Most kids love dogs and technology. Why not combine the two for the ultimate gift?
Robot dogs are wonderful toys for kids of all ages and interests. There are toys with a robot underneath and obvious robots for the tech lovers in your family. Some of these toys are made for passive kids to watch and enjoy, while others are great for the hands-on kiddos who like to explore and discover with their toys.
Selecting the best robot dog toys for your child isn’t that complicated once you know what to look for, even if you’re not great with tech.
- Plentiful educational opportunities
- Lightweight & compact
- Has energy-saving mode
- Real pet feel
- Happy puppy sounds
- Comes with detachable leash
- Responds to voice controls
- Has a variety of emotions
- Auto-sleep mode
- Available in many colors
- Has preprogrammed phrases
- Available in spanish language
- Turns its head towards your voice
- Low volume
- Easy to clean “fur”
- Comes with reusable treats
- Larger size
- Can poop out his treats
- Remote controlled
- Rechargeable via usb
- Expressive eyes
- Plays four songs
- Recharges via usb
- Multiple modes of play
- Made of synthetic hair
- Makes breathing sounds
- Battery included
- Customized for personal interaction
- Has four play modes
- Educational and fun
What Can Robot Dogs Do?
There is such a wide variety of robot dogs it would be impossible to give a catch-all answer to this question. However, robot dogs can do one or more of the following, in a variety of combinations:
- Wag their tails.
- Do tricks, such as sitting and begging.
- Play music.
- Be programmed to perform functions in a particular order.
Some dogs respond to your voice. For others, you use remote control. There are others you simply switch on and watch them go.
Since there are so many differences between the best robot dogs, it’s critical you read the details of any product you’re considering.
How to Choose the Best Robot Dog Toys
When finding one you want to buy, there are some basic features to review.
You should consider whether you want a dog that looks like a robot, or if you want one that looks like a soft toy and also happens to have some robotic capabilities.
In addition to your child’s preferences, there are health, safety, and practical considerations. The Consumer Product Safety Commission monitors toys made or imported into the U.S., but it is also up to us as parents to ensure the products we buy for our children are safe.
Robot dog toys for kids usually fall into one of two categories.
- Plastic robot dogs can be easily wiped clean but can be more susceptible to breakages, especially if you have a child who plays rough.
- Dogs with a plastic or metal inside, covered with a fabric outer layer. These may stand up better to bumps and rough play, but they can be much more difficult to keep clean.
Also, if you buy a fabric outer layer and you already have a pet, your cat or dog might try to use it as a chew toy once they get used to it.
Robot dogs range from the basic toy that will move and make noises when you switch it on, right up to higher-end items that use AI technology to learn and respond.
As well as the level of interaction, you might want to look at how your child can interact. Is there a remote control, or can your child use voice commands? Using voice commands instead of a remote can make it feel more like a “real” robot.
Toy manufacturers use guidelines from the Consumer Product Safty Commission to determine which age ranges to put on their products (1). You should review the recommended age range for any toy you are considering for your child.
As a general rule, do not choose toys according to your child’s developmental age. Instead, be sure they are in the correct bracket for your child’s physical age.
To some degree, the quality of the toys you choose will be determined by the amount you spend. Buying toys that are significantly less expensive than other products may pose a risk of getting something that’s not high quality. However, spending an excessive amount does not always guarantee quality.
By sticking to the correct age range for your child’s toys you will minimize the risk of purchasing an item that is a safety hazard. It’s also important for you to supervise your child when they are playing with toys.
Remember to inspect electronic toys on a regular basis to ensure no unnoticed damage has occurred.
One of the great things about robotic dogs is that they come in all shapes and sizes, so you are bound to find something that appeals to your child. You can look for models that satisfy what they’re looking for, whether they are a fan of wide-eyed cuteness or rough and ready doggedness.
The Best Robot Dog Toys of 2020
Using this information, we have picked what we consider to be the best robot dog toys. You’re bound to find one your child will like on this list.
1. Contixo Puppy Smart Robot Dog
This dancing robot from Contixo uses a smartphone app to control, program, and interact. “Feed” your dog in the app, and learn how different foods affect growth and nutrition.
The life-like wagging tail, realistic barking sound, and sweet heartstring-tugging whimper make this a great choice if your child is begging for a pet pal.
Program stunt routines, and sit back and watch your dog perform while you listen to music piped from the integrated Bluetooth speaker. You can also use the app to play one of the pre-programmed children’s songs, on an instrument of your choice.
- Plentiful and diverse educational opportunities.
- Lightweight and compact size make it easy to store.
- Energy-saving automatic sleep mode.
- Requires a smartphone or tablet to use.
2. FurReal Friends Pax My Poopin’ Pup
At the opposite end of the robot dog spectrum, we have Pax My Poopin’ Pup. Pax is a robot that has a soft, furry exterior. Use the leash to take your dog for a walk, but beware, you may need a dog poop bag to clean up afterward.
Yes, Pax comes with some solid “food” which you can place into your dog’s mouth. Then, insert the leash and take your puppy for a walk and discover the downside of having a real dog — the clean-up!
Pax comes with a two-part detachable leash, nine reusable treats, and a cleanup bag to teach responsible dog ownership.
- A stuffed dog look for a real pet feel.
- Happy puppy sounds.
- The detachable leash gives floor and table-top play options.
- Not everyone wants a toy that poops.
- Could have a more realistic walking motion.
3. Duke The Trainable Robotic Puppy Dog
We love the look of Duke, the trainable robot dog because he is halfway between futuristic robot and cute, cuddly dog. The manufacturers achieve this by building a robot that is made from molded plastic, but the plastic has a matt finish, giving the dog a less “clinical” look than shiny plastic ones.
Duke also has big, round eyes rather than digitized screen eyes, although they do light up, dim, and even change color in response to your actions.
Modeled on a real Boston Terrier, Duke can perform the tricks of other robot dogs, but he also has a secret talk mode, activated by his electronic bone.
- Responds to voice controls.
- Has a variety of emotions.
- Yawns, goes to sleep, and powers off, if left alone for too long.
- It doesn’t respond well if you are too close.
- Requires AA batteries.
4. WEofferwhatYOUwant Electronic Pet Dog Harry
Harry is an adorable little barking puppy with a cute, cartoon-like dalmatian look. When you touch the sensor on the top of his head, you can watch him sing, dance, and run around the room.
A bonus is the bump and turn function, which means that when Harry bumps into an obstacle he will turn and run in another direction.
Additional sensors in Harry’s body allow you to interact in other ways. Touch his bottom and he will say “oops.” If you grab hold of his tail, he’ll say “Oh no, stop it” and try to wiggle away.
- Available in black and white, or pink and white.
- Has a variety of preprogrammed phrases.
- Available in Spanish language version.
- Runs on wheels rather than walking.
- Rated for toddlers but still requires close supervision.
5. Joy for All Robotic Golden Dog
This toy was designed specifically to act as a companion animal. Primarily marketed to families who have a senior in need of company, the Joy For All robotic golden dog should be the robot dog of choice if you’re looking for a puppy to love.
Although seniors can benefit from it, children will likely love it too.
You can play with the dog in a standing or sitting position, and it will react to your touch with gentle, puppy-like sounds. Joy For All has a soft heartbeat that can be heard and felt — wonderful for the child who wants to snuggle up and sleep with a life-like puppy.
- Turns its head towards your voice.
- Low volume prevents your child from being startled by the barking.
- Easy to clean “fur.”
- Not the most affordable option.
6. FurReal Friends Ricky
If your child would like a trick performing robot dog, then Ricky from FurReal Friends may be your speed.
Ricky can balance his bone on his nose, shake paws, and he will even “lick” your face or hands in response to having his cheeks pet. Watch Ricky as he shuffles his paws with excitement at the prospect of being played with, or marvel at the more than 100 sound and movement combinations he can do.
Unlike some other robot dogs, Ricky can be manually posed, an option that is fabulous if you have a child who wants their dog to stand or sit in a particular way.
- Comes with treat box, bone, and reusable treats.
- Larger than many of the robot dogs on the market.
- Can poop out his treats.
- Not suitable for younger children as the treats are quite small.
7. Fisca Remote Control Robotic Dog
This robot dog from Fisca is both a remote control toy and one that responds to touch. Pat the dog on the top of its head and it will blink, turn its head from left to right, walk, run, and much more.
This puppy performs cute musical numbers — singing, dancing, and displaying a fabulous light show. It provides your child with their own dance party pal.
Use the remote to program your dog and it will perform a series of movements in the order you choose. Power saving function turns the dog off after 100 seconds of inaction.
- The remote control has a range of up to 20 feet.
- The dog is rechargeable via USB.
- Expressive eyes.
- The remote control requires batteries.
8. Dimple, The Interactive Robot Puppy
Dimple is an adorable remote control puppy that talks, sings, and dances. It has a remote so your child can interact and control their toy from up to 35 feet away.
This dog is not just a toy — it also has educational modes. One of Dimple’s eyes is a display screen and when this puppy sings the ABC song, it displays each letter as it is sung. This allows your child to become familiar with the order of the alphabet and to learn to recognize what each letter looks like.
- Four songs, including B.I.N.G.O. and ABC.
- Recharges via USB, so there are no batteries to buy.
- Multiple modes of play.
- One charge only lasts about 30 minutes.
9. Perfect Petzzz Puppy
Perfect Petzzz has six realistic-looking robot dogs, each of which comes curled in a sleeping position. When you activate the dog, the chest rises and falls to give the impression it is breathing. That can make it a soothing little sleeping buddy for your child.
These cute little dogs are great for the kiddo who may want the feel of a living, breathing companion, but is not concerned about their toy walking, performing tricks, or being active in any other way. The dog comes with a bed, grooming brush, collar, name tag, an adoption certificate, and a kennel box for easy storage and transport.
- Synthetic “hair” for kids with fur allergies.
- Makes breathing sounds.
- Battery included.
- It does nothing but sleep realistically.
10. VTech Paw Patrol Treat Time Marshall
It’s tough to find a good robot dog toy for toddlers. Although many of the ones we looked at had toddlers in their marketing blurb and photos, few of them had a recommended age range that included those under 3 years old.
VTech’s Treat Time Marshall is a Paw Patrol favorite that comes with a selection of bones which are stored in his belly. Put one of the bones in his mouth and Marshall will share fascinating facts about the alphabet, phonetics, and the world of rescue.
Marshall’s eyes move from side to side and his ears flap up and down in response to play, and he also has a handy carry handle on his back.
- It can be customized for a more personal interaction.
- It has four play modes, including storytime.
- This dog is educational as well as fun.
- Depending on how much your toddler uses it, it might burn quickly through the batteries.
A Pet Without The Downsides
While even the best robot dog toys can’t love you like a real dog, they can provide fun and interaction. If your child is desperate for a pet and a fur baby is not an option, consider a battery-powered alternative.
You won’t have the mess of a live animal, and the ongoing running costs are a lot less too. Batteries are a lot more affordable than dog food and vet bills, aren’t they?