Dog toys come in all shapes, sizes, and functions. There are chew toys, cuddle toys, treat dispensers, and everything in between! Most owners have a wide variety of dog toys stocked up, which gives their pup great choices for whatever mood they may be in. In particular, interactive dog toys are wonderful for keeping Fido’s brain and brawn engaged. They not only reduce doggie boredom, but interactive dog toys can help shape your furbaby into a top dog! The Nina Ottosson Puzzle Dog Games by Outward Hound offer owners a range of brain-stimulating toys; helping owners enhance their pup’s intelligence.

What are Puzzle Dog Games?

     Puzzle dog games fit into the category of interactive dog toys. Whereas some interactive toys require owner involvement, doggie puzzles are incorporated into solo playtime. In fact, puzzle dog games go by many different names: treat dispensers, interactive toy, etc. Ultimately, it is up to the toy’s company to provide a name for their product.

     No matter the name, these types of dog toys are designed to help engaged your dog’s brain. They harness a canine’s natural intelligence and utilize the power of treats. In essence, Fido is gaining important mental practice and stimulation. Sometimes this is a much-needed solution to doggie boredom! Additionally, such puzzle games can be used to keep aging pups sharp.

     Nearly all interactive puzzle dog games follow the same methods. First, an owner places treats within the toy’s hidden compartments. Next, Fido uses their nose, mouth, or paw to perform the toy’s necessary tasks and is rewarded with finding a yummy treat. Each toy in the Nina Ottosson Puzzle Dog Game line by Outward Hound uses these simple steps. Yet, every toy has a new, creative design.

About Outward Hound’s Nina Ottosson Puzzle Dog Games

     Before diving nose first into all the different products offered under the Nina Ottosson Puzzle Dog Game line, we would like to shed some light on the company itself. Nina Ottosson is actually a brand under Outward Hound. In fact, Outward Hound is a parent company to five brands: Nina Ottosson, Petstages, Charming Pet, Bionic, and Dublin Dog.

     The company defines its Nina Ottosson brand as “interactive and independent games and puzzles for dogs.” To us, this means that their products are designed to practice your pup’s smarts during solo-play. All-together, the brand offers three levels of game difficulty. Level one is designed for beginner dogs, while level three provides the obstacles smart pooches crave. You can guide Fido through each stage and watch them blossom!

Game Levels

One. Treat Tumble in small and large, Smart Dog in plastic material, Smart Dog in composite material

Two. Dog Brick, Dog Tornado, Hide ‘n Slide in composite material, Treat Maze, Dog Pyramid in small and large

Three. Dog Twister, Dog Worker in composite material, Dog Casino

Level One Games in Detail

The Treat Tumble

     The Nina Ottosson Treat Tumble is a simple dog puzzle game that takes the form of a treat dispenser. The toy is shaped like a ball but sports a small hole for dry kibble or treats to pop in and out. When your dog roles it around or tosses it about, treats will shake loose and fall out the hole.

     This dog puzzle may be the most basic, but it is designed to introduce pups into the world of intelligence-building toys. It is super simple for the owner to fill as well; simply pop some small dry kibble or treats through the provided hole. Furthermore, since the toy is so easy to hand clean with soap and water, many owners allow their pups to use it both indoors and outdoors. On the other hand, it may be a bit difficult to clean out the ball’s center.

     Two sizes are offered for the Treat Tumble: small and large. While there is a slight price variation between the two, both are easily affordable at under $12.

     Size and Weight: Small: 4.8 x 5 x 8” and weighs 6.1 ounces; Large: 5.8 x 6.2 x 10” and weighs 8.2 ounces

     Product Material: Food safe and BPA free plastic

Smart Dog in Plastic

     The next level one Nina Ottosson Puzzle Dog Game toy is the Smart Dog. Unlike the Treat Tumble, this particular game is designed to lay flat on the floor while Fido plays. You can see a large orange platform with 9 treat compartments. Each treat compartment is covered with a white bone piece that your pup will remove. While this simple task is easily mastered by some pups, others will take some practice to hone their skills.

     Due to the larger size of this toy, even bigger dog breeds can enjoy the fun! Sometimes dog puzzles incorporate many little parts, making it difficult for hefty furbabies to play. We love that the Nina Ottosson brand did not shy away from a larger base.

     Like all Nina Ottosson brand toys, the Smart Dog in plastic can be hand washed with soap and water. We recommend using dry kibble or treats to fill each compartment. Softer treats, like peanut butter, will make cleaning a nightmare!

     Size and Weight: 12.2 x 11.2 x 1.8” and weighs 1.05 lbs

     Product Material: BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free plastic

Smart Dog in Composite

     The Smart Dog composite variation is very similar to its plastic sister. It has a rounded platform base with 9 treat compartments. However, it measures slightly smaller. Additionally, instead of bones to cover each treat compartment, the Smart Dog in composite uses pegs. These pegs stick out farther from the toy’s base and can actually make it easier for your pup to pick up!

     Nina Ottosson offers a couple different puzzle games in composite material. The material is easily recognizable by its wood-like resemblance. Although it looks like real wood, the material is more durable and will not splinter. Many owners enjoy these variations because it tends to match any home décor.

     Size and Weight: 10.5 x 9.2 x 2.5” and weighs 1.05 lbs

     Product Material: composite

Level Two Games in Detail

Dog Brick

     Moving up to level two, the Dog Brick ups the game on difficulty. Instead of presenting one or two simple tasks, this puzzle game has three different types of treat compartments for your pup to explore. First, you will find the normal removable bone piece. Second, you will see small box compartments with flip caps. To help your pooch sniff out their treats, each box has a small hole. Finally, those boxes slide on a tract to reveal even more treats underneath. All-together, it has 20 compartments!

     The Dog Brick has a flat, rectangular base; which makes it more of a stationary dog puzzle. Like many dog toys, dogs do not necessarily care if it is designed to remain flat on the floor. Sometimes you may find Fido attempting to flip it over! In this case, we recommended seizing the opportunity to train your furbaby how to use the game. This can be done by encouraging your pup to watch as you place treats in each compartment.

     As stated before, the toy is easy to keep clean by hand washing with soap and water. Due to the additional pieces involved, we recommend keeping the Dog Brick as an indoor game only.

     Size and Weight: 12.75 x 9.25 x 2” and weighs 1.6 lbs

     Product Material: BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free plastic

Dog Tornado

     The Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado takes a new approach. Instead of laying low to the ground, this dog puzzle adds some height! In fact, the tower shape has 4 flat bases stacked on top of one another. Each has multiple treat compartments that are revealed as your pup spins the levels. In total, you will find 12 treat compartments on the toy.

     To increase the games difficulty, you can add removable bone pieces on top of certain treat compartments. These are the same bone pieces that are found in many other Nina Ottosson Puzzle Dog Games. By covering treat compartments with these bones, you are adding another task for your pup to figure out.

     According to some customers, the Dog Tornado is best used for smaller dogs. Its design with added height is not as sturdy and, therefore, is easily knocked over.

     Size and Weight: 11 x 7.5 x 3.2” and weighs 1.62 lbs.

     Product Material: BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free plastic

Hide ‘n Slide

     The Hide ‘n Slide is one of our favorites from the Nina Ottosson Puzzle Dog Games line of toys. It sports 7 treat compartments and 14 moving pieces. Significantly, this level two game incorporates many moving parts and new tasks for Fido to complete. Its flat base comes complete with rotating fish tails and sliding pegs. By nudging each piece, your pup will reveal new yummy treats!

     Customers provide excellent feedback about the Hide ‘n Slide. They note that the game comes sturdy and none of the parts are loose. With so many moving pieces, this is a great sign! However, we do suggest supervising your dog during play time, just in case a part is chewed off.

     While it may seem that larger dogs would struggle with the Hide ‘n Slide, customers confirm it can be used by all types of dogs. Even your bouncing furball of 90lbs!

     Size and Weight: 14.5 x 11.8 x 2” and weighs 2.4 lbs

     Product Material: Composite

Treat Maze

     The Treat Maze from Nina Ottosson Puzzle Dog Games will instantly remind you of a landed UFO. Its design is a simple, flat saucer-like disc. Like the level one Treat Tumble, this toy is designed for your dog to knock around until treat pop out the incorporated hole. To load this puppy up (pun intended), simply place dry kibble or treats through the hole.

     The company suggests giving the Treat Maze a shake after placing your treats inside. In essence, this will help release a yummy scent. Additionally, the noise made will instantly signal to Fido it’s time to play!

     Unfortunately, there are some key pitfalls with this particular puzzle game. First, its disc shape is prone to sliding under every piece of furniture in your home. Second, customers note it is not the most durable. For a toy that is meant to be knocked and carried around, that’s not a good sign. Luckily, if your furbaby is of the gentle kind, the Treat Maze may be just the toy!

     Size and Weight: 8.5 x 7.5 x 2.8” and weighs 8 ounces

     Product Material: BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free plastic

Dog Pyramid

     The Dog Pyramid from Nina Ottosson Puzzle Dog Game line is a smooth, rounded dome with a hole near its top. The design enables a wobbling affect; popping out treats in erratic patterns. As your dog nudges, tosses, and carries the Dog Pyramid, yummy rewards fall out. To begin, simply pop in your pup’s favorite dry kibble or treats. While it will be easy to hand wash with soap and water, we can imagine it may be difficult to fully clean its inside.

     Moreover, the Dog Pyramid is a fantastic option for dogs on many sizes. The company produces two sizes for your choosing: small and large.

     Size and Weight: Small: 7.5 x 4.5 x 3.3” and weighs 5.9 ounces; Large: 10.2 x 5.5 x 4.7” and weighs 15.4 ounces

     Product Material: BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free plastic

Level Three Games in Detail

Dog Twister

     Leveling up, the Nina Ottosson Dog Twister has a unique design that we have yet to see in interactive dog games. Its rounded, flat base has 9 treat compartments and 9 locking switches. As you, or your pup, pull out each handle on the outer rim, the attached compartment will become unlocked. Next, the compartment’s cover can now slide around the base to reveal hidden treats below. One compartment will come missing its top so that the game can work properly.

     Customers remark on the good design but notice it may need some tweaks. Apparently, the company has updated their design but some customers like the old version better. Check it out for yourself to see if you like it!

     Size and Weight: 12” diameter x 2” height and weighs 1.4 lbs

     Product Material: BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free plastic

Dog Worker

     If you are unsure of which level three Nina Ottosson Puzzle Dog Game to purchase, we recommend the Dog Worker. Similar to the level two Hide ‘n Slide game, this puzzle features many working parts for your dog to enjoy. The intricate design sports a rounded base and three different tasks. First, your pup can swivel the cute little fish tails. Second, Fido can nudge each sliding peg. Finally, truly smart dogs will master the rotating center platform. Each component is used to unlock treat compartments.

     Customers enjoy the Dog Worker because its very sturdy and works well with larger dogs. Furthermore, cleaning the contraption is a breeze! Like all Nina Ottosson Puzzle Dog Games, you can hand wash it with soap and water. Don’t let the composite material deter you cleaning desires; it is completely safe to gets sudsy!

     Size and Weight: 15 x 14 x 2.5” and weighs 2.45 lbs

     Product Material: Composite

Dog Casino

     Last but not least, we come to the Dog Casino. This puzzle is quite interesting because it uses an unexpected locking mechanism. Dogs looking for a challenge might finally meet their match!

     The toy’s flat, rectangular base houses 6 treat compartments and 6 moving pieces. You will notice white bones on the top and bone-shaped indents to match. By turning the white bones to fit into their matching indent, your pup will then unlock treat compartment inside the casino toy. Next, Fido needs to pull on each looped rope to reveal the compartments. This seems tricky, but with time and training your smart pooch will become a master!

     Size and Weight: 14 x 12” and weighs 2 lbs

     Product Material: BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free plastic; rope