Thursday, January 14, 2016

Puzzle Toy Review: Mod Dog Puzzle

I found this board-game style wood dog puzzle by Mod at my local Ross. This seems to be a discount store brand, and is owned by the same company as Doghaus, another brand I often see there. 'Mod' stands for Modern Objects for Dogs, and car seat covers are the only other product I routinely see from this brand. So it's not a high-tech, well-researched product from an awesome company, but it is a different puzzle than most of ours and it was $5 so worth trying out.
stumpy heeler solving dog puzzle
Photo by Erin Koski

The puzzle consists of a bone-shaped base with a colored peg occupying a hole in each corner. At the center there are three hollows and two colored sliders, the third hole is covered by a natural-colored wood peg that is slightly larger than the other four. In order to move the sliders, the big peg must be removed from the puzzle.

I like the pegs on this puzzle because they are shaped nicely for dogs to pick up with their mouths. So far Brisbane is the only one who has mastered this skill though, everybody else just paws wildly until the pegs come out.

Puzzle Toy Rating
Capacity: 1/5
This is a one-treat-per-cavity puzzle, intended for supervised, interactive play rather than turning dinner into a project.

Loading Speed: 5/5
Lightning fast since I'm basically loading it up with seven kibbles.

Unloading Speed (standard dog): 5/5
Pegs are pretty tough for dogs to figure out, and take a lot of effort to remove via pawing. This was a real stumper for Ranger and Annie, and Sisci took a long time to finally empty it.

Unloading Speed (superdog): 2/5
Brisbane already knows exactly how pegs work and is pretty efficient at working sliders too. He emptied the puzzle efficiently and methodically in less than a minute.

Size: 3/5
The pegs on this one are a bit big for Ru to move with his mouth, and would be a bit tiny for a large breed dog to pick up.

Durability: 5/5
This is a solid wood puzzle intended for supervised play, and should stand up to anything short of intentional gnawing. It has so far weathered a near-infinite amount of pawing with no damage.

Noise: 4/5
It doesn't roll or clatter, though it does occasionally get launched across the floor and can make some interesting noises on the hardwood when I decide to give a dog some space to work things out.

Locatability: 4/5
Supervision means never losing the puzzle, though the pegs do like to roll away sometimes.

Washability: 4/5
Most of the wood is pretty well-sealed, but I wouldn't be putting raw meat in it or anything.

Versatility: 2/5
This puzzle requires some fine motor skills to complete, and the small parts and material limits the range of critters that can solve it without destroying it.

Total: 35/50

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