depression so they don't knock out easily. They are too large for my minipoo to swallow but I'm not sure about a large dog. I always grab these as soon as Babykins has knocked them down because I don't want her running off and hiding them. I also don't think this is a good toy for a chewer or for a dog that is easily frustrated.

As for a spoo - I do know my daughter's Rough Collie loves the large Kong Wobbler. Drives me nuts when we visit because the dog has to push or toss the toy around on the floor to knock out kibble one piece at a time. It's too large to swallow it and the plastic is soft so it shouldn't harm the teeth of a chewing dog https://www.chewy.com/kong-wobbler-d...=%7Bkeyword%7D
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