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30 of the Best Dog Puzzle Toys to Entertain your Bored Dog

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A bored dog will find their own entertainment and that entertainment may not be something you like from destructive behaviors to getting into things they shouldn’t. Dog puzzle toys are great ways to stimulate your dog’s mind. Entertain and exhaust your pup by making them work for their treats. Keeping your dog occupied is a great way to keep your dog out of trouble.

As my previous post all about interactive puzzle toys discusses, dog puzzles can be broken into 3 types of toys which are all covered in this post:

Dog Puzzles

Puzzle toys are meant to be done fully supervised. They are great bonding activities with your dog but are not meant as chew toys.

Depending on your dog’s experience with puzzles and intelligence, there are varying levels for your pup to try and ways to increase the difficulty of the toy.


The introduction level. This is where you can begin to show your dog what puzzles are with only one step required.

Nina Ottosson Dog Smart (plastic)

Nina smart dog puzzle

Level: Beginner
Material: Plastic

The Dog Smart is the perfect introduction to dog puzzles. It is also likely the dog puzzle you have seen before. You put your dog’s treats or kibble under the bone compartments. If too hard, you can add strings to the holes on the bones to help your dog. If too easy, you can freeze peanut butter or wet food with water to the base. Plastic puzzles can typically go in the dishwasher.

Nina Ottosson Dog Smart (wood composite)

Nina Ottosson Dog Smart Puzzle wood composite

Level: Beginner
Material: Composite wood (plastic and wood blend)

The Dog Smart comes in a wood deposit as well from Nina Ottosson. The wood games are heavier and good for dogs who may be rougher on their toys. The shape of the top puzzle makes this a bit easier to remove the covers. You can wipe them down.

Poached Egg Slider Puzzle

Dog puzzle easy

Level: Beginner
Material: Plastic

For the Poached Egg puzzle, Your dog needs to move the yellow compartments to get their treats. The center blocks have a different movement than the blocks on the edges for added difficulty. This could be considered a hard beginner puzzle.

Dog Sudoku

Dog sudoku puzzle

Level: Beginner
Material: Wood and plastic

Place treats in the cups under the plastic pieces. The first few slots are easy but the last one or two are more of a challenge for your dog to reach. My Intelligent Pets considers this intermediate but based on the size and activity, it is a great beginner option.

Game Bone

Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Material: Rubber

The Game Bone is double sided for double the fun. The first side is cups with bone pegs for an easy level. The other side has sliders. You can also use the bone pegs as blockers for an extra challenge.


Similar to the beginner level but adds an additional block or obstacle to increase the difficulty.

Nina Ottosson Puppy Hide n’ Slide

Nina Ottosson Puppy Hide n' Slide dog puzzle puppy puzzle

Level: Intermediate
Material: Composite wood (plastic and wood blend)

The Hide n’ Slide is a level 2 puzzle purposely made for puppies. The parts are also nonremovable so your pup can’t eat them. You put the treat in the cups in each area. Then swivel the flipper to cover the cup. From there, slide the teal block to prevent the flipper from spinning.

Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado

dog tornado dog puzzle

Level: Intermediate
Material: Plastic

The Tornado is an upgrade to the Dog Smart. You put the treats in the holes and cover with the bones. From there, you twist the large compartments closed. A great option with the Tornado is putting broth or soft food and freezing it. This leads to extra time while your pup licks the holders clean.

2 Towers

My intelligent Dogs 2 towers puzzle

Level: Intermediate
Material: Wood and rope

The My Intelligent Dogs 2 Tower, has multiple mechanisms for you to hide their treats. Pull open the drawers or move the wooden cylinders. You can change the difficulty depending on the number of cylinder pieces on the game. Start easy and work your dogs way up to advanced.

Nina Ottosson Dog Brick

Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Intermediate puzzle

Level: Intermediate
Material: Plastic

The Dog Brick Puzzle has three different ways for your dog to find treats. The red compartments have lids to put treats inside and slide to reveal hidden treat cups. You can also put the white bone in between the red compartments to make it harder.

Trixie Flip Board Strategy Game

Trixie Dog Activity Flip Board Strategy Game Dog Puzzle

Level: Intermediate
Material: Plastic and rubber

The Flip and Fun has 3 different ways to get the treats cups for your dog to figure out. You have the rubber cones, sliders and levers. Each is a different challenge for your dog to find their treats. These levers are a great way to test if your dog is ready to go up to the advanced level with more sophisticated mechanisms.

Trixie Poker Box 1

trixie poxer box dog puzzle

Level: Intermediate
Material: Plastic, rubber, rope

The Trixie Poker Box 1 has four different large compartments. Each compartment has a different way to open – a string to lift, a hinge lid, a string drawer pull, and a lid that slides with a knob. The cool part of the Trixie Poker Box is the additional attachments available as well as a more advanced version (below).

Trixie poker puzzle box attachment

Poker Box Attachment

You can attach these additional puzzles toy our poker box or play with them alone.


Advanced puzzles require multiple steps for your dog to reap the reward of a treat. It also may have more difficult mechanisms like locks.

Trixie Poker Box 2

trixe poker play dog puzzle

Level: Advanced
Material: Plastic and rope

The Poker Box 2 can be used alone or added to the Poker Box 1 above. The four different sections of the puzzle each have a different way to get the treat. The four different compartments are a switch to lift a lid, a pawprint lever to push down, a tower with a piece blocking the treat and a compartment with a sliding lid. Trixie considers this game to be intermediate but based on our criteria of difficult mechanisms, Poker Box 2 comes out as advanced.

Nina Ottosson Dog Twister

Nina Ottosson Dog Twister puzzle

Level: Advanced
Material: Plastic

The Dog Twister is a level 3 Nina Ottosson puzzle. Level 3 is the advanced level which requires your dog to do sequential steps to earn their treat. You put your dogs food under the pawprint triangle. Your dog then needs to unlock the white “switches” to make the blocks movable. If too hard, you can add strings to the white switches to make them easier to pull.

Advanced Dog Sudoku

advanced dog sudoku puzzle

Level: Advanced
Material: Wood

While this advanced puzzle may appear simpler than some of the others in this section, it takes a lot to move the pieces and reveal all 15 different slots. This puzzle is made of wood so, if your dog is a drooler, it may not be the best option (see below for plastic).

Nina Ottosson Challenge Slider

Challenge slider dog puzzle

Level: Advanced
Material: Plastic

Like Dog Sudoku above, you put treats in the cups below the blue sliders for the Challenge Slider. The bottom tray can be pulled out for easy filling. At 5×5, your dog needs to move 24 pieces around to find all their kibble or treats.

Trixie Mini Mover

Trixie mini mover dog puzzle

Level: Advanced
Material: Plastic and rubber

The Mini Mover from Trixie is as fun for your dog as it looks. There are four different ways for your pooch to find treats. The lever on the left reveals not one but two cups of treats. This makes your dog focus and not get distracted by the first cup of treats. You also have sliders, rubber blockers and a pull drawer.

Nina Ottosson Dog Worker

dog worker puzzle

Level: Advanced
Material: Composite Wood (plastic and wood blend)

The Dog Worker is a level 3 Nina Ottosson puzzle made of composite wood for extra durability. The Dog Worker is the more advanced version of the Hide n’ Slide. This toy has a variety of ways to access the cups with the treats. Spin the center top to uncover the cups and load up with treats. Cover with flippers then put the blocks to stop the flippers from moving.

Nina Ottosson Dog Casino

dog casino puzzle

Level: Advanced
Material: Plastic

The Dog Casino is a level 3 Nina Ottosson puzzle made of plastic. The bones on the top act as locks to the drawers. You can start with all of the bones unlocked so your dog just needs to open the orange pulls. Then increase the difficulty by locking the drawers.


Expert level requires multiple steps in a row to get the treats. While the first one or two may be easy, it often requires many steps in the right order to reveal all the treats. Expert is a new level for dog puzzles and we will be adding more puzzles as they are released.

Nina Ottosson MultiPuzzle

Nina Ottosson MultiPuzzle expert

Level: Expert
Material: Plastic

The MultiPuzzle is currently the only puzzle from Nina Ottosson at the expert level. You put the treats under under the lime green sliders on the outside track as well as under the orange circles in the middle. While the first outside track treats may be easy for your pup, moving them to reveal the farther treats will continuously up the difficulty. For the center treats, your dog needs to rotate the green center to the open spot and slide in the orange blocker to get the treat beneath it. Nina Ottosson has a great explanation as shown below:

Example of how to use the expert dog puzzle

Treat Dispensers

Like the above puzzles, treat dispensers are great options for food motivated pups. They have to work hard to get out their treats.

Starmark Bob-A-Lot

Starmark Bob-A-Lot treat dispenser dog

Material: Plastic

The Bob-A-Lot is a treat dispenser style puzzle. You fill the base and your dog bats it around to get the food or treats out. This puzzle is great for meal times. It allows you to make eating a challenge instead of your dog easily scarfing their food from a bowl. An awesome option for dogs who eat too quickly.

Treat Tumbler

Treat tumbler dog

Material: Plastic

Mostly solid with a few holes, the tumbler is a great ball to keep your dog happy. Fill it with treats and your dog will love chasing it around the room to get the treats.


Sniffiz smellyufo dog  treat dispenser

Material: Thermoplastic rubber and plastic

The UFO is has two sides with a different maze inside each to get the treats out. The opening is adjustable for treat size and difficulty. Many people vote for this over a typical treat dispenser ball because of the added layer of difficulty. Your dog may need to rotate or flip it to reveal all the yumminess inside. All pieces can be separated and put in the dishwasher.

Planet Dog Snoop

planet dog snoop treat dispenser

Material: Thermoplastic rubber

The Snoop is different than other treat dispensers in that it uses the deep crevice and fold to keep the treats confined. The soft TPE material allows for quiet play. You can put a pull piece of sliced cheese inside for your dog to try and get. You can also add a ball to the center for an extra challenge.

Treat Tumbler Dispenser

treat tumbler dispenser dog puzzle

Material: Plastic

The treat tumbler releases treats when your dog rolls the dispenser. For added time, there’s a maze at the bottom to slow your dog eating their treats or kibble. A great part of this puzzle is the knobs which allow for adjusting the height.

Trixie Turn Around

trixie dog turnaround puzzle

Material: Plastic

Like the treat tumbler, your dog bumps the tubes around to get treats out. This one has 3 different tubes instead of the one roller. There’s two different lids to adjust difficulty. When your dog is just leaning, you can leave the lids off for the easier fun.

Plush Hide and Seek

Plush hide and seek games all have the same concept but different looks. You hide the smaller plush objects inside of the larger soft container. Your dog then “hunts” them out of the toy. Below are a few of the fun varieties available.

While beloved by many dogs and owners, plush games are not great for super chewers who destroy their toys.

Chipmunk Log

chipmunk log dog plush

Beach and Shark

shark beach dog plush hide n seek


hide-a-squirrel dog toy


Rainbow hide and seek dog toy


racoon dog toy
dog entertainment ideas dog entertainment toys Food

10 Best Bully Stick Holders – Safer and Longer Lasting Pizzles

Bully sticks are one of best chew treats for your dog. They are long lasting and all natural, made up of only one ingredient – high protein beef muscle. There is a major downside to bully sticks, the choking hazard. When dogs get down to the last few inches of their pizzle stick, they can try to swallow the remaining piece whole. When this happens, your dog can choke or the piece can cause a blockage.

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Where Bully Sticks Come From - shaggy bull with tongue sticking out
Where bully sticks come from

To prevent dogs from swallowing the stick whole, you can use a bully stick holder. But, bully stick holders are not all made the same. Some holders focus on making sure your dog doesn’t eat the last small piece while others focus on making the stick last longer.

All of these holders are meant for bully sticks of a range of thicknesses. For the stick to fit properly, make sure you have the right size.

Note: throughout this article we also refer to bully sticks by their other fun name, a pizzle.

Holders to prevent choking

Bow Wow Labs Bully Buddy

Blue buddy buddy safety device

The inventor of the Bully Buddy, Scott Woolwine, created Bow Wow Labs after a scary incident with his pup, Finn. Finn choked on the small piece of his bully stick but, thankfully, was able to successfully coughed it up. After this event, Scott created the Bully Buddy to hold that last piece and prevent your dog from chocking. The Bully Buddy company, Bow Wow Labs, also has their own brand of bully sticks to ensure a proper, tight fit.

In the image above, the green piece on the end allows you to tighten the screw into the bully stick for a tight fit. The screw can be tightened with your fingers.

Bully buddy from the side showing the screw

Bully Grip

Purple Bully Grip Bully Stick Holder

With a similar story to the above Bully Buddy, the creator’s dog, Tesla, swallowed a 3″ piece of the bully stick. After going to the vet and getting fluids, Tesla was able to pass the stick (in tact). Using the Bully Grip is very intuitive and you just need to twist your dogs bully stick into the thickest part and it will hold the stick in place allowing for safe and fun chewing. A positive and negative of the bully grip is how hard the bully stick is to remove. While it’s hard for the dog, it can also be a challenge to take it out when your dog is done.

Due to reviews from customers struggling to remove the last bit, Bully Grip released the instructional video below. Wet the Bully Grip then use a hex head screw to push out the remaining nub.

Bonehead Holder

Bonehead blue and pink bully stick holder

The bonehead holders are reasonably priced at less than $6 each but they’re made for Himalayan Yak Chews so they only work with larger bully sticks. With a large or extra thick pizzle, these work by tightening the screw into the bully stick. Unlike the Bully Buddy, the Bonehead’s screw is tightened with a screwdriver so you do need to have the tool on hand.


Bully sticks with holes drilled in the end and the green safety chew

Newly launched, the SafetyChew is different than the others in functionality. You drill a hole through your bully stick and put the SafetyChew’s pin through the hole. You can also purchase predrilled bully sticks from the company.

green safety chew with pin in the center

While the pin method may take some extra work, it is almost guaranteed your dog cannot get the bully stick out. Also, if you have a drill and small bit, it’s not hard to prep multiple sticks in advance.

Extend Chew Time

These toys will extend the fun of your dog’s bully stick but will not hold the stick tightly. Make sure to supervise your dog and their stick when playing with these toys.


blue west paw qwizl to hold your pups bully stick

Many swear by the West Paw company and their Qwizl sticks are no different. You stick the bully stick in and it extends the life as your dog tries to navigate the twists and holes. It is recommended for high chewers but is soft so your dog won’t break a tooth. It is possible for your dog to pull the pizzle out so this is not for gulpers.

One negative of the Qwizl is due to how much of the bully stick is covered. It extends the life of the chew but your dog may not be able to access the whole stick so there could be a lot left over.

Benebone PawPlexer

Benebone pawplexer bully stick holder

Another beloved brand, the Benebone Pawplexer is a highly rated bully bone holder. While it does not hold the stick tight enough for a gulper, the Pawplexer makes bully stick time a lot more fun. The holder itself is also a bacon flavored tough chew. Benebones are great quality, US made toys. If you want a tighter hold with the Pawplexer, the white center piece is about 1/2″.

Black dog chewing on a bully stick in the benebone pawplexer bully holder

WestPaw Toppl

Green topple treat dispenser and bully stick holder

The Toppl is a different design than the other holders we’ve previously discussed. It comes from the highly respected company, West Paw, like the Qwizl. The Toppl is a treat dispensing puzzle but the hole allows you to stuff pizzle sticks through the toy to extend chewing time. You can also buy the two sizes of the Toppl and combine them together as shown in the picture below.

Topple with two pieces and a dog chewing
Two sizes of the Toppl combined for double the fun

Because of the different design, you can get more creative with this treat dispenser. Put a bully stick through the hole, add yogurt and blueberries then freeze. This makes a long lasting, fun treat for your dog.

LaRoo Yummy Ball

la roo orange yummy ball fill with treats and bully stick

This ball has a hole in the end which you can stick the bully stick inside of as shown below. Because it is a round ball, this turns the bully stick in an exciting toy for your dog. You can also add treats, peanut butter or cream cheese to the outer ridges for more fun.

space inside laroo yummy ball

N/H Stick Holder

N/H dog toy green bully stick holder

Another toy to slow the consumption of bully sticks. The N/H holder allows for you to stick a pizzle inside and extend the life. The textured rubber also cleans your dogs teeth.

Golden retriever holding a bag with the toy as a grip

An interesting feature of this toy is you can use it to train your dog to carry bags. The toy holds the bag handle to give your pup a better grip.

LaRoo Bone Puzzle

laroo yellow bone puzzle double sided bully stick holder

The best part of the LaRoo Bone is you can fill both ends with the bully stick or treats. While not easy, you can cut the bully stick in half to put a side in each end of the bone. You can also add the ridges on the end with cream cheese, soft food or peanut butter. Freeze the bone for longer play.

chewy bone inside bully stick

Bully sticks are not all made the same. With any dog treats, some are made of more high quality ingredients. Others take shortcuts and are not safe for your dog. Cheaper bully sticks also may not last as long.

Natural Farm Bully Stick

Natural Farm Bully stick 6 inch

All natural, single ingrediant bully stick. Low odor and heavily cleaned before being slow cooked. Because these are natural, the thickness may vary. But, the packages all contain the same amount of meat. The sticks are about an inch thick.

Bow Wow Labs Bully Stick

Bow wow labs safe bully stick

These bully sticks are made by the same company as the Bully Buddy. The pizzles are from grass-fed, free-range bulls and contain no chemicals. Because they are made specifically for the Bully Buddy, you can match the size of the stick to your Bully Buddy size to ensure a tight fit. It also shows the dog weight for the right size.

Bully buddy stick size

Pawstruck Braided 12″ Bully Stick

braided 12" Pawstruck bully stick

The braided bully stick from Pawstruck is 3 standard bully sticks intertwined. Due to it being 3 sticks in one, the braided bully sticks are a touch more expensive that a standard stick but these last far longer. Owned and operated in the US, these are made in a South American plant which adheres to the highest quality standards.

10 best bully stick holders. Increase bully stick safety and chew length.