User Rating: OK
Pros:cute, bright, educational?, musical, fun
Cons:annoying voice, too sensitive
The Bottom Line: I would not recommend this product. Too sensitive to tolerate.
We received this several weeks ago as a 1st birthday present. My son was immediately interested in the puppy and is happy to play with him for the brief periods of time I let him every day.
Recommend this product?
The puppy is plush, sits roughly 20 inches high and has brightly-coloured buttons on its hands, feet, nose, tummy and one ear. It comes with the three necessary AA batteries and has two modes of play:
“Learning Time” tells you which area of the body you’ve pressed and what colour it is (“Nose! Red nose!”), and also sings the alphabet, a number song that counts to ten, and a song about colours.
“Music Mode” features the children’s classics Pat-a-Cake, Do Your Ears Hang Low?, This Little Puppy (piggy) Went to Market, Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes, If You’re Happy and You Know It, and Itsy Bitsy Spider.
The songs are cute and the puppy is colourful and friendly. It purports to be educational, though I'm not sure any passive toy like this really qualifies. However, it certainly teaches cause and effect and will reinforce things your child learns elsewhere. And it’s fun. My son loves thumping on it to make it sing. Picture a young toddler giving a stuffed animal CPR, and you’ve got the general idea. It’s adorable in a way that really makes me really hope he’s not trying it on his daycare playmates.
Upside, it's fun for your child. Downside, the cutesy voice quickly gets on adult nerves. Make sure you access the battery pack and put the volume on the low setting. Trust me. The high setting not only set my teeth on edge, it made me concerned for tiny ear drums in enclosed spaces.
However, even if you consider it educational and less-than-annoying, it's far too sensitive to be tolerable. My son skips by three or four songs every time he touches it, completely unintentionally. It's also difficult to dictate what mode it will play in, as the mode button has the same sensitivity as the other buttons and can be easily and accidently switched by a young child.
The main problem is that if we leave it on (i.e. we forget to flip the battery pack switch to OFF) overnight, it randomly activates (gusts of air, perhaps? Or a puppy-activating poltergeist?) and wakes the whole house. This was amusing the first time it happened and increasingly less-so each subsequent occasion.
Because it’s electronic, the puppy is only surface washable with soap and a wet cloth. I haven’t yet needed to do so since I’m pretty stingy with puppy visitation rights. If you’re more tolerant than I am, I imagine the puppy may need to be cleaned fairly often.
Age-wise, I'd estimate a child would probably start enjoying the puppy at about 9 or 10 months old, and may continue to like it throughout the toddler years.
Bottom line? If they fixed the sensitivity issue, I'd recommend it, even with the obnoxious voice. But since they haven't: buy something else.
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Amount Paid (US$): 25
Type of Toy: Baby Toy
Age Range of Child: 12 to 36 Months