Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
Nintendogs Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
A fabulous virtual puppy simulation.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 67 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is the best virtual pet program we have ever seen. The puppy mannerisms are so realistic that it's easy to become attached to your virtual dog. Be forewarned that these puppies are so endearing that your kids are likely to put pressure on you to get a dog. Also, if you decide to let your child put the program in "Bark" mode, you will want to pay attention to who is meeting your child's Nintendog.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byT J September 25, 2018

Somehow better than it should be.

I got my first DS Lite for Christmas when I was 7 and Nintendogs is one of the games i got with it. I would never have chosen this game. I don’t like dogs and f... Continue reading
Parent of a 12-year-old Written byLucy C. October 30, 2017


Very nice to play with a friend, or to releve stress!
Teen, 17 years old Written bykittykat209871 March 4, 2021

No death

you cant have a dead dog so this game sucks
Kid, 11 years old September 12, 2019


Yes, it is a dog game. And, obviously, dog games are the best. You can adopt cute dogs, train the cute dogs, love the cute dogs, do everything with the cute dog... Continue reading

What's it about?

NINTENDOGS comes in three versions: Lab & Friends, Chihuahua & Friends, and Dachshund & Friends. Players select a puppy from a group of frolicking dogs at the kennel. The puppies vary in breed, looks, personality, and gender. Once you select a puppy, it goes home with you; and then the real fun begins. You can train your puppy to respond to its name and other voice commands by repeating the commands into the microphone. You bond with your puppy by petting it with your DS stylus and playing games using balls or discs. Ideally, you should feed and water your puppy daily and take it on walks. And if you don't want it to get fleas, you will need to bathe your puppy periodically. All of this, of course, costs money, which you earn by entering your pup in dog competitions.

Is it any good?

In Nintendogs, the puppies you can adopt are nothing short of adorable; they're hard to resist because their mannerisms are so lifelike and their attention is focused on you. If you get hooked on Nintendogs, you can acquire up to eight dogs at a time, although only three can live with you at once (the other five must reside at the doggie hotel and can be "swapped").

Parents, be forewarned that these puppies are so endearing that your children are likely to put pressure on you to get a dog. Peggy Brummond, mother of kid-tester Shane, was impressed that "puppies seem so real and that the game teaches responsibility." For families where real dog ownership isn't desired or possible, Nintendogs is a fun way of experiencing some of the pleasures of owning a dog.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how realistically this video game portrays the responsibilities of raising a puppy. What is realistic within the game, and what is glossed over?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: August 23, 2005
  • Genre: Simulation
  • ESRB rating: E
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

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