We were fortunate to be able to try out the iCPooch Internet Treat Dispenser. This gadget is part of a new generation of interactive dog products targeted at keeping your dog happy when you are not at home, such as at work or on holiday. The device connects you to your dog using two-way video (utilizing your iOS or Android tablet and/or phone), and also integrates a way to give your dog a treat when you are away from home. Therefore, you can interact with your dog when you are at work, on vacation, or even stationed overseas utilizing a two-way video chat. It can help with separation anxiety, both that of your dog and also of the human!
In part 1 of this review series, we set up the device and starting using it. We reviewed the set-up process and overall quality and reliability of the device. Now let’s analyze it from the dog’s standpoint: is it something a dog will engage with? Pay attention to? Use? Let’s find out!
Our dogs and the iCPooch
Mort was a bit apprehensive of the device when it was first introduced. It does make a sound that will seem unnatural to dogs, so they need to associate it with something positive to become interested in the device. Luckily a treat is the association, so both of our dogs (even the nervous one) were quickly happy to approach the device and take a treat.
But what about the two-way video?
One of our dogs, the shy one, had very little interest in the video. But our other dog was quite interested in the video and I believe associated the device with the person on screen. It was interesting to analyze, which I had the luxury to do given I work at home and my husband using the device was elsewhere (at work, and later at a conference).
Reacting and interacting with the video
Mort was interested in the video right off the bat. He could recognize my husbands voice, and presence. At first I noticed that he would look towards the door, thinking my husband was arriving home – he made some kind of association between the two. Soon he sorted out that it was just the new machine that involved the voice, that no one was arriving home.
You can see in this video how intensely he stares at the video screen and machine to sort out when food might drop, despite me sitting in person right there. Then we ran out of treats.
In this next video you can see how he’s staring at my husband’s face waiting for treats. In this one we’re testing some tiny Ayurveda treats from Curry N Pepper.
A slight obsession with the machine
One other result of the machine was a slight obsession with it around the time treats were delivered, and for an hour or two afterwards. The food was inside, and he knew this. Before the video started (the device boots up), Mort would be ready for my husband to appear and start talking. He learned instantly that the video and person meant food rewards, and he was ready to accept them. Oh and it was important enough that the cat had to lay claim.
For you work-at-homers
For the few of you who might work at home, the iCPooch is also an interesting way to “connect” with your significant other. At random times, I’d suddenly have my husband peeking in on my day (and drop a treat for the dogs). I actually liked not feeling quite as lonely with him around at random times.
Overall, worth a shot if you have separation anxiety, or a bored dog. I believe this device will work best with a highly engaged or food-motivated dog.
Note: Some links in this review are affiliate links. DOGthusiast only shares products we feel would be of interest and/or value to our audience. We received the iCPooch in exchange for an honest review, which you can find here.
This is a very easy device to set up, both the hardware and the software you install on your phone and/or tablet. The fact you add your own device keeps the cost lower - this is especially handy if you have older devices that you are no longer using on a regular basis that you can devote to this application. It's an amazing idea to be able to check in and interact with your dog when you're not home. Love this so far.
Software installation and setup9
Hardware setup and quality10