A couple of weeks ago, my vet gave me strict instructions to keep Remy on house arrest. He had a back leg limp that wasn’t improving and he’ll need knee x-rays in the future.
The idea of not allowing my dog to go for his daily walks terrified me. Remy came to me with a lot of behavior issues, and I was concerned that him being trapped indoors without walks would cause him to revert to his old bad boy ways.
So you can imagine my relief when I was asked to test out PupPod – a new interactive dog toy that rewards your dog for completing certain action-based tasks!
Remy loves puzzle toys, so I knew a toy like PupPod could be just the thing to keep his mind stimulated and engaged without the sniff safaris he normally gets from our walks.
In this review I’ll be discussing what PupPod is, who its designed for, and reflecting on my personal experience with this remarkable new canine engagement toy!
What is PupPod?
PupPod is a really unique dog gadget designed to keep dogs active and engaged through a positive reinforcement-based toy, offering your pup treats for performing specific tasks.
PupPod is composed of:
- A feeder that throws out treats
- A rocker toy that can be pawed or nosed
- An app that controls the other devices and communicates between the two
How Does PupPod Work?
When you first start on Level 1 of PupPod, here is how a game session plays out:
- The rocker will make a sound to generate your pet’s interest
- Your dog will tap the rocker (he may need some encouragement at first)
- The feeder will make a clicking sound as confirmation that the dog has performed the desired behavior
- The feeder spits out a food reward
- Rinse and repeat!
PupPod also heavily features gamification elements to make using it incredibly fun and engaging.
Each game you play will score your dog based on how many times they completed the desired action, showing data for each play session including time played, success rate, treats won, etc.
You can even unlock badges for meeting certain criteria and challenges, adding onto the fun (I’m a total sucker for achievement badges)!
What Makes PupPod Special
While even the standard Level 1 game of PupPod is tons of fun, what’s really amazing about this toy is that you have all kinds of customization to adjust the game puzzle difficulty.
You get full control over:
- Time in between rocker sounds
- Randomized time gaps for even more challenge
- Choose from a variety of rocker sounds, from a doorbell (to help desensitize dogs who normally bark at the doorbell) to R2D2 beeps!
- Amount of food dispensed as a reward
- Select the surface the rocker is on so that the rocker can self-adjust its sensitivity
You can also choose from several difficulty levels. For example, with Level 2, your dog will only get a reward if they knock the rocker right after the rocker emits a sound – not just anytime they hit the rocker, as is the case for Level 1.
PupPod has put a ton of effort into designing this incredible toy, making it quite dogproof. The rocker features smooth surfaces designed to minimize chewing, and the programming team managed to great a rocker with as few false positives as possible (aka, times when your dog might hit the rocker and not get a reward).
Other really cool features include:
- Feeder can hold two cups of kibble, allowing you to use it as a meal feeder if desired
- Can be mounted to the wall to keep it out of reach from counter surfers
Who is PupPod Best For?
PupPod is an incredible canine enrichment toy that just about any dog will love, but it’s especially great for:
- Nervous dogs who need help building confidence
- Smart dogs who need an extra challenge
- Deaf dogs – PupPod has a light-only mode that is great for dogs who can’t hear sounds!
- Dogs who need to work on impulse control
- Winter weather doggos who need some stimulation while they’re stuck inside
- Dogs recovering from surgery who can’t go on walks and need something else to do
- Owners who work from home and need their dogs to amuse themselves
My Experience With PupPod
Remy is a smart dog, but I’ll admit I was nervous the first day about whether or not he would get the hang of the PupPod.
At first he would just sit there and look at me, trying to figure out what he was supposed to do.
For the first couple of days, I had to place a small piece of kibble under the rocker to encourage Remy to knock at it (this is actually what PupPod officially recommends as a first action to get your dog started).
For the first 3-4 days we used the PupPod, Remy really needed my guidance. I needed to put food under the rocker to encourage him to nose it – otherwise he would just stare at the feeder the entire session.
I was a little nervous that after four days, Remy was still struggling with the concept. However, on day five, it all seemed to really click for Remy.
Remy finally began to knock the rocker independently when I put it out, without me adding food or prompting him. After knocking it, he would quickly running over to the food dispenser to get his prize!
I really love that PupPod has found a way to motivate owners as well. I am a total sucker for gamification, and the gamification elements in PupPod make me excited to whip out the toy each day and see if Remy and I can beat our high score or reach a new difficulty level!
The PupPod is a really amazing electronic dog toy made with dog stimulation and engagement in mind. As it gets colder, I can definitely see this becoming our main enrichment activity for burning off excess energy, especially since Remy may soon be recovering from some kind of leg surgery.
If you’re a fan of puzzle toys, then definitely give PupPod a try (especially if you have a smarty pants dog who has beaten every puzzle you’ve thrown at them)!