Nina Ottosson dog puzzles are my favourite dog puzzles to use with my Patterdale terrier Blake for his enrichment. These dog puzzles are especially designed to both mentally and physically stimulate your dog. They are interactive dog toys that encourage your dog to search for the treats and move different parts of the toy to reach it. This is fantastic for terriers as it satisfies their instinct to work for their food.
About Nina Ottosson
Nina Ottoson is a Swedish dog trainer who bases her philosophy on the fact that dogs have four legs and one head, and all of these need to be used to stimulate the dog. Her personal story is that once she had her two children she found she had last time to spend stimulating her dog physically and mentally and so she wanted to design dog toys to be able to give them something to occupy their minds while they were in the house.
Advantages of Nina Ottosson Dog Puzzles
Nina Ottosson dog puzzles are great for many reasons…
- Designed with your dogs physical and mental stimulation in mind
- High Quality from Sweden
- Wooden and Plastic dog puzzles available
- Good value for money
- Different levels of difficulty
- Available for online delivery
I must admit I prefer the plastic ones, because the wooden ones in my experience can get destroyed quicker and actually when I put treats in my last wooden one it actually started to grow mould! This was only after a year of regular use though so even the wooden one was still worth it! But the plastic ones are very durable and hard wearing so we go for those ones now!
Different Levels of Difficulty
I love the fact that the Nina Ottosson dog puzzles are designed with varying levels of difficulty. This means that you can start out easy and when they have mastered the basics move up to the next level to keep them interested and challenged. Our Blake can do level 1 easily now and some level 2 puzzles, but he struggles with level 3. He is improving and learning all of the time.
- Level 1 — Beginners/Easy — Treat tumbles and pegs to lift and find treats underneath.
- Level 2 — Medium — Involves some of Level 1 plus slides and flips!
- Level 3 — Hard — More complex stages such as pulling levers before the flips. Usually more than one stage or two stages of finding the treat!
- Level 4 — The most challenging dog puzzle yet!
The Best Nina Ottosson Dog Puzzles
Level 1 Dog Puzzles — Easy
Level 1 puzzles have one basic step such as pushing for treats to come out of a ball or lifting pegs out of a hole to reveal a treat underneath. Our favourites are the composite, the dog smart and the treat tumble.
The Composite was the first ever dog toy that we got for Blake the rescue Patterdale. It took him a while to figure that it was difficult with his paw and much easier if he lifts the pegs out and just tosses them out of the way! He can do it in seconds now — it’s amazing to watch!
The Dog Smart
The Dog Smart is another hide and seek level 1 treat game for your dog and this time the pegs are bone shaped!
The Treat Tumble is a treat dispensing ball that your dog can bop to reveal the treats or kibble dog food. He can bop it with his nose or paw. It makes food last longer and makes your dog work for your food if you want to use it as a feeder.
Level 2 Dog Puzzles — Medium
Level 2 dog puzzles are medium level of difficulty and often combine 2 relatively easy stages such as slide AND lift. Our favourite level 2 dog puzzles are the Brick and the Dog Tornado.
I love the Brick! It has two stages — slide and then peg lift and so it’s more of a challenge. Blake is now getting the hang of these level 2 puzzles!
In this puzzle, aptly called the Dog Tornado, your dog has to ‘swoosh’ round the tornado AND then pick up and move the bone shaped peg before the treat is revealed!
Here’s the dog tornado in action….demonstrated by Blake the Patterdale…
Level 3 Dog Puzzles
These level 3 dog puzzles are even harder still. They usually involve either 3 easy stages or 2 more difficult stages.
On the Dog Twister your pooch has to unlock by pulling out the white lever, then slide the top panels to reveal the treat.
Blake knows about sliding the top panels, but he hasn’t figured out how to pull the lever yet as you can see from the video!
The Challenge Slider
On the Challenge Slider your do will have to move the slides to reveal treats underneath, but move them in certain orders — one at a time in different directions!
The Casino is one of Nina Ottosson’s newer designs. It contains several stages to teach your dog sequential actions. With bones in unlocked position, open drawers and drop in treats or kibble. Then re-lock and your pooch is ready to go! For a longer puzzle experience use wet dog food and freeze!
Level 4 — The Multipuzzle
Introducing Level 4 and the most difficuly Nina Ottosson dog puzzle is the Multipuzzle. With 24 hidden compartments, it’s the most complex puzzle yet! Your dog must use his or her problem solving skills to complete a series of rotating and sliding actions.
Overall, we totally love these Nina Ottosson dog puzzles. They have helped to keep Blake focused when there are stresses, and keep him entertained when we are out (always supervise a dog using a toy before leaving it alone and leaving a dog with any toy involves an element of risk). There are other dog puzzle designers out there, be we think that nothing beats Nina Ottosson’s dog puzzles as they are the best we have found both in quality and design.
If you are looking for ways to physically and mentally stimulate your dog, consider a selection of enrichment activities that include licky mats, interactive toys and snuffle mats. You will notice that when your dog is focused there is less chance for bad behaviour, because his or her physical and mental needs are being met.
Originally published at https://patterdaleterriers.co.uk on July 27, 2020.