Published: 26th August 2020
Your dog getting anxious sitting at home? Alexa can now train your pets, clam them down and even translate what they say
Like humans, dogs to understand music. If you are at a party there will be a peppy number playing and you would imbibe that energy
Being locked in has taken a toll on all of us — not just us humans but our pets too are having a tough time dealing with the fact that there are no more walks in the park or a session of fetch that kept them active and healthy — both physically and mentally. This results in your pet acting out and to make matters worse you won't get a trainer to help you now. Well, not a human trainer. But the AI-driven Amazon Alexa can now teach you how to train your dog at home even if you do not have professional help. Alexa's skillset include Dog Trainer, Calm my Dog, Dog Translator and Cat Facts among others.
Priya Stephen, a Bengaluru-based canine trainer who also has two dogs at home found the Alexa skills very useful. "It has helped a lot of my clients, whom I wasn't able to reach during the lockdown, take better care of their dogs. The device tells you what to do and you can follow the instruction," said Priya. "These times are also very stressful for the dogs. It always calms them down if you rub some scented oil on the back of their ears and massage them as Alexa plays some soothing music for your pet. Like humans, dogs to understand music. If you are at a party there will be a peppy number playing and you would imbibe that energy. While meditating you would play soothing music and it will calm you down. It works the same way with dogs," she added.
Hill's Pet Nutrition is a globally reputed food brand that offers prescribed and regular food for dogs and cats — Hill’s Alexa skill offers a pet parent with facts and helps answer their health related queries. It also offers guidance on nutrition and dietary requirements for your pets. But the Al’s Dog Training Tips is what might come the most handy during the lockdown and work from the home phase. Al Longoria, a reputed dog trainer, offers tips and techniques on how to train the dog(s). You can enable the skill to get techniques and simple ways to train dogs, whether puppy or adults.
The Dog Feeder is another useful skill if are busy and feeding the dog on time is proving to be a challenge. Enable the skill and ask, “Alexa, ask the dog if we fed her?” The skill is very simple to use. Every time you ask Alexa if you fed the dog, she will tell you the last time he/she was fed. Depending on your question and how long ago it was, Alexa will follow up with a question of if you plan on feeding the dog now. If you say yes, that is the new current time the dog has been fed. The skill assumes that the dog is hungry and your pet has not been fed in 6 hours.
Cats are generally more anxious than dogs by nature and Alexa has something for them too — this particular skill is specifically designed to help you tackle this situation. This Alexa skill for cats which offers calming music will help them feel more relaxed, less anxious, sleep more and be generally calmer. But the serious skill of them all is the Dog translator which attempts to translate what your dog says. This isn't just cool but useful to understand what your pet is up to.
Rohan Mishra, who lives in a sprawling resort 200 km off Bengaluru, which he runs, has a Labrador as his companion and Rohan has trained his pet all on his own. "I have been using these Alexa skills for some time now. I am not a tech-savvy person but these features are pretty easy to use. I learnt so much about my dog and its natural habitat and its instincts," said Rohan. "I used most of the skills and they always come in handy, especially in a place as secluded as mine. Its a lot of fun to play with your puppy after you ask Alexa to play animal noises. It helps train the puppy as they grow up," said Rohan.