Tuesday Time-out

Pet blogging has its privileges. It introduces one to great people like Helen at Fort Doberdale who pass on equally great one-day half-price sales on Nina Ottosson puzzle toys. I’ve wanted “The Casino” for a long time because it is reportedly the hardest one. We received it just after Christmas. Unfortunately, I didn’t get much of a chance to work on it with Shiva until recently. For the past week, this is how Shiva has been eating her dinner.

As you can see, she finds it very difficult to wait until all the kibble pieces are tucked away.

At first, I left the bones out and just encouraged her to open the little drawers. It didn’t take her long to figure that out. I added the bones slowly, putting pieces of food under each one to encourage her to check them out. Gradually, I removed the food and just left the bones. After a few sessions, I think she’s almost got it mastered.

Still waiting. I’m the cruelest owner ever.

Can you see the drool spots?

As soon as I give the release, she is all over the toy. Shiva is the perfect dog for a durability test. Luckily, these toys get an A+ for strength.

It’s not easy to get her to slow down and think.

Inevitably, there is a big mess at the end. No wonder we’ve already lost one of the bones.

The booklet suggests using a table to make it easier.

Perhaps it is a little too easy.

With the same mess for me to clean up when all the fun is over.

You probably can’t tell, but the a shiny wet film of drool covers the entire surface. How quaint. Maybe I’m not ready for a mastiff after all.

31 thoughts on “Tuesday Time-out

  1. I’ll have to get that one for Oreo. He has mastered the brick and tornado.

    Shiva looks like she thinks the whole thing is a race not a puzzle! Relax SHhiva, believe me, your mom is not going to eat that food. You can take your time!

    (OK, I tell that to my ADD students all the time….they don’t listen either!)


    • Shiva does everything – everything – at Mach X. She doesn’t so much know the meaning of “take your time”.

      I’m sure Oreo will master it in no time. He’s a Sheltie after all.


  2. So the object is for Shiva to remove the bones so she can open the drawers? Very cool.

    A friend gave Honey a “knock off” of a Nina Ottison toy for Christmas and she mastered all three versions of the game pretty quickly.

    I’ll keep bringing this up until someone (not me) decides to do it but I think we need a dog toy rental business. We could rent toys for a couple of weeks and when they’re mastered, return them to get another one.

    It’s cheaper than buying hundreds of toys and keeps the games fun for our dogs.

    If people can rent out prom dresses online, I don’t know why we couldn’t do enrichment toys for dogs?

    To anyone willing to start such a thing? I’ll be your first customer.


    • I agree. I remember you mentioned this before. It’s a really interesting idea. But how would one go about starting such a thing? Anyone? Anyone?


      • My business partner and I were JUST talking about doing such a thing! Still in the research process of what we would need to branch out to this, but hopefully up and coming soon! Casino is very difficult; the other most difficult Nina Ottosson game is the Twister – another two-step puzzle. LOVE using these to feed!!


  3. I’ve been wanting to get one of those toys for a long time too (the price keeps getting in the way!). They look like they’re pretty fun for the dogs.

    Next you need to teach Shiva how to pick up the bones after she’s done 🙂 That would be quite the trick!


  4. Uhm, the picture with the caption “perhaps a little too easy” just made my whole day. She looks like she is just goign to say “screw it!” and each that whole plastic toy in one gulp. I love that dog. So cute.

    Side note: I thought of you on my walk with the doggies last night as Mak the 75 lb one dragged me three houses down the street since the sidewalk was covered with ice. We won’t be doing that again. Why do I always think I can walk both at the same time? I am not magic!


  5. Shayne and Rio got this toy for Christmas and they LOVE IT! Shayne got jack-potted the first day because she tipped it upside down and all the bones fell out… so we’ve been working on NOT cheating! Even my cat Jefferson plays the game to an extent. Glad Shiva had some fun (even if she tried to eat it–which Shayne tries all the time)


  6. That’s so funny. Shiva is very good at so many things, and look at her playing this hard game like a pro! Woohoo! I haven’t taught mine this one yet. They’re still on the “Dog Finder,” and though I haven’t lost any bones, I have some now with heavy teeth indentation marks. The drool gets painted all over ours, too. I love the pictures with the bones all over the floor after the game’s done. You can tell someone had fun. 🙂


  7. I am really wanting some of those toys for the girls! Especially now that we’re about to get snowed in for a couple of days with another blizzard. Poor Morgan gets cabin fever in a big way! Darn it, why couldn’t I be rich instead of good looking? 😛


  8. I’m having a duh moment here. Are the bikkies wedged into the slots? Or can Shiva just nudge them aside? And the drawers don’t open until the bikkies are gone?

    Where do all these complex toys come from?! We just have pull ropes and normal chew toys here, I think. Dogs in your corner of the world must be harder to please and (maybe even) smarter, methinks :p

    Also, doesn’t this mean Shiva gets to eat A Lot while playing this game? That looks like Georgia’s entire breakfast ration right there!


    • That’s right, she has to pull out the bones before she can open the drawers to get at the food. It’s pretty complicated, which is why we worked up to it in stages. But, by jove, I think she’s got it!

      LOL. This one comes from Sweden. I bought it online. Though a few local stores do carry some of the others. Perhaps they do in Sydney you just haven’t noticed? Maybe it’s a North American thing. We like spending a ridiculous amount of money on our pets. Not because they get anything out of it. It’s all for the silly humans.

      She does! That’s why I use it to feed her supper – another gout prevention tool?

      Georgia is probably grateful she doesn’t have to go through so much just to get a decent meal.


      • Haha! That’s right, ms pea just gives me The Look and I surrender meekly and hasten to the kitchen to poach her chicken.

        I guess there might be toys like that here, maybe in a designer petshop that we don’t go to and never will :p Thankfully, Georgia seems more intent on sunbathing these days and has left childish things behind in her quest to be A Lady. Even her old favorite Mama Dew 🙂

        Shiva is too smart. I’m STILL trying to teach Georgia how to be shy. Would you believe it?


  9. Considering it’s all about the food, would you take your time to lift and open everything if you were starving?? BOL Very cool though. I think I can safely say that all my dogs would just chew through the thing to get the goodies!


  10. That’s a cool toy! I’m actually searching high and low in our local shops for those cool brainy toys for Eva but I couldn’t find any one of them at all. It seems I’ve to go online and order online now.
    Hope Eva will use her brain like Shiva, LOL!


  11. Shiva, you are such a smart dog, and gorgeous too! Your human is soooo lucky. What’s a little drool among friends!

    It took me, Daisy, more than a few months to trust humans enough to take food from their hand, or even eat in a relaxed way. Now I have a ball that my human puts kibble in. But I think we are going to move to some new games. I just hope they don’t disturb my nap time. I’m still making up for 8 years of puppy mill living (if you can call it that)!


Comments are closed.