With 3 dogs to keep trained and entertained we’re always looking for new and exciting things to do with them. A long walk across the fields usually satisfies their need for physical activity, but it was the mental challenge that we were interested in exploring.
Nina Ottosson Interactive Dog Toys aren’t new, but having never tried one I thought we’d put a couple of them to the test. Armed with the Dog Magic Toy, the Dog Casino Toy and 3 trusty testers, I set about seeing just how intelligent my dogs really were!
Nina Ottosson Dog Magic
This is meant to be one of the simpler toys from the Nina Ottosson range (rated at the lowest difficulty rating), so I thought it would be a perfect introduction for the dogs. The purpose of this toy is to hide a number of tasty treats under the bone shaped cups and get your dog to work out which ones have the treats stashed under them and then how to remove the cups to get to the treats.
As with all new things, you start off slowly and build the game up to make it more challenging and fun for both you and your dog. Having never seen anything quite like this, there was lot of interest from my 3 dogs, and it took some time to get them to calm down before they really got into the task at hand. This toy was perfectly targeted to the 2 boys, who after a slow start, got the idea and threw themselves into it. We just about managed to get up to the hardest level on this game before they had both exhausted themselves.
Lola, the only bitch of the pack, however, was a different story. Refusing to engage in much of the initial game play, she only decided to participate when the game was at the hardest level. She then promptly uncovered all of the treats from the correct bones completing the game instantly!
I have to admit I was proud of them all, but in an effort not to be outdone, I quickly selected one of the more difficult games to try on her.
Nina Ottosson Interactive Toys with the 1/2 difficulty rating will probably be too basic, and not challenging enough if you have a really bright dog!
Nina Ottosson Casino
This toy is rated as one of the most difficult puzzle toys from the range and from the moment it was unpacked from the box you could see that this game was going to require some more thought. The purpose of the Dog Casino is to hide your dog’s favourite treats in some of the drawers that go around the outside of the toy. Your dog then has to work out that the bone pegs must be removed before they can then pull out the drawer to retrieve the treat.
Due to the more complex nature of this toy, it was far more important to break the puzzle down into smaller tasks to help them build an understanding of how the puzzle can be solved. Lola found this a lot more challenging.
The toys with the highest difficulty rating were a real challenge and have provided hours of entertainment and focused training time with the dogs
Despite its higher price tag, I would recommend the harder puzzles particularly if you have a really bright dog. The 2 boys now play with this toy with Lola, after exhausting the initial Dog Magic Toy, and are still learning. That said the Dog Magic solicits a lot more excitement than the Dog Casino, but that’s probably because they now know how it works and guaranteed of a quick treat!