Thursday, February 23, 2012

Product Review: Paw Hide Dog Toy Puzzle

A year or more ago I started seeing the Nina Ottosson toys available through many online sellers. I was fascinated and loved the idea of something else to engage the dogs indoors since so much of our year is spent in the rain. The down side was, her toys are outside my budget. So I started the search for alternatives that fit my budget. I found a couple, although many seemed much smaller, less complex, and most likely a lower quality product. However, I was willing to try two. The first is by Kyjen, called the Paw Hide.

Here's a video clip of several attempts by Leo to work the toy.

The price was definitely right at $14.99 versus $50 plus of the other brand type toy. The complexity was decent as was its suitability for multiple sizes/types of dogs. The toy also seems fairly durable and is very washable. I would probably go so far as to toss it in the dishwasher if it got that bad. I don't have a large home so having something compact is important, too. I kept the box and just store it boxed in the front closet so it's accessible when we want to use it, but out of the way when we don't. 

The design definitely means the dog has to figure out the best way to get the yellow cups out that suit to his or her mouth or paw size. For instance, the Poms' mouths aren't big enough to pick them up and out nor can they nose them out. That left Leo with one option...spinning them and waiting until a toenail hooked into the hole in the top of the cup. However, it worked. 

Vegas really didn't have much patience and I don't have a lot of feedback from her perspective. She did mostly knock the whole thing over when she did try playing with it which is par for the course. It did live up to the roughness though. 

All said and done, I'd give this toy three paws out of four. I don't think the plastic is hefty enough to hold up to a really rough dog as the pieces aren't thick. Plus, once the dog figures it out, the dog just has to have the patience to repeat the practice over and over each time you pull the toy out. Fortunately, the PomPowered duo are food motivated enough to play again and again and again.

(On a side note, I pulled it out with the little one the other day. I had video but can't find it right now. Anyway, she figured out how to get the cups out and did so. But she happens to be a carrier Pom...meaning she was then intent on carrying the cups ten feed away and never even noticed the treat! Leo was overjoyed.)

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