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10 Best Interactive Dog Toys For Shiba Inus

Keeping Your Shiba Inu Mentally Sharp

Interactive dog toys are important tools to keep your Shiba Inu's mind sharp, engaged, and fulfilled. Shiba Inus are intelligent dogs that bore quite easily - especially with age.

Challenging them with interactive games versus simply throwing a ball both enriches their minds and fulfills their sense of self worth.

The Importance Of Stimulating Your Shiba Inu's Mind

Studies have shown that ageing causes similar cognitive decline in both humans and dogs - affecting learning ability and memory. By keeping your Shiba Inu's mind stimulated and challenged you can halt and reduce the effects of age related mental decline.

Playing Is Not The Same As Learning

Physical exercise, playtime, and learning are three important and very different activities for your dog. Most dog owners do well with the first two but lag when it comes to stimulating their dogs minds.

Activities such as walking your dog and playing fetch are good activities to burn off energy and produce endorphins that increase happiness. Mental challenges helps to improve brain function and build confidence. It is a widely accepted fact that good mental health translates to good physical health.

Targeting Your Shiba Inus Instinctual Nature

Shiba Inus were originally bred to hunt small game. Interactive dog games that provoke their natural hunting instinct would be especially fulfilling for your Shiba.

The best type of interactive dog games for your Shiba Inu would be games that allow the Shiba Inu to use their nose to actively "hunt" and search for their reward. The majority of interactive dog games today have this search for rewards feature. 

shiba inu sitting and smiling

There is a great variety of dog interactive games available. There are treat dispensing toys, interactive puzzles, fetch type games, and tug-of-war type games. 

Choosing The Right Type of Interactive Dog Games For Your Shiba Inu

Naturally certain types of games would do better for specific types of dogs breeds and personality. For example, retriever type dogs would enjoy more physically active games that involve fetching. Therefore a game that involves the retriever learning how to place the ball into the ball ejector would be a good fit. 

Shiba Inus are not retriever type dogs and most do not enjoy fetching - at least for very long. The best type of dog interactive games for Shiba Inus would be interactive puzzle type games. These types of games would activate the Shiba Inus natural hunting instinct while at the same actively engaging and challenging your Shiba Inus mind. 

Shibas are clever and observant dogs. Interactive dog puzzle games that require strong mental memory and focus and will challenge and build upon your Shiba Inu's mental abilities.

These puzzle like games vary in levels of difficulty. It is important to choose a level that is compatible with your Shiba Inu's abilities. If you choose a puzzle that is too difficult, your Shiba Inu will lose confidence and interest.



This Trixie Dog Gambling Tower is another multi-sensory dog interactive toy that allows your dog to visually see, smell, and hear the treats placed in the tower.

In order to get the treats out, your dog must strategically pull out  the three layers or "floors" to allow the treats to fall down to the opening in the bottom. There are also two additional cones that your dog would have to dislodge straight up (versus simply knocking down) to get to treats located under them.

We really like the visual appeal of this interactive toy and the fact that it lets our dogs visually see the process of figuring out the puzzle - one step at a time.

We would have liked if the toy was sturdier. If your Shiba Inu is rough, you may have to hold down the toy during play. This is definitely not a chewable toy so always supervise your dog during learning / play time. 

Trixie Dog 

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MEDIUM: Ethical Skinneeez Big Bite Coyote Stuffingless Dog Toy

Despite it's simplicity - the Ethical Skineeez Big Bite Coyote toy is a surprisingly good dog interactive puzzle.

It is a stuffingless plush toy that has an opening for a plastic water bottle which can be replaced as needed. 

What we do to make this an extra cool interactive dog puzzle is to place a few hard treats inside of the water bottle and then plug up the opening of the bottle with the long foxes tail. 

To successfully get to the treat, your dog would have to learn how to pull out the tail and then figure out a way to tilt the toy to allow the treat to fall out. 

There are other similar toys that feature different animals but of course we like this coyote version. The extra long tail also allows us to increase the difficulty by using either some or all of the tail to block the bottle opening.

Big Bite Coyote

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EASY: Nina Ottosson's Interactive Dog Magic Toy

The Nina Ottosson "Dog Magic" toy is an excellent introduction into Nina Ottoson's famous line of dog interactive toys. 

This Dog Magic Interactive dog toy is great for beginners who are just starting to understand the concept of dog puzzles.

Treats are placed under the bones and your dog has to dislodge and pick out each bone to get to the treat. To vary the difficulty, you can place treats under only certain bones.

We like to use this interactive dog toy for pointing exercises with our Shibas. We'll point to a particular bone that has the treat under it and train our Shiba to follow our lead and pick the correct bone. It's a easy training method to help your Shiba learn how to follow directions.

This interactive dog toy is made out of durable plastic that is washable. There's also a non skid padding on the bottom which is helpful for rough dogs.

Nina Ottosson's Dog Magic

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MEDIUM : Nina Ottosson's Interactive "Tornado" Dog Toy

The Nina Ottosson Interactive Dog "Tornado" Toy is medium level difficulty puzzle that requires your dog to spin it like a tornado to get to the rewards.

We really like the Tornado because it offers a different type of challenge / movement from typical dog interactive toys. 

There are four levels where treats can be placed in dog-bone-shaped openings. The top three levels can rotate in either direction - either independently of each other or as a unit.

Your dog will need to rotate the bones at a certain rotation to reveal dog treat openings below it.

Additionally, this dog puzzle comes with bones that can be placed inside the dog bone treat openings to further increase the difficulty of the puzzle. Your dog would need to pull out the bone in order to continue rotating the tornado.

This interactive dog puzzle is made out of durable plastic and washable. 

Nina Ottosson's Tornado

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MEDIUM DIFFICULTY: Trixie Interactive Dog Chess Activity Puzzle

This Interactive Dog Chess Puzzle by Trixie is a medium level dog puzzle. It's a great sized interactive dog puzzle that has one step and two step dog puzzle options.

This Trixie dog puzzle is one of the better quality Trixie dog products. This particular dog puzzle is perfect for the intermediate dog puzzle solver.

To get to the hidden treats, your dog must dislodge the cones and slide the blocks back and forth to get to the rewards.

Treats can be placed either below the sliding blocks or inside the round holes that the cones cover.

To increase the difficulty, you can also lodge the cones next to the sliding blocks to force your dog to first pull out the cone in order to allow the blocks to slide.

This Trixie interactive dog toy is made out of durable plastic that can be easily washed. A non-skid backing under the toy prevents sliding during play. 

Trixie Chess Interactive 

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EASY: KONG Wobbler Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

This KONG Wobbler Treat Dispensing Dog Toy is another dual purpose dog product that can be used as a slow feeder and / or interactive dog toy. It's a good choice for introducing your dog to treat dispensing puzzles.

A lot of pet owners are already familiar with a typical Kong toy. The Kong Wobbler is slightly different because it is not meant to be a chew toy. Instead it is made out of hard plastic and is hollow inside.

 A small hole allows treats to fall out of and the toy can be opened or closed by unscrewing the two ends.

The main highlight of this interactive dog toy is it's "wobbling" ability. Your Shiba Inu should get a kick out of the wobbling movements of this toy that in a sense, mimics live game.

We prefer the large sized Wobbler for our Shiba Inus. The larger size is a bit more animal / prey sized and the wobbling action is much more animated.

The cons for this toy is that the hard plastic is not meant to be chewed. This toy is not recommended for very heavy chewers. As with most interactive dog toys, supervision is required.

Kong Wobbler

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VERY DIFFICULT: PetSafe Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug

We like the PetSafe Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug interactive dog treat dispenser for a number of reasons. First it is a multi-sensory dog game that stimulates and activates all of your dog's senses including sight, smell, touch, hearing, and tasting.

The concept of the Busy Buddy is simple - having your dog figure out how to get the treats out. However, this particular treat dispenser is A LOT harder than most other dog treat dispensers.

To successfully get the treats out your dog needs be able to pull / push the rope in the right angle as well as tip the jar just enough so a treat can slide out. This can be quite a difficult task depending on the size of the treat.

The Busy Buddy is made out of non toxic "hard" plastic and is NOT a chewing toy. Since the bottle is made out of hard plastic, it can cause a lot of noise on solid non-carpeted floors.

If your dog is very rough or rambunctious there is a possibility of the bottle breaking which is why supervision is always recommended. Carpeted floors or grass would be a an ideal place for your to play with this toy.

Despite some of the negatives of this toy, our Shiba's love the challenge this toy can offer. Recommended only for advanced dogs.

Pet Safe Busy Buddy

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