Dogs no longer left out of the Twitter craze


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If it seems like everyone and their dog is using Twitter, that’s not actually too far from the truth: Toy company Mattel Inc. has announced its plan to release a new product called Puppy Tweets, which purports to allow dogs to ‘tweet’ their daily activities for their owners’ entertainment. Of course, dogs can’t actually type, so the product -- which will retail for $29.99 -- uses a sound and motion sensor to determine what pets might be up to. Our colleague Andrea Chang has the details on this new toy that we feel confident in saying we won’t be purchasing for our own dogs anytime soon:

Attached to a dog’s collar, the plastic tag randomly generates one of 500 canned tweets when it detects barking or movement and automatically posts an update to Fido’s own Twitter page.


A round of woofing could lead to a tweet of ‘I bark because I miss you. There, I said it. Now hurry home.’ A frenzied run through the backyard might garner ‘I finally caught that tail I’ve been chasing, and ... OOUUUCHH!’

But before you begin to drool over the prospect of having your own Dug, the animated dog from Disney-Pixar’s ‘Up’ whose translator collar allowed him to talk, Mattel executives caution that the toy is just a toy.

Unlike advanced pet gadgets such as GPS tracking collars that keep tabs on roaming cats, the technology behind Puppy Tweets is simply sending out random messages triggered by movement or sound.

So even though Fido’s device may be tweeting about tracking a squirrel, he could actually be digging a hole or scratching himself. And that might be a letdown for people hoping for the real thing.

‘I mean, really what is it telling you?’ said Janene Zakrajsek, co-owner of Pussy & Pooch Pethouse and Pawbar, a pet shop with locations in downtown Los Angeles and Long Beach. ‘It’s like a Magic 8 Ball toy.’