Product Review: Nina Ottosson Dog Magic Puzzle

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We can exercise our dogs all day long, but they need mental as well as physical stimulation. This can come in the form of obedience training, agility, tracking, and treat dispensing puzzles. I recommend my clients feed their dogs using this technique when I suspect they aren’t getting enough brain play. Usually I recommend treat-dispensing balls and stuffed Kongs. I’m always on the hunt for new interactive games for my dogs, so I was excited to try the Nina Ottosson Dog Magic Puzzle.

The Dog Magic Puzzle is a Level One (easy) game where the dog lifts the bones to reveal hidden treats underneath. It requires them to use their nose, brain, paws and mouths. The game can be modified to make it more difficult and versatile to dogs of different sizes, and I was really curious to see how my dog, Maria, handled it.

Related: The Odin Interactive Puzzle Toy

nina-ottosson-dog-magic-1The puzzle was sent to me with a complimentary bag of Coachies treats to use in the toy. The ingredient list on the treats was acceptable; they were mostly natural. I loaded the toy up with a treat under each white bone. I asked Maria to sit and wait, set it down, and watched her go to town.

Maria immediately began sniffing rigorously and pawing at the puzzle, eager to get the rewards. Being that she’s a shepherd mix with a strong nose and determination, it didn’t take her long to figure it out. After sniffing around for a few seconds, she began to delicately remove the white bones to procure her Coachies. It didn’t take her long before she solved the game.

At first I was perturbed at the ease in which Maria figured out the puzzle. She didn’t really have to work at it, and it seemed below her intelligence level. So I took to the wonderful world of the web to do some research. Turns out there are three levels of difficulty for the toys Nina Ottosson has to offer, and the one I was given to test was of the easiest. Also, based on my research, the toy can be modified to up the difficulty level. It can be filled with treats and water, and then frozen. This makes it take longer to figure out for any dog. It can also be lifted up to a higher level (on a counter, table or a chair), which also increases difficulty.

Related: Bionic Urban Stick

If it’s too difficult for your dog, because of breed or size, the toy can be simplified. Each removable bone has a hole in the middle, and a string can be tied through all of them to make it easier for a smaller dog to pull at and move.

The Verdict

If you’re just introducing your mutt to the concept of puzzles, this is a great starting point. In fact, I have it on loan to a client as we speak, and she loves it.

If you have a dog that is accustomed to puzzle toys, the Magic Puzzle may be too easy – I thought it was a little basic for Maria’s skill level. Yes, it can be customized, but, once deciphered; it becomes a challenge to keep the dog interested. Luckily, this particular toy is a Level One difficulty. If you have a dog who figures out these games easily, I suggest shopping in the Level Three category which includes the Dog Casino, Dog Worker, Dog Twister, Dog Turbo and others.

You can purchase the Nina Ottosson Dog Magic Puzzle for $34 here.

Note: PetGuide.com was NOT compensated for this review. We received a Nina Ottosson’s Dog Magic Puzzle from The Company of Animals to review. The opinions expressed in this post are the author’s. We provide unbiased feedback of the products and share products we think our readers would enjoy using and learning more about.

Rachel LeavyRachel Leavy lives in Rochester, New York with her dog, Maria, and her gecko, Nigel. She has loved animals all her life, and has owned her own dog training and walking company for 5 years. When she’s not playing with puppies, she can usually be found writing short stories, riding horses or out at a play.