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DIY Dog Whack-a-Mole Game

A few days ago I saw a video of a dog playing a version of a DIY Dog Whack-a-Mole game.

The original mastermind behind the game is Maya the Samoyed and I thought it would be fun to see how Sherman and Leroy would do if a made them a similar version of the game.

O.k. honestly, I wanted to test Leroy’s patience and see if he would destroy the box.

What I didn’t expect was to see Leroy pretty intrigued and controlled for the first few minutes of the game.

Before we get to the video, in case your curious to see how your dog would do playing the DIY Dog Whack-a-Mole game here’s a few very easy items that you’ll need:

  • Cardboard box. These shouldn’t be hard to come by this time of the year as most everyone orders something online for the holidays.  I used an 18×11 Amazon box and cut the flaps off.
  • A special treat of your choice. The video and other videos circulating online use a hot dog but since Leroy has IBD I went with apple slices dipped in a very small amount of peanut butter. The idea is that you want the treat to be of high value so that the dog is interested enough to actually want to get the treat. In some videos, I’ve seen a treat on a stick but if you have a dog that is like jaws (like Leroy in the video) you might want to stay away from things on a stick.
  • Scissors to cut out the holes. You can do the holes in any pattern that you want. I think we had at least 11 holes in various areas of the box but there was no rhyme or reason to where I put them. I also cut a hand hole on the side of the box so we could get our hands in and out easy. 

Wrapping paper.

Some videos show a nicely wrapped box.

I had a feeling that wrapping paper wasn’t going to hold up to the amount of slobber that was going to be produced so I skipped that part.

I don’t know, I guess if you could find some type of waterproof covering that would work if you wanted to keep using the same box, but if you have a Newf or another dog that drools, your box is going to become a soggy mess.


I used our elevated feeders to place the box on.

I tried a bucket at first but the box wasn’t stable enough so I moved onto the elevated feeders.

You probably only need to elevate it if you have a big dog that is sitting.

Later on in the video, we did without the elevation when the boys were flat and that worked good too.

And that’s it!

Here’s how the boys did with our DIY Dog Whack-a-Mole Game

Leroy started off pretty well and he really seemed to be intrigued with it.

He was gentle as he tried to figure it out and then you’ll see Jaws made an appearance the more anxious he got about grabbing the apple.

Jaws came out after he had a taste of what the prize was so I’m assuming the apple slices were of high value to him. 

Sherman joined in when he heard my daughter and I giggling and at first, I don’t think he understood what was going on but as soon as he got a whiff of the peanut butter he was all about it.

The video ends with Leroy hitting his patience threshold and in typical Newf fashion throwing his paw down on the box which is what I expected, just sooner than later.

I thought it was a good game for both of them and a great brain exercise for Leroy.

We’ll definitely be doing this more in the future! 

So what about you? Do think your dog is up to the DIY Dog Whack-a-Mole challenge? Will they try to eat the box? Knock it over? Not be interested? 

If you decide to take the challenge make sure to tag us so I can see it!

Here are a few of our friends that have taken the challenge so far:


Leroy had enough. (must be the name) hahaha


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Leroy did a pretty good job until he decided to look under the box! ? #newfoundlanddog #newf #newfie

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Shadow's & Ducky's Mom

Sunday 23rd of December 2018

Oh! My! doG!!! That is too funny!!! I'll have to try that with the girls - separately because they protect their food from each other - though I doubt Shadow will be very interested. But she might surprise me. Ducky will probably get impatient, but who knows.

Merry Christmas to All of You from All of Us!!

Jan K

Friday 21st of December 2018

Oh, I definitely need to try this with Luke! It's going to be a long winter here and we need some new things to do. I'm not sure how he'll react, he's not usually very patient so it will be interesting to see.

Tails Around the Ranch

Monday 17th of December 2018

That's hilarious. Sam would never play that game, he'd walk away if there was work involved in getting treats (he thinks he deserves them just for being him). I see what you mean about the drool. Too funny.


Monday 17th of December 2018

I was totally expected that same reaction from Sherman and Leroy. They are so above having to work anymore. Hahaha

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