Sadie has a lot of fun playing with her puzzle toys. Playing in general is beneficial for dogs to feel happy and fulfilled, but playing with puzzle toys in particular brings out a dog’s curiosity and problem solving skills in wonderful ways. We have a few doggy puzzles in the house now, and although I only bring them out every once in a while, Sadie always seems to know exactly the right way to play to release her treats. In fact, when her Doggy Blocks puzzle arrived in the mail (read our review on that puzzle here), Sadie’s mind was already spinning, trying to figure out how to get some treats out of it before the puzzle was even out of the box!
Our friends at Chewy.com recently sent Sadie a fun new treat puzzle! It’s called Doggy Blocks from Outward Hound. Doggy Blocks is a circular treat seeking puzzle with eight treat containers and four blocks.
In general treat seeking puzzles are wonderful activities for any dog. They are easy ways to exercise your dog’s mind by providing a problem your dog must solve to earn his or her reward. Doggy Blocks is a great puzzle because it has two different puzzle elements, with eight containers for rewards. You can place treats under the four Doggy Blocks and in the four internal containers, creating a long lasting challenge for your dog to retrieve all of those rewards.
The two levels of treat compartments also make the Doggy Blocks puzzle a fun way to feed your dog his or her dinner. You can put your dog’s kibble in the larger four compartments under the blocks and place a few treats or pieces of treats in the smaller internal compartments for dessert. This puzzle is perfectly setup for this because you must first remove the yellow blocks and eat your dinner before you can access the inner compartments to eat your dessert.
Sadie did have a bit more trouble with this puzzle than she usually does with other puzzles. This could be considered a good thing if you really want a challenge that lasts a while for your dog. But Sadie did get frustrated a few times and might have given up if I didn’t keep encouraging her. There are a few possible reasons she may have had trouble with this puzzle.
The yellow block portions of the Doggy Blocks puzzle are most likely meant for a dog to grab with their mouth to remove. Sadie is strangely picky about what she puts in her mouth, so she wasn’t willing to play correctly. If your dog has trouble with these blocks like Sadie did, just put the blocks in at a slight angle, making it possible for your dog to push the blocks with their paws or noses.
Also because Sadie prefers to attack a puzzle with her paws, she occasionally felt resistance from the aeration slits on the puzzle. It’s important for any successful treat seeking puzzle to have some type of holes in the payout compartments so that dogs can smell what they are searching for. But Sadie’s nails sometimes hit the slits in this puzzle at a funny angle and she would get scared and pause in her play. She never actually got stuck or made any kind of whine or whimper, but it kind of jarred her out of the treat seeking zone. I would just remind her to use her nose and smell what was inside and she happily resumed trying to solve the puzzle.
In contrast, Sadie had a very easy time with the inner layer to this puzzle. In order to reach the inner four treat compartments, a dog has to first remove all four Doggy Blocks and then rotate the spinner to gain access to the final treat compartments. The beauty of this puzzle is that the difficulty of the inner layer can be changed to fit your dog’s needs. There is a tension knob located on the underside of the puzzle that makes this inner spinner easier or harder for your dog to spin. That way you can help a frustrated dog solve the puzzle faster or give your bored dog a tougher challenge. And you can change it up each time you play so that your dog won’t know what to expect.
In this video you will see that I added a surprise element to one of the Doggy Blocks treat containers – one of Sadie’s beloved squeaky balls. She was almost more excited to try and rescue her ball than to find any treats. It just shows you that this puzzle can be fun even if your dog is on a diet.
The Doggy Blocks puzzle by Outward Hound is made of a durable, food safe plastic that is BPA, PVC, and phthalate free. You can get your own Doggy Blocks puzzle at Chewy.com for $14.99.
This post is part of the #ChewyInfluencer blog hop hosted by Sugar the Golden Retriever and Oz the Terrier.
I received a free product in exchange for my honest opinions. All views expressed are strictly my own. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.