Dogs need things to do. They crave things to do. If you have a dog that has a bad habit of chewing things they shouldn’t chew, they may need a hobby. One way to deal with a hyperactive dog is taking them on a nice long walk each day to help them use up their energy. Another way is to get them a toy, or two, that makes them think. Interactive toys like puzzles that force them to move things to find treats are great for keeping any dog busy.
If you are ready to give your pooch a good challenge, here are some great toys that will keep them busy.
1. Nina Ottosson DogCasino
Puzzle toys can be great ways to keep your bored dog busy. My dog loves this type of toy. He enjoys removing the pieces in order to find the treats hidden within. The first time he played he attempted to lift and tip the whole thing to get to the treats. He quickly figured it out though and now it’s our party trick when new people come to visit. This toy is made from durable material and is easy to wash. Nina Ottoson makes a variety of interesting dog challenges you can find here.
- Fun and interactive
- Great teaching tool
- Lots of little parts to clean
- Somewhat basic game your dog may figure out quickly
2. Wobble Wag Giggle Ball
This ‘As Seen On TV’ toy is something that really attracts the dogs. It rolls, it bounces, it wiggles, it makes noise and it even dispenses treats. My dog had one of these and LOVED it (however, we humans got tired of hearing it). This is a fun toy and pretty much any dog would love it. It even stands up well to rougher players.
- Dogs love it
- Dispenses treats
- Can get noisy
3. Dogit Mind Games 3-in-1 Interactive Smart Toy for Dogs
This is another puzzle toy that can help with teaching and keep a bored dog busy. The three different activities include: hide-and-seek where your dog has to dislodge tops in order to find a treat; spin-a-whirl where your dog nudges wheel around the game board to reveal treats; and sliding puzzle which lets your dog move the pieces around to find the rewards.
- 3-in-1 design provides value
- Suction grip keeps toy in place
- May not be challenging enough
- Not especially durable
4. Trixie Pet Products Windmill
Trixie Pet Products has many different interactive dog toys, at varying levels. Start with an easy level one toy, like this one. Once your dog masters spinning the windmill and dispensing the treats it will be time to look into upgrading to the next level. While it may look confusing, this toy does come with an instruction booklet.
- Level 1 and easy for your dog to learn
- Comes with instructions
- May not be the best for a rough dog
5. Tether Tug Dog
While this toy may not make your dog use his awesome skills to find a treat within a puzzle, it still offers your pooch something fun to keep him busy. If you’re a single dog owner you may get tired of always playing tug with your dog, so why not get this great interactive tug toy that lets your dog play alone (without pulling your arm out of the socket). Durable toy and comes in four different sizes, from puppy to XL.
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Comes in 4 sizes
- Only good for the outdoors
6. Chuckit! Launcher
With a variety of lengths and colors to choose from, the Chuckit! is an excellent, tried-and-true interactive dog toy. It eliminated the need to pick up a slobbery ball while drastically increasing the range of your throw without adding any stress to your arm. When this thing came on the scene, it changed the fetch game forever. My sister-in-law’s dog never, ever tires of a game of fetch and has made excellent use of this toy for years now. There are number of dog-specific tennis ball brands out there — Tuff Balls, Kong, and even Chuckit’s own — but any old tennis ball will do the trick.
Price: $5.39 (29 percent off MSRP)
- Classic fetch toy
- Easy to use
- Provides hours of entertainment
- Requires just as much activity from the owner
- Won’t be much good for dogs that don’t like fetch
- Will only work in big yards and at the park
7. iFetch Too Interactive Ball Thrower
If you’ve worn your arm out using the launcher above, this is the other game changer for fetch. This automatic ball launcher features three distances (10, 25, and 40 feet) and runs on an internal rechargeable battery. Dogs can drop the ball back into the top and keep the game going until they run out of steam. The Too fires standard tennis balls, and three are included in the package. iFetch makes different sizes that shoot different balls, as well. There are a number of other makers on the market, including PetSafe, which makes a slightly cheaper model.
- Adjustable launch distance
- Good for folks with joint pain
- Solid customer service
- Some reviewers say it won’t launch wet balls
8. Trixie Pet Products Mover Toy
If the Trixie windmill above it too easy for your dog, try this level three puzzle toy to keep them guessing. Game one requires the dog to lift cones straight up. Game two makes dogs pull open drawers using rope handles. Game three requires your dog to push a slider to reveal the treat. The fourth game is pushing a knob to open another drawer. Other level three toys from Trixie include chess and move-2-win.
Price: $16.99 (25 percent off MSRP)
- Level three puzzle for clever dogs
- Includes four different games
- Non-slip feet keep game in place while your dog plays
- May still be too easy
- Feet on some units may be faulty
9. ZippyPaws Burrow Squeaky Hide and Seek Plush Dog Toy
If you have a small dog that loves to chase small creatures, this hide-and-seek hedgehog den is perfect for them. Just put the little critters inside and your dog will fish them out of the two holes. Comes in three varieties — hedgehog, mice and cheese, and chicken hut.
Price: $8.82 (32 percent off MSRP)
- Great for smaller dogs
- Easy hide-and-seek concept
- Limited challenge
10. Outward Hound Kyjen 41004 Paw Hide Treat Toy
With a focus on treats and practice, this simple toy will give your dog a bit of a challenge while they eat. The cups lift out with some effort on the dog’s part, revealing the compartment filled with food below. Comes in two sizes to match your dog’s size.
Price: $10.99 (27 percent off MSRP)
- Good beginner puzzle
- Trains dogs to sniff out certain treats
- Supervise while using — some reviews report sharp parts
- Clever dogs will tip the whole toy over
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