Flapper and Frodo Play: Paw Hide Puzzle Toy

When we first received our package of goodies toys from Kohepets pet shop Singapore, mummy asked Frodo and I which toy would we like to test first. We unanimously agreed on the Outward Hound Paw Hide puzzle toy.

Which dog can resist the brightly-coloured toy that is in the shape of the paw?

Frodo and I are fans of interactive/puzzle toys. We already have a couple of Nina Ottosson toys from many years back. So when Miss U from Kohepets asked if Frodo and I would like to try some interactive, we gave her a resounding "Woof!".

Bring on the interactive toys!

Frodo and I happily posing with our loot of interactive toys.. except one (Hint: See Frodo's eye line....)

How Paw Hide Puzzle Toy Works

I must confess.

Such games are not novel for Frodo and I. Mummy has been playing similar-type games with us for many years. It does burn some brain juice to figure out how to get the treats. Brain juice power required depends on difficulty level of the toy/game.

And of course, greedy and motivated dogs are essential for the games too.

Note: DO NOT be ambitious and start with toys of high-level difficulty especially if the dog is unfamiliar with such games. If the dog does not get it, it will lose interest as quickly as you plonk in the treats. Know thy dog.

The Outward Hound Paw Hide puzzle toy is very straightforward... as illustrated below.

Nothing complicated. A matter of holes and cups.... and treats.
So yeah, intermediate level difficulty, pretty colours and paw-shaped... what's not to like about Paw Hide?

Of Plastic, Slobbers and Low-Grip Height

It did not take long during our first attempt to mouth our way to the treats did Frodo and I realise that, as attractive as the design of Paw Hide looks, there is a tad bit of design glitch for big dogs. The struggles were real and we shall explain it NOW.

First, the toy is made of plastic but credit to Outward Hound, it ain't some cheap flimsy plastic. Respect for the plastic quality. That we cannot complain. HOWEVER, because it is made of plastic so the cups get very slobbered very easily. One mouth in and it is slobbered.

Slobbered = Slippery.
Slippery = Difficult to grip.

Not only does the slobbered make it difficult grip but the LOW-GRIP HEIGHT makes it even more challenging for big dogs. Have you seen the size our mouth and teeth?

Cups height explained. This game is possibly best for small to medium sized dogs. The cups may just be a tad bit too big for the toy breeds/minis but guess what? Outward Hound has a Paw Hide MINI version (scroll all the way down to see)! How considerate!
The size of our mouth and teeth as demonstrated by Frodo Choo
So there you go!

The design is attractive but it may not have been well thought out for all-sizes of dogs.

In addition, like all other interactive toys as such, it is a skating affair for big dogs. We can start from one end of the room and end up... somewhere else. Even though non-slip bits are added at the bottom of the toy, it is not enough to secure the toy to the floor.

The thoughtful non-slip bits at the bottom of the toy that does not make much difference.
There's a quick-cheat to the treats too. Paw the toy real hard and flip the toy. And ta-dah! Treats galore! Aye aye! The quick-cheats that mummy never lets us get away with. *guffaw*

As mentioned, the skating toy and quick-cheat option are common problems with most interactive toys. Most unforgiving with big dogs just because it does not take us a lot of effort to flip the toys. DO NOT even think about putting on the coffee table. All the more we will ensure the toy makes it off the table!

But When We Finally Mastered The Art of Opening Paws....

It took Frodo and I a while to learn that impatience and 'violence' were not going to get us to open sesame the cups. After couple of attempts, both of us finally mastered the art of gripping the cups with inescapable slippage with our big slobbery mouth.

Watch the video below of Frodo and me conquering the toy!

So yeah! Once Frodo and I mastered the art of those oh-so-tricky cups, we had a blast playing with it. Our kind of toy, our kind of game.

The fabulous part of these sniff-and-find interactive/puzzle games is that the level of difficulty can be "upped" by mixing things up - i.e. using different value of treats, only hide treats in certain cups, turn the cup upside down.... or if you dog is a bit like me, it can also attempt to put the cup back and hope that new treats magically appear!

It is also a good toy to conduct certain "IQ" tests on dogs - do we use our nose first or paw first? Are we able to distinguish the different values of treat through smelling? Are we reliant on visual cues from the human? Will we open up all the cups anyway even though some may be empty?

Stuff like that.

Stretch your imagination and have fun!

The Other Plastic Called $$$$

Oops! Kohepets is out of stock now on the toy... click on image to view product.
And oh look! There's a MINI version for smaller dogs. Good job Outward Hound! Click on image to view product.

Compared to those wooden Nina Ottosson toys that mummy used to buy for us, the Outward Hound plastic toys are much cheaper.

FUN FACT: Outward Hound (The Riverside Company) acquired Nina Ottosson puzzle games and toys in 2015. So they are both under the same company now! Woof!

Anywoof, for SGD37.00 (and SGD24.90 for Outward Hound Paw Hide Mini Puzzle Dog Toy), I would say the price is not bad at all. Outward Hound Paw Hide puzzle toy is of easy to moderate difficulty which makes it more play-friendly for dogs. The plastic used is of decent quality too so overall, I would say reasonably priced and value-for-money.

But like most puzzle toys, once the dog figures out how it works, it can get a tad bit of a 'yawn' - more the owner(s) than dog(s). The initial excitement of seeing how the paws fare will wane but we, the dogs. ain't complaining as long as you keep topping up the treats!

Flapper and Frodo Rates Paw Hide

Flapper: Easy peasy! Would you like me to put the cups back for you?

Frodo: And mummy/daddy calls me stupid....


Flapper: Love the colours, love that it is paw-shaped, good quality plastic used.... but points off for grip height and how slippery the cups become after one mouth on it.

Frodo: Can the cups stop slipping out of my mouth and let me grip it already?

Flapper: Yep! Pretty fun overall... and QUITE versatile too.

Frodo: If I, Frodo Choo, can get it, fun it is!

I wonder which puzzle toy we are reviewing next.....

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