Swedish dog owner Nina Ottosson first marketed some of her puzzles and games for dogs in Sweden in 1993; we first heard about them (and reviewed the original wood versions) in 2008. Since then, probably in a defensive response to a number of cheap plastic knockoffs of her designs, Ottosson has developed a line of high-quality plastic toys, though the original, beautiful wood models that are made in Sweden are still available. The wood ones are sturdy and gorgeous – and more expensive. The plastic ones are also quite rugged, holding up to all sorts of clawing and even being picked up and dropped and continuing to work perfectly.
We tested one of the knockoffs, as well as Ottosson’s plastic “Dog Twister” model; there was no comparison. Our dogs were finished with the knockoff in minutes; but many designs of the Ottosson toys, like the Dog Twister, are designed with several levels of difficulty and continue to provide a challenge for dogs after months of play. In addition, Ottosson makes more complex toys and simpler toys; as her website says, “Whether you have a ‘Forrest Gump’ or an ‘Albert Einstein’, there is a Nina Ottosson game design to suit every dog!” (Even our young cats got into the action, using their claws to manipulate the pieces; Ottosson indicates which of the toys are appropriate for cats!)
These toys are great for occupying puppies, giving non-ambulatory or post-surgical dogs something to do, or just amusing yourself while amusing your dog!
We purchased from Amazon.com, but the toys are available from a number of online retailers, listed on the website below.
Dog Twister, Plastic – $42
Nina Ottosson Dog Activity Toys