Updated: Jul 5, 2019
Furbo, along with Karkalis Communications, were kind enough to gift us with a Furbo Dog Camera to try and review! This post is supported by Furbo and so is classed as advertising. I will however be giving my honest opinion as a dog trainer.
If you would like to receive £20 off your Furbo purchase, head to this link and enter code: boneballbark20
I was very excited to try this camera as I had seen it being used by a number of different families and dogs online. These opinions are my first initial opinions of using it once or twice. I will do another post at a later date to see if I have changed my mind!
The main selling points of the Furbo camera that they advertise on their website include:
Accessible via an app
160 degree view, and night vision cameras
Talk to your dog through the microphone on the app
Get notified if your dog starts to bark
Toss treats to your dog - (positive reinforcement and train your dog remotely)
Opening and Set-Up
It came in a very well packed box, nestled into rests, and with it's own plug point, adapters and cables underneath. The quick start guide is basic, but clear. I did need some more help in regards to switching between wi-fi connections but the online link they provide fixed that easily for me.
The set-up was fairly straight forward with plugging it in, waiting for the light to turn green, downloading the app and signing up. The app works with the camera via a bluetooth connection, and the camera is hooked up to your home wi-fi.
The camera was a little bigger than I expected but still looks very sleek and isn't that heavy. There are sticky pads on the bottom to help anchor it to the surface you put it on, which does have to be near a plug point as it does NOT run on batteries and has to be connected to the mains.
The wooden lid lifts up and off, and this is where you fill it with treats. There is a max fill line which you shouldn't go over. They provided some treats in my gift box but the app does tell you what treats you can use. The opening is fairly large so you don't need to stress out about finding an exact size treat which is a positive!
Add in a dog!
I tried this with one of my regular dogs, Biggie Smalls, who was more than happy to be a guinea pig! After confirming she was interested in the treats, I left her to it.
I opened that app and got my first glimpse of Bigs on the screen.
This is the first thing I loved about the camera. You can take pictures and videos, and it gives you the time and date so you can keep track! The angle is very wide and you can almost see the whole room.
Now it was time to test the treat tossing feature. On the app, you need to swipe up on an image of a treat to alert the camera to toss some. About 4 treats fly out, and while this is great, I do wish you could customize the number that are thrown at one time. Apparently if you use different sized treats, a different number will be tossed out. Something to keep in mind anyway.
The Furbo makes a small whirling sound before tossing the treats out. The Furbo suggests this is to mimic the click from clicker training. A feature on the app is to record a sound that you can use in replace of the whirl! I will be trying that another time.
Bigs obviously was a huge fan of this machine providing tasty treats to her! They are thrown outwards as opposed to dropping just down which is helpful.
I tried the microphone when I saw her going for something she shouldn't. To be honest, she was a little freaked out to begin with. She couldn't figure out where my voice was coming from and wasn't that happy about it. However, being able to toss treats from the Furbo to turn that into a positive association was very useful.
Overall, I like the Furbo. It has a great camera and the wide angle is perfect to be able to check on your dog no matter where they are. You can use your voice through the microphone to call them into view once you have gotten your dog used to that feature too!
Some negatives for me is that this can be negatively used, or encourage bad behaviour even more. I feel that some dog owners may get an alert their dog is barking, and toss treats to stop them. This of course would reward the bad behaviour.
Another negative that I did not have to contend with was price. It is fairly expensive. However it does come with a 2 year warranty and can bring a lot of peace of mind in terms of checking your dog is okay when you are at work!
As this is my initial introduction to the Furbo camera, I am excited to see what other training uses I can use this for, and whether my opinions will change over time the more I use it. I wasn't able to try the bark alert feature too as Bigs is not a big barker. I will make sure to try this soon!
A really nice wide camera angle
Easy to use via the app
2 Year Warranty
Potential training problems with rewarding unwanted behaviour
Remember that if you want to save £20 off of your Furbo, then head here and enter code boneballbark20