Your domestic dog originated from the wild wolf ancestor. These creatures are both beautiful and intelligent; gracefully strolling amongst the wilderness. Through the years, their intelligence remained an incredible advantage in survival. While your domestic furbaby no longer needs to get ready for a life-or-death hunt, they still have the intelligence and instinctual behavior of their ancestors. Sometimes this is hard to believe as they run head-first into the screen door! To practice your pup’s intelligence and let it blossom, the Trixie Mad Scientist activity game uses the lure of treats to get Fido’s brain working.
Your Dog’s Intelligence
As an owner, or even a bystander, you have encountered those hilarious “wow, my dog is stupid” moments. More than likely he/she ran into a wall, tripped over the water bowl; you name it. For this reason, you judge their level of intelligence based on actions.
Yet, dogs are smart in different ways. In other words, your pup may be better at certain things, but not others. He/she may be an excellent fetcher but lacks the capacity to sit still on command. This is due to your dog’s breed ancestry. In the past, dogs were bred to perform specific tasks. For example, Bloodhounds were used by law enforcement to sniff out a target. Today, Bloodhounds remain excellent masters of their nose.
Professor Stanley Coren is widely known as the author of multiple dog intelligence books. Professor Coren’s background in psychology and neurophysiology brought key insight into the dog world. While most research varies on the details behind dog intelligence, Professor Coren’s theories are widely used. He states that canine intelligence should be broken down into three categories: instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and working or obedience intelligence.
Games to Practice Fido’s Smarts
Simple interactive games, like fetch, can practice one or more aspects of your pup’s intelligence. Particularly, fetch requires Fido to work on obedience.
In the world of canine toys, companies are running with the idea of activity games to increase your dog’s intelligence. In reality, Fido’s IQ may not actually raise. Yet, these games allow your pooch to practice various aspects of their existing intellect.
The Trixie Mad Scientist Activity Game
The Mad Scientist, at its core, is an interactive dog toy. Trixie Pet Products designed the Mad Scientist as a part of their Activity Game line. Specifically, the line features all sorts of interactive games that give your pup’s brain a work-out. If viewing their company website, you will notice that this product is labeled “Turn Around Strategy Game.” We decided to go with the Amazon title version because, well, it sounds more fun!
Hard plastic and rubber made, the Trixie Mad Scientist starts with a weighted black base. Rubber feet are attached underneath to minimize slippage. Next, a neon green plastic frame erects from the base; allowing each beaker to be suspended in the air. Finally, three semi-clear blue beakers are hung next to each other. You will see a small bar threaded through each to allow a spinning movement. Trixie Pet Products gives you two sets of lids for the beakers.
All-together, the package measures 8.5” x 7” x 13” and weighs 2.22 lbs. However, do not expect the Trixie Mad Scientist to hold up against chewing dogs. Its materials are designed for game-play, not teeth. Furthermore, a chewing pup may pop off each beaker’s cap; creating a choking hazard! For this reason, we highly recommend you monitor playtime with this product.
How to Play
Using the Trixie Mad Scientist is actually quite easy and self-intuitive. Owners will follow the same steps:
- Remove the beaker caps
- Place your choice of treats inside each beaker. They should be small enough to pop out and have a chewy to crunchy texture. Do not use wet, smearable treats because the activity game will not work, and you will have quite the mess!
- Leave the beaker caps off for an easy version. This is preferable for pups first learning the game.
- Put beaker caps on to increase difficulty. You will be able to mix up lid options to create your own unique version.
- Teach your dog how to accomplish their goal by spinning the beakers. This is a wonderful training moment!
Level Two Difficulty
Trixie Pet Products offers three levels of difficulty in their line of activity games: one, two, and three. Ultimately, the point is to guide your pup through each level; increasing intelligence and practicing key instincts.
The Trixie Mad Scientist is labeled as level two difficulty, which indicates you should use this product after your pooch masters a level one activity game. But, there is nothing wrong with starting at level two. In fact, your furbaby may welcome the challenge!
Along with all its components, this product will come with an additional booklet of training tips. Essentially, an owner is encouraged to get involved with the game and help guide their dog to victory. We are a huge fan of owner involvement because it creates an important bonding moment.
While the Amazon product page for the Trixie Mad Scientist does not show it, this product was awarded “Animal Welfare Compliant” by the Australian Animal Welfare Act. Basically, you can interpret this award as a symbol for customer safety. It means that the Trixie Mad Scientist has passed an examination and deemed compliant for following the Australian Animal Welfare Act.
Due to the erect design of this product, many customers have found it easy to knock over. While the base is weighted for some stability, it doesn’t seem to stop rambunctious pups. If your dog gets creative, they may use one paw to stabilize the tower whilst using their nose to spin its beakers.
Level One Trixie Activity Games
If you feel your furbaby isn’t at the level two stage in their intellectual journey, check out Trixie Pet Product’s level one activity games.
Gambling Tower Strategy Game
The Gambling Tower Strategy Game features a unique design; resembling a tower. Three levels are placed within a hollow tower. Your pup’s goal is to pull on looped rope handles attached to each level, making their yummy treats fall to the bottom. Again, materials used include hard plastic and rubber, with the new addition of rope. For a complete overview of this doggie game, check out our article Get Smart with Trixie Gambling Tower.
The Windmill Toy is another tall activity game. In total, its packaging measures 11” x 8.5” x 17.2”. Like its brother and sisters in the Trixie activity game line, the product begins with a weighted black base. Next, a neon green A-frame structure grows upward into a windmill. Finally, four clear-blue plastic tubes act as the windmill’s blades. Two sets of lids come to cap off these plastic tubes.
Setting up the interactive game for your dog is very simple. You will follow these easy steps:
- Remove the plastic tube tops
- Place in your preferred treats. You will want them to be small and chewy or crunchy. Do not use wet or smearable treats!
- Replace the plastic tube tops in any variation you like. While some variations are easier, others are harder.
- Watch as your pup uses their paw or nose to rotate the windmill blades.
This product’s downfall comes with the height: it can be easy to knock over. Accordingly, the Windmill Toy will only work properly with gentle dogs. Additionally, dogs that chew should not be left alone with the product. The small cap on each plastic tube can present a choking hazard if popped off during a chew session. Consequently, we highly recommend monitoring your furbaby during playtime.
Dogs are an absolute joy. We love to teach, praise, and play with them at all hours of the day. In fact, their happy, smiling faces make us smile back! Behind those joyous eyes lie a brain with unique intellect. From the wild wolf ancestor to the particular domestic breed, there are key aspects forming both behavior and brain. Most researchers agree: dogs can be smart in a variety of ways.
We took a closer look at the Trixie Mad Scientist activity game. According to Trixie Pet Products, guiding your dog through their activity game products help build doggie intelligence. In our opinion, these types of pet games provide practice to enhance Fido’s existing smarts. They will not necessarily raise IQ.
If the Trixie Mad Scientist doesn’t tickle your fancy, we have great articles on many other brain-building dog games. For example, check out Dogit Mind Games Interactive Smart Toy or Best Toys to Practice Fido’s Wits.
No matter your pup’s size, age, or breed, their skull contains a brain full of cognitive activity. It is our honest belief that there is no such thing as a dumb dog. Dogs are simply intelligent in specific tasks. Furthermore, it is completely subjective to assume their level of intelligence! Ultimately, we love them no matter what.