Dog Enrichment

Allowing dogs to engage in their innate behaviors, such as playing, chasing, smelling, chewing and scavenging is essential to their emotional and physical well-being.

Fun AI Games for Dogs

When it comes to enriching the lives of our best friends, playfulness is key! We've transformed every interaction your dog has with Companion into a game that incorporates positive reinforcement techniques. Companion keenly observes your dog's every move and strategically sends treats flying to encourage desired behaviors, while providing them the opportunity to pounce, forage, catch, and chase those treats just like they and their ancestors were designed to do. (Check out all the different types of enrichment your dog is designed for here)

Education Through Play

But wait, we're not simply bystanders crossing our fingers for canine stardom to materialize miraculously. At Companion, we are strategic game designers for canines! We create clever games that boost the chances of your dog showcasing a particular behavior or exhibiting one of those natural actions that are enriching for them, giving us the perfect opportunity to reward them with our state-of-the-art treat launcher (check it out here, it's pretty awesome). Once a behavior gets reinforced, your furry companion is more likely to repeat it, turning it into a habit that they'll gladly perform for a tasty reward. And here's the best part: for those behaviors that are traditionally considered โ€œcommands,โ€ we even give each behavior a name, like "Sit," so your dog knows exactly what to do when it's game time.

Adaptive Challenges

Now, let's talk about these games. Companion has options for dogs of all levels, from newbies to experts. We've carefully crafted games with varying levels of difficulty, striking that perfect balance between success and challenge. To find out more about how we decide to ramp up the difficulty for your dog as they play with Companion, check out our "Push Drop Stick" method on our positive reinforcement page.

Game Design Process

How do we create these games? Well, we kick off the process by brainstorming exciting new game ideas, defining the game's goal and the tools we'll need. Then we break it down into logical steps, like "if this, then that," and meet with the Companion engineering team to share with them our vision. They work their coding magic and unleash a test version of the game on our own Companions, which our own dogs get to try out! We go back and forth, tweaking and refining until the game performs flawlessly from both an engineering and behavioral perspective. Only then do we unleash it on a wider population of dogs for further testing. It's a journey, but we're willing to go the extra mile to ensure your pup's tail never stops wagging!

The Games

Okay, enough about the behind-the-scenes wizardry. Let's dive into the games themselves! Below is a glimpse into the world of Companion games and the logic within them.

Monkey

This game is all about teaching your dog focus, patience, and cue discrimination. We start with ten repetitions, where Companion emphasizes that "Monkey" means tasty treats. It's like priming the marker word, or setting the stage for the future reps. This priming stage only occurs in your dogโ€™s very first time playing the game, all future Monkey games skip right over this. As your dog progresses, Companion starts throwing in other animal words like "Horse" or "Zebra" before saying "Monkey." The twist? We gradually increase the number of non-monkey words, making your furry friend wait longer for that special cue. Pretty soon, your pup is standing there, eyes fixed on Companion, eagerly awaiting the magical word. And if your pup gets a bit antsy or we progress too quickly, no worries! Companionโ€™s artificial intelligence picks up on the signals and adjusts the game, decreasing the non-monkey words to keep the excitement alive. We're all about making sure your dog stays engaged and entertained.

Offswitch

Once your pup masters the basics of Companion, it's time to level up and dive into the game of Offswitch which uses positive reinforcement training methods like capturing. (Check out our article on positive reinforcement training to delve deeper into capturing and other training techniques we employ.) In Offswitch, we keep your dog on their paws as Companion rapidly launches treats for them to chase. But then, out of the blue, Companion pauses and asks your dog to, "Try Something." Your dog ponders why those tasty snacks stopped, while Companion calmly watches for any behavior your dog chooses to demonstrate, such as a Sit or a Down. The moment your pup offers one of those desired behaviors, Companion says, "Yes!" and launches an array of treats. This loop continues until your dog learns that they actually can control Companion with a simple Sit or Down. After they unlock that, a light bulb goes off as they begin offering more and more behaviors to and use their problem-solving skills every time they play!

Simon Says

Now, we've saved the best for last! Simon Says is one of our most advanced games, designed to challenge your dog's ability to distinguish between verbal cues alone. Just like the childhood game we all know and love, your dog will hear the prompt "Simon Says ," and Companion eagerly awaits their response. As soon as your pup nails the correct behavior, Companion says "Yes!" and showers them with a few treats. Companion can ask for a variety of behaviors, from sit and down to stand and come, based on what your dog has already mastered in previous games. And if something manages to distract your pup, Companion entices them back into the game with a lure treat. If your pup struggles with a particular behavior, Companionโ€™s artificial intelligence switches gears and focuses on something they can excel at. The goal, even in these complex, advanced games is to meet your dog where they are at, providing them with the physical and mental enrichment they need each day to be happy and fulfilled.

These are just a few of the games that Companion has in store for your dog. Whether they're a seasoned obedience champ, a brand new puppy, or a wise old family dog, any food-loving canine will love Companion and the variety of games they can play.