Starting the game
At the beginning of the game you will find yourself in front of the kennel where, once you knock on the door, you can enter and choose your first virtual puppy. After a few messages on the screen you will find yourself in a screen with two options; the first option, at the top, will take you to a screen where you can choose the dog you want to buy. The first thing you will see is a list of different dog breeds; depending on the version of Nintendogs you are playing, you can choose between five distinct races (you can unlock more later). This is where you will make the final decision on which puppy to buy, choosing color and sex from the three dogs on the screen; if the colors do not satisfy you, go back (by pressing the arrow in the upper left corner), choose the same breed again and you will have three new puppies to choose from. Here is the list of all the breeds present in the game:
- Beagle (loud, very attentive)
- Boxer (energetic, devoted)
- Cavalier KC Spaniel (loving, walking dog)
- Chihuahua (reserved, loyal, sometimes too reserved towards other dogs)
- Dachshund (friendly / reserved, apprehensive, always on guard)
- Dalmatian (athletic, strong, energetic)
- German Shepherd (intelligent, protective, territorial)
- Golden Retriever (easy to train, gentle, very good with children)
- Jack Russell Terrier (playful, strong, very active)
- Labrador (affectionate, intelligent, playful, easy to train)
- Dwarf Pinscher (loyal, friendly, playful)
- Miniature Schnauzer (energetic, loyal, often aggressive towards other dogs)
- Pembroke Welch Corgi
- Pug (playful, funny, stubborn)
- Shetland Shepherd (intelligent, kind, easy to train)
- Shiba Inu (loyal, requires continuous training, wary of strangers)
- Shih Tzu (playful, kind, loyal)
- Siberian Husky (very intelligent, gentle, agile, strong)
- Poodle (easy to train, shy, loyal)
- Yorkshire (loyal, sometimes shy, always on guard)
Once you have decided on the breed, sex and color of your dog, press the confirmation button twice (the button on the bottom left); Nintendogs will appear on the screen and you will see your new puppy playing in your apartment on the top screen of your Nintendo DS. Scroll through all the messages that will appear and, once in the Home Screen, press the Puppy Play button.
How to name your puppy
After reading another series of messages, you will find yourself with your Nintendog on the touch screen; now play a little with him using the stylus to stroke him and, after about a minute, new messages will appear that will show you how to name your dog. At a certain point, a box with red text and a microphone icon will appear on the screen; at the bottom of the screen you will notice a large button with the same icon. If you press it, the microphone icon will appear above the dog, accompanied by a small counter: say your dog's name, as if you were talking to a real dog. You will have to repeat the name a few times before the dog learns it well; once the dog has memorized his name, you will be asked to write the full name on the screen. Enter the name and confirm your choice, and, after a new series of messages, you will find yourself in the Home screen. Here, press the circular button in the center to play with your dog, and practice calling him by name and rewarding him by cuddling him a little until he sparkles; repeat this process a few times until a new set of commands appears.
How to teach your puppy actions
Now it's time to teach your dog the first game. You will see your dog watching you from the lower screen, while a new message will appear in the upper screen, telling you to seat your puppy. A good tactic is to first stroke it until it glows so it is in a good mood and then proceed with the teaching. To make him sit, place the stylus on the dog's head and press lightly downwards; in doing so the dog's head will follow your nib and slowly lower towards the ground. Now remove the nib and wait a few seconds: if he does not sit, repeat the operation and lower his head down with the nib. Once seated, a glowing icon will appear in the upper right corner of the screen. Touch the bright icon and a microphone will appear on your dog's head, prompting you to say the command. You can use any phrase or word you like to make the dog sit, although the more classic "Sit" is more than appropriate. Once you have said the command, a yellow light will appear on the head of your Nintendog: quickly bring the light to the puppy's mouth to reward him and thus reinforce the teaching. As with the name, you will have to repeat this process a few times before the dog learns the command well. As before, lower the dog's head and then repeat the command aloud, making sure it is exactly the same as you used previously, otherwise you will only confuse the poor dog, who will not learn to sit down. Once your Nintendog learns to sit on commands, you can write the name of the command to memorize it; here too you can write whatever you want, even if for easier memorization it is useful to call it exactly like the voice command, in our example "Sitting". Each time you confirm a command, it will appear on a separate screen along with all the other commands your dog has learned previously, so try to organize the nomenclature to avoid confusion. Once you have given the command its name, other messages will appear on the screen and then you will find yourself with your puppy cheerfully jumping around the screen. Call him and order him to sit down; once he comes to you and sits down you will receive a new series of messages and you will find yourself at the home screen. Now you can teach your dog new commands using the same methodology, although he will often be able to do them without any stimulation. If by any chance he performs some action and a glowing icon appears in the upper right corner of the screen, you can teach him that action. For example, at the beginning of the game your puppy likes to bend down and shake his butt; press the luminous icon and pronounce the command to teach the dog this game. As usual, you will need to reinforce the teaching with rewards and some repetition.
Walk your puppy
One of the most rewarding things in the game is taking your Nintendog for a walk around the neighborhood. To do this, go to the Home screen and select the icon depicting a person next to a dog; in the next menu select the icon at the top right, the one that depicts a dog with a leash. Now you will be asked to confirm if you want to go out with your dog: do it, by pressing the button on the left, and you will find yourself on the map of the neighborhood. The first thing to do is to trace the path of your walk; take the pen and draw a path between the houses, perhaps a circular one or one that starts and returns back to your house, in the center. It is good to know, however, that your puppy cannot walk indefinitely, as he has limited resistance; take a look at the counter in the lower left corner and make sure you don't go too far without going through your house again. Once you have finished drawing the path to take, confirm your choice by clicking on "Yes" to start the walk. Walking your puppy is not just a push and pull with a leash: on the map you can see some interesting points, such as the small boxes containing a question mark. When you approach one of these points a random event will happen, which sometimes will bring you nice objects. Sometimes your puppy will run off the screen and come back with a gift package in his mouth, containing a dog toy, dress or something else. When you come home from a walk where your dog found a gift, search your inventory to find out what item you got. Question marks scattered around the map don't always mean a gift, but they can also be encounters with other dogs. In these cases both will start barking at each other and you can let go of the leash a bit to let them meet, or keep your puppy at a distance. Whether they are affectionate or continue to bark, you will not see immediate results from encounters with other dogs. Instead, you will see them in the long run: if for example your dog is friendly towards aggressive dogs, over time it could become a bit aggressive too. While you can just walk with your dog, there is more than one reason to stay focused on the walk. First of all, there may be some gifts on the side of the road: in this case, give your dog a leash to grab the package, otherwise you may lose some of the rarest items in the game. Another reason to be careful is the needs of your Nintendog: like a real dog, your dog will also occasionally go to the streets, and it will be up to you to clean them, by pressing the stylus on the screen, if not. you want to hear complaints from angry neighbors.
How to take care of your puppy
As in reality, playing and walking the dog is only part of the responsibility of a good owner; When it comes to caring for your puppy, you need to remember several things, including feeding him and making sure he is in good health. To track your dog's health, press the question mark icon next to the dog image on the Home screen. You will be taken to a screen that looks like the image described above, where you will be shown the status of your pet. The first three items under the weather (coat condition, hunger and thirst) are the ones you need to pay attention to as they give you clues on how to properly raise your Nintendog. If your dog is reported to be thirsty or hungry, go to the food screen and select the central icon (a brush) to get a bottle of water (clear bottle) or a box of dog food (red pouch) . If you do not have food or water, go and buy some by selecting, from the Home screen, the icon at the bottom left, then the icon at the top left and then again the icon at the top left. Do not give more than one bottle of water or one pack of food to your dog at a time. It is important, in addition to water and food, that you also take care of your puppy's coat, especially once you make him participate in competitions. As with food, you can buy dog shampoo at the store and use it the same way. The only difference is that you will have to wash your dog manually. To do this, start wiping the Nintendog with the sponge and, when the water icon in the upper right corner starts flashing, touch the screen with your stylus and start rinsing it. If you use the right shampoo (the orange bottle is for short hair, the green bottle is for long hair), your puppy will begin to glow once the bath is finished. After a good wash you can also brush it using one of the two different brushes; as for shampoo, the rubber brush with black bristles is suitable for short hair, while the one with the long handle and silver bristles for long hair. You can brush your dog as much as you like in preparation for a contest, but there is no sign that you have "finished" brushing.
Play with your puppy
One of the funniest things to do with your puppy in play is just playing. At the beginning of the game you will have only two games, a tennis ball and a wand to make bubbles, but the more you keep playing, the more likely you are to buy new items or that your puppy will find some on walks. To play a specific game, select the object icon from the main screen (the icon in the middle of the screen on the left of the Home screen) and then select the icon in the upper left corner (a ball). You will be presented with the list of games that you have collected so far, and which you can select to start playing. Otherwise you can select the top center icon in the item menu (a robot) to find the bubble wand, or the bottom right icon ("ect") to play with various items. Things your dog finds on neighborhood walks will be on this menu. Be careful though: not all the objects you throw at your dog may please him. Some may make him nervous and it's best not to let him play around with things he doesn't like.
Have your puppy compete in a competition
There are three types of competitions that you can have your dog participate in: the Disc Dog Tournament, the Dog Agility Competition and the DOg Contest. The Disc Dog Tournament is a competition in which you and your dog's ability to throw and catch the Frisbee will be tested. The Agility Tournament, on the other hand, will test your ability to guide your puppy through a series of obstacle courses. The third and final event is the Dog Contest, an old-fashioned competition where you have to show how well you have trained your dog to obey orders. There are five different levels of competition and you will start with the lowest one, the Beginner Cup. If you manage to win the first, second or third position, you will be admitted to the next category, while if you rank outside the podium you will drop by a category. Every time you win you will earn more and more money, so try to climb the categories and win as much as possible. Here is the prize pool for each category:
1st place: $ 100
2st place: $ 50
3st place: $ 30
1st place: $ 200
2st place: $ 100
3st place: $ 60
1st place: $ 300
2st place: $ 150
3st place: $ 90
1st place: $ 600
2st place: $ 300
3st place: $ 180
1st place: $ 1000
2st place: $ 600
3st place: $ 300
Disc Dog Competition
The Disc Dog Tournament is certainly the most fun competition to participate in, but before you can participate you will have to train a little in Frisbee throwing with your Nintendog; you can buy one or hope your dog will find one during your walks. To train with the Frisbee, go to a park while you are walking around the neighborhood and start throwing your puppy. Start with short distance throws and don't be disheartened if your dog can't catch the Frisbee right away; it will take a long time before he learns how to catch the puck on the fly, but with a little encouragement you will see that he will make it. Remember to reward the dog every time he brings the Frisbee back, and sometimes he may even come back on his own without the need for you to call him back. This will dramatically reduce disc recovery times during a competition. Once you have trained your dog sufficiently, take part in a Disc Dog Tournament to test your skills. Each time the dog catches the Frisbee on the fly you will earn points, and the further the Frisbee flies, the more points you will get. The terrain on which the tournaments are played is colored in zones, each of which scores a different score; You will also earn an extra point every time your Nintendog grabs the disc in mid-air.
Here is the list of areas:
|Zone 1 (dark green)||0 points|
|Zone 2 (green)||1 points|
|Zone 3 (light green)||3 points|
|Zone 4 (orange)||5 points|
|Zone 5 (red)||7 points|
|Zone 6 (blue)||9 points|
Dog Agility Competition
Before you can participate in this competition, you will need to take your puppy to the training center, which you can get to on walks (the building is located in the far southeast of the city). You can practice by having the dog go through various obstacle courses without any time limit, so as to learn the basics of this competition. Tap the screen to guide the dog along the path and tap the horizontal bars to force him to jump over obstacles. To make the dog go through a tunnel, slide the stylus along its entire length with the stylus and you will see the puppy come out on the other side. The official competition is exactly like training, with the only difference that you will have a specific path for the dog to follow. Scoring will be based on the time it will take the Nintendog to get to the end of the course, and you will lose points if you miss a goal (for example, go under a pole instead of over it).
Before participating in a Dog Contest you will have to spend a lot of time teaching your dog all the possible commands; on top of that, you need to make sure your puppy is very clean and well fed. You will also earn a few more points from the judges if you bathe and brush your pet before participating. The tournament starts with the usual jokes between the reporters and you will have to stand there and watch your puppy, with a countdown on the left and the list of actions that your dog will have to perform at the top of the screen. For the first rounds of actions you simply have to make your dog perform what appears on the screen while, in the final stages, you can perform a free performance, alternating and using all the commands you have before the time available to you runs out. Try to vary and use the fastest ones to run to save time.
List of actions
Half the fun of having a puppy is teaching it to perform various combinations of movements and "games". Here is a list of commands and actions for your dog to do, complete with tips on how to best train him. Remember, though, that while it's fun to experiment with new things, your puppy won't always enjoy doing whatever you tell him to do. For example, some dogs do not like you to hold their paw too many times, so try to cultivate the relationship with your puppy in an optimal way, otherwise you risk ruining the training. Also remember that adequate rewards help a lot during training; the more you reinforce the teachings with a reward (by feeding the dog the light bulb icon), the faster your Nintendog will learn the new commands.
|Sitting||You will need to teach your dog to sit during the tutorial at the beginning of the game. First attract the dog's attention and place the stylus over his head. Now slowly lower the nib to bring the puppy's head down to the ground. After a few attempts, your Nintendog should follow your command and sit down.|
|Lowered||For this command it is best to start in the "seated" position. Once seated, place the stylus over your dog's head and slowly lower it to the floor. After a few attempts, the puppy should drop to the ground without any problems.|
|Scodinzola||Many dogs have no problem showing their impressive tail-wagging skills, and they almost always do so without being prompted. Simply wait for your puppy to get down and start rocking his butt in the air. You may have to wait a while before your Nintendog begins to "dance" for you, but once he does, you can teach him the command.|
|Follow the tail||Call the puppy to you and gently grab the thing using the stylus; Once this is done, use it to tickle your dog's nose and it will start chasing its own thing. Be careful not to yank the thing with too much tail or the Nintendog will get angry.|
|Squeeze the paw||First make your puppy sit down, then, once he is well seated, gently grab one of his front paws with the stylus and "squeeze the paw" slowly. If the light bulb icon does not appear in the upper right corner, try to squeeze its other front paw.|
|Say hello||To get your dog to say hello, the process is almost the same as for making him pinch his paw. Have your dog sit down and lift one of the front legs high above his head with the stylus. Again, if the top right icon does not appear, try the other paw.|
|Roll to the side||Have your dog lie down and then place the stylus on his head; gently move the nib to the side and your puppy should roll over to the side without too much resistance, allowing you to teach him the new command.|
|Roll onto your back||Rolling the puppy onto his back is the next step to rolling him over to the side. First get your dog to be on one side (by command or by having him sit and then roll him to the side) and then gently grab him and drag him sideways even further using the stylus. You can drag it obliquely by slowly hitting the dog's torso, rolling it onto its back.|
|Starnutisci||You can teach your dog to star in three different positions: standing, sitting or lying down. Simply plug your puppy's nose using the stylus and he will sneeze. The light bulb icon should appear in the upper right, allowing you to teach them the new command. You can teach them to sneeze in one position, or in all three, but remember that you will need three different voice commands in the latter case.|
|Salta||For this command you will need to practice a lot, as your dog will take a long time to learn to jump. A good way to teach this is to call the puppy next to you by tapping the screen; once it is close, swipe the stylus up near the top edge of the screen until the dog jumps trying to grab the cursor. By doing so, he will learn the new action.|
Navigation in the menus
The first screen that will appear in front of you is the Home Screen, where there are five main buttons, including the central button with no text inside. This button allows you to play with your dog by interacting directly with the stylus. The top left button allows you to save your game; when you press it you will be given the choice to save (yes or no). If you choose "yes" you will be asked another question, which is whether to continue playing or quit the game. Choose the answer on the left to continue, the one on the right to exit. The Goods button will take you to the inventory of objects, which contains the objects your dog found during walks, food, brushes and the necessary to take care of your puppy. When you select most of the items on this menu, you will be sent to a play session where you can use them with your puppy, or watch the dog play with them alone. The third button on the left brings you to the "Menu", from which you can go shopping, take the dog out, participate in a competition, search for other Nintendogs players nearby or see the information screen. Press the button at the bottom left if you want to search for other Nintendogs players around you; confirm the first request made to you and you will be taken to the Goods menu where you can choose an item to trade with another player. Confirm and you will see your dog walking in the upper screen; confirm again and you will come to a screen with a single button at the bottom. Clicking on this button will terminate the "bark mode" session, so do not press it until you have found the player you were looking for. The Shopping menu contains many things: the goods shop where you can buy everything you need to keep your dog healthy, such as food, water, shampoo, etc; the recycle shop, which will allow you to sell items from your inventory; the kennel (kennel), where you can buy a new puppy; the reform shop, where you can buy a new apartment, and finally the dog hotel, where you can leave up to 5 dogs (you can only keep 3 dogs in the house, and if you want more you have to leave them here). Pay attention to the "Give your dog away" button because, once pressed, your dog will never come back. From the Home menu, by selecting the "walk / shop / compete" button, you will arrive at a screen with a small white button at the bottom right. Click this button to see an information screen with four different sections. The first represents information about the owner and displays some details about you, including the points earned by playing Nintendogs. The second section, the Friend list, shows the list of other Nintendogs players you interacted with using "bark mode". The third section, progress / stats, displays your successes in the various dog competitions.
Video - Gameplay of the game