Nina Ottosson Dog Twister Activity Toy Review
Here at Paws and Prada HQ we are big fans of Nina Ottosson dog activity toys. Bruce has always had them since he was just a young pup, starting off with the Tornado and moving up to the Treat Maze, both of which essentially require turning in order to dispense treats. The latest toy to make it into Bruce’s paws is his favourite yet, so it seemed only right to bring you a review of the Nina Ottosson Dog Twister Activity Toy.
Nina Ottosson Dog Activity Toys
Before we get to the review, let me tell you a little bit about why I love these toys so much. Nina Ottosson creates interactive dog toys which make a dog think. They all revolve around the same concept – the dog has to use his smarts to figure out how to play the game, and when they get it right they are rewarded with treats which are concealed within the toy.
Every toy has a different difficulty level and each toy also has ways to make the game easier or harder. So you can not only start your dog off with easier toys, but you can also make those toys progressively harder once he or she has got the hang of them, so they have to continue to work for those delicious prizes.
This makes the toys not only immense fun for your dog, but healthy too. It is a common misconception that dogs rely on physical exercise to stay happy and healthy, but what a lot of us don’t realise is that mental exercise is just as important. It keeps them from getting bored, and keeps them sharp in old age.
So Bruce loves it, but I do too! If he’s ever having a hyper moment when I just need him to calm down, then I know that 10 minutes with a Nina Ottosson dog toy will lead to a calm, relaxed and content pooch not long after.
Nina Ottosson Dog Twister Activity Toy Review
The Twister is the hardest Nina Ottosson toy Bruce has had so far. When I got it out of its box my initial reaction was ‘uh oh’, because I thought that there was no way he was ever going to be able to work the thing out. I envisioned doggy temper tantrums galore and epic amounts of frustrated barking and sighing. Thankfully, I was wrong.
The toy is a wheel which features sliding components which hide compartments where you place the treats. To remove the treats, the dog has to use his paw or nose to slide the moving pieces and uncover the compartments. To make the game more difficult, you can add bones to the outside of the wheel, which lock the pieces in place so the dog has to remove the bones before he can push the pieces around.
Bruce hasn’t quite built up to using the bones with the toy yet, but he has started to understand how to nudge the pieces around and find the treats. What’s great about the Twister is that he has to be more gentle with the toy to get the treats out. He can’t use his usual tactic of being boisterous and throwing the toy around to dislodge the treats, and instead has to softly use his nose to push the pieces around. This makes it a real mental challenge for him, simultaneously teaches him to be more gentle when he is playing and shows him he gets rewards for playing softly.
The Nina Ottosson Dog Twister Activity Toy isn’t cheap, coming in at over £20, however it is well made and sturdy and I am sure will last a dog’s lifetime easily. The difficulty of it also means that dogs are unlikely to outgrow it and stop finding it challenging anymore. If it starts getting too easy for them even at the most difficult setting, simply pop it away for a few months until they forget about it.
My only con would be that dogs with large, broader jaws may find it difficult to reach the treats as the compartments are quite narrow, and small breeds may find the toy too large and cumbersome.
The Nina Ottosson Twister Activity Toy Tips
Don’t expect your dog to be able to understand how to play the game without a bit of teaching first. If your dog is new to these types of interactive toys then I recommend starting them off with one of the easy toys like the Tornado, so they get the hang of problem solving and playing puzzle games.
When your dog is ready to play the Twister, you’ll need to follow some simple guidelines to give them a helping hand:
- Let your dog see you put the treats into the compartments the first few times you use it.
- Initially add treats to every single compartment, so they always find them when they move the sliding pieces.
- Use smelly treats at first, to keep their attention and encourage them to play.
- Put a treat in the uncovered compartment to start them off and start the game positively.
- Give your dog lots of verbal encouragement when they start trying to move the pieces, and praise them when they uncover a treat.
- Show your dog where the hidden pieces are if they get stuck or start to lose interest, by moving pieces yourself and then covering them up again.
Does your dog like playing with activity toys? If you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear about them.