Smart Toys for Dogs: Into the Future – PupPod

by Mary Haight on September 28, 2015

PupPod Smart Toy for DogsThere’s a new smart toy in town, it’s not like anything you’ve seen, and may signal the end of dog toys as we know them! Bold statement, but what would you say to smart toys for dogs that were part of an expandable gaming platform, like the Xbox? That’s PupPod!

PupPod challenges your dog’s cognitive abilities with increasing levels of difficulty, without over-facing them, so their brain is being exercised every time they play with the toy.

PupPod Makes Being Home Alone Fun

New to pet parents and smart toys are activity analytics. Understanding more about how your dog learns with this rewards-based system can lead to a better relationship with your dog. Not to mention better timing with those treats =)

You can see how your dog is progressing through the various learning levels (one really cute story you’ll hear during the show involves tester Penny the Pug, the brainiac who blew past level 3 — engineers went back to work).

Live streaming video of sessions means you can tune into your dog’s activity via an app. You can even interact with the game and your dog! Notifications and post-worthy video clips are sent to you when your dog has done something special. No moment is missed — like advancing to a new level of difficulty. Who’s the next social media video star going to be?

Next Generation Smart Toys for Dogs

Have you seen all the research being done on finding out how dogs think and learn, how learning impacts the brain, changing its size, and staves off cognitive disease similar to Alzheimer’s in dogs? It’s a hot topic. In fact, Dr. Karen Overall, MA, VMD, Ph.D., Diplomate ACVB just held an event on “The Importance of Exercising your Dog’s Brain for Optimal Mental and Physical Health.”

We all want the best for our dogs. What could be better than helping your dog have fun and be entertained when you can’t be there, knowing what an important edge you’re giving him for good mental and physical health, especially through those senior years? Smart toys for dogs — it’s a great time to be a dog’s person!

Need more reasons before you run to their Kickstarter page to secure one of your own? Listen to the show for more details from Erick Eidus, CEO, and co-founder of PupPod.

 

Note: There’s a survey you can take to help this start-up continuously improve and better serve customers — it’s quick and easy, promise!

36 comments
MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

PupPod's Kickstarter was successfully funded!! So exciting to see this and look forward to watching this smart dog toy idea grow =)  Now, don't you wish you had bought it at that terrific price??

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petsarefound
petsarefound

Will definitely have a closer look at this and the Kickstarter.  I invested in a similar product more than a year ago (!!), so will compare, but am also a little confused by the image which looks like a Kong... perhaps that's the differentiater.

Thanks for the insight,

Annette

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@petsarefound Yes, that's the Kong! Kong liked what PupPod was doing and so allowed them use of their design as the perfect housing unit. And the feeder is the Pet Tutor. I was surprised at first too. The podcast tells you all about the specifics of this, so have a listen when you get a moment. Computer processors are inside, crunching data on your dog's actions =) This is an open source project. Pet Tutor has opened their product architecture to other innovators -- I'll be interviewing the CEO next week I believe -- so you'll see and hear a lot more about Pet Tutor in association with other products as technology takes smart toys to the next level.

Latest blog post: PupPod what-do-I-get2.2

Sweet Purrfections
Sweet Purrfections

This is a great idea for people who use technology on a regular basis and have the extra money to spend on the smart toys.

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@Sweet Purrfections Yes, you can use it as a game playing distraction for your pet(s) but it also functions in a serious capacity as a non-aversive training system to quiet barky dogs (read: No more shock collars), distract from pet's destructive behaviors and feed your pet when you are late from work, besides allowing you to visit your dog, see what what he's doing real time, and interact with him. 

You can take a look and see that Ken McCort, a trainer for 30 years working with many species and behaviorally challenged dogs, cats, birds, unequivocally praises the Pet Tutor, part of the PupPod system. Just look up Pet Tutor and Ken McCort. He was taking it to Wolf Park to work with coyotes there. I'm glad you stopped by to take a look =)

Latest blog post: PupPod what-do-I-get2.2

OlfaTurki
OlfaTurki

This looks like a really cool toy for dogs. I will check this out.

CarolBryant
CarolBryant

I like the idea that this is good entertainment for the dog!

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@CarolBryant Yes! And the patterns in these different gaming levels engage the frontal cortex, building neurons, so it's entertainment that's good for dogs too, LOL! So fun to see inventions like this. Thanks for stopping by Carol =)

Latest blog post: PupPod what-do-I-get2.2

mattiedog
mattiedog

We haz a friend dat has da PupPod and it's too dang pawesome!! Lub deez great new toy/tool ideas - thanks for finding em and sharing dem wif us!

WellMinded
WellMinded

This sounds pretty cool! I don't think it should replace the interactive nature of–say–playing fetch with your dog, but, as a pet sitter, I can definitely see the benefits of this for pet owners who are traveling or at work for long hours. I wouldn't want to replace me, either...just an added bonus! Sharing. 

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@WellMinded I don't think anything will replace the human touch, at least not in our lifetimes, lol! Funny you mentioned fetching...after two throws, my foster looks at me as if to say "Is that all you've got?" and walks away! She needs a challenge. PupPod will be a real boon to those who work 10 hours a day -- and so many do, not to mention those with high energy dogs who need a job to keep them busy in a way that keeps them out of trouble. The brain building exercise aspect is a very attractive one, I think. Thanks for adding to the convo and for sharing =)

Latest blog post: PupPod what-do-I-get2.2

ThePlayfulKitty
ThePlayfulKitty

This looks like a great toy! It's great that technology is now helping out with easing pet boredom at home. It is also cool that these projects are getting people to really tune into the way that dogs learn. That could be very valuable info for other projects too.

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@ThePlayfulKitty  Yes, I was excited about this project in so many ways -- how it could be helpful in other animal research work is a bonus =) I think some of the real value here is that people will learn more about their dogs inner lives and engage on a level that goes beyond, coming home, walking the dog, feeding the dog, and watching TV. The more I learn about dogs, the more I respect them. Thanks for adding to the conversation!

Latest blog post: PupPod what-do-I-get2.2

amyshojai1
amyshojai1

What fun! I'm glad we're seeing more and more of these interactive games for dogs.

Sadie_and_Co
Sadie_and_Co

I am completely obsessed with my furkids. I would love the doggie-cam and I'm sure Henry would make a great little 'gamer.'

DogGuyJosh
DogGuyJosh

This is a really cool technology to support if you can afford to invest in it. I think it new possibilities will emerge that makes learning fun and interactive for both dogs and their people. You MUST get the dispenser, too!

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@DogGuyJosh  I think these early-bird prices are the best so if people can squeak it out of the budget, now's the time. I agree, the dispense is a *must *. And Holidays are coming -- fabulous excuse to splurge, lol! Thanks for stopping by =)

Latest blog post: PupPod what-do-I-get2.2

mk_clinton
mk_clinton

Dog toys have really upped their game in the past few years. This one sounds amazing!

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@mk_clinton I couldn't agree more, M.K.! This really goes above and beyond and gives us a peek at what the future will bring -- my face hurts from smiling! Thanks for your visit and for joining the convo =)

Latest blog post: PupPod what-do-I-get2.2

Amy@GoPetFriendly
Amy@GoPetFriendly

Thank you for this great information! Keeping the dogs busy in the motorhome when we get buried with work or have a few consecutive days of rain is a challenge. It looks like these toys would be perfect! 

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@Amy@GoPetFriendly This smart toy has so many useful functions, doesn't it? I love the earlybird prices, too! You would think I was selling this product, wouldn't you? LOL Nope -- I'm just impressed  =)

Thanks for the visit and I hope the "boys" stay entertained when weather's bad!

Latest blog post: PupPod what-do-I-get2.2

HeartLikeADog
HeartLikeADog

Very interesting, I've found that very often my dogs are more tired when I've exercised their minds then by say, when they've taken a walk.

MaggieBradburnMarton
MaggieBradburnMarton

So, so interesting! I love to get my guys thinking, especially if it's something I can do with them interactively (versus, say, a puzzle toy they have to solve). 

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@MaggieBradburnMarton (Oh no -- my response to you disappeared? Yikes!) I know, it truly is interesting and engaging. Maybe when you're at an impasse with your evening project, you can play a little game with your dogs to calm down, lol! Thanks for joining in, Maggie =)

Latest blog post: PupPod what-do-I-get2.2

KimT
KimT

OMD this sounds fabulous! We're definitely "into the future", if we've got smart toys available for dogs now. This could be helpful in so many ways. Fascinating!!

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@KimT  It's great having all these wonderful tools to make life better for our dogs, isn't it! Thanks for the visit =)

Latest blog post: PupPod Collage

mybrownnewfies
mybrownnewfies

Cool! Always looking for ways to challenging their brains!

MelF
MelF

Very interesting! I'm always looking for new toys and games to try out with my dogs, especially during those long winter nights. I'm going to listen to the podcast. Thanks Mary!

dancingdogblog
dancingdogblog

Thanks Mel -- in case you couldn't tell, I'm a little excited by this =)

Yes, it would be interesting to watch them in person, but not assist!

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