BELLEVUE, Wash., Sept. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Furbo, the original dog camera and treat dispenser designed to connect pet parents and pups from afar, today announced the launch of an Amazon Alexa skill developed to help fur-parents train their dogs and decrease separation anxiety. Allowing users to associate some of Furbo's most innovative features with pre-scheduled or behavior-based events, the integration is initially launching with commands focused on treat-tossing capabilities. Additional commands based on barking alerts, which notify users when a dog is barking or howling, are slated to launch in the coming weeks. Together, Alexa and Furbo will make it easy for dog parents to use behavior modification techniques to help keep dogs calm while away.
According to veterinary behaviorist Dr. Nicholas Dodman, an estimated 20 percent of dogs suffer from separation anxiety when fur-parents have to leave for extended periods of time. Separation anxiety can cause dogs to display many destructive behaviors such as barking and howling, and chewing and damaging property, among others. When developing the Alexa integration, Furbo worked to incorporate commands specifically designed to help alleviate separation anxiety. For example, dog parents leaving the house is a critical moment when dogs start getting anxious. By scheduling treat tossing for five minutes when walking out the door, a dog's mind is taken off the act of leaving meaning the pup does not have to experience the moment of watching their owner leave. Additionally, the forthcoming barking alert-based commands will allow users to schedule treat-tossing following a pre-set period of time in which a dog does not bark, rewarding pups for staying quiet while parents are away.
"As a dog parent, the struggle of having to leave my dog Gobi for hours on end when at work is what initially inspired the development of Furbo," said Victor Chang, CEO of Tomofun, the company behind Furbo. "As Furbo has grown and evolved, we knew there was an opportunity to bring more technology and innovation into the training process to help with separation anxiety. This integration with Alexa is meaningful for decreasing anxiety for both the puppy and the parent who worries about leaving their dog at home alone."
After linking the Furbo account and discovering the camera in the Alexa account, users can start tossing treats by saying commands like:
"Alexa, ask Furbo to toss a treat."
"Alexa, ask Furbo to toss a treat every 30 seconds for 5 minutes."
"Alexa, ask Furbo to toss a treat every 30 minutes between 9 A.M. and 5 P.M."
One of the first pet technology companies to develop an Alexa skill, Furbo tested the integration with a dedicated set of users ahead of launch including Dr. Brooke Deaton Medders. A veterinarian based in Brandon, Miss., Medders personally tested the Alexa skill with her dogs Eugene and Milo.
"The best tool in behavior modification is distraction and positive reinforcement. My Furbo does both," Medders said. "Usually my pets would be standing by the door whining for me to come back home. With Alexa asking Furbo to toss treats on a schedule, they lose focus on me being gone and turn their focus to treats! A fun reward for being calm and turning their attention away from what's stressing them out."
Read Dr. Medders' full testimonial on her experience with the Furbo Alexa integration here.
Furbo is available for purchase at www.Furbo.com or on Amazon. The first dog camera featuring treat-tossing capabilities on the market, Furbo remains one of the most advanced pet technology devices available for consumers. It will maintain its leading market position as it launches several software updates and innovations in the coming months, including new Alexa commands.
About Furbo Furbo is the original dog camera and treat dispenser, designed specifically to help pet parents bond with their dogs from afar. Delighting fur-parents since 2016, Furbo's growing set of features and functionality include a wide-angle HD camera with night vision, barking alerts to notify owners when their dog barks, and two-way audio and treat-tossing capabilities for dog parents to stay connected while away. Furbo is a property of Tomofun, a pet technology company dedicated to bringing joy and innovation to every pet lover in the world. Tomofun is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash. with offices in Taiwan and Japan.