Which difficulty level should I choose for my dog’s toys and puzzles?

Think about crossword puzzles for us humans, we need to start easier to understand the concept, and step by step advance to more difficult versions. If we start too difficult, we will be frustrated and finally give up. A dog who doesn´t understand how a puzzle works, can by instinct start chewing their way into the treats, instead of working for them, which is completely normal for a dog if we don´t teach them the playing rules, and how the puzzle works.


Easy – Level 1:
  Suits beginners, puppies, dogs who have never played before, and if you are unsure if your dog like puzzle solving for treats. Perfect as slow feeders for dogs


Medium – Level 2:
 Suits all kind of dogs, in all sizes and ages.


Advanced – Level 3:
 When your dog has mastered level 2 puzzles, you can move up to a more advanced challenging puzzle.


Expert – Level 4:
 When your dog has mastered level 3 puzzles, you can move up to the expert level. Congratulations and good luck!

 

 

Note: These are just general suggestions to help you get started, and they are suitable for most dogs/cats in these categories. However, all dogs/cats are different, and there are of course other games that are suitable as well.


DOGS

Puppies


For puppies, its recommended to choose games that do not have loose parts or alternatively have large parts. Puppies do not know the rules of the game, so show how the game works, play together, and when you play and have fun, you can at the same time teach the dog the usual commands such as, sit, wait, go ahead, which puppies learn very quickly during positive learning.

  • Dog Smart – difficulty level 1
  • TIP: Tie strings in the white blocks to make it easier to lift them up.

 

  • Wobble Bowl – difficulty level 1. No removable parts
  • Slow Feeder and Puzzle in one.
  • Perfect for both dry kibble/food and treats.
  • TIP: Make it more difficult by placing scotch tape over a couple of the openings, so it takes longer for the food and treats to come out.

 

  • Treat Tumble – difficulty level 1
  • Perfect for both dry kibble/food and treats
  • Slow feeder bowl.
  • TIP: Adding a piece of paper in the Treat Tumble makes it harder to get the treats out, remove the paper by filling the Treat Tumble with water and pour it out.

 

  • Dog Tornado – difficulty level 2
  • Without the locking white blocks, it´s an easier game.
  • Adding the white locking blocks makes it more difficult.
  • TIP: Tie strings in the white blocks to make them easier to lift up.
  • Teach your puppy that the white blocks are not interesting, it’s what is underneath them that is interesting.

 

  • Dog Hide ´N Slide – difficulty level 2. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game place treats in all base compartments, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • To make it more difficult place treats INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the dog should push the cups until the treat falls out in a base compartment.

  

Small sized dogs



All small dogs can handle all games regardless of size, it´s usually we who set the limits for them, but the following games are the easiest to handle for them.

  • Dog Treat Maze – difficulty level 2
  • Fill with dry kibble/food or treats in the center hole on both sides.
  • TIP: Make it easier by placing some treats in the outgoing holes, for an immediate reward.

 

  • Dog Hide ´N Slide – difficulty level 2. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game place treats only in all base compartments, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • To make it more difficult place treats INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the dog should push the cups until the treat falls out in a base compartment.

 

  • Dog Brick – difficulty level 2
  • For an easier game, remove the white blocks and hide treats only under the sliding bricks.
  • More difficult, hide treats under the sliding bricks, the white blocks and inside the open/close flip lids.

 

  • Challenge Slider – difficulty level 3.
  • Easy filling tray
  • TIP: Make it more challenging by only placing treats in a few compartments.

 

  • Dog Worker – difficulty level 3. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game place treats only in all base compartments, also under the spinning wheel, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • To make it more difficult place treats also INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the dog should rotate the spinning wheel and push the cups until the treats fall out into a base compartment.

 

  • Our new Cat Puzzle Games, Buggin’ Out Puzzle & Play, Melon Madness Puzzle & Play and Rainy Day Puzzle & Play, suit small dogs perfectly as well, see below for more information.

  

Medium sized dogs



Can use all our games, but these are the ones that are good to start with in our different levels of difficulty.

 

  • Wobble Bowl – difficulty level 1. No removable parts
  • Slow Feeder and Puzzle in one.
  • Perfect for both dry kibble/food and treats.
  • TIP: Make it more difficult by placing scotch tape over a couple of the openings, so it takes longer for the food and treats to come out.

 

  • Dog Tornado – difficulty level 2
  • Without the locking white blocks, it´s an easier game.
  • Adding the white locking blocks makes it more difficult.
  • TIP: Tie strings in the white blocks to make them easier to lift up.

 

  • Challenge Slider – difficulty level 3
  • Easy filling tray
  • TIP: Make it more challenging by only placing treats in a few compartments.

 

  • Dog Twister – difficulty level 3
  • For an easier game place treats in all compartments.
  • To make it more difficult push in the white handles to lock all sliding bricks on top.
  • TIP: Tie strings in the white handles to make it easier to pull them out.

 

  • MultiPuzzle – difficulty level 4. No removable parts.
  • For a little easier game, place treats or food only under the sliders in the outer tray.
  • Make it more difficult by also placing treats in the center treat compartments, hide the treats with the sliding covers.

 

  • Our new Cat Puzzle Games, Buggin Out Puzzle & Play, Melon Madness Puzzle & Play and Rainy Day Puzzle & Play, suit medium sized dogs perfectly as well, see below for more information.

 

Large sized dogs



These games are the ones that are good to start with in our different levels of difficulty, if you don´t know how your dog will works with the games.

 

  • Wobble Bowl – difficulty level 1. No removable parts
  • Slow Feeder and Puzzle in one.
  • Perfect for both dry kibble/food and treats.
  • TIP: Make it more difficult by placing scotch tape over a couple of the openings, so it takes longer for the food and treats to come out.

 

  • Dog Hide ´N Slide – difficulty level 2. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game place treats only in all base compartments, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • To make it more difficult place treats also INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the dog should push the cups until the treat falls out in a base compartment.

 

  • Dog Brick – difficulty level 2
  • For an easier game, remove the white blocks and hide treats only under the sliding bricks.
  • More difficult – hide treats under the sliding bricks, the white blocks and inside the open-close flip lids.

 

  • Dog Worker – difficulty level 3. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game place treats only in all base compartments, also under the spinning wheel, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • To make it more difficult place treats also INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the dog should rotate the spinning wheel and push the cups until the treats fall out into a base compartment.

 

  • Dog Casino – difficulty level 3. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game, place treats in the drawers, and the white bones in unlocked position.
  • To make it more difficult, place treats in the drawers and twist the bones on top to lock the drawers.
  • TIP: Tie strings in the orange handles to make them easier to pull out.

 

Flat nosed dogs



Most short-nosed dogs can use all our games, because it´s the tongue that will pick up the treats, not the nose, but these games are the ones that are best for them to start with in our different levels of difficulty.

  • Treat Tumble – difficulty level 1
  • Perfect for both dry kibble/food and treats
  • Slow feeder bowl.
  • TIP: Adding a piece of paper in the Treat Tumble makes it harder to get the treats out, remove the paper by filling the Treat Tumble with water and pour it out.

 

  • Dog Smart – difficulty level 1
  • TIP: Tie strings in the white blocks to make it easier to lift them up.

 

  • Dog Tornado – difficulty level 2
  • Without the locking white blocks, it´s an easier game.
  • Adding the white locking blocks makes it more difficult.
  • TIP: Tie strings in the white blocks to make them easier to lift up.

 

  • Dog Brick – difficulty level 2
  • For an easier game, remove the white blocks and hide treats only under the sliding bricks.
  • More difficult, hide treats under the sliding bricks, the white blocks and inside the open-close flip lids.

 

  • Dog Casino – difficulty level 3. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game, place treats in the drawers, and the white bones in unlocked position.
  • To make it more difficult, place treats in the drawers and twist the bones on top to lock the drawers.
  • TIP: Tie strings in the orange handles to make them easier to pull out.



Beginners



If you are unsure if your dog likes to play games, then I recommend that you start with one of these games, they are easier for the dog to use, and can be made both easier and a little harder.

  • Treat Tumble – difficulty level 1
  • Perfect for both dry kibble/food and treats
  • Slow feeder bowl.
  • TIP: Adding a piece of paper in the Treat Tumble makes it harder to get the treats out, remove the paper by filling the Treat Tumble with water and pour it out.

 

  • Dog Smart – difficulty level 1
  • TIP: Tie strings in the white blocks to make it easier to lift them up.

 

  • Dog Tornado – difficulty level 2
  • Without the locking white blocks, it´s an easier game.
  • Adding the white locking blocks makes it more difficult.
  • TIP: Tie strings in the white blocks to make them easier to lift up.

 

  • Dog Brick – difficulty level 2
  • For an easier game, remove the white blocks and hide treats only under the sliding bricks.
  • More difficult, hide treats under the sliding bricks, the white blocks and inside the open-close flip lids.

 

  • Dog Hide ´N Slide – difficulty level 2. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game place treats only in all base compartments, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • To make it more difficult place treats also INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the dog should push the cups until the treat falls out in a base compartment.

 

  

Clever and food motivated dogs


These games are our most advanced, suitable for smart and highly food motivated dogs. But at the same time, it´s important that the dog understands how to work with the games, otherwise the dog may become frustrated and try to bite into the treats, instead of working into the treats. Play together, show and teach the dog how the game work.

  • Dog Casino – difficulty level 3. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game, place treats in the drawers, and the white bones in unlocked position.
  • To make it more difficult, place treats in the drawers and twist the bones on top to lock the drawers.
  • TIP: Tie strings in the orange handles to make them easier to pull out.

 

  • Dog Worker – difficulty level 3. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game place treats only in all base compartments, also under the spinning wheel, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • To make it more difficult place treats also INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the dog should rotate the spinning wheel and push the cups until the treat falls out in a base compartment.

 

  • Challenge Slider – difficulty level 3
  • Easy filling tray
  • Make it more challenging by only placing treats in a few compartments.

 

  • Dog Twister – difficulty level 3
  • For an easier game place treats in all compartments.
  • To make it more difficult push in the white handles to lock all sliding bricks on top.
  • TIP: Tie strings in the white handles to make it easier to pull them out.

 

  • MultiPuzzle – difficulty level 4. No removable parts.
  • For a little easier game, place treats or food under the sliders in the outer tray.
  • Make it more difficult by also place treats in the center treat compartments, hide the treats with the sliding covers.

 

Chewing dogs


It’s recommended to use games without removable parts, or with few large parts.

The best way to prevent dogs from chewing on the game is to start as simple as possible, and show them how it works, and then step by step make it harder.

If the dog doesn´t understand how it works and gets a little frustrated because the game is too difficult, it´s natural for the dog to start chewing their way to the treats instead of working into it. 

Supervise closely for chewing, play together, and teach the dog how the game works. Once emptied of treats or kibble, the game should be stored until next supervised use.

 

  • Treat Tumble – difficulty level 1
  • Perfect for both dry kibble/food and treats
  • Slow feeder bowl.
  • TIP: Adding a piece of paper in the Treat Tumble makes it harder to get the treats out, remove the paper by filling the Treat Tumble with water and pour it out.

 

  • Wobble Bowl – difficulty level 1. No removable parts
  • Slow Feeder and Puzzle in one.
  • Perfect for both dry kibble/food and treats.
  • TIP: Make it more difficult by placing scotch tape over a couple of the openings, so it takes longer for the food and treats to come out.

 

  • Dog Hide ´N Slide – difficulty level 2. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game place treats only in all base compartments, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • To make it more difficult place treats also INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the dog should push the cups until the treat falls out in a base compartment.

 

  • Dog Casino – difficulty level 3. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game, place treats in the drawers, and the white bones in unlocked position, the first attempts don´t close the drawers completely, let the treats be a little visible.
  • To make it more difficult, place treats in the drawers and twist the bones on top to lock the drawers, begin to lock one bone on the top, next time two bones …..
  • TIP: Tie strings in the orange handles to make them easier to pull out.

 

  • Dog Worker – difficulty level 3. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game place treats only in all base compartments, also under the spinning wheel, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • Make it more difficult place treats also INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the dog should rotate the spinning wheel and push the cups until the treat falls out in a base compartment.

 

Rough dogs


If your dog is too rough with his paws, and tries to push the puzzle game around, or turn it upside down, I recommend to:

Freeze the game, because no frozen treats can fall out if the dog is too rough with the game, the dog needs to lick the treats up, and licking has a calming effect on dogs.

Or place the game on a stool, box or similar, kids’ chairs work great, so the dog can only work with his nose, not the paws.

FROZEN PUZZLE: Place treats, kibble, piece of sausage, or a tasty treat in each compartment, pour a little water, or mix a little canned dog food with water, pour some of the mixture in the tray´s compartments, put the game in the freezer and let it set. This is perfect also for dogs who need some extra activity.

  • Wobble Bowl – difficulty level 1. No removable parts
  • Slow Feeder and Puzzle in one.
  • Perfect for both dry kibble/food and treats.
  • TIP: Make it more difficult by placing scotch tape over a couple of the openings, so it takes longer for the food and treats to come out.

 

  • Treat Tumble – difficulty level 1
  • Perfect for both dry kibble/food and treats
  • Slow feeder bowl.
  • TIP: Adding a piece of paper in the Treat Tumble makes it harder to get the treats out, remove the paper by filling the Treat Tumble with water and pour it out.

 

  • Dog Hide ´N Slide – difficulty level 2. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game place treats only in all base compartments, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • To make it more difficult place treats also INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the dog should push the cups until the treat falls out in a base compartment.

 

  • Dog Casino – difficulty level 3. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game, place treats in the drawers, and the white bones in unlocked position, the first attempts don´t close the drawers completely, let the treats be a little visible.
  • To make it more difficult, place treats in the drawers and twist the bones on top to lock the drawers, begin to lock one bone on the top, next time two bones …..
  • TIP: Tie strings in the orange handles to make them easier to pull out.

 

Puzzle games as a Feeder


The following puzzle games have large compartments to hold a full meal – dry or wet.

  • Treat Tumble – difficulty level 1
  • Perfect for both dry kibble/food and treats
  • Slow feeder bowl.
  • TIP: Adding a piece of paper in the Treat Tumble makes it harder to get the treats out, remove the paper by filling the Treat Tumble with water and pour it out.

 

  • Wobble Bowl – difficulty level 1. No removable parts
  • Slow Feeder and Puzzle in one.
  • Perfect for both dry kibble/food and treats.
  • TIP: Make it more difficult by placing scotch tape over a couple of the openings, so it takes longer for the food and treats to come out.

 

  • Dog Smart – difficulty level 1
  • TIP: Tie strings in the white blocks to make it easier to lift them up.
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food

 

  • Dog Tornado – difficulty level 2
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food, and to make a frozen puzzle.
  • Without the locking white blocks it´s an easier game.
  • Adding the white locking blocks makes it more difficult.
  • TIP: Tie strings in the white blocks to make them easier to lift up.

 

  • Dog Brick – difficulty level 2
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food, and to make a frozen puzzle
  • For an easier game, remove the white blocks and hide treats only under the sliding bricks.
  • More difficult, hide treats under the sliding bricks, the white blocks and inside the open-close flip lids.

 

  • Dog Casino – difficulty level 3. No removable parts.
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food, and to make a frozen puzzle
  • For an easier game, place treats in the drawers, and the white bones in unlocked position, the first attempts don´t close the drawers completely, let the treats be a little visible.
  • To make it more difficult, place treats in the drawers and twist the bones on top to lock the drawers, begin to lock one bone on the top, next time two bones …..
  • TIP: Tie strings in the orange handles to make them easier to pull out.

 

  • Dog Twister – difficulty level 3
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food, and to make a frozen puzzle
  • For an easier game place treats in all compartments.
  • To make it more difficult push in the white handles to lock all sliding bricks on top.
  • TIP: Tie strings in the white handles to make it easier to pull them out.

 

  • Challenge Slider – difficulty level 3
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food, and to make a frozen puzzle
  • Easy filling tray
  • TIP: Make it more challenging by only place treats in a few compartments.

 

  • MultiPuzzle – difficulty level 4. No removable parts
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food, and to make a frozen puzzle
  • For a little easier game, place treats or food under the sliders in the outer tray.
  • Make it more difficult by also place treats in the center treat compartments, hide the treats with the sliding covers.

 

Injured dogs


Puzzle games are a life saver when our dogs are injured and can´t move around freely or have other mobility restrictions. I recommend puzzle games which stay still on the floor or on a chair and can be handled by the nose.

Put the game in the freezer, it becomes a calmer activation that takes longer time to solve, the dog needs to lick the treats up, and licking has a calming effect on dogs.

Place the game on a stool, box or similar, kids’ chairs work great, so the dog only can work with the nose, not the paws.

FROZEN PUZZLE: Place treats, kibble, piece of sausage, or tasty treat in each compartment, pour a little water, or mix a little canned meat with water, pour some of the mixture in the tray´s compartments, put the game in the freezer and let it set. This is perfect also for dogs who need some extra activity.

Below are suggestion of puzzles that can be handled with the nose, which is suitable if your dog is not allowed to move freely.

  • Dog Hide ´N Slide – difficulty level 2. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game place treats only in all base compartments, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • To make it more difficult place treats also INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the dog should push the cups until the treat falls out in a base compartment

 

  • Dog Tornado – difficulty level 2
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food, and to make a frozen puzzle.
  • Without the locking white blocks it´s an easier game.
  • Adding the white locking blocks makes it more difficult.
  • TIP: Tie strings in the white blocks to make them easier to lift up.

 

  • Dog Brick – difficulty level 2
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food, and to make a frozen puzzle
  • For an easier game, remove the white blocks and hide treats only under the sliding bricks.

 

  • Challenge Slider – difficulty level 3
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food, and to make a frozen puzzle
  • Easy filling tray
  • Make it more challenging by only placing treats in a few compartments.

 

  • Dog Worker – difficulty level 3. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game place treats only in all base compartments, also under the spinning wheel, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • Make it more difficult place treats also INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the dog should rotate the spinning wheel and push the cups until the treat falls out in a base compartment.

 

  • MultiPuzzle – difficulty level 4. No removable parts
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food, and to make a frozen puzzle
  • For a little easier game, place treats or food under the sliders in the outer tray.
  • Make it more difficult by also place treats in the center treat compartments, hide the treats with the sliding covers.

 

Blind Dogs

Are good at playing games, their sense of smell allows them to play almost any game if they get some help from us. But the best ones to start with are the ones below, these you can make either a little easier or harder.

  • Wobble Bowl – difficulty level 1. No removable parts
  • Slow Feeder and Puzzle in one.
  • Perfect for both dry kibble/food and treats.
  • Make it more difficult by placing scotch tape over a couple of the openings, so it takes longer for the food and treats to come out.

 

  • Dog Smart – difficulty level 1
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food
  • TIP: Tie strings in the white blocks to make it easier to lift them up.

 

  • Dog Hide ´N Slide – difficulty level 2. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game place treats only in all base compartments, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • To make it more difficult place treats also INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the dog should push the cups until the treat falls out in a base compartment

                            

  • Dog Tornado – difficulty level 2
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food, and to make a frozen puzzle.
  • Without the locking white blocks it´s an easier game.
  • Adding the white locking blocks makes it more difficult.
  • TIP: Tie strings in the white blocks to make them easier to lift up.

 

  • Dog Brick – difficulty level 2
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food, and to make a frozen puzzle
  • For an easier game, remove the white blocks and hide treats only under the sliding bricks.


CATS


Cats are hunters, they decide for themselves when they want to play and when it’s time to eat. The same applies to puzzle games, they play when they want, usually not when we want. So it is good to fill several games with something tasty, and put them in different places every day, then it will be a simulated hunt for food and play, which often is in the middle of the night, especially with younger cats. Below are our new puzzle games for cats and dog puzzles that are also perfect for cats.

  • Buggin’ Out Puzzle & Play for cats – difficulty level 2
  • For an easier game, place treats in all base compartments only, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • To make it more difficult, place treats also INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the cat should push the cups until the treats fall out in a base compartment

 

  • Melon Madness Puzzle & Play for cats – difficulty level 2
  • For an easier game, place treats in all base compartments only, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • To make it more difficult, place treats also INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the cat should push the cups up and down until the treats fall out in a base compartment.

 

  • Rainy Day Puzzle & Play for cats – difficulty level 3
  • For an easier game, place treats in all base compartments and under the spinning wheel, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • To make it more difficult, place treats also INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the cat should push the cups until the treats fall out into a base compartment

 

  • Dog Tornado – difficulty level 2
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food, and to make a frozen puzzle.
  • Without the locking white blocks it´s an easier game.
  • Adding the white locking blocks makes it more difficult.
  • TIP: Tie strings in the white blocks to make them easier to lift up.

 

  • Dog Brick – difficulty level 2
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food, and to make a frozen puzzle
  • For an easier game, remove the white blocks and hide treats only under the sliding bricks.

 

  • Challenge Slider – difficulty level 3
  • Suitable for both dry and wet food, and to make a frozen puzzle
  • Easy filling tray
  • Make it more challenging by only placing treats in a few compartments.

 

  • Dog Worker – difficulty level 3. No removable parts.
  • For an easier game place treats only in all base compartments, also under the spinning wheel, and cover with cups or flaps.
  • Make it more difficult place treats also INSIDE the sliding cups through the top holes, the cat needs to rotate the spinning wheel and push the cups until the treats fall out in a base compartment.

 

OTHER PETS

Puzzle games work with other pets and animals as well, but it´s important to choose puzzles which suit their needs and capacity, and we always recommend to supervise for chewing etc.

Parrots & Birds like removable parts: DogSmart, DogBrick, DogTornado, Hide N Slide

Rabbit, Guinea pigs: DogSmart, DogBrick

Ferrets: DogSmart, Dog Hide N Slide, DogTornado

Mini Pigs: Treat Tumble, DogBrick

Rats: DogSmart, Dog Hide N Slide

Horses: Treat Tumble

Monkeys, Wild Cats etc: Dog Hide N Slide, DogWorker, DogTornado, DogCasino, DogTwister, Buggin’Out, Melon Madness, Rainy Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

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