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JoAnna Lou
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Using Technology to Solve Canine Boredom
An engineering grad student invents a way to interact with his dog remotely.
Stephen's updated version of the iPhone controlled treat dispenser.

Recently I stumbled upon an iPhone controlled dog treat dispensing device built by Stephen Myers. The Biomedical Engineer PhD student created the dispenser to interact with his dog Cooper during his long grad school days. 

The one-of-a-kind creation allows Stephen to monitor his pup by web cam and deliver treats from anywhere his iPhone receives service. He details how the dispenser was built on his blog.

I’m always on the lookout for new treat dispensing toys to keep my crew busy while I’m at work, so I was excited to discover such an innovative device. Unfortunately Stephen isn’t selling his creation and I definitely don’t have the technical expertise to build it (let alone in Stephen’s amazing one hour time frame!). 

So I’ll have to rely on my trusty Kong Time and collection of manual food dispensing toys, like the Buster Cube or the DogPyramid. However, I can only imagine the impact this valuable training tool could have on solving boredom behaviors like barking and furniture chewing.

How do you keep your dogs busy while you’re out?

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Stephen Myers.

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