Nintendo likes to release products that people never see coming. Back in the days of the DS, Nintendogs was very much one of those products. There were plenty of gamers and industry members who thought the idea was a misstep for Nintendo, which obviously turned out to be wrong. Now we know that even some with Nintendo's walls weren't so sure about the software.
In an interview with GamesIndustry, David Yarnton, former general manager at Nintendo UK, said that some people on his team weren't sold on Nintendogs at all. That changed once they had the chance to go hands-on with the experience.
"I remember having seen a demo of [Nintendogs] at head office, a lot of the hardcore gamers in our team poo-pooed it. I had to laugh because weeks later, when we received samples, you could hear people talking to their puppies all across the office -- the hardcore were converted. I had such great expectations for Nintendogs and its potential that when I put our forecasts and orders into Japan, they didn't believe them. Needless to say, we exceeded these many times over."