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Dog puzzles are a great way to keep your pup entertained and mentally stimulated. They’re also a great way to bond with your dog and teach them new tricks. But how do you choose the right puzzle for your pup? And once you’ve chosen one, how do you introduce it to them?
You often hear that tired dogs are happy dogs. That doesn’t only refer to physical exercise like going for a walk, though.
One important yet often overlooked aspect of having dogs is helping them keep up their cognitive activity with dog puzzle brain games that provide mental stimulation.
Puzzle toys for bored dogs are a great way to keep them entertained while working their brain, which tires them out mentally and physically. That helps prevent destructive behaviors from boredom.
They are all intended to be used under supervision, which helps build your bond. Read on to see our top picks of the dog puzzle games we love!
10 Best Interactive Dog Toys
- Seek-A-Treat Shuffle Bone
- Dog Smart Treat Dispensing Dog Toy
- Trixie Gambling Tower
- StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy
- Outward Hound Star Spinner
- Outward Hound Paw Flapper
- Dog Twister Treat Dispensing Dog Toy
- Outward Hound Lucky Dog Slot
- Trixie Flip Board
- Trixie Mover Toy
Why Are Dog Puzzles Great For Dogs?
Puzzles are a great way to keep your dog’s brain and instincts engaged, and the best interactive dog toys can also be perfect for teaching your dog some new tricks.
There is a wide variety of dog puzzles in different levels of difficulty that you can purchase for your pet, so you’ll definitely find one that suits you, as well as the needs of your pup.
There are many ways to use puzzles with training. You can hide treats under puzzle pieces to train them on scent detection. You can also try hiding their food inside the puzzle pieces and see if they figure it out for themselves!
Dog enrichment toys are wonderful for giving your dog a fun activity that’s also very beneficial to their brain. The more active you keep their mind, the calmer and more relaxed they’ll be overall, which are very good things!
Dog food puzzles keep your dog entertained and helps prevent them from being a bored dog and causing mass destruction in the house, too. Spare your shoes and treat your dog to a fun puzzle!
It’s also a great way to entertain them during events that are normally a bit scary.
If your dog is afraid of the noise from fireworks, pull out their favorite puzzle to help them concentrate on something besides scary noises outside.
Dog puzzles also help burn off excess energy when the weather isn’t cooperating for your dog’s usual walks.
Note: if you have hardwood floors or other slippery surfaces, it’s a good idea to place the puzzle on a rug, yoga mat, or piece of carpet to keep it from sliding around.
If your dog afraid of fireworks, here’s a helpful article on how to ease your dog’s anxiety during fireworks!
What Can I Put in Dog Puzzles?
You can fill your dog’s puzzles with all kinds of treats, depending on the puzzle! Some are easy to clean, so messier treats like apple or carrot bits work well.
Others are best used as dog feeding puzzles where you pour their meal inside and help them work for it.
You can also try these tiny training treats for many of the interactive dog toys below. They’re bite-size and packed with flavor.
They’re an excellent option for dogs learning how to use the puzzles as the smell helps your dog’s nose figure things out.
Just make sure you keep an eye on the amount of food/treats you’re giving your dog and adjust their meals accordingly!
How To Choose The Best Dog Puzzles For Your Dog
Puzzles are a great way to keep your pup entertained, and they have many benefits! Dog puzzles help to mentally stimulate your pup, and they’re also a great way to bond with your furry friend. You can even use them to teach your dog new tricks!
When choosing a puzzle for your pup, it’s important to consider your dog’s size and breed, as well as their age and level of intelligence. You’ll want to start with an easy puzzle and make it fun for your pup by being patient and encouraging them along the way. The benefits of dog puzzles are numerous, so it’s definitely worth giving them a try!
How to choose the right dog puzzle for your pup.
Consider your dog’s size and breed
When choosing a puzzle for your pup, be sure to take into account their size and breed. Some puzzles are too small for large breeds or puppies, while others may have pieces that are a choking hazard for smaller dogs.
Choose a puzzle that is age-appropriate
Puppies and senior dogs will likely need different types of puzzles than adult dogs. Puppies may need softer materials and less challenging designs, while seniors may appreciate easier access to treats and brain teasers that are not too physically demanding.
Consider your dog’s level of intelligence
Not all dogs are created equal when it comes to intelligence, so choose a puzzle that is appropriate for your dog’s level. If your dog is on the smarter side, they will likely need more stimulation in the form of harder puzzles with more steps required to get the treat.
For less intelligent dogs *cough* Roxy, start with something simpler like a KONG toy filled with peanut butter or a ball that dispenses treats when played with may be a better starting point.
Choosing the best dog puzzles for your pup just got easier. We have collected a list of our favorite dog puzzles that are available in the market today. With these puzzles, you can have fun bonding with your pup and also have them stay mentally stimulated.
To ensure that your dog is enjoying their puzzle toy, make sure you choose high-quality puzzles that are durable and easy to clean. After all, even if you buy a high-quality toy, it will get dirty over time. So, it is best to look for ones that are easy to clean and maintain.
A puzzle is a fun way for your dog to spend a few hours. Some puzzles are more challenging than others, so you want to start with easier ones (often labeled as Level 1) and build up from there. This avoids your dog getting frustrated with more challenging puzzles and giving up entirely.
Our Roxy is generally pretty food-motivated but doesn’t really enjoy using her brain too much, so we keep it simple for her. Rico enjoys more complicated puzzles, so we change them up more frequently for him.
The right puzzle will keep your pooch entertained and happy!
How to introduce your dog to a puzzle.
Start with an easy puzzle
When you first introduce your dog to a puzzle, it is important to start with an easy one. This will help them understand what they need to do and get them used to the idea of solving puzzles. There are a variety of easy puzzles available, such as those that simply require your dog to push a ball through a maze.
Make it fun
You should make solving puzzles fun for your dog by using positive reinforcement. This means offering them treats or praise when they correctly solve a puzzle. This will help them associate solving puzzles with something positive and make them more likely to want to do it again in the future.
It is important to be patient when teaching your dog how to solve puzzles. They may not get it right away and it could take some time for them to learn how to do it correctly. Do not get frustrated with them and always end the session on a positive note so they continue to enjoy learning new things.
The benefits of dog puzzles.
They help with mental stimulation
One of the benefits of dog puzzles is that they help with mental stimulation. This is important because it can help to keep your dog’s mind active and engaged, which can lead to a more fulfilled and happier life. There are a number of ways that dog puzzles can help with mental stimulation, such as by providing a challenge that needs to be solved, encouraging exploration and investigation, and promoting problem-solving skills.
They’re a great way to bond with your dog
Another benefit of dog puzzles is that they’re a great way to bond with your dog. This is because working on puzzles together can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your pup. It’s also a great opportunity to spend some quality time together while teaching your dog new skills. Not only will this help you to form a stronger bond with your dog, but it will also give them a sense of achievement and confidence.
They can be used to teach your dog new tricks
Finally, another benefit of using dog puzzles is that they can be used to teach your dog new tricks. If you want to teach your dog how to do something specific, such as sit or stay, then using a puzzle as part of the training process can be an effective way of doing so. It’s also a great way to reward your dog for good behavior or correct responses during training sessions.
The Best Dog Puzzle Toys
Spot Ethical Pet Seek-A-Treat Shuffle Bone Toy Puzzle
The Shuffle Bone is an excellent choice for a starter puzzle with low levels of difficulty to get your dog used to interacting with and solving puzzles. It’s a wood puzzle board and is very sturdy.
You simply put small bites of treats or kibble inside, and your dog pushes the slider to get to the treat.
We’ve had the Shuffle Bone for over four years now and they still have fun playing with it! I especially love that it’s easy to wipe down to clean.
Spot Ethical Pet Interactive Seek-A-Treat Shuffle Bone Toy Puzzle That Will Improve Your Dog’s IQ, Specially Designed for Training Treats
- This dog training toy is made of sturdy wooden construction
- Training treats- this dog feeder requires your dog to actually think about what they are doing and whether it will get them the desired results
- IQ puzzle- a dog training device that provides them the mental stimulation they
Outward Hound Dog Smart Treat Dispensing Dog Puzzle
The Dog Smart Treat Dispenser is a Level One (entry level) treat and food dispenser. You can adjust the difficulty level by switching the direction of the bones. It holds up to one cup of your dog’s food, so you could feed an entire dinner in it to stretch out meal time!
Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Smart Orange Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy
- BEGINNER DOG PUZZLE: The Dog Smart by Nina Ottosson is a level 1 interactive dog puzzle toy that will prepare your pup for more challenging games with simple one-step actions. Suitable for any breed and size.
- ENGAGING & MENTALLY STIMULATING: This interactive dog puzzle features 9 hidden compartments
Trixie Gambling Tower
The Trixie Gambling Tower has three shelves to place treats on, and your dog learns to gently pull on the attached loop to send the treat down and tumbling out.
It also has cones to hide treats under that must be lifted straight up to access. This dog puzzle is a Level One, but for some reason Rico could NOT get the hang of lifting the green cones!
He loves pulling the shelves out, though, which is still a great mental exercise.
StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy
The Bob-A-Lot toy is a perfect potential meal time dog food puzzle! You pour their food in, then set it on the ground. As your dog pushes it around, bits will fall out to keep them engaged while they eat.
Outward Hound Star Spinner
The Star Spinner is one of the cutest toys, and is a Level One puzzle that is simply adorable! It has ten chambers to fill with treats or food. By pawing and nuzzling at the Star Spinner, your dog learns to retrieve the hidden treats! This one is great for large dogs or smaller dogs!
Outward Hound Paw Flapper
The Paw Flapper encourages your dog to use their nose to lift the flaps of hidden treat compartments to solve this puzzle. It’s rated as a Level Three, however, Roxy was able to complete this one with only a little bit of help. She’s not a fan of using her brain, so it was a big achievement for her!
Dog Twister Treat Dispensing Dog Toy
Dog Twister dog treat puzzles are a Level Three puzzle for those genius dogs! You start by filling the compartments and they lift the lid to get to it.
Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Twister Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy, Advanced
- ADVANCED LEVEL FUN: The Nina Ottosson level 3 Dog Twister puzzle dog toy is designed for advanced levels of problem-solving play that challenge your dog with learning sequential steps. A fun way for your smart pups to train their brain while redirecting destructive or negative behavior in an
Outward Hound Lucky Dog Slots
Trixie Flip Board
The Trixie Flip Board is a fun dog puzzle with lots of different techniques on the same board. The rubber rim on the bottom keeps it from sliding around.
TRIXIE Flip Board Strategy Game, Intermediate Dog Puzzle Toy, Level 2 Activity, Treat Puzzle, Interactive Play, Enrichment
- As one of our most popular dog enrichment toys, the TRIXIE Flip Board interactive dog puzzle will keep your dog focused and mentally stimulated as they search and sniff out tasty treats; great dog accessory for a boredom buster
- Does your dog get bored quickly? Our intermediate level
Trixie Mini-Mover Toy
The Trixie Mover Toy is a Level 3 puzzle that has four styles of play. It’s one of the more difficult brain toys for dogs, and definitely geared to more advanced puzzle solvers!
It has cones and sliders to reveal hidden treats. For extra fun, there are drawers for your pup to open using the rope pull. All types of puzzle-solving strategies can be utilized in this board!
TRIXIE Mini Mover Strategy Game, Advanced Dog Puzzle Toy, Level 3 Activity, Treat Puzzle, Interactive Play, Enrichment
- As one of our most popular dog enrichment toys, the TRIXIE Mini Mover interactive dog puzzle will keep your dog focused and mentally stimulated as they search and sniff out tasty treats; great dog accessory for a boredom buster
- The ultimate level of mental stimulation for dogs, our
If you’re looking for a way to keep your pup entertained, dog puzzles are a great option. They offer many benefits, including mental stimulation, bonding opportunities, and the ability to teach your dog new tricks.
When choosing a puzzle for your dog, consider factors such as size, age, and intelligence. Introduce the puzzle slowly and make it fun for your dog.
With patience and positive reinforcement, you’ll be able to help your dog enjoy the benefits of these wonderful toys.