Dogs, being partially colorblind and generally messy creatures, usually don’t care much what their toys look like, so long as they’re good to chew on. But their human owners are not always thrilled about a living room rug strewn with ugly rubber squeakers and eviscerated stuffed rabbits.
Enter the Odin, a dog toy that’s attractive to both canines and humans. It’s a modular geometric puzzle toy, named for Seattle-based designer Michelle Moy’s Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Odin. (“Puzzle toys are his favorite,” Moy says.) Fill it with treats, and your pooch finds endless entertainment in trying to extract them.
“Lots of dog toys work well, but they’re eyesores,” Moy tells Co.Design. “They look juvenile and childish, in bright colors. They stand out in people’s homes.” The 3-D printed Odin, on the other hand, could be mistaken for a stylish modernist sculpture when not in use. The puzzle design aims to engage dogs mentally and physically: they’ll roll it and bounce it around until the treats fall out. Four differently sized holes let treats fall out at different rates. You can make it easier or harder by changing the size of treats you put in. It’s also transformable: It can work as a singular toy, or snap together with other modules in a chain, like Lego blocks. “This makes the toy new to the dog every time,” Moy says.
The Odin is Moy’s first-ever venture into design. Two years ago, while working as a nurse practitioner, she had the idea for a dog toy that was both stylish and functional, but never had the time to make it a reality. Six months ago, though, she quit her job to design dog toys full time. “I’m lucky to have friends who are top industrial designers to help me along,” Moy says. One product designer friend, Parker Chou, acted as a mentor throughout the toy’s development process, during which Moy made prototypes from tennis balls and Wiffle balls. The Odin is the first product of her newly founded company, Up Dog Toys, and is currently funding on Kickstarter.
The Odin is available for pre-order here for $25. If the project is fully funded, it’s expected to be delivered by April 2015.