Furtropolis by Outward Hound

Our Dog Game Difficulty Levels Explained

To make it easier for you to pick out a new game for your dog, we’ve created a difficulty rating system that highlights the differences between our various pup puzzles. Of course, every dog is different. What’s easy for a Labradoodle might be positively puzzling for the smartest pug. Some play patterns come more naturally than others depending on the breed and temperament of the dog. However, the following guide should help you understand what makes some of our games harder than others.

Nina Ottosson recommends learning your dog’s puzzle-solving style in order to find which game suits your dog. Puzzle-solving pups typically land into two different buckets: paw dogs and nose dogs. A paw dog may find it easier to move the puzzle parts around using their paws versus nudging with their snout, while a nose dog relies on their snout to move it around more than their paws.

No matter your dog’s puzzle-solving style, you’ll find that these games satisfy their needs for mental stimulation and enrichment. Read on to learn more about each difficulty level along with videos of some of our treat puzzles in action.

LEVEL 1 DIFFICULTY: EASY

best dog puzzles puppy smart

Our Level 1 dog games are the “easiest” of the pack. They’re best suited to dogs that are naturally curious and love sniffing for treats, as well as dogs that are new to playing dog games. Think of these games as having “one-step” solutions.

For example, your pup might have to simply nudge a ball or remove an obstacle to retrieve the hidden treats. These games also feature play patterns that are natural or intuitive for dogs to engage in, meaning they’re likely to figure out the game without much additional guidance. Level 1 dog toys are perfect for pups that are new to nosework.

LEVEL 2 DIFFICULTY: INTERMEDIATE

dog playing with dog puzzle

If you think you’re pup is ready for a new play pattern, step up to our Level 2 dog games! These puzzles are perfect for dogs that are ready to rack their brains with a new play pattern. Level 2 games typically require slightly more skill to solve. They can involve picking up covers, lifting flaps, paw pressing on levers, and tipping or sliding actions. These games may also require some demonstration from you for your dog to understand the play pattern.

LEVEL 3 DIFFICULTY: ADVANCED

challenge slider dog game

Is your dog genius-level smart? Has your pup mastered our Level 1 and Level 2 games? Then our Level 3 games will be perfect for your little Arfistotle. Think of these games as having “two-step” solutions. This means your pup will have to complete two distinct play actions to fully solve the puzzle. For example, in the Challenge Slider, your dog will have to perform multiple sliding actions in order to reveal the treat beneath each tile.

LEVEL 4 DIFFICULTY: EXPERT

multipuzzle alternatives to dog parks

Our level 4 dog puzzle, the MultiPuzzle, is for dog geniuses who have already mastered levels 1-3. The level of difficulty of the MultiPuzzle can be adjusted as your dog learns! Between the moveable green tiles, spinning wheel, orange locks, and center sliders, your pup will stay busy working for those treats for a good while!

Put your dog’s problem-solving skills to the test

Whatever your pup’s skill level, these toys are great for providing mental stimulation indoors while also offering a healthy, slow-feeding solution. So go ahead and get your game on!

Do you already have one of our puzzles? Check out Nina Ottosson’s Tips & Tricks in the Puzzle section of our blog. Nina breaks down how to make each game easier for pups still learning the ropes, and how to make them more difficult for dogs who are quick to solve them.

Shop levels 1-4 below.

Level 1 Dog Puzzles

Level 2 Dog Puzzles

Level 3 Dog Puzzles

Level 4 Dog Puzzle