Tuesday, 26 May 2009

playing with toys that enhance dog intelligence

Penny played with her Nina Ottosson dog toys tonight. Walks have been shorter than usual lately, for no special reason except that we've been low on energy, so I thought meal time could be extended for some doggy mental stimulation.

I was pleased to hear from Johann The Dog that these toys will soon be available in Australia from VCA World. I wish they were bringing in the wooden ones, but they will only import the plastic ones. However I don't see anything on their site yet.

I've always been interested in activities designed to enhance intelligence in dogs, as I've posted about time and again.

We used the Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado. This game has levels of difficulty, so first we tried it with the simple task to turn the bone and find the treats.



Then we tried it with two plastic 'bones' inserted in the lower levels, which makes the game much harder and requires a lot of persistence by the doggy player. (Penny is very persistent!) She became frustrated because her teeth couldn't get a grip on the slippery 'bones' - I think this is a drawback to the game. So I attached some string to the bones and she was immediately successful. (It's easy to slip a piece of string through the holes in the top of the bones and knot it so it doesn't slip out.)

12 comments:

Maggie and Mitch said...

You are so smart, Penny and you're finding such nice rewards!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

parlance said...

Maggie and Mitch, they sure were nice rewards. Probably not healthy, but tasty.

Noah the Airedale said...

That is a great treat holder. At least it takes a while for the dog to get the treat rather than just gobbling it up in seconds.

Denise
Noah: Give me a treat

Mary said...

I thought that Penny wouldn't be able to use her paw when the toy was on the stool but she didn't seem to use it when it was the floor either. Looks like she's very successful at getting all the food, however.

Slavenka said...

Our pets shops still don't have such a good selection of toys. I'm glad to see that Penny enjoyed so much.

parlance said...

Noah, it is a good game. It's designed to teach dogs problem-solving, but I reckon a dog fed raw bones would have to do a bit of problem-solving anyway, in getting the meat off and extracting the marrow. Of course, not to mention dogs fed frozen fish, like your guys are - they have to manage to eat up that tricky meal.
Penny hasn't conquered fish-eating yet. Sigh...

parlance said...

Mary, she did actually use her paws on the little seat and on the floor, but my filming is so terrible you couldn't see it.

parlance said...

Slavenka, if these toys have come all the way from Scandinavia to australia, I hope they'll get to you soon.

JD and Max said...

Hi Penny - we've wandered over here from Bertie and Oliver's page.

Our humans have bought us a few doggie mind games too - they're great fun. We've played with two of them so far - one is a maze where we have to push discs around with our nose or our paws to reveal the food, the other is a bit more difficult, with treats hidden under 'cups' that we have to lift off with our teeth - we haven't really got the hang of that game yet to be honest...! However, our games ARE wooden - but sadly we got a bit excited a couple of times about getting a treat that we have actually chewed them rather badly....er - oops!

Lovely to meet you - tail wags, JD and Max.

parlance said...

JD and Max
We read Bertie's and Oliver's news each day they post, though we don't comment often. I'm popping straight over to your blog to ask you about these wooden puzzles.

Johann The Dog said...

Great vids, glad you posted them! I'm happy they are getting the toys in AUS for you! Interesting about the bones being slippery. Good idea about tying a string, really good!

There is one place that is shipping to AUS and they have the wooden toys. Go to this page and click on the link: http://squidoo.com/toysfordogs If you have problems just let me know, K? Not sure of the shipping price but it may be affordable for you. Good luck!

parlance said...

Thanks, Johann, I'll go over and look at that site.