Instructables

How can I make a food puzzle for my dog?

I want to make something similar to nina ottosson's interactive dog toys.  Something that requires my pup to work a little to find the reward. 




abeltran41 year ago
OK!!! i got it and I did it with my Yorkie she was fascinated and I saved $20 bucks! I took 3 ramekins, put a treat under one (the 1st time I let her watch me) for the first mins she sat politely with her " ok lady give me my treat now" but then i pointed to the cups! and let her figure it out! next time we let her watch a swapped the cups around! Fun stuff, and a brain teaser for my doggy! I think I may build a cooler one with tennis balls and a wood! LOL
XCHEK3 years ago
If you have a bit more $, patience, some good wood-working tools & a can-do attitude - another one I've made that both my cats (2) & dogs (3) enjoy is the slider puzzle (like pictured in the thread above) It can be simple (one column) or more complex. Suggestion: Start off simple! You will have to have: a solid piece of wood, a router or a chisel. Use a Dremel(R) rotary tool to cut slots
XCHEK3 years ago
If $ is an issue - try this:
Use varying lengths of PVC pipe. Not to long! Soften the edges using the lighter technique; coupled with fine sandpaper & a bit of wax. You can get creative: cap the ends with actual caps - or angle your cut & fit a second pipe to elevate the puzzle. Cut or burn 4-6 small to med holes in the sides of the pipes. Be sure to make some of the holes smaller than the treats to be used; some a bit larger to allow the treat to drop out. Another one to try: Insert PVC pipe into a stuffed animal. A few tips: use an old stuffed animal. Not to cheap or easy to shred. Cut an opening; remove a good portion of the stuffing from the toy, set it aside. Take a PVC pipe. The width of the PVC pipe should allow it to be inserted into the stuffed toy. length of the PVC pipe should be such that it can be secured (length-wise) into the toy. Cut (or burn) 4-8 holes in various locations on the side of the pipe. Cut the holes in ONE SIDE ONLY! *See suggestion above for cutting holes in PVC* Cap the ends of the pipe ( a couple layers of duct tape works well!) Insert the pipe length-wise into the stuffed toy. Assure the pipe is long enough that it lays securely inside the toy. VERY IMPORTANT - the holes in the side of the pipe need to face the opening cut into the toy. If the pipe rolls or moves the treats will fall into the stuffed toy or the pipe will fall out. Sew or use "heavy-use" adhesive to secure a velcro closure onto the flap you've cut into the toy. There you go! The idea is to place treats into the PVC container, secured inside the stuffed toy. Close the access flap on the toy with your velcro. The dog must use his nose to locate the treats in the toy. The dog must learn to locate & then open the velcro to allow the treats to fall out of the holes in the PVC "container" fixed inside the toy. If the dog seems only minimally interested - use treats with a stronger scent.
aricotta3 years ago
I learned this form this site:
http://www.tudodecao.com.br/ but it is in portuguese so here is the explanation in english:

Use a coke bottle with lots of holes in it (at least 8) with the cap off at first. You can make the holes with a lighter, so that the plastic won´t cut, and the size of the holes should be just a bit bigger than the kibble or treats you put in the bottle.

Watch your dog while she eats/plays and take the bottle away if she bites it or if she isn't interested in it (don´t give it back to the dog quickly, wait a few hours until she is hungry again).

As you see that she learns to play with it, start puting the cap on the bottle, an then slowly introduce new bottles with 7 holes, than 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 hole so the play time lasts longer. If it gets too hard for her and she loses interest quickly go back to more holes on the bottle.

Its not durable...but coke bottles are easy to replace.
cboudreaux3 years ago
A quick and easy trick is to put a compressed bone or small rawhide bone inside a long cotton sock, then tie a knot in the sock. The dog can either work to untie the knot, or chew on the closed end to rip the sock and get to the bone.
Fizzxwizz4 years ago
I suggest looking in the related section below your account/question info.  By just asking a question you have led to answers!
preciousb (author)  Fizzxwizz4 years ago
Fizzxwizz,
Thanks for your help.  I guess I wasn't detailed enough in my question.
 
I have a couple toys like the ones that are suggested in the related section - where you stuff food in and the dog keeps chewing at it to get all the food out.

What I am looking for are ideas for food puzzles which require a dog to do a specific task (ie. slide a tile, lift a peg) to find the food (see pics). 

Thanks again

dogbrick_M2.jpg3306028673_44d3590293.jpg
Whoa!  I didn't realize you meant actual puzzles.  I've never really seen something like that before.
preciousb (author)  Fizzxwizz4 years ago
I know!  I saw them on National Geographic's show "Dogtown".  It's supposed to help dogs that get bored and chew on things around the house. 

Last night I tried cutting a hole in the bottom of a plastic milk jug and leaving the cap off.  Then I put some food and broken up treats inside so she has to lift either end of the jug to get the food to fall out.  She figured it out pretty quickly and it was really funny to see her lift it by the handle and shake the food out. 

The only problem is she destroys plastic containers like that and I had to take it away as soon as she was done or I'd be stepping on plastic bits for days.  I've learned this the hard way when I left my vacuum extension wand on the floor. :-/

I need something more durable.  I obviously don't want to use because it could shatter or chip teeth...  Any ideas?

preciousb (author)  preciousb4 years ago
I forgot the word *glass* in that last paragraph... whoops!