What does it take to keep dogs happy, active and engaged — all the way from puppyhood to golden oldie?
This was the question that popped into the head of PupPod CEO and co-founder, Erick Eidus, while observing his dog, Puccini. Like many dogs, Puccini loved to watch TV and it was clear that he was fascinated by the images and sounds. More than that, though, he seemed to really understand and differentiate between different situations and individuals. For example, he only barked at the TV whenever a dog appeared. And he could even tell the difference between a cartoon dog and other cartoon characters.
As a devoted dog dad, Erick loved watching how entertained and engaged Puccini was while watching TV. And it made him start wondering about the other types of things that dogs might be interested in doing and learning. Human beings pursue all kinds of personal interests and hobbies; but what about the dogs we love? Shouldn’t they also have opportunities to learn and grow?
From Smartphones to Smart Toys
Erick took his question one step further and tried to put himself in Puccini’s paws. If a dog could invent a product for learning and entertainment, what would it look and sound like?
Luckily for dogs everywhere, Erick was in a unique position to not only answer this question but create the product! In the early 90s, when pagers were common and cell phones were analog, Erick was working on the world’s first wireless handheld computer, which led to a career building the first generation of smartphones.
Computers and smartphones have enabled humans to experience things that were unimaginable 20 years ago. So, Erick wondered, why couldn’t we develop smart toys that gave dogs the same types of opportunities?
Creating Happier, Healthier Dogs
Wanting to dig deeper into the workings of the doggie brain, Erick discovered mountains of research that explained how dogs learn and why it’s so important to keep their minds active and engaged.
He learned about operant conditioning, classical conditioning and clicker training. He learned that dogs were domesticated thousands of years ago to help humans do jobs, and that most dogs — even so-called lap dogs — still thrive on having “work” to do. He learned that providing ongoing mental challenges can help keep dogs sharp well into their senior years. And he learned that today’s dogs are often so bored that they develop problem behaviors, which is the number one reason dogs are surrendered to shelters.
It was by combining this newfound knowledge with his personal observations and professional background that PupPod was born.
Since then, PupPod has grown to include a team of dedicated professionals whose mission it is to create healthier, happier dogs by enriching their lives with fun, exciting, high-tech toys.
After all, dogs give us their best. They deserve our best in return!