The First Week
So, you just received your CleverPet Hub! Congratulations — you’re joining hundreds of other dog lovers who are eager to give the animals they love a completely new way to engage.
Lots of differences
Every dog is different, and two aspects of their personality in particular will have a big impact on how quickly they start using the Hub.
First: is your dog food motivated? If they are the kind of dog that gobbles up every scrap of food they can find, then they’ll likely quickly take to the Hub, because it will be easy to get them interested in it! On the other hand, if it can take six or eight hours for your dog to finish his bowl, getting them to be motivated might take the use of some “high value” rewards like treats or even freeze-dried meat.
Second: is your dog fearless? Some dogs are more cautious, others less so! More cautious dogs can take longer to get comfortable with the large piece of plastic that makes funny noises and moves. They might be used to being told to keep away from the vaccuum cleaner or broom, and so they could be naturally fairly careful around a CleverPet Hub. Usually, given enough time, every dog will become comfortable with the Hub, so even if your dog isn’t fearless, he’s still likely to be a good candidate (especially if he’s food motivated … )
You got the Hub, installed the app on your smartphone, and set it up. Great! You’ll position it in an appropriate spot in your home — probably a corner of a room. The Hub will start off on the first challenge “Eating the Food" and begin by giving out food to your pup for free. If they’re hungry and quickly get comfortable with the Hub, they’ll eat the kibble regularly and will proceed quickly to the next challenge. Otherwise, if it takes some time for your pup to get comfortable, they may take a few hours or even a few days before they’re willing to eat regularly from the Hub. One option you might try is to fill the Hub with treats instead of kibble, at first.
If your dog is a bit more on the cautious side, you might see him or her being reluctant to engage. That’s ok! Gradually, as he or she figures out that the Hub is safe, your dog will slowly approach out of a sense of curiosity.
Day 2, 3
If your dog hasn’t gotten through the first challenge on Day 1, chances are they’ll get through it on day 2 or 3 if you work with them consistently to get them comfortable eating from the Hub. If they’re taking a longer time, you might create a trail of treats leading up to the Hub. Once they’re eating from it regularly, you’ll find them to “Exploring the Touchpads”.
Depending on your dog, you might find that at first they only use the Hub at particular times during the day. That’s ok! Your dog has had a lifetime during which he or she was building up particular habits about what your dog would do, when. Habits like these can take a while to change, but given a different context, they can and will change gradually over time.
At this point you might find yourself slowly reducing the proportion of treats you put in the Hub, and increasing the amount of kibble. You might still find yourself feeding both from their normal bowl and from the Hub, and even then your pup might only be eating a portion of the kibble found in the Hub. Fortunately, it easy to open the Hub and transfer your dog’s kibble into their food bowl, making sure that they get the same food they normally would.
If you’ve got a more precocious pup, you might find them advancing beyond Exploring the Touchpads to Engaging Consistently. At this point, the Hub is no longer giving out kibble “for free” — your pup’s got to work for it!
Chances are, even at Day 5 your pup still has a lot of his normal habits from before his having a Hub. His schedule for when he plays with the Hub may be unpredictable. Given how new and different this new approach is, this is to be expected.
Day 6, 7
At this point, you might find that your pup has advanced to Avoiding Unlit Touchpads. This is a fun one! It’s challenging enough that you might find that your dog gets tired and maybe even a bit frustrated as he tries to figure out what to do to get out a piece of kibble. In fact, you might find that after an hour or so with the Hub, your dog is tired and acts like he’s just had a long walk at the park!
Summing things up
The only thing that we can say for sure about how your dog will take to the Hub is that he or she will likely have their own unique approach. You know your dog best, and watching them explore and learn is one of the biggest side-benefits of the CleverPet Hub. In fact, we’re eager to hear every dog’s story of their process: please share your impressions with firstname.lastname@example.org.