London - If you love your dog, but increasingly find yourself ignoring him in favour of your iPad, there may be an ingenious solution.
Anna Jane Grossman, owner of School for the Dogs in New York, charges £30 (about R450) an hour to teach canines how to use iPads and smartphones.
She started on her own eight-year-old poodle-Yorkie mix Amos, encouraging him to touch a Post-It note with its paw, before sticking it to a tablet device.
Then she smeared peanut butter on an iPad screen to encourage the dog to touch it with its nose. She later successfully trained the dog to use the iPad’s camera to take a “self-pawtrait”.
Her ‘iDog’ clinics have taught many other dogs to do the same. Grossman explains that pet owners now spend so much time on their tablets, they may as well enjoy the company of their dogs while they do so.
And it could have a more serious purpose. She is training a guide dog to distinguish between dark and light pairs of socks using an audio app so it can help its owner get dressed.
If you can’t get to New York for the clinic, never fear. There are at least a dozen pet-specific apps on sale for Apple devices.
They are mainly focused on cats and dogs, but according to their developers, some have been successfully mastered by penguins, frogs and even, apparently, a tiger. - Daily Mail