Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado is a dog puzzle toy that is designed to stimulate your dog’s brain. Indeed, Dog Tornado challenges the dog to figure out how to get access to the treats. It’s the level 2 (medium) out of 3 in the series.
The idea behind the Dog Tornado by Nina Ottosson is simple: hide treats inside the toy, and let the dog solve the problem. By doing so, dogs use brain functions they rarely use, and grow smarter with time. It’s also a tiring experience — indeed, mental stimulation is as exhausting as physical activity!
How Does The Dog Tornado Work?
The Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado comprises four rotating layers from which three embed large treat compartments. The position of each compartment changes so your dog has to spin each layer in alternating directions to reach each treat compartment.
The treat compartments can be left uncovered which provides easier access to the reward; or, you can use a bone-shaped white cover to hide them further and increase the difficulty. We recommend starting without the covers so the dog understands the mechanism, and then add the covers to make it tougher.
At first, I recommend placing a couple of treats in each compartment so the dog somewhat always wins. After a while, you’ll want to make your dog think and reason more so you put treats in one or two compartments.
Highlights of the Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado
Smart interactive dog toys are the best way to keep our dogs stimulated and mentally active, even when we’re away from them. The Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado does a wonderful job at that.
Doesn't Need Hours of Training
The idea behind getting a toy for your pooch is that you can let them be: you get peace, and they get hours of fun. It’s a win-win situation. However, whenever you start browsing interactive toys for dogs, you are often initially required to spend some time training your dog (like automatic dog ball launchers.) Then, once the concept is understood, you can let them be.
Not here, the Dog Tornado is actually easy.
Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado is the medium level of their series. It is easily understandable and requires brain juice as well as coordination. Spend five minutes showing them what’s inside, and they’ll get it. Instinctively, dogs will search for the treats they smell. So it’s rather easy to just fill up some yummy treats (who said cheddar?) and let your dog figure it out.
Works With Your Choice of Treats
A good business model for toy manufacturers is to make their dog puzzle toys only work with a particular type of treats that only they sell. It’s horrible for the consumer because these treats are usually premium-priced. Nina Ottosson is not in the dog treat business — they are in the stimulating and interactive dog toy business!
Some dogs prefer cheese, others prefer dried beef liver treats, it’s just a matter of using what excites and motivates your dog the most. Because if your dog isn’t into what you’re hiding, they’ll quickly give up and look elsewhere for another occupation (ie. furniture chewing…)
Priced around the $50-mark, this Nina Ottosson’s Interactive Dog Toy is most definitely pricier than your regular tennis ball. However, it’s also going to provide a lot more entertainment than any other toy out there. Such prices aren’t out of reach for most dog owners or dog breeders, and the upside of offering your dog hours of fun makes it a must-buy.
Easy to Wash and Clean
Made of plastic, the dog tornado is very easy to clean. Don’t get the wrong idea because of the multitude of compartments.
Therefore, you can use any type of food in it:
Although not clearly stated by the manufacturer, many dog owners have placed the dog tornado in a dishwasher for a quick clean. Otherwise, you can use your regular sponge and dishwashing liquid.
The perfect dog toy doesn’t exist so we wanted to list the two cons we found when using the Nina Ottosson Dog Tornado.
Not For All Dog Breeds
Because dogs don’t use their hands and feet as we do, most of the movements will be initiated by their snout, nose, and mouth. Flat-faced dog breeds such as boxers, bulldogs, french bulldogs won’t do well with it. It’s the case for most brachycephalic dog breeds. Very small breeds including chihuahuas, Pomeranians, and similar toy breeds may also struggle to spin the layers and removing the white bones. But there is a solution: you can tie strings to the white blocks, to make them easier for small dogs and cats to lift. But don’t worry, it works as is too…
However, the Dog Tornado did amazingly well with even very big dog breeds!
Not As Stimulating Once Understood
Last shortcoming that isn’t necessarily Nina Ottosson’s fault: once the dog understands how to get the treats, it becomes more of a reward than an actual stimulating toy. The challenge disappears and it takes 5s for the dog to slurp the ‘hidden’ treats.
This is the case with all interactive toys! It takes days or weeks for some dogs to understand the mechanism, and then some more time to master how to make it happen smoothly. From then on, it’s a piece of cake! Many dogs will still love to play with it like they would with a plush toy or tennis ball.
With all things considered, the Dog Tornado by Nina Ottosson is a well-designed interactive dog toy that is bound to keep your dog’s brain stimulated and entertained for long sessions. The price is very decent for the category of toys we are discussing, and it’s a long-lasting plastic-made piece of fun.