In the times long ago, wild dogs used to hunt and seek out their food. They spent hours every day hunting and foraging for meat, grasses and berries. Dogs are direct descendants of the grey wolf-Canis Lupus. As hunters thousands of years ago, early man domesticated wolf pups and used them as great assets for their keen sense of sight and smell for their small hunting groups. These traits have not disappeared from our now very domesticated dogs. Those innate senses are still there. Providing a comfy home for your dog with all the plush toys, dog chews and luxurious life-style does not give your dog the mental stimulation they so desire. Many animal behaviorists have researched what a dog’s mind needs to be stimulated. One pioneer in the dog puzzle toys is Nina Ottosson. Nina Ottosson has worked with the development and design of dog-activating toys/games that will mentally stimulate the dog, i.e. brain exercises in a fun and creative way. The toys are also easy to get out and use indoors and are specially developed to match the dog’s natural movements and instincts.
Nina Ottosson dog puzzle toys are meant for the dog to work with problem solving in different ways, by finding hidden dog snacks, i.e. to lift blocks, push pieces, turn discs, push blocks, put blocks inside something etc. All dogs need to use their head sometimes in order to keep healthy. Some dogs need more brain activity than others. If dogs are not provided with an outlet for their energy in the form of different types of activity or other stimulation, they can sometimes find their own activity which we as dog-owners often do not appreciate, like for instance chewing things to pieces, becoming aggressive or just generally over-active. Her toys are rated for your dog’s ability from basic to expert. The Dog Magic and Dog Spinny are considered starter or basic level dog puzzle toys, Dog Brick and Dog Tornado are mid-level, Dog Casino and Dog Twister are for expert level. Dog pyramid is a plastic treat dispensing toy that is weighted at the bottom. Place treats in the one inch hole and watch your dog push the pyramid. No matter what, the pyramid will right itself to the vertical right angle. All the toys are dishwasher safe- so don’t worry about slobbery pieces. Kyjen dog games are pretty new in the dog puzzle games marketplace. Kyjen dog toys are known for their very well-made dog toys and their new Paw Hide, Star Spinner and Treat Wheel are no exception. The Paw Hide has 7 treat or food chambers that challenge your dog to lift each cup in order to reveal its prize. Perfect for teaching the basics of eat-on-command obedience and problem-solving.
The Star Spinner has 10 treat or food chambers that challenge your dog to spin levels in either direction revealing the opening. With a nudge of the dog’s nose, each level will reveal 5 hidden compartments. The Treat Wheel has 8 treat or food chambers combining the difficulties of Star Spinner and Paw Hide. The Dog must use its mouth to lift each cup then spin the top to reveal more treats. Zoos have been doing animal enrichment programs for years, trying to keep their animals engaged, occupied and mentally stimulated. The pet industry has followed suit and manufacturers are inventing new and exciting ways to challenge your pet. Some other great interactive and treat dispensing toys are the Kibble Nibble, Tug-A-Jug and Premier Funkitty Egg-Cersizer. These toys all randomly dispense kibble and treats. The Egg-cersizer is a perfect way to say “good-bye” to free feeding and hello to fun engaging mealtimes. The innovative design allows for a variety of play levels from easy to challenging. This treat toy is a fun, simple way to keep your cat or small dog stimulated and active. JW Pet Amaze-A-Ball and Our Pet’s Atomic Treat Ball are great hard rubber treat dispensing toys. Canine Genius Leo and Mike dog toys are very hard rubber treat dispensers that connect to form multiple puzzle versions. These toys are also made in the USA.
Anytime you can make your pet work a little to receive treats is better for their mind.