Have you always wanted a way to keep your dog active while you’re away from the house? Clever Pet may be the perfect way to do that, as well as provide interesting and fun interaction for your pet, while also training him to learn complex things with a reward-based system.
Clever Pet promises to fill your pet’s day with activity that you can control via the Internet. So while you’re at work, your dog can work on puzzles, earning small amounts of food for each one he solves. The games gradually increase in difficulty, which keeps him from getting bored with it. Best of all, it’s Wi-Fi enabled so you can program new games for him right from your phone or computer, even while you’re out for the day.
I spoke with co-founders and developers Dan Knudsen and Leo Trottier about their Kickstarter campaign, and about their vision with Clever Pet. They’re focused heavily on boredom and separation anxiety. One of the best things about Clever Pet, they said, is that you can program it with your own voice, which can help to ease separation anxiety. Even if you’re not physically there, your voice can be soothing to your pet, which, in turn, can help him feel calmer while you’re out.
According to the co-founders, Graham Bloem, their professional trainer, says that frustration from boredom and loneliness can lead to a vicious cycle of dogs breaking objects and tearing up furniture, and then getting punished, which further frustrates him, which leads to even more energy building up, and so forth. Our pets know from our disapproval that there’s something wrong with their behavior, but they also don’t understand the need to keep energy in check until we give them permission to let it out. Therefore, it’s up to us to find appropriate outlets for their energy, especially if they’re left home alone for many hours each day.
They also discussed how Clever Pet is equipped with other sounds. One way that many owners train their pets is with clickers. Clever Pet comes equipped with a clicker sound, also, which is ideal for those who’ve used clicker training in the past. Clever Pet has tones and “squeaker” sounds as well.
Dan and Leo talked about their current model and how it works with your voice. Dogs, especially, get used to their owners’ voice issuing commands, praise, and punishment. One of the advantages here is that you can use your own voice to tell your dog which buttons to touch, and when. The sounds you use depend on how you want to train him, and how you’ve always trained him, but your own voice offers more than simple training. It offers comfort and familiarity, which is beneficial for pets with separation anxiety problems.
Right now, Clever Pet’s developers are focusing on dogs, but they’ve had many people who are trying it out with their cats. Leo, especially, mentioned that he’s tried it with his cats, and one of them gets very engaged while the other acts rather indifferent towards it. He said that could be a problem with multi-cat households, especially if one cat is dominant. They are considering making adaptations so that it’s more cat-friendly, and also works better for multi-pet households.
Clever Pet is not on the market yet, but they hope to have it available soon. To learn more about Clever Pet, click here.