Pooch: An Additional Resource for Traditional Dog Training
Pooch is an emerging app dedicated to teaching dogs new tricks and “good doggy behavior.” In order to do this, the company posts easy to follow steps with pictures for teaching our dogs tasks such as sit, shake, and lay. The application also has more complex programs to house and crate train dogs. Additionally, Pooch provides the user with “principles” to follow in order to be an effective trainer. By following these principles, Pooch claims, results can be achieved in a shorter amount of time.
Pooch also serves as a logbook. By utilizing this feature of the app, users have the ability to track their dog’s progress and even create a training schedule. The company also markets their humane training techniques. Pooch claims that their scientifically proven techniques will lead to faster results and “also strengthen the bond between you and your dog.”
While this is information alone is enough to persuade some people into downloading the app, others may want to know if the dog training service the app provides is actually effective
In order to construct my review of Pooch, I created a set of standards for the application. For one, the overall usability of the application was graded. I asked myself questions such as, “Is this application easy to navigate?” and “Are the instructions for training your dog through this interface easy to understand and follow?” Another aspect of the application I analyzed is the overall visual appeal of the app. In order to analyze this aspect of the sight, I looked at font, color schemes, and graphics. Lastly, and arguably most importantly, I concluded whether or not the application is effective. In other words, does this application aid in training dogs or not. To reach my conclusion, I decided to test the application on my own dog. I then rated Pooch on effectiveness based on whether my dog could perform the new desired behaviors.
To start, the layout and design of the Pooch application is simple, but stunning. I was worried the app would be to complex and wordy but I was terribly wrong. The orange and blue graphics are easy on the eyes and the individual modules for each given task is brilliant. Additionally, the small illustrations accompanying each step were very informative and enhanced the user experience. When it comes to organization and design, Pooch did an absolutely amazing job.
In regard to usability, Pooch would receive five out of five stars. The guided training modules are very easy to follow along with. Along with that, Pooch displays their principles above the training modules for the user to see. This is incredibly wise when considering most people would likely jump right into training without viewing the principles if they were located somewhere else. The only suggestion I would have is to create an easier way to switch between each dog’s profile. Upon my first time using the application, it took me a substantial amount of time to figure out how to do so.
When Pooch is used as the primary source of training, results are non-existent. After a five-day trial of the app, using the principles and techniques emphasized by Pooch, my dog was unable to learn any new behavior besides sit. Considering that the app is supposed to be a stand-alone source of dog training, I was shocked at the ineffectiveness.
When used in conjunction with traditional dog training, the logbook feature of Pooch has potential. The log book would be an ideal place to track additional at home training sessions as well as your dog’s overall wellness. For example, the logbook aspect of Pooch would allow you to track a puppy’s weight, eating habits, as well as their upcoming training sessions. This is incredibly helpful given that most trainers provide this information to their clients.
Additionally, Pooch has easy to use modules for basic commands that could serve as “homework” for in person training sessions. From my personal experience, the training offered by Pooch was not suitable for a dog with no training at all, but, my older dogs who had training were able to perform the tasks desired. This is why I suggest using Pooch as a place to review rather than the main source of training.
Overall, I think the concept behind Pooch is great. I also think the aesthetic appeal and usability of the app is off the charts. The modules are easy to understand and navigating the app is a breeze. When it comes to the effectiveness of the app, I’d rate Pooch 2.5 out of 5 stars. Though the app is easy to use, the training techniques offered by the app had little impact on my dog. With that being said, a dog who is currently being trained by an actual dog trainer would be a good candidate for this app. I believe Pooch is best used along with a traditional dog trainer as additional practice and a logbook to track your dog’s progress. In other words, Pooch does not eliminate the need for a traditional dog trainer.