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Sudoku Is the Newest Brain Game for Dogs

Let your dog win.

by Avery Felman
April 11, 2022
A dog sitting on a couch with a sudoku game on the floor.
Courtesy of My Intelligent Pets

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In a 2006 interview with the New York Times crossword editor and Sudoku book author Will Shortz, writer Clive Thompson described the game as “the ultimate puzzle for a postliterate world,” pointing out that, “it may sound complicated, but you can play it even if you’re completely illiterate — hell, even if you’re innumerate, since Sudoku doesn’t even require math.” You see where we’re going with this...

If your human roommates have been rejecting your invitations to game night since three months into the pandemic, you can now play with an arguably more worthy competitor — your dog. My Intelligent Pets have created a Sudoku-inspired interactive game for dogs. Simply hide your pup’s favorite treats underneath the colorful tiles and encourage them to find them by shuffling the tiles around. The brand designed the game to be at once challenging but solvable, and recommends starting with the basic and advanced versions, and only move up to expert levels once your dog has easily solved the first two levels.

“Many dogs are under-stimulated and under-exercised...or pretty bored. They don’t have phones or watch TV,” says Stacy Alldredge, certified dog behaviorist and founder of Who’s Walking Who. “Interactive toys are a great way to give your dog something to do. They’re also a way for kids to do something with a dog that doesn’t make them mouthy and jumpy.” Puzzle games isn’t just for puppies, either. “The biggest mistake people make is forgetting that adult [and senior] dogs need entertainment too.”

Indeed, dog Sudoku gives your pet a physical and mental workout — stimulating their sense of smell, burning off pent-up energy, and distracting them from stressors. The compact wooden game will fit perfectly on your board game shelf, and the safe, natural materials can be recycled or composted. Can your Catan claim that?

P.S. There’s also a cat version.

Avery, editor at The Wildest, and her cat, Chicken

Avery Felman

Avery is an editor at The Wildest. She has written for numerous publications, including Refinery29, BuzzFeed, and V Magazine. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her boyfriend and cat, Chicken, and has high hopes that one of them will let her adopt a dog.