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outward hound brick nina ottosson dog puzzle review 3

Finding a suitable puzzle toy requires the assessment of three areas – what your will dog enjoy most, what level of difficulty will be suitable for them based on various aspects and age, as well as what the quality of the puzzle toy is like in terms of materials, construction, and longevity.

Many dogs enjoy having a variety of activities as well, so you may choose to have a combination of toys that target various skills simultaneously as well. Dolly loves a good brain game so we have tried and tested quite a few, here are our top picks for 2021.

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Puzzles for Hunter Instincts

Puzzle toys that involve catching, searching, or prey type activities are fantastic for dogs that have natural hunter instincts.

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Outward Hound’s Hide-a-Squirrel is good fun!

The Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Squeaky Puzzle Plush Dog Toy is a fun and interactive hide and seeks activity for dogs, focusing on prey instincts. It’s soft and plush, gentle on canine teeth, is available in various size options, and will surely be a hit with any active breeds who love hunting and catching.

Dolly loves to pull the squeaky squirrels out and we have a game of tug and fetch. I tend to hide other treats in the trunk, like a himalayan chew so there’s a bonus inside for her.

So far the squirrels have stayed intact, but you can buy replacement squirrels if you have casualties.

Problem-solving Puzzles

This is definitely the most popular puzzle toy type, as problem solving activities are incredibly beneficial for all dog breeds and especially breeds such as herding dogs, or even dogs with naturally high intellects. 

outward hound brick nina ottosson dog puzzle review 8
Nina Ottosson Brick Puzzle Brain Game for Dogs

The Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Interactive Puzzle Game series has plenty to offer, focusing on mental stimulation and problem-solving skills. There are many styles to choose from based on availability, including varying style, shape, and color options, as well as options more suited for puppies. Topped by a range of difficulty levels from easy to advanced, you can ensure that your dog is getting exactly what it needs out of each puzzle. 

We love the Brick which is an intermediate design which has 3 different ways of hiding the treats. Separate skills are required to remove the bone shaped bricks before you can slide the blocks on their tracks to get to the treats underneath. The hardest part for Dolly was flipping the lids to get inside the blocks, but she manages it.

It’s easy to keep clean too as it comes apart and can be washed in the sink with hot soapy water.

Treat Dispensing Puzzle Toys

There is nothing like tasty incentives to get your dog interested in puzzle toys, with the bonus of puzzle feeders being able to assist in training, discipline, self-control, obedience, and a healthy digestive system. 

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Kong Bamboo Food Dispensing Ball Dog Toy

The Kong Bamboo is our go to toy for this section. Quiet, durable this toy is made from ‘bamboo infused material’, so not quite the eco-friendly toy it claims to be. But still so much fun!

Best Brain Game Puzzles for Dogs: Our top picks for 2021 Click To Tweet