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For many pet owners, the idea of having a pup means going out in the yard and playing fetch or rolling around with them on the floor before bedtime. All of these activities are great for Poodles, but their brains need a good workout, too. This is especially true if your Poodle is home by themselves most of the day due to work commitments or life in general.
Giving your Poodle the right toys to keep their IQ high and their brains working is one of the easiest ways you can help ensure your dog gets what she needs every single day (whether you’re there or not). But finding the right toys to keep their IQ high might seem like a challenge since most dog toys are aimed at encouraging play and chewing only in appropriate places rather than getting their minds moving.
This article explores some of the best toys we’ve found to help keep your Poodle’s mind working and their hearts happy!
Why do you need IQ toys?
Many pet owners don’t realize that a smart dog doesn’t stay smart unless they’re worked with on a daily basis. And quite honestly, the time it takes to manually stimulate your dog’s brain might not be something you have a lot of right now.
That’s okay, though! IQ toys are good for more than just playtime. They’re great for keeping those intelligence skills honed and sharpened, and they’re great for solo playtime as well as partner playtime.
Are all IQ toys good for all dogs?
As with anything canine-related, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to IQ toys. In fact, much like dog food, there are IQ toys that are specifically made for different sizes of dogs.
As you most likely know, Poodles come in three distinct sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. Finding a toy that matches your Poodle’s size is extremely important for effectiveness and safety.
If you use the wrong sized IQ toy (or any toy for that matter), you may find yourself in a sticky situation with the safety of your dog being compromised. Luckily there are IQ toys that are designed with your specific dog’s size in mind. That means you can leave them with their brain-boosting toys and not worry about their safety while you’re gone!
New Toys for New Intelligence Levels?
The short answer is no. As your dog grows both in size and in intelligence, you may be tempted to buy “more difficult” IQ toys to keep your dog’s brain challenged at the appropriate level. However, the good news is that many IQ toys come with adjustable components that allow you to adjust the toy to meet your dog’s specific needs.
You can easily pick an adjustable toy and modify it as your dog’s intelligence grows without spending tons of money buying new tons left and right! Spend the money upfront on the higher-quality toys that will stimulate your dog’s brain and withstand the test of time and watch your investment pay for itself!
Best IQ toys for Poodles Available
You came here because you wanted to know what the best IQ toys were for your Poodle, and that’s just what you’re going to get! Luckily for you, we’ve gathered our favorite IQ toy for each category we discussed above and put it all in one spot for you. Convenient, right? Stop searching for what might work for your Poodle and trust that these IQ toys will keep your smart furry friend on their toes and stimulated for years to come.
Foraging toys are great for helping your dog do the digging thing they love to do! With a toy or treat buried beneath the different fabric and levels, Poodles get their innate sense of searching and digging satisfied with foraging toys! These toys keep them guessing and searching for hours.
This foraging toy is great for giving your dog an outlet to pursue their wildest dreams – digging and sniffing. It is a great toy that allows for mental stimulation through the constant search for the treat hidden in the puzzles and layers of fabric on the mat.
We particularly liked that the difficulty level was adjustable because it allows the Poodle owners to match their own dog’s needs at any given moment. It is also a great toy to create interaction time and allows your pup to know how much you love them through valued and intentional time sharing.
- Difficulty Levels Adjustable
- Fulfills a Dog’s Deepest Needs (sniffing and digging)
- IQ Boosting with Various Puzzles and Mazes to get through
- Great for All Sizes
- Strong Smell from the Mat Itself
- Plastic Toy Breaks Easily with Heavy Chewers
- Not Ideal for Solo Play
Poodles were born to hunt, according to their early start in Europe. Hunters preferred Poodles because of their intelligence and athleticism. Over time, Poodle owners have stepped away from the breed’s natural desires and made the breed more of an in-home pet.
While there is nothing wrong with that, it doesn’t erase the fact that Poodles like to hunt and retrieve. Therefore, to keep your Poodle’s mind moving as it should, employing hide-and-seek toys is a great way to do just that. You can add treats, squeaky toys, or anything else your Poodle prefers to the toy itself and let your Poodle search for it until it’s content or it finds the prize.
Your Poodle will love this hide-and-seek toy made to look like a tree log with hiding squirrels! With a variety of sounds and pleasing textures, your Poodle will enjoy looking for the squirrels and shaking them out of the tree.
- Various Textures and Sounds
- Different Sizes Available
- Not made for aggressive chewers
Most people believe that puzzles are solely for people, but most people would be wrong. In fact, Poodles like to use puzzle toys because it keeps them guessing and on their toes! To increase your Poodle’s brain stimulation, give them a puzzle toy they must figure out in order to “win” a prize.
There are various difficulty levels that a puzzle can be and some puzzle toys are customizable as your pup’s needs change! You’ll find puzzle toys that either flip a lid, pull on an element, or slide open a lid. Within that compartment, your Poodle will find a treat! The treat encourages them to figure out how to open the compartment and allows their brains to work out how to solve the problem.
This puzzle toy made by Nino Ottosson is an interesting interactive toy that will keep your Poodle busy for quite some time. It contains 10 chambers that your Poodle must figure out how to open on their own in order to reveal the hidden treat inside.
The toy guarantees your Poodle hours of entertainment and IQ boosting activity. We liked that the product is made from eco-friendly materials, which means that any accidental digestion wouldn’t be concerning when it comes to the material being digested.
- Constructed from Eco-Friendly Wood
- Great for Long-lasting Entertainment
- Easy to Clean
- Ideal for Solo Play as well as Interactive Play
- Difficulty Level Adjustable
- Ideal for Any Size
- No Chewing Required
- Out of Stock Often on Amazon
- Not Suitable for All Pups (some are more interested than others)
Who doesn’t love treats? Poodles will never say no to a treat, especially if they’ve earned it! Because Poodles are very intelligent, they like to feel rewarded for their efforts. Treat dispensing toys do just that.
There is a common treat dispensing toys like the Kong and other treat dispensing toys that you can hide a treat inside and make your Poodle work to get it out. Adjusting the difficulty level is easy and allows for customization to your pup’s needs. The great thing about these toys is that they come in different sizes and shapes, which is great for the various sizes of Poodles! There is a treat-dispensing toy for Standard, Miniature, and Toy Poodles and every age and stage in between!
The tried and true Kong Classic Dog Toy is easy to stuff with treats and gives your Poodles hours of intellectual stimulation. Stuffing the Kong with peanut butter or larger dog treats allows your Poodle to know something is inside and creates a desire to get it out!
It’s a great toy to either play fetch with or to give your Poodle for solo playtime. However you use the Kong Classic Dog Toy, your Poodle will thank you.
- Reliable and Time-Tested
- Great for Unexpected Movements
- Easy to Stuff with Treats
- Play Fetch Together or Let Him Enjoy Solo Playtime
- Made from Safe Materials
- Comes in Various Sizes
- Must Know Size Needed before Purchasing
- Not Ideal for Extreme Chewers
Engaging and stimulating are two words to describe 3-D apparatus toys for your Poodle! If they aren’t either of those things, then you haven’t found the perfect apparatus toy yet. No worries! We have some suggestions for you below to get you started on finding the right one!
The awesome thing about apparatus toys is they are easy to manipulate and create new combinations for your pup. With varying levels to get through before achieving the “goal”, your Poodle will be working on the apparatus for hours (maybe even days), which will keep their brains going going going in the best way possible.
The Mad Scientist is an interactive dog toy. After placing treats inside the three beakers, your dog will work to release the treats from the beakers by flipping the beakers and getting them to balance together. This is a big challenge for most dogs, but they’re happy to try it out!
This apparatus brings out the playful side of your pup and allows them to tap into their intelligence to make sound decisions to get what they want.
- Easy to Adjust Levels
- Great for Intermediate Intelligence Levels
- Easy to Build Up Difficulty Level Over Time
- Dishwasher Safe
- Rubber Feet Keep the Apparatus in Place
- Construction May Not be the Best on all Models
- Limited Variety of Treats can be used Inside the Beakers
- Some Dogs Figure It Out Too Quickly
Robotic toys are no longer just a thing of the future. Your Poodle can enjoy automatic toys that dispense treats, food or move around with them while you’re gone for the day. They will keep your pup guessing as to which way it’s going or what it might do next.
These toys are great for Poodles because it allows them to get that exercise or stimulation while you’re gone that they need! They can entertain themselves and get an intellectual workout at the same time.
This automatic ball launcher will give your arm the break it needs while giving your Poodle the entertainment he needs! If you are gone for most of the day, this ball launcher is great for ensuring your dog’s physical and mental needs are met no matter what.
Dogs quickly learn how to drop the ball into the launcher themselves and will give them endless hours of fun while you’re home or away.
- Easy for Dogs to Use on their Own
- Safe Use
- Great for Small to Medium Dogs
- Launch Distance is Easily Changed to Meet Your Dog’s Needs
- Virtually Silent Operation
- Perfect for Independent Play
- Rubber Feet Keeps it in Place
- Balls aren’t as Durable as Needed for Most Dogs
- Launcher Stalls if Balls are Wet or Slimy
As you can see, finding the best IQ toy for your Poodle isn’t impossible. With so many options on the table, you will certainly be able to find something that will work for your pup. It’s extremely important to keep your Poodle’s mind working as much as possible. This breed was created for using their intelligence, which means Poodle owners must continue to make an effort to keep their Poodle’s minds engaged.
Owning a Poodle is one of the greatest things you will do in your lifetime. With their intelligence, loving nature, and athleticism, they truly are the best family dog and lifelong companion. It’s your job to keep their minds moving so your Poodle can have a healthy and happy life!
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