I don’t know about you, but winter tends to generate a little cabin fever in me and the dogs. We’ve been stuck inside for almost a week now and we are going crazy. There is ice everywhere and the temps are in the below zero range (night and day) making walks a little dangerous right now.
It’s a perfect time for dog games. Fortunately, we have a slew of them to play with:
We also play hide and seek games with treats.
But, if we had snow and the temps were a little more welcoming, we’d be doing this. B the Dog seems to love these doggie games and I have a feeling that mine might like something similar.
So, what are you doing to help you and your dog deal with the cabin fever in your house?
Happy Friday everyone!
This week’s favorite Friday video needs no explanation. If you’ve raised children, you’ve experienced it firsthand. If you’ve had more than one dog at a time, you’ve probably seen it as well.
With my dogs, it usually appears when I am paying attention to one particular dog (or when I bring a new squeaky toy home). What is it?
Sibling rivalry: the jealousy, competition and fighting between brothers and sisters.
or, in this case, it might be more appropriately described as…
I want what you have-itis.
Molly is our beautiful heroine. Glenson is our protagonist (or maybe our antagonist?). 🙂
Glenson wants what Molly’s got, and he’s determined to get it.
Can you guess who wins this battle? Watch, and find out if you’re right.
Happy Friday everyone!
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. )
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?
If you celebrate Christmas then I am guessing many of you will be buying a gift or two for your dogs in the coming weeks. I’ve been debating whether or not I will be doing the same.
Two years ago I chose not to buy my dogs any gifts because they already had SO many toys in their toy basket. Then last year, I broke down and purchased a new Woobie for Daisy (that Jasper destroyed fairly quickly), some stuff-less squeaky toys for Cupcake (that she still has and loves) and new Kong Squeaky balls for Jasper (one of which still survives) for Christmas.
This year I am leaning towards not buying them any more toys. Don’t get me wrong, my dogs would be happy to have a new toy to play with, but they also wouldn’t mind not getting toys either. The things that make my dogs most happy are not “things.” They love what cannot be bought. So this year I am thinking I will give them more of what they really want:
- Longer walks in the park.
- Longer walks in new parks.
- More time learning new tricks and commands.
- More time playing outside in the snow.
- More time cuddling and playing inside (when it’s cold).
What are you getting your dogs (and cats) this year?
There may not be any of this going on this year, but maybe that’s okay.