A few people have sent me notes and private messages inquiring about the games I play with my dogs. They wanted to know what game or games would for their dog(s). I know Christmas is coming up, so I thought I would at least share my own experience with some of the games I have and tell you which ones I want to get next.
Trixie Chess Game
The Chess Game by Trixie was the first game I ever purchased for my dogs. I thought it would be a difficult one for them to figure out (it was labeled Level 3), and it was, but only for a short time. Cupcake was the first to figure out that there were treats under those golden cups, but it wasn’t long before Jasper and Daisy did too.
It was also Cupcake (Master Puzzle-solver) who first figured out that the red blocks slid sideways, and that they hid even more treats. She loves this puzzle, but mostly because it is so easy for her now.
I love this toy because it got my dogs started on puzzles. I also love it because it helped Daisy to gain confidence. When I first tried this puzzle with Daisy she was skittish and jumpy and nervous. She needed a lot of encouragement to keep trying, but she never stopped trying. Now she is a quick as Cupcake at solving it and she loves it just as much as Cupcake does.
My opinion? A great puzzle to start out on. If your dogs are a little more shy or tentative, this is a great one to start on. It’s also a great game for beginner dog gamers.
The next game I purchased for the dogs was the Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado Interactive Dog Toy. I was lucky this time because I was able to let my dogs try it out before I purchased it. The toy has 3 levels, with each containing 4 spots in which to place a treat. Each level spins around to reveal the treat. Dogs can nudge or paw each level to get it to move. The game also has 4 bone-shaped cups that can cover any one of the treat spots and prevent them from moving on to the next level until the cups are removed.
I love this toy because it allows me to increase or decrease the complexity of the puzzle based on which dog is doing it. For Maggie, I can leave it at its easiest level (no cups) and help encourage her to solve it on her own. For Daisy and Cupcake, I increase the difficulty by placing the bone cups on the higher levels so they can get them out. Jasper seems to have become more of a pro at this one, so I put the cups in the middle level and on the bottom so he really has to work to remove them and get to the treats.
There is only one thing I don’t like about this toy and that is the bone cups themselves. They are smooth and difficult to get out (especially for Cupcake with her limited teeth) because they slip out of their mouths so easily. If they had groves in them it would be easier but I still love this game a lot. I just put them upside down for Cupcake, so they are not a deterrent to the fun.
My opinion? A great game for beginners and intermediate dog gamers. The ability to make it easy or more difficult is fun for me and my dogs. They love this game.
The most recent game I purchased for Jasper, Daisy and Cupcake is the Nina Ottosson Dog Twister Interactive game. By far, this is the hardest dog game we have in the house. I know for sure this is true because more than once Daisy has given up and tried to chew it apart just so she can get to the treats!
The Dog Twister is made up of ten sliding pie pieces within a circle frame. Each pie piece hides a spot in which to hide treats. A dog must slide each pie piece in order to reveal the treat hidden underneath.
Sounds easy right? Not quite. The game also comes with twelve bone inserts that can be used to prevent a dog from moving the pie pieces. The only way to move a pie piece after that is to remove the bone(s). As the game master, you can put in one to two bones or all twelve and increase the difficulty of the game.
My dog love this one, but are also easily frustrated by it, so I help them out on this one quite a bit. So far, the only one to figure out that the bone pieces need to be removed is Daisy, and even she is hit or miss on this. I started all four dogs out with no bone pieces and have now worked up to two, with help from mom.
My opinion? This game might be a better choice for a more experienced dog gamer. If you want a game that your dog can grow into over time, this might be the game for you, but I think I would start with an easier one for dogs who are new to dog games.
Future game purchases
There are quite a few other dog games out there ranging from easy to more difficult. Amazon has quite a few of them. I already have my eye on a few more that I want to try out with my dogs.
Number one on my list is the Trixie Mad Scientist for Dogs. This one requires that treats are placed in the beaker-shaped modules suspended above the game’s base. In order for a dog to get the treats out, he must spin the bottles with his nose. I think Jasper would really love this one. They say it is a Level Two game, but I have a feeling it will be more difficult for all my dogs.
The other game I am looking to buy is the Trixie Gambling Tower. This one requires a dog to pull pieces out with their teeth and to remove cups to get to the treats. This game is labeled Level 1 (Easy), but I still think it would be a fun one to do with my dogs. This is a great one for beginning dog gamers too.
Whatever toy you decide to get your pet, make sure it is fun for them and you. Give your dog time to figure it out on her own, but if you see her becoming frustrated, help her out. I promise you, you won’t be giving her the solution to the whole puzzle. I have shown my dogs how to do something on each of their puzzles and they rarely take that information and use it again the next time.
I hope you all have a great time! Let me know how it goes!
(Side note: I was in Petco this weekend to get new leashes and they had a whole wall dedicated to dog toys! You don’t have to wait for it to be delivered. You can go get one now. )
If you ask, I am sure many people would tell you that I tend to go a little overboard where my pets are concerned. (I know for sure my family would!) I tend to buy them things that I think will enrich their lives and make them happy.
I think in the case of my dogs, I wanted to make up for the bad lives they had early on. I also want them to have lives that is enriched by a wide variety of fun experiences. (What’s the fun in having a dog if you can’t enjoy the fun they have with you?)
So while I do have a logic behind what I do for my pets, I also know that I am not the norm.
After all, I …
Buy dog games for my dogs, just so they can work their brains on a cold winter’s night.
Have at least 20 tennis balls so my crazy Sheltie has plenty to play with throughout the year.
Take my dogs to a wide variety of parks so they can explore something new and different.
Hide treats in the yard so my dogs can have fun using their noses and their brains to find them.
Even placed a step stool next to my tall bed just so my dogs can come up when they want.
But this weekend I think I may have gone a little overboard (even for me). On a trip to Costco I found a dog bed that was the absolute ultimate in dog bed luxury.
How could I resist?
It contains orthopedic memory foam with cooling gel and has a plush pillow top cover. It’s softer than a baby’s bottom and it is so squish-able, in that memory foam kind of way, that even I want to lie down on it.
It’s too bad I didn’t think about the size. Hmmm… crazy? Overboard?
So, what over-the top-kind of thing have you done for your pet(s)?
I admit it. I was getting too cocky. I was too sure.
I would read Bunny’s Christmas posts over at Tales and Tails and just laugh. You see her siblings, Kuster and Flattery, have been getting into a bit of trouble lately (Flattery even started eating the fur on Santa’s coat!). They’ve been so naughty that Bunny is worried that they might make it onto Santa’s Naughty List. Heck! They might even end up with a stocking full of coal!
How hilarious! How funny! I laughed because I knew I would never have to deal with that issue over here at Casa del Mel. No way! My dogs are so good! They never get into anything! In fact, I often brag about how well-behaved they are while I am at work. There is NO WAY my dogs could ever make it onto the naughty list!
And then…. this happened.
I’m thinking a stocking full of coal may not send the right message. Is there a doggie equivalent to coal in a stocking? If so, what is it?
And here are the winners of the Hartz Angry Birds Contest!
Samantha or Sam
Congrats everyone! Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your address and I will send your pup an Angry Bird for the holidays!
Today, at No Dog About It blog we are introducing a contest to celebrate the announcement of the holiday-themed Hartz® Angry Birds® dog toys just in time for the holidays.
Hartz® has created 4 new holiday-themed dog toys (see pictures below) that they will be giving away on their Facebook page in the next few weeks. To kick things off, they have also given me four of the same birds to giveaway on my blog!
Doesn’t your dog want an Angry Birds® dog toy for the holidays?
There are two ways to win:
1. Go to the Hartz Pets Facebook page and “Like” them so you can guess the location of each of the four Angry Birds®.
- There are four unique holiday Angry Birds toys that will be shown in four different holiday locations. Throughout the next four weeks, the location of the birds will slowly be revealed. How?
- Each week (Monday-Sunday) a photo of one of the toys will be featured on Hartz’s Facebook page with only a small amount of the photo visible. As the week progresses, more and more of the photo will become visible and be fully revealed each Sunday.
- You can submit your guesses on each toy’s location as many times as you want on the Facebook page and have the chance to win your own limited edition set of all four characters.
2. Leave a comment below stating why you think your dog would like to receive a Hartz® Angry Birds® dog toy for the holidays.
- The contest will run from now until midnight (12:00 AM Central Time), December 8, 2012.
- One Angry Bird will be awarded to each of the four winners.
- Winners will be selected at random using Random.org and will be notified via email.
- Winners will have three days to claim their prize, or another winner will be drawn from the entry pool.
- I will post the winner’s names on my blog on December 9, 2012.
Good luck everyone!
Don’t forget to check out the Hartz Holiday Gift Guide for more gift ideas for your pet!
I don’t know about you, but I find Pinterest is very addictive. Once I start, I can’t stop. Suddenly, it’s hours later and I wonder what I did with my time!
I you haven’t joined Pinterest yet, you may want to, especially if you are a DIY type of person. You can get some great ideas from others. You can also find some pretty amazing dog stuff on Pinterest, including art, clothing, collars, tags, etc.
People even have their future dogs pinned on their pages!
I thought I it would be fun to share some of my more strange, interesting and cool finds with you. You can click on the picture to learn more about the product or to go purchase it.
So what have been your favorite finds on Pinterest?
I love these dog bowls. They are removable and don’t take up a lot of space.
Okay, I admit it. I probably wouldn’t buy one myself, but it’s just quirky enough to be appealing.
I fell in love with this line of t-shirts some time ago. They carry quite a lot of breeds and the images are amazing. I’ve seen one in person, and they are just as beautiful as the images. Definitely getting one of these – well, two of these. One Lab and one Sheltie.🙂
I think this is supposed to be a new concept in dog food packaging. It’s supposed to take up less space and more eco-conscious. Doesn’t fill up the landfills as fast.
A little out of my price range, but if I had the money you can bet I would buy one. I absolutely love this as an art piece.
I’m not quite sure what to say about this product (having never tested it myself), but I have to wonder – is the hole big enough for Great Dane poop?
This one is for all my doggie friends who have dogs that won’t go out in the rain. Might be worth a try!
Oh yes, I absolutely HAD to include this one. It features Shelties!
This is some luxury dog bed, but the story is a pretty cool one. It was designed by Swank Lighting as part of a fundraiser for the Dallas SPCA. Someone got a pretty cool dog bed!
I just loved the look of this ring. it’s adorable. The best part? It’s only $10!
This isn’t something you can buy. I have no link to a page. But, it’s one of those things worth sharing.
This year I was thinking about doing another post on Daisy and Jasper’s favorite things, but just couldn’t bring myself to purchase more “things” for my dogs. The truth is that Daisy, Jasper and Lady have lots of new toys to choose from, most of them sitting in their toy basket, untouched. It turns out that the toys my dogs love most are not new. In fact, they’re old, and dirty and dilapitated… and in most cases, falling apart. Why invest in new?
So instead of writing about Daisy and Jasper’s new favorite toys this year, I would love to hear from you.
Is there a new toy that you purchased this year that your dog absolutely loves? Or, have you purchased a new toy for your pup that you can’t wait to give him? And if not, is there a toy that your dog has long held as their favorite over the years?
I would love to hear what your dog’s favorite things are this year.