FURBO - My thoughts!
My FURBO review
The lovely folks at Furbo, along with Karkalis Communications, were kind enough to gift me with a Furbo Dog Camera to try and review! This post is classed as advertising, but I will however, be giving my honest opinion.
The main things that appeal to me about the Furbo are:
That it’s accessible via an app, so technically you can access your Furbo from wherever you are
It has a really wide field of vision (160 degrees to be precise) and night time vision too!
You can get alerts to your phone when Furbo thinks your dog is barking
You can toss treats to your dog to reinforce behaviours you want
The Furbo arrived in a very well packaged box and was presented very nicely. It was snug and secure with an easy to use set-up manual and it came with it’s own plugs and cables.
I wanted to set it up immediately and found the process to be really straight forward. I followed the manual and it didn’t take long before I had created Byron’s account, downloaded the app to my phone and had the green light flashing at me! By the way, the app works with the camera via a bluetooth connection, and the camera is hooked up to your home wi-fi.
My boyfriend was also able to sign up and access the Furbo from his phone which I thought was really great too!
I really like the Furbo’s sleek design and the bamboo lid makes it look quite stylish. In order for the Furbo to work it has to be plugged into the mains which I found to be a little limiting as finding a place that I could get a good spectrum of vision whilst being plugged in was tricky.
The bamboo lid lifts off and you can fill the camera with treats. I kindly got sent some treats that I put inside but the treat opening is nice and wide so you don’t have to fret about buying specific sized treats. The website also lists treats that Furbo suggests to use with it which is helpful.
The noise the Furbo makes to alert your dog that it’s treat time sounds like a malfunctioning duck quack! It takes a bit of time to get used to it, but you can record your own bespoke noise which is an excellent idea and I will do at some point.
I spent some time just chucking the treats from my phone and letting Byron go and snoop around and eat the treats. That is classical conditioning in action so he had a nice positive association with the freaky noise.
Then I went out and left him to it.
I realised that you can take real time photos and videos which are dated and the field of vision is actually really wide so I could see lots of the room.
I wanted to reward Byron with a behaviour I liked, so when he was lying down and relaxing I tossed him some treats! You toss the treats by opening the app on your phone and swiping your finger up. It throws out about 4 or 5 treats and this isn’t customisable which is a shame really because it would be great to be able to treat your dog with jackpot rewards once in a while when they are doing something really REALLY great. I really liked that the treats are thrown over quite a far distance instead of just straight down which is really useful as my Furbo is way up high on some shelves. Placing a snuffle mat on the floor where the treats land can give your dog an extra bit of mental enrichment as they’ll have to search for the treats and work a little bit harder.
I thought it would be fun to talk to Byron through the Furbo but it actually confused him and he started to run around the house and look for me. I don't think that is a feature that I would use again.
Overall I have been really impressed with the Furbo. It has a really wide angle so you can see lots of the room and more of your dog. You can toss treats to reward the behaviours you want to see more of; like being quiet and settling etc. You can access it from anywhere, I even accessed it from Spain and it worked perfectly. One thing I would be wary of is how easy it might be to reward behaviours you don’t want, like barking! If it alerted you that your dog is barking and you looked on your app, I think it’d be quite easy for owners to throw treats to calm their dog down, however this would be inadvertently teaching your dog to bark for treats! Instead, I would want to wait for some quiet and then throw some treats, building up the quiet period each time.
Another thing to bear in mind is the price. At £250 it is an expensive product, however I think it does provide peace of mind and the treat tossing feature is really useful. Have you got a Furbo? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it below!