Front Page



Game Index


Site Tools



You May Also Like...

December 14, 2023

Mycelia Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
December 07, 2023

River Wild Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
November 30, 2023
November 29, 2023
October 09, 2023
October 06, 2023

Outback Crossing Review

Board Game Reviews
October 05, 2023
October 02, 2023

Forests of Pangaia Review

Board Game Reviews
September 29, 2023

Bagh Chal Review

Board Game Reviews
Andi Lennon
September 28, 2023
September 25, 2023

Castle Panic Review

Board Game Reviews
Gary Sax
June 21, 2023
June 09, 2023
June 02, 2023

Ahoy Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
May 26, 2023

Village Rails Review

Board Game Reviews
May 19, 2023

The Spill Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews

Master of Puppies: A Pavlov's Dog Board Game Review

W Updated November 18, 2020
0.0 (0)
4340 1
Master of Puppies: A Pavlov's Dog Board Game Review

Game Information

Game Name
2 - 8
There Will Be Games

Master of Puppies is pulling your leash, ringing the bells and dispensing the treats.

Wade: “Hi, I was told to report here...”
Shadowy Figure: “Don't be Shy. You are going to be here awhile, call it what it is.” *Gestures Around at the fire and brimstone* “Welcome to Hell. So, what is your name?”
Wade: “Wade”
Demon: “Twitter Account?”
Wade: “Excuse Me?”
Demon: “Oh, you honestly thought there wasn't going to be any accountability for Social Media?”
Wade: “Ummm... @rapierdwit ?!”
* Demon Raises an eybrow *
Wade: “Wade...rhymes with blade...rapier is a type of Blade...Rapier wit...”
* Demon Mumbles * “Hubris AND puns...and you wonder why you are here.” *Louder * “Occupation?”
Wade: “Boardgame reviewer.”
* Demon's Eyes light up (well, more than the usual embers) * “Board Game? Is that one or two words?”
Wade: “Sorry?”
Demon: “Nothing, nothing, just a little hellish humor. Well, no time like the present to begin your everlasting torment.” *Hands over Pavlov's Dogs game Box* “We'll need you to write a review of this.”
Wade: “Awwww! It has cute little puppies on it! *Opens Box and flips through manual* “Look, all the little doggies are named after famous psychologist! Well, except that Immanuel Kant wasn't a psychologist, he was a philosopher...and a real piss ant from what I hear.”
* Demon gives Wade a stern gaze and emits interrupting cough *
Wade: “So...What type of game is it?”
An Evil grin appears on the demon's face “It is a game that involves math...”
Wade: “Oh God...”
Demon: “Language, sir.”
Wade: “Sorry...”
Demon: “...It is a game that involves math and memory..”
Wade: “Bloody Hell.”
Demon: “Much better, sir. Now you are catching on.”

How I spent my Eternal Damnation
By Wade Monnig

If you were putting together a game that involved things that I dislike it would be Math and Memorizing....which is exactly what Pavlov's Dogs is. Toss in a required “Moderator/DM/Dogtor” and my hopes for enjoying this game were pretty grim.

And what hell-spawned review would be complete without some detailed rules explanations?
Each of the cards in the “Test” Deck contain three bits of information (Command/Color/Number). For example, one might be “Beg, Brown, Two”. Five cards are dealt face down to each player. The Dogtor (the judge, which changes every round) picks a rule and begins the test. The starting player flips the top card of their hand face up into the center of the table and announces the total value of the test. If they play “Beg, Brown, Two” they would say “Two”. The Dogtor would then declares "Good Dog", and play passes to the next player. If the next player played a “Beg Yellow Three” they would announce “Five” to get their respective pat on the head and rousing “Who's a good boy?!” And that is how the math portion of the game works. And I guess I'm okay with math as long as the alphabet (algebra) doesn't get involved.


Of course, it wouldn't be a rules explanation (or much of a game) without the on-going rules that are added each round. So, if the rule that was added in the first round is that whenever a bell card is played the player must say “Ding!” So if the next card out was a Bell/Zero card they should say “Ding! Five” The card flipping continues with the Dogtor making sure everyone is adding up and following the rule(s) appropriately, dishing out “Good Dog!” for all the successful plays. However, if a player gives an incorrect total or doesn't follow a rule, the Dogtor admonishes the player by saying “Bad Dog!” (I will also accept Bad Bitch), the successful pile is cleared, the offending player loses a bone from their starting pile of three bones, and the round continues. Since it is a cooperative game, as long as no player loses all of his bones throughout the game, you win by completing the number of rounds for the selected difficulty (Bones can be passed to other players between rounds to help any player who is running low).
Pavlov's Dogs has three levels of difficulty: Puppy (3 tests/rules) Dog (5 tests/rules) and Wolf (8 tests/rules). Wolf is listed as “Challenging” where Dog level is listed as “Normal.”As my daughter reminded me while we played this game, it is largely believed that most humans can not hold more than 7 things in active memory. Now, add in doing math (and hope like hell you aren't working on a Weird Al version of Metallica's Master of Puppets for a review).

Some rules work better than others. The ones that reverse the direction of play are usually telegraphed by all the other players looking at the person whose turn it is. The same goes with skip a player rules. But, hey, I'll take my “Gimmes” where I can get them. If I can only hold seven things in active memory and Wolf levels requires me to hold eight, we definitely need the help. And, let's be honest, seven rules in active memory at this point in my (after) life is a pipe dream.


What Pavlov's Dogs did remind me of is this..err...dexterity game where you bounce a quarter off the table and into a shot drinking receptacle. When you make three in a row, you get to make a rule that everyone must then follow, like not being allowed to say drink, drank, or drunk. Or no pointing. Okay, Okay, I admit it, it's a drinking game. These are the rules we always used, your own misspent youth house regulations may vary. Thankfully, at least that lacked a math portion.

Despite having a literal list of things that I don't like/didn't think would work (Math/Memory/Judge/Co-operative party game), I have had a surprisingly good time playing Pavlov's Dogs. I will say, despite it's short play time and party style, we never played back-to-back games because we always needed a palette cleanser/mind eraser between plays. My active memory may be crap, but somehow rules from three plays ago would creep into my mind “Am I supposed to bark for this card?”

The End

Demon: “Wow, so you actually ended up enjoying this? Well, Good Job! Up next for review we have Machi Koro!”
Wade: * mumbles * “Jesus Wept.”
Demon: “Language.”

A review copy of this release was provided by the publisher.


Master of Puppies: A Pavlov's Dog Board Game Review
Master of Puppies: A Pavlov's Dog Board Game Review

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Pavlov's Dogs
Despite having a literal list of things that I don't like/didn't think would work (Math/Memory/Judge/Co-operative party game), I have had a surprisingly good time playing Pavlov's Dogs.
Wade Monnig  (He/Him)
Staff Board Game Reviewer

In west Saint Louis born and raised
Playing video games is where I spent most of my days
Strafing, Dashing, Adventuring and Looting
Writing reviews between all the Shooting
When a couple of guys reminded me what was so good
About playing games with cardboard and Wood,
Collecting Victory Points and those Miniatures with Flair
It’s not as easy as you think to rhyme with Bel Air.

Wade is the former editor in chief for Silicon Magazine and former senior editor for He currently enjoys his games in the non-video variety, where the odds of a 14 year old questioning the legitimacy of your bloodline is drastically reduced.

“I’ll stop playing as Black when they invent a darker color.”

Articles by Wade

Wade Monnig
Staff Board Game Reviewer

Articles by Wade

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Log in to comment

WadeMonnig's Avatar
WadeMonnig replied the topic: #316285 18 Nov 2020 13:23
The quality time spent working on lyrics for
Master Of Puppies occurred during my high school
Years. Glad it finally paid off decades later.