Raising the Woof: Speak Your Dog’s Language, Sort Of

87739557It appears there really is a business idea waiting to happen for just about everything.

When I first got a Shih Tzu puppy, the thought of leaving him alone while I was at work bummed me out – and probably him, too. I turned the radio on in the mornings so he wouldn’t be lonely and even left a message on our answering machine once or twice that first week (something along the lines of “mommy will be home soon!”) Ridiculous or endearing? You decide.

If only there had been a way for him to give me a verbal “paws up” that he was OK.

Now there is.

WÜF, touted as “the world’s smartest dog collar,” offers two-way audio with man’s best friend. The collar sounds pretty cool – it’s waterproof, shockproof and bite-proof. Other features include activity tracking, GPS, feeding recommendations, games and more.

I heard about this device in an Entrepreneur.com story. Here’s an excerpt:

The mutual communication magic happens using a companion app and a microphone-speaker combo embedded in the rugged collar. You’ll receive alerts on a companion app from WÜF whenever your dog is, uh-oh, “barking a lot, crying, whining, growling or whimpering unexpectedly.” And, because it would be torture to listen to all that drooly doggy talk from far away without being able to respond, the app also lets you squawk back.

… the collar monitors your dog’s overall health and activity levels, lets you remotely play with and train your dog using customizable programs and even helps you keep your dog within an invisible “geofence” perimeter around your yard.

Now I don’t have to wonder what my beloved dog does all day – I’ll simply ask him.

Canines and Cubicles

When I was two years old, I met one of the most influential friends I would ever have: a schnauzer-poodle mix named Bogart (a nod to legendary icon Humphrey Bogart). We played, chatted (I did most of the talking) and spent day after day together for the next 14 years.

Dogs have held a special place in my heart ever since. As I arrive home from work in the evenings, my Shih Tzu (bless his furry little face) greets me with a happy howl. I’ve never heard anything like it; I think he’s part wolf. Then he wags his tail and dances on his tiptoes until I pick him up for a hug.

But what if I didn’t have to leave him at home during the day – what if he could join me at work?

According to a Virginia Commonwealth University study, dog-friendly workplaces may boost job satisfaction and reduce stress. Now that’s something to howl about!

Check out the story.