Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Fed up with spending money, time, and effort on training classes just to try and make Fido sit down on your command? Dream of getting your pooch to do acrobatic tricks to impress all the fellow dog owners at the local park? Perhaps you’ve got ambitions of making your cat walk behind you on a leash?!
Fret no more – smart technology is here to help! Sit back, relax, and let the wonders of the 21st Century work their magic…
Here are some of the best pet training gadgets available today:
The newly-released Bluefang training collar has two uses – teaching obedience and controlling barking.
The obedience training system uses a “command, tone, stimulus” technique that puts an emphasis on positive (rather than negative) reinforcement. The theory is that you assign one of the collar’s tones to a command such as “sit”, “stay”, or “heel”. It is hoped that slowly your pet will learn to associate the command directly with your voice, thus enabling you to remove the need for tone altogether.
The anti-bark feature works by “shocking” your dog when it barks unnecessarily, therefore reducing the frequency with which the animal barks over time. Thanks to a vibration sensor, the collar is clever enough to be able to distinguish between typical “nuisance” barking, and more urgent barking (for example if there is an intruder or an emergency).
The collar can be entirely controlled by the accompanying smartphone app, letting you issue commands and warnings when required. The collar has a 400 ft range, and is both waterproof and shock resistant. Finally, one app will allow you to control multiple collars.
Although a fancy smart collar might let you teach your pet some basic commands, it’s not going to stop either Fido or Garfield from digging up your vegetable patch or rose garden while you’re stuck in the office. You need something more robust.
That’s where sonic fences come in useful. It’s true that a physical fence might stop a small dog from wandering into out-of-bounds areas, but cats and larger dogs would have no problem hoping over it (of course, if your fence gets too big, you’re also going to stop being able to see the nice shrubbery behind it!).
The electric fence itself is actually a series of small posts that you put into the ground, meaning your line of vision is not disrupted and there are no ugly constructions. Your pet then wears a specially adapted collar, which will start to emit uncomfortable pulses as it gets nearer to the boundary. The closer it gets, the more pronounced the pulse rate becomes, and eventually the animal will retreat.
Any pet owner will tell you that animals on the sofa are a big problem; they cover it in hairs, scratch it, make it dirty, and generally make it unfit for human use.
This Scat Pad has the goal of training your furry friend to stop going on the sofa, all without you lifting a finger.
Just place the pad in front of the furniture item in question and put the specially designed collar around your pet’s neck. Thereafter, the device works in a similar way to the aforementioned electric fence – once Fido steps on the pad as he makes his way to the sofa, the collar will emit either a loud noise, a shock stimulus, or a combination of the two. The dog (or cat) will quickly learn to associate the unpleasant occurrence with going to the sofa, and start to give it a wide berth.
Whether you want to train your Bloodhound to become a hunting expert, or you just want to encourage your Poodle to do a spot of ball chasing, the Super-Pro Remote Dummy Launcher will definitely come in useful. It also works for training your dog to swim across water or climb over obstacles.
It is fully portable and can be set up in any location to recreate a retrieval situation. Each launcher can fire either dummies or real “retrieval bumpers” up to 100 yards.
The best thing is that it can remotely connect to your smartphone, enabling you to launch it from the comfort of your own lounge – it means you can keep training your dog even if the weather outside is miserable. Up to 16 launchers can connect to one remote, thus letting you set up a variety of angles and distances to keep your dog entertained.
Pet Tutor is a smart, wireless, training system for your dog. It is designed to reduce barking, separation anxiety, unnecessary fear, and overeating, all while providing your pet with lots of fun and enjoyment.
Designed by an electrical engineer, its main premise is to be a versatile and reliable treat dispensing device. The designer claims that if you can think of a situation where you’d need to remotely or automatically dispense treats to a dog, the Pet Tutor will be able to do it.
For example, the device can detect movement and consequently reward the dog for staying in its bed or not rushing to the front door when the doorbell rings. It can hear sounds, so will reward the dog for staying quiet during the night, or you can use your phone’s app to mimic the noises that typical make a dog bark (babies, car alarms, thunder, etc) and reward the animal if it remains silent.
It can also be used as a timed feeder during the day, and can even turn feeding into a game by firing the food out in different directions at short intervals.
Finally, it has accompanying toys which have motion sensors, therefore encouraging exercise by delivering treats when your dog plays.
What Do You Use?
Have you tested any of the devices or gadgets we’ve discussed in the article? Which of the five do you think is the best? Which would your pet get most use out of? Do these devices make pet ownership easier?
Perhaps you’ve found another device that should have been included?
As ever, please let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
Image Credit: Collie jumping by DUSAN ZIDAR via Shutterstock