Months ago I was contacted by The Company Of Animals because they saw my blog posts about Lucy’s adventures with the Nina Ottoson Dog Brick game. We raved about the game so much that they wanted to see if we could review some other products. They were so kind to send us the Nina Ottoson Dog Twister puzzle along with some other dog related items for free. Unfortunately, with Lucy suffering from her leg injury shortly after and doomed to near 24/7 bed rest, we couldn’t really do a proper review of the game until now.
So, we’ll just get to it as this is long overdue. Our rating? 4.5 out of 5! This totally confirms our love for Nina Ottoson puzzles!
The Dog Twister is undoubtedly a bit more challenging than the Dog Brick. The objective of the game is for your dog to seek out hidden treats placed in some or all of the compartments by sliding the covers over. The puzzle can be made more difficult by using pegs to prevent the covers from shifting and your dog will have to figure out how to remove the pegs in order to make the covers slide. If this sounds like an impossible task for your dog, don’t let that stop you from teaching him how to solve it. The game is packaged with a DVD tutorial with tips on how to motivate your pup to find the hidden treats.
The puzzle is made of strong hard plastic and withstands some good wear and tear. As you can see in the video of Lucy solving the puzzle, she can give it a good pawing. I have to admit that I was always a fan of the wooden versions of the Ottoson games because of the perceived durability (my dog can destroy a black Kong – the strongest of the Kong toys), but the plastic versions hold up really well. Another plus that the plastic versions have over the wooden ones is that you can toss them in the dishwasher. I can’t do that with my wooden Dog Brick game. Lastly, the plastic versions are less expensive. Now who doesn’t like saving a few dollars?
The only thing I wish they could improve on is traction. That’s where I deducted half a point. Granted they suggest teaching the dog to use their nose instead of their paws to expose the treats, Lucy seriously favors using her paws with these puzzles. I’ve seen her try to shift the covers with her nose and I think it takes a bit of strength… at least for this particular game. Perhaps suction cups placed on the bottom so the board can stay stuck to the ground may help. Clearly though, a minor imperfection.
Nina Ottoson toys are on the top of my list of stimulating fun dog games. I recommend them to my dog training clients all the time, especially during these awful winter months when Brooklyn is just one cold slushy mess and some of our dogs start to hibernate. To be honest, they’re as fun for me as they are for Lucy. As these games are meant to be solved with a human, they can be both a great bonding exercise as well as a source of amusement for the person. There’s just something about watching wheels turn in my dog’s head that makes me smile and watching Lucy solve the Dog Twister certainly puts a grin on my face!