When Fido runs into the screen door for the billionth time, you may find yourself pondering their IQ level. However, there is actually no such thing as a dumb dog. Instead, each pup is smart in their own unique way. Yes, your Basset Hound may take a bit for the light to come on, but that doesn’t mean they’re considered dumb! In reviewing the Trixie Activity Games product line for dogs, owners will soon learn how any breed is capable of fantastic things.
Table of Contents
Possibly the most famous reference to dog intelligence is Dr. Coren’s “The Intelligence of Dog’s.” This book was originally published in 1994 but has grown to become the go-to read for any owner interested in their pup’s brain. In it, Dr. Coren categorizes dog intelligence into three primary groups: instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and working or obedience intelligence. While the book points out a rank of the smartest breeds, you will come away realizing that no breed of dog is truly stupid.
Historically, canines were bred to fulfill specific tasks. For example, the Australian Cattle Dog is a part of the Herding Group (American Kennel Club) because their primary duty was to keep cattle in line and help their owners. Dogs within the Sporting Group and Herding Group are now famous for their keen ability to take direction and learn commands.
Your dog’s intelligence is a fascinating thing. To learn more about your dog’s breed intelligence, check out our article Advantage to Knowing Your Dog’s Breed. While most owners and trainers will link brain to breed, there are other factors to consider. These may include previous training, learning environment, and even number of dogs within the household. However, no matter the situation, owners have the power to enhance or practice their pup’s mental skills.
The Trixie Activity Games Product Line
Designed for Mental Stimulation
Trixie has designed and produced over 10 activity games for dogs. Like the Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Puzzle Dog Games or the Dogit Mind Games Interactive Smart Toy, these dog toys are very distinctive. In essence, they all use treats to entice your dog into performing brain-busting tasks.
Today, the number of interactive dog puzzles and activities available has grown incredibly large. Their popularity among owners has created a growing trend in innovative dog training. On the other side, they can simply be used as a fun way to give kibble and snacks to your dog.
Three Levels of Difficulty
Obviously, not all dog’s have the brain of a Poodle or the quick learning of a German Shepherd. No matter what stage your adorable furbaby is at, Trixie Pet Products has an Activity Game for you. Beginner pups will start with level 1, but it’s only a matter of time until they master it. Then you will move to level 2 and so on. Truly, the best part of Trixie’s Activity Games is watching your furbaby’s eyes light up as they nail each task! You will feel an immense sense of pride as their mental strength grows.
Although we don’t believe any dog’s IQ will honestly jump to new heights, these interactive dog games are innovative ways to harness their existing intelligence. In most situations, their intelligence was only laying dormant; just waiting for the opportunity to shine.
To help you choose the best level game for your pooch, we’ve whipped up a list:
- Dog Activity Windmill
- Gambling Tower Strategy Game
- Solitaire Strategy Game
- Slide and Feed Strategy Game
- Mad Scientist
- Poker Box 1
- Box 2
- Vario 2
- Flip Board Strategy Game
- Mini Mover
Trixie Activity Games Product Break-Down
Dog Activity Windmill
Trixie’s Dog Activity Windmill is designed exactly like the name suggests. The plastic windmill stands on a black base and measures 11 x 8.5 x 17.25”. After placing your dog’s favorite dry kibble pieces or treats in each tube, your dog must use their nose or paw to spin the “blades.” As each tube turns upside-down, the yummy snack will fall out.
Although the windmill’s base has rubber feet underneath to prevent any slipping, the toy can be easily knocked over. Unfortunately, this is the downfall of a standing activity game. Dogs that tend to be a bit rougher on their toys will not be a good match. On the other hand, if your have a gentle furbaby, they might enjoy the spinning qualities of the Trixie Dog Activity Windmill.
Gambling Tower Strategy Game
As another standing Trixie Activity Game, the Gambling Tower Strategy Game measures 10” in height. It has a unique design that you won’t find through any other company. A tall, hollow plastic tube is the centerpiece and has three sliding levels that can be pulled out by a looped rope. By opening up the tower’s top, you can drop in dry kibble or treats. Then, to get each treat, your dog must learn to pull each rope handle.
The best thing about this level one game is that you can customize your pup’s learning experience. By no means do you have to begin with all 3 levels in the tower. Instead, you can start with just one and decide to increase as your pup masters it! However, the tower can be knocked over when Fido gets a bit too rough.
Mad Scientist (aka Turn Around Strategy Game)
We love that Amazon calls this game the “Mad Scientist,” but your will find that Trixie actually calls it the “Turn Around Strategy Game.” Either name does a good job giving a description of its design. This standing activity game measures 8.5 x 7 x 12.75” and features science-lab looking tubes hanging on an A-frame. After you place dry kibble or treats in the tubes, replace each cap. Then, your dog will use their nose or paw to spin each tube in hope of getting treats to fly out!
The Mad Scientist has a distinctive design that you won’t find anywhere else, however you do have the risk of the game knocking over. Like the other standing Trixie Activity Games, it is best used with gentler, more inquisitive furbabies.
Trixie Activity Games Product Break-Down
Solitaire Strategy Game
Trixie’s Solitaire Strategy Game is the most basic activity game you can get. It lays flat on the floor, which eliminates the risk of being knocked over or flipped by playing pups. It’s simple: all your pup has to do is use their mouth to grab and lift each cone to reveal treats. Unlike other interactive dog games, the Solitaire Strategy Game has cones that will not be easily knocked over. They are placed in deeper holes so that your pup must lift them out.
The game is fairly large: measuring 11” in diameter. However, Amazon offers a mini version (7.8″ diameter) for small pups!
Slide and Feed Strategy Game
You have seen this sort of dog game in many places. The Slide and Feed Strategy Game has a flat, round base with sliders on top. You dog must use their nose or paw to slide each piece around and reveal the treats hidden underneath. In its center, the game is designed like a nifty slow-feeder. Luckily, the board also comes with rubber feet so that it stays in one place while your pup plays.
In total, the game measures 11.75 x 10.5”; giving all sized dogs enough room to play. While we do not recommend it for tea-cup furbabies, any other dog will have no problem at all.
Poker Box 1 Strategy Game
Trixie’s Poker Box 1 has 4 box compartments you can place yummy dry treats or kibble in. Then, your pup must figure out how to open each box. Soon your dog will realize that they must complete a different task for each! The board measures 12 x 12”, so it is fairly large and provides plenty of room for larger paws. The best part: you can combine it with any other Poker Box activity game!
Poker Box 2 Strategy Game
The Poker Box 2 is an excellent option if you want to add extra tasks to Trixie’s Poker Box 1. However, there is nothing stopping you from using it solo-style! Similarly, it has 4 different compartments. This time each compartment is in a completely different style. In total, it measures 12 x 12” and sits flat on the floor. Larger paws and noses will have no trouble poking around.
Poker Box Vario 2
In Poker Box Vario 2 (which stands for “Variation 2”), the flat platform has 2 large activities. While the game is great on its own, we suggest combining it with either Poker Box 1 or Poker Box 2. This way your pup has a huge contraption of mental stimulation! On its own, the Poker Box Vario 2 measures 12.5 x 6.5”.
Flip Board Strategy Game
The Flip Board Strategy Game is Trixie’s first activity game to be specifically designed for small dogs. It only measures 9” in diameter and has smaller pieces with each task involved. Your little furry friend will have knobs, flaps, and cones to figure out in order to get their tasty treats. Our favorite part is that Trixie Pet Products does a fantastic job of incorporating well-designed cones. In most dog games, the cone can simply be knocked over. However, Trixie designs theirs will deeper holes so that your pup must literally lift it out.
Since this smaller activity game features smaller pieces, do not leave it laying around for the larger dogs to get to. They may accidentally swallow a cone or break off a small piece in their mouth.
Leveling up, the Mini Mover is designed for small dogs who want that extra challenge. With cones, drawers, and other compartments, your little one now has to master the use of pulling ropes. Once again, each cone is designed with a deeper hole so that they can not simply be knocked over. Your furbaby truly has to use their mouth to pick them up and reveal snacks hidden underneath. In total, the Mini Mover measures 6.5 x 7.75”. This smaller size is wonderful for your smaller dog but be cautious if a larger dog shares the same house. You will not want a larger dog to get ahold of any small pieces!
In the Trixie Activity Game line of interactive dog toys, the Move2Win really ups the difficulty. In fact, your dog will have to learn two steps to unlock each drawer compartment. First, they will use their nose or paw to move knobs down a path. Second, they will use their mouth to lift up cone stoppers. If you’re unsure about the difficulty, you can always leave out the cone stoppers until you feel your pup is ready.
Unlike the Flip Board Strategy Game and Mini Mover, this game is best for medium to large size dogs. It measures a whopping 13.25 x 5” and features larger pieces that are less likely to cause a choking hazard.
Like the Move2Win, Trixie’s Chess activity game will bring much more challenge to your smart pooch. Two tasks must be completely in order to unlock its treat compartments. First, your dog will have to remove cone locks by lifting them straight up. Second, they will have to move each slider out of the way. By adding this two-step process, your pup must think like a chess player!
Coming in at 15.5 x 10.5” in size, the Trixie Chess activity game will be great for your medium to large size pup. Its cones and sliding parts are larger in size. This not only makes it easier for larger snouts and paws to navigate, but they are less likely to be swallowed.
Best Trixie Activity Game
According to customer reviews and ratings, the best Trixie Activity Game out of the bunch is Trixie’s Chess game. Although customers say it is a bit easier than expected, we see this as a good thing! This means that it won’t leave your standard dog in the dust. It will present a great challenge, but won’t be too difficult for any pup to master.