Description official descriptions
Nintendogs lets you take care of virtual pets (dogs, obviously) on your Nintendo DS. You can train your puppies by speaking commands into the microphone, pat the pooch with the Stylus, play games like "fetch" with a frisbee, buy toys, food, and accessories, and take part in 3 types of competition to win trophies.
If there are other Nintendo DS users with Nintendogs nearby with both of you in "Bark Mode", you can link the games wirelessly and see your and their dog meeting on both screens.
You initially only have 6 (US/EU), 5 (JP) of the 18 (US/EU), 15 (JP) breeds available when you start playing the game (the six breeds being determined by the version of the game), but as you progress, you unlock more breeds and items to buy. If you connect with another user that has another breed of dog not available to you then their dog's breed will be unlocked for you.
The available versions for purchase are:
- Chihuahua & Friends: Beagle, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chihuahua, Labrador Retriever, Shih Tzu.
- Miniature Dachshund & Friends: German Shepherd, Miniature Dachshund, Miniature Schnauzer, Pug, Yorkshire Terrier.
- Shiba & Friends: Miniature Pinscher, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Shetland Sheepdog, Shiba Inu, Toy Poodle.
North American and European Versions:
- Chihuahua & Friends: Boxer, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chihuahua, German Shepherd, Shetland Sheepdog, Yorkshire Terrier.
- Dachshund & Friends: Beagle, Golden Retriever, Miniature Dachshund, Pug, Shih Tzu, Siberian Husky.
- Lab & Friends: Labrador Retriever, Miniature Pinscher, Miniature Schnauzer, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Shiba Inu, Toy Poodle.
In addition to all the breeds listed above, there are two more breeds that can be unlocked through various ways.
- ニンテンドッグス - Japanese spelling
- ニンテンドッグス ダックス＆フレンズ - Japanese spelling (Dachs & Friends version)
- ニンテンドッグス チワワ＆フレンズ - Japanese spelling (Chihuahua & Friends version)
- ニンテンドッグス 柴＆フレンズ - Japanese spelling (Shiba & Friends version)
- 任天狗狗 - iQue - Simplified Chinese spelling
Credits (Nintendo DS version)
96 People (86 developers, 10 thanks) · View all
|Object/Wireless System Programming
|[ full credits ]
Average score: 82% (based on 36 ratings)
Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 28 ratings with 1 reviews)
Nintendogs does a remarkable job at being a pet simulator. The AI is nothing short of amazing as the dog behaves exactly as a real puppy would, complete with the "cute" factor puppies have well in hand. There's something very satisfying seeing the puppy smile as you use the stylus to "pet" the dog.
The innovation of this title is the biggest draw. You can speak to or whistle at the puppy, and it responds to basic commands or even its name. You can play with it, by throwing a ball or frisbee and having to play tug of war to pull the toy out of the dog's mouth. You can blow bubbles for the dog to bark at by actually blowing into the microphone to create bubbles. You can wash the dog, tug on its leash for walks, train it in competitions.... There's a lot of variety to what you can do with your pet.
Graphically, it's very simple, but the dogs are cute and very well animated. Someone spent a lot of time studying dogs for this title, as the behaviors are spot on, including those moments when a dog doesn't want to fool with you for the moment. It is very hard not to get attached to the puppy, which in itself is pretty remarkable. To make a clump of polygons truly this likable is a testament to the programmers, and it's fun to find new toys and costumes via gifts to entertain your pet with. The clothing thing sounds weird, but having a dog with a rainbow afro wig or a pirate hat is strangely gratifying.
While you do have to do bathroom duty in the game, you don't have to worry about the dog destroying your home if you are away too long.
Music is non-obtrusive, but the dog yips and growls are very accurate.
Walks can get tedious at times. There's a way to speed up the dog, but when it gets stubborn, you'll be knocking it over more than moving along.
The dog's memory seems selective. When I first started training my dog, it knew its name. After a while, it forgot its name, and I had to whistle to get its attention. There are some commands I have never been able to teach it simply because the voice recognition doesn't seem to understand what I'm saying. If I had a thick accent, I'd understand that, but I speak pretty clearly, so I'm not sure why it understand some commands and not others.
Even with four different dog titles, there are still a lot of dogs missing that I would have enjoyed seeing represented.
Finally, as diverse as the dog's behaviors are, you can only do so much with your pet before it gets a little repetitive. There is only so much you can do. Not being a real dog removes some of the joys of the little animals no matter how accurate the game recreates their behaviors.
The Bottom Line
Unless you don't like dogs or have a heart of stone, then Nintendogs will appeal to a pet lover, or even to simply teach a child how to properly care for a dog.
Nintendo did a fantastic job in accurately recreating the fun aspects of a dog, while adding little video game flourishes such as playing with the dog toys and the gift finding aspect. This is one of those titles that is perfectly suited for the hardware features of the Nintendo DS, which is likely why this title has been so popular.
I would hope that Nintendo would continue the series on the Wii to use the features of that system, or even release a sequel/expansion with more dogs and features.
A fun, non-violent game with a playful sense of humor. Recommended to dog lovers, people who want to see how unique a DS title can truly be, or for someone looking for something really different.
Nintendo DS · by Guy Chapman (1748) · 2006
1001 Video Games
Nintendogs appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
References in other games
The Nintendogs appear as an assist trophy in the Wii game Super Smash Bros.: Brawl.
According to publisher Nintendo, Nintendogs sold 23.96 million copies worldwide (as of September 30, 2015).
- 2005 – Best Simulation of the Year
- 2005 – Best Use of DS Hardware (Chihuahua & Friends version)
- Golden Joystick Awards
- 2006 - Family Game of the Year
- 2006 - Girls' Choice Award
Related Sites +
Nintendogs for Nintendo DS
Nintendogs: Shiba Inu and Friends (Japan version) REVIEW
A blog post detailing the differences between the Japanese and international versions of Nintendogs
A site detailing version-exclusive content.
Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.
Contributors to this Entry
Game added by EboMike.
Game added September 27, 2005. Last modified January 5, 2024.