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Best Robot Dogs

Updated August 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 16 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 133 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best robot dogs

    Last Updated August 2018

    If you want to bring a dog into your home without all the responsibility — and mess — of a live animal, a robot dog is just what you need. Kids and adults alike can get hours of entertainment and companionship from a robot dog, but you must find the right pup to suit the owner. With a wide range of robot dogs on the market, how do you select the best one? You won't find just one perfect robot dog, so you'll have to select the one that's most suited to your needs and requirements, or those of the intended recipient.

    Already starting to feel overwhelmed by choice? Well, you're in the right place. We at BestReviews aim to help you find the perfect products. We test items in our labs and in real-world situations, talk to expert consultants, and gather feedback from customers who already own these products.

    We've compiled all this information into the following guide, so read on to learn all you need to know about robot dogs.

    Kids can start to learn about responsible pet ownership from a robot dog, before you commit to the real thing.

    Robot dog considerations

    What age group are you buying for?

    Most robot dogs are designed for one of three age groups — preschoolers, school-age children, or elderly people. Those designed for preschool are generally quite simple, and usually operated by remote control. Robot dogs for school-age children are more complex, generally capable of learning tricks, and responding to voice commands. Models intended for the elderly are realistic, responding to touch and voice, with realistic sounds, and sometimes even a heartbeat.

    Do you want to train your robot dog?

    If you’re buying for a kid who'd actually like to have a real dog, he’ll probably want a robot dog that he can train. More advanced models gradually "learn" voice commands, such as "bark," "run," and "jump."

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Some robot dogs can automatically return to their charging station when their batteries are running low.

    What level of interactivity do you require?

    Some robot dogs are more interactive than others. The most advanced models can respond to your voice, learn vocal commands, follow you or watch you as you move, and react to being petted. The most simple models are more like remote control toys, and don't interact much at all.

    How much do you want to spend?

    You'll also want to think about your budget. Basic robot dogs can cost as little as $10 to $20, whereas those with more advanced features retail between $100 and $200.

    EXPERT TIP

    There's a learning curve with more complex robot dogs, and it might take you a while to figure out exactly how to train and operate yours. Our biggest tip — thoroughly acquaint yourself with the manual.


    Features

    Sensors

    Some robot dogs have sensors that allow them to navigate your home on their own, without bumping into walls or other obstacles.

    Realism

    You can find realistic-looking robot dogs that have fur, and respond to touch and voice, as well as robotic-looking models that aren't meant to appear realistic.

    Durability

    Not all robot dogs are as durable as others. Budget models are likely to be less sturdy, and have a shorter lifespan.

    Controls

    Some robot dogs are powered by remote control only, whereas others can respond to voice commands and touch.

    Make sure you know the recommended age for your chosen robot dog and stick to it. If you buy a 3-year-old a model designed for ages 8+, she'll likely get frustrated with it, not to mention that the robot might have dangerous small parts.

    FAQ

    Q. Why do many robot dogs have wheels instead of realistic legs?

    A. The truth is, it's hard to make a robot that walks on legs quickly and realistically. The easiest solution is to come up with an alternative means of locomotion. That's why many robot dogs — especially more complex models designed to move around on their own — have wheels on the bottoms of their legs.

    Q. How long will it take to train my robot dog?

    A. This depends on the model. We expect it to take a couple of days for voice-controlled robot dogs to learn your speech patterns and start responding consistently. Some cheaper models, however, aren't as effective, and can take a frustratingly long time to train. That's why we recommend spending out a little more to get a reputable model.

    Q. Can a robot dog be an effective companion for older people?

    A. Loneliness can be an issue for the elderly. Pets can be great companions, but many elderly people aren't capable of fulfilling the needs of a pet, or they live in a nursing home where pets aren't allowed. While a robot dog isn't a real alternative to human companionship, some older people enjoy looking after the more realistic models, finding they reduce stress and loneliness.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jeff
      Jeff
      Editor
    • Kyle
      Kyle
      Writer
    • Lauren
      Lauren
      Writer