Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Mischief December 19

For a long time, I've coveted Nina Ottosson toys, or at least toys of that style. They're very involved puzzle toys, meant to engage problem solving skills and, one might assume, use up mental energy. It's a good combination that results in a dog that is fed, and that is perhaps ready for a nap, or at least ready to be nice and calm, and not an energetic nutjob. I.e., the formula to keep a dog out of mischief!

I haven't bought one of the Ottosson toys; they are rather expensive. However, Walgreens had a toy of a similar style for $9.99!

Elka is definitely a Kong veteran, and there have even been time periods where we fed her from Kongs instead of her bowls. I was interested in her reaction to the new toy. The need to slide the pieces in the puzzle is a very different approach, instead of picking up the puzzle and dropping it, or holding it down to lick it.

She brought Gumby with her to investigate. I admit, I put some food in one of the uncovered holes, so that she'd be aware that's what was going on. Food tends to be a good motivator for our girl! The puzzle is not such that I could feed her a meal with it (or I could, but I'd have to take it away and refill, and that's a little more involved than one tends to want to be when feeding one's dog from a toy).

There was a lot of sniffing. And licking.

The sliding pieces do fit in rather snugly. That, and just showing her how to do it kind of defeats the purpose, yes (that, and just showing her how to do it doesn't necessarily mean she'll get it; dogs might learn by example, but I think only to a point)?

She testified to the toy. It did not make food happen. So, she nosed the toy around on the floor for a little while as well. Overall, it kept Elka occupied for a good long time (and me too, as I was taking pictures and offering encouragement). I've had it out at least once since, on day when we had people over, but hadn't gone out for our walk. Puzzle Toy helped greatly in diminishing the mischief making so that the grownups could talk!


  1. That is a very intresting toy, or puzzle. I will have to admit, I think it would get the best of me!! Good luck figuring it out!


  2. You help me so much with Justus and my dogs in general, I am passing forward a blog award to you! Keep getting smarter and smarter, Elka!

  3. I have some games like that too - but the humans keep telling me I cheat when I use my paws to get to the treats! *waggy dial*

  4. @Patrice: well, the first time I gave it to Elka (pictured above) I didn't completely close each of the compartments, so that she would know that there was food there. I'm not sure if it helped her or not!

    @Roberta: Thanks so much! I'm really glad to hear that I'm able to help, and I really appreciate the blog award ^^

    @Alfie: it would be okay if she used her paws, really, but she never really does on that toy. Elka uses her paws a lot for other toys.

  5. Interesting toy. I can see that it could keep a doggie occupied. But mine would probably pick it up and drop it several times to break the food out. :)

  6. Hmmm,

    I don't have one of those puzzle toys, but they look like fun!! I wonder if Santa will bring me one?

    Have fun buddy,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

  7. We have one of those toys, but Nala and I get WAY too excited when playing. HIDE food? We have no patience to play!

    Woofs & hugs, <3

    ~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)