Nintendogs/Printable version

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Nintendogs is a video game released in 2005 for the Nintendo DS portable gaming system. In it, players adopt and care for dogs, which they can interact with by touching the screen and using the microphone to interact with the game, doing such things as using your voice to speak to your Nintendogs. The game was released under three different versions, for both Japan and the USA/Europe, and each of these three versions has a different selection of dogs available to the player. The game was originally developed and demonstrated as a concept for the Nintendo 64, but was never released on that platform. Instead, it was reworked to take advantage of the DS's touch screen to provide a more tactile game.

Getting Started

When you begin playing, you get to adopt a Nintendog. Before you can name it, you have to spend some time petting it and getting it used to you. Finally, your Nintendog will adapt to its new surroundings and be ready for a name. Think of a good name, as you will never be able to change your puppy's name once it learns it. As repetition is key to learning, the game requires you to repeat the name several times before the puppy can learn it, and several times once more after it learns it so that it can get used to its new name. This method of repetition will be used only too often in the game, as you have to repeat the command many times before your Nintendog will learn a new trick.

On that first day it is important to introduce your Nintendog to what will soon become its daily schedule. Feed and water it. Brush it. Give it a bath. Take it on a walk. All of this is important to keeping your Nintendog happy. It is also wise to go to the store on that first day, and stock up on toys, food, and accessories. Though you might protest, wanting to save up for another Nintendog, trust me: Your pup deserves the best.


As you progress through the game, your pup will get stronger, and be able to take longer walks. These walks can lead you to the park to practice for disk competitions, to the gym to train for an agility competition, or even to a surprise, such as another dog or a present.

Park There are two parks, one with many other dogs and one that is almost always empty. The one populated with other dogs is great when you want your Nintendog to be able to play with its kind. Its great when you don't want to train your puppy, but instead just let it hang out. The empty one is preferred for disk training, as other dogs can prove to be a distraction. The best throw, easiest for your Nintendog to catch, is straight forward and high in the air to encourage a jumping catch. Be sure to call your puppy back immediately after they catch it so that they will make a habit of it. All of this is important in disk competitions as it will help you earn more points.

Gym The gym is there so that you can take your Nintendog through the agility course before a trial, to make sure it is ready for the competition. Never sign up for an agility trial without practicing first, or you will undoubtedly lose.

Surprises Sometimes the surprises are marked on the map with little question marks. If that is the case, your Nintendog will immediately run up to it without your help. But if a surprise is not on the map, you'll have to tug your pup's leash to get it to notice the surprise.