Robot dog toys bark, sit, and interact with children much like a real puppy.
Below, you’ll find our recommendations for the best robot dog toys of 2020. There are more tech-savvy options, as well as cuddly robot dog friends that your child will love to snuggle with. With such a wide range of toys available, there’s something for everyone.
|Top 5 Best Robot Dog Toys for Kids||Why It's Best||Mom Rating|
|Hasbro JoyForAll Golden Pup with Red Bandana||Most puppy-like design, soft, great companion dog toy||♥♥♥♥♥|
|DEERC Remote Control Dog Robot Toy||Program up to 50 moves, works with sensor or remote, dancing robot dog||♥♥♥♥♥|
|RACPNEL Remote Control Dog Toy||Easy to program, different modes of play, easy to use||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Zoomer Playful Pup||Responds to its name, voice control, cute tricks||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Hasbro FurReal Friends Ricky the Trick-Lovin Pup||Performs cute tricks, soft, great for cuddling, comes with treats, 'poops'||♥♥♥♥♥|
The Best Robot Dog Toy for Kids
JOY FOR ALL – Golden Pup with Red Bandanna
The JOY FOR ALL – Golden Pup with Red Bandanna by Hasbro has realistic puppy features like soft fur and big eyes. It also interacts with you using barkback technology that allows the robot dog to bark at the sound of your voice. The puppy also responds to pets and squeezes.
This realistic robot dog toy was originally inspired by aging loved ones, becoming a wonderful companion pet that doesn’t need regular feeding or bathroom breaks. The realism and engaging design of this puppy allowed it to win the caregiver friendly award from Today’s Caregiver. It is the most realistic robot dog for adults. Likewise, it can bring companionship to your little one with its puppy-like features.
This product is run using four ‘C’ batteries. The batteries do make the dog a little heavier, however, they last for several months in this robot pup. This is great news for parents since you won’t have to constantly be worried about having C batteries on hand.
Battery saving occurs because the puppy goes to ‘sleep’ when it’s not being used. However, it will respond if you speak to it or pet it pretty quickly.
While this robot dog does move and make realistic sounds, something to note is that this puppy does not walk or do tricks. It works best for a kid who will be most interested in holding and petting their robot dog, rather than programming or training it. The neck of this dog also makes a mechanical sound when it moves around, which is not realistic and can be a little off-putting.
- Realistic puppy movements and barking
- Comes in different varieties
- Soft, realistic fur is great for petting
- Goes to ‘sleep’ unless someone is interacting with it
- Responds to the sound of your child’s voice and barks back when you say ‘bark’
- Great robot puppy for companionship
- Won the caregiver-friendly award from Today’s Caregiver
- Batteries make the dog a little heavier
- Neck makes mechanical sounds when it moves
DEERC Remote Control and Programmable Dog Robot
The DEERC Remote Control and Programmable Dog Robot is a great choice for the technology lover in your life. It can be controlled using hand gestures for certain movements and programmed using the included remote.
Something cool about this robot dog toy is that it has infrared sensors that allow you to control it with your hand. By gesturing, your child can make their pup move forward and backward, as well as turn left and right. Additionally, the sensor allows the robotic dog to sense obstacles that are in the way and turn to avoid them. This reduces the risk of the dog becoming damaged, especially if a younger child is playing with it.
The included remote is also infrared, giving it a range of 33 feet. When using the remote, you can make the dog perform a wide range of functions. Additionally, the robot puppy can be programmed to perform up to 50 actions of your child’s choice in a row. Some of the actions that can be programmed include auto demo, twist, walk, slide, bark, act cute, and more. There are also cute LED expressions that let your child’s puppy be more expressive.
The design of this robot creates smooth fluid movements while it moves around, making its movements more realistic instead of robotic. Additionally, this lets it dance to music including five included TikTok songs.
The remote takes 2 AA batteries, which are not included. The robot dog toy runs for about 2-3 hours after being charged via the USB cord for 2 hours.
- Control with remote or hand gestures
- LED expressions on the eyes
- Up to 50 moves can be programmed at once
- Wide range of functions
- Dances to music
- Smooth, fluid movements
- Short charge time
- AA batteries for remote are not included
- No voice control
- Need remote to perform most movements
RACPNEL Remote Control Robot Dog Toy
The RACPNEL Remote Control Robot Dog Toy is great for teaching young children early programming skills.
This puppy comes in three different modes that kids will love playing with. When the eyes are blue in gesture mode, your child can use their hand to make the puppy move. Adventure mode with red eyes allows the robot puppy to avoid obstacles using its sensors. Your child will have fun setting up an obstacle course for their pup to move through. In purple mode, your child can program the puppy.
The puppy can be programmed using the treat keys. They are different colored plugins shaped like bones that represent different movements. Your child inserts them and your puppy repeats the movements. Up to 30 moves can be programmed at once. You’ll want to be sure to keep the treat keys put up when your child isn’t playing with them. Their size makes them easy to use and the puppy cannot be programmed without them.
There is also a remote included that can be used to give the puppy commands. The remote control is easy for kids to understand. There are pictures of the different movements or actions that your child can push as the pup repeats.
While this puppy is cute, it is more robotic than puppy-like. It also makes mechanical sounds when moving. However, this doesn’t bother most kids and they still have fun playing with this robot pup. You’ll need 2 AA batteries for the remote and this features a rechargeable battery. 2 hours of charging time will all for 2-3 hours of play time.
- Has three different modes
- Can control using gestures or programming
- Remote control included
- Remote control is easy to understand
- Easy to program with the included ‘treats’
- Sensors allow puppy to avoid obstacles
- Only available in pink
- Mechanical sounds when moving
- Treat keys are smaller, easy to lose
Zoomer Playful Pup, Responsive Robotic Dog
The Zoomer Playful Pup, Responsive Robotic Dog is a good cross between a friendly puppy and a robot. It features voice recognition technology and realistic movements that let this pup act like man’s (or child’s) best friend.
Something nice about the Zoomer robot dog is that your child can give it a name, which the dog responds to when your child calls. Some of the other puppy-like features include soft ears, a wiggly tongue, and a soft, wagging tail. He gives kisses and says things like “I ruv roo” when you rub his tummy.
Your child can also teach Zoomer different tricks, including shake, play dead, lay down, and more. You’ll get several hours of play time and then this robot dog can be recharged using the included USB charging cable. An instruction book is also included, which helps your child learn all the different things this toy can do.
Even though the Zoomer dog toy should respond to your child’s voice, they’ll need to be close enough to the microphone for it to register. Additionally, using voice commands can be harder for children. Since they don’t always speak clearly, the toy won’t always respond.
- Realistic motion
- Your child can give the dog toy a name and it will respond
- Soft, puppy-like features
- Puppy learns all types of tricks
- Puppy loves on your child, great for companionship
- Comes with a USB charging cable and rechargeable batteries installed
- Instruction book included
- Giving voice commands can be hard for younger children
- May need to speak close to the mic for the dog to pick up commands
FurReal Friends Ricky, the Trick-Lovin’ Interactive Plush Pet Toy
The FurReal Friends Ricky, the Trick-Lovin’ Interactive Plush Pet Toy is recommended for ages 4 and up, making it a good robot dog for younger kids. It performs over 100 different sound and motion combinations, including cute tricks like giving kisses, flipping his bone into his mouth, and giving paw-fives.
Ricky is a great choice if you’re looking for a companion for your child. His soft fur is great for petting and he gives affectionate licks when your child pets his cheek. Ricky is also posable and he makes happy sounds, tilts his head, barks a tune, and more.
This is also a great choice to teach your child about a little responsibility that comes with a real dog. They can feed Ricky treats and then he’ll ‘poop’ them out when your child pets his back. One thing to note is that the treats are a little on the small size. They’ll be a choking hazard for younger kids and are also easy to lose. You cannot buy the treats separately, so if your child loses them they can no longer give Ricky treats.
Ricky requires 4 C batteries, which are not included. The batteries are heavy but they also ensure it’ll be months before you need to replace them again.
This is a great robot dog for younger kids, however, kids around age 6-7 may become bored with it easily. Even though this has over 100 movements and sounds, the manual is not very clear on how to perform all of them. A few users have even questioned if the puppy does that many things. However, it is still a cute toy, especially if you want a more puppy-like robot for your child.
- Doggie gives licks and snuggles, very affectionate
- Soft fur and puppy-like design
- Does over 100 sounds and movements
- Cute tricks like giving ‘paw fives’
- Can feed Ricky treats and he’ll ‘poop’ them out
- Uses batteries for a longer play time
- Older kids may not be as entertained
- Treats for puppy to ‘poop’ out are very small
Top Race Remote Control Robot Dog Toy
The Remote Control Robot Dog Toy is a great choice for kids who will be more interested in a robot-like dog. It follows 12 voice commands and also comes with a remote to program different movements and tricks.
The manufacturer recommended age for this toy is 5 years and up. This RC dog features smooth edges, so you don’t have to worry about younger kids getting hurt. Additionally, the remote makes it easy to make the puppy perform different functions.
Something to note is that the voice commands cannot be activated unless you press a button on the remote and then speak to the robot puppy toy. Some of the commands that can be performed include puppy tricks like ‘sit’ and ‘act cute’, as well as ‘angry dog’, ‘summersault’, ‘push-ups’, ‘sing a song’, and ‘yoga’. It also dances to music.
There is also an ‘imitate’ button that lets the dog imitate sounds and poses from ten different animals. This includes a tiger, pig, elephant, horse, and more. It also walks well over many surfaces, including hardwood floors, tile, and carpeting. Something to note is that your child will need to position the remote in front of the robot dog toy to activate it. Otherwise, the sensor won’t pick up the commands.
This robot dog comes with a rechargeable battery, which is good for this type of dog. However, you’ll need to screw and unscrew the battery pack every time that it needs recharged. This can become slightly irritating if your child is using it constantly, but it is a better alternative to repeatedly buying batteries. You will need 2 AA batteries for the remote. Note that the manufacturer recommends letting the battery cool after play time before you charge it.
- Plenty of interactive features
- Comes with a remote for easy programming
- Responds to voice commands
- Rechargeable battery
- Imitates animals
- Dances to music
- Remote makes this easy to use
- Need to unscrew the battery pack every time you use it
- Remote needs to be in front of the dog for the sensor to pick it up
- Need to use remote to activate voice commands
FurReal Friends Pax My Poopin Pup Plush Toy
The FurReal Friends Pax My Poopin Pup Plush Toy is a great choice when parents want to teach their little one about the responsibilities that come with a puppy. This comes with accessories including treats, a leash, and a bag for your child to clean up the treats when the puppy ‘poops’.
The soft fur is nice for your child to pet, so this is a good companion puppy. It is not as interactive as puppies like Ricky, however, it is still fun for petting. It is also significantly more affordable because it doesn’t perform the same tricks. However, this dog does walk, bark, and make other puppy sounds.
This moves forward using wheels, so it may not move as realistically as some other options. It also is best to use it indoors instead of walking in the grass as you might a real dog. Otherwise, it’s easy to lose the treats and the wheels can get stuck in the grass. You cannot buy additional treats for this puppy if they are lost, however, one parent reported using tic tacs instead and they worked the same.
The included leash is detachable, which is nice for when your child just wants to snuggle or play with this pup. However, it does come in two pieces and is very stiff. This means it isn’t as realistic as a real leash and also that it may break if your child puts a lot of pressure on it.
- Makes cute puppy sounds
- Walks and ‘poops’, which teaches the responsibility of a real pet
- Comes with leash, treats, and a cleanup bag
- Soft fur is great for petting or snuggling
- Great for indoor or sidewalk use
- Treats are small and easy to lose
- Included leash is very stiff
Paw Patrol Zoomer Marshall by Spin Master
The Paw Patrol Zoomer Marshall by Spin Master is a great choice for little fans of the show Paw Patrol. This Zoomer robot dog toy is loaded with interactive activities and is recommended for ages three and up. This makes it great for parents looking for a robot dog toy for younger kids.
Zoomer Marshall is great for all types of play time. He makes over 150 phrases and sounds from the Paw Patrol show, including the Paw Patrol theme song and Pup Pup Boogie. Marshall also comes ready to save the day, especially if you need to put out a fire. Spring-loaded water cannons are included that let your child shoot ‘water’ onto a fire. Keep in mind that the water cannons are smaller pieces and they can get lost easily.
Marshall also has a chest sensor, which lets your child control how he moves and performs different movements. This is really fun and makes it more enjoyable to play with. Additionally, this comes with an instructional manual that helps your child understand all the different movements. You’ll need 4 AA batteries to power Marshall, which are not included.
Something to note is that the chest sensor doesn’t always pick up the right gesture, which makes it harder to control Marshall’s movements. This is especially true for a younger child.
- Lots of interactive activities
- Says phrases from the show
- Performs the Paw Patrol Theme and Pup Pup Boogie
- Water cannons to put out fires
- Controlled using a chest sensor
- Instruction manual included
- Small pieces can get lost easily
- Sensor doesn’t always pick up the right gestures
How We Selected Robot Dog Toys for Kids
Materials and Design
The best robot dog toy is going to appeal to your child’s interests. For a younger kid that wants a robot dog because it’s puppy-like, the best option might be a soft, furry friend. It will still respond to commands and offer interaction, but it will be more like having a puppy. For a kid that is more tech-savvy, they may be interested in the robot aspect of a robot dog. The overall design might look more like a robot and it might have more programmable or interactive features than a simpler robot dog toy.
Something else to keep in mind is that a plastic or metal robot dog is going to be easier to clean. However, some of these have smaller parts that are easier to break. If your child is especially rough, then a fabric-covered dog might be better. The downside of fabric-covered dogs is that they are harder to clean. Most are not machine washable because they require batteries and you won’t be able to get the insides wet. Usually, you need to use a cloth to get these clean by hand.
Commands and Level of Interaction
Your child is going to love teaching their dog all kinds of tricks. The level of interaction available is going to depend on how simple the toy is. Some robot dog toys interact with your child by responding to sounds or clapping. Others might come with toys (like a bone) that they’ll follow around. More complex robot dog toys can perform several commands. Your child may even be able to program them to do a set of commands like a routine.
The way your child interacts with the toy should also affect your decision. Some respond to voice commands, while others come with a remote. Toys for younger kids might also come along with accessories that make the puppy toy perform commands. A toy that responds to voice controls might seem more ‘robot-like’ to older kids.
Something to keep in mind as you’re looking at features is that a younger kid could become frustrated by a toy that’s too hard to understand. You’ll want to shop for something in your child’s age/skill level to keep them interested in the toy.
Any time you buy something for your child, you want to be sure you are choosing something safe. Toys often have to adhere to safety standards for materials, as well as certain restrictions for children’s age groups. This ensures all materials used are non-toxic and won’t be a risk while your child is playing. Often, you can find information about the safety standards a toy has passed on the packaging or on the manufacturer’s website.
For children under the age of three, the biggest risk is choking hazards. Even if a toy has passed safety standards, you’ll want to look it over. Be sure there are no small or damaged parts that could break off and become a choking hazard. You’ll want any batteries to be secured away from where your child can access them (like behind a panel that is screwed in). Be sure the panel is secured tightly any time you need to change the batteries. Buying toys recommended for your child’s age range can also help with safety, since manufacturers of toys for younger children look for things like small, breakable, or sharp parts that could be dangerous.
Robot dog toys for younger kids are usually battery powered. This gives your child hours of play time without worrying about a charge. However, if your child is especially attached to their pup, you might want to keep batteries on hand. Dog toys that are more robotics may be battery powered or have rechargeable batteries. These are best for kids who are going to play for a few hours and then do something else, since their robot dog toy can charge while it’s not in use.
FAQs About Robot Dog Toy
What are some of the benefits of robot dog toys for kids?
Having a robot dog toy offers all types of benefits for your child. First, it offers all the same fun as a dog without the cost or cleanup. If your child decides they don’t want to play with it, there’s no risk associated with not feeding, walking, or paying attention to the dog. You also don’t have to worry about things like finding a pet sitter if your family goes on vacation.
There are also STEM benefits for your child. As they learn the different tricks and commands that the puppy knows, your child is using problem-solving to figure the toy out. If you get a robot puppy that can be programmed, your child is learning fundamental STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) principles. STEM is important for solving problems in today’s world, which is especially important for the kids of today that are learning in a technologically advanced era.
Finally, robot dog toys are important for emotional health. They provide companionship to kids (and adults) who love them. Robot dogs can also teach empathy and bonding.
What can robot dog toys do?
Robot dog toys can perform all types of functions. At a minimum, most robot dogs walk, bark, and perform other small tricks. Some are designed more realistic. There is even a robot dog that your child can ‘feed’ and then it ‘poops’.
Others are designed to perform tricks like sitting, begging, and dancing to music. Sometimes these actions are simple. Other times, your child will need to program a series of functions and their robot puppy will repeat the actions they are programmed to do. With such a variety of robot dog toys available, there are fun functions that any kid (or adult) can enjoy.
How do I train my robot dog?
Ideally, you’ll want to train your robot by reading the manufacturer instructions. Many work with sensors, remotes, voice commands, or a combination of the three. If the instructions are hard to understand, many robot dog toys also have instructional videos on YouTube. These could be especially helpful for younger kids, especially if they want to train their puppy themselves. For older kids, the videos could help with dogs that have more complex programming setups.
Can a robot dog replace a real dog?
Robot dogs are a great gift for a kid who loves animals, but also perfect when you’re just not ready to commit to a pet yet. Many kids beg for pets, especially if they have a friend or relative that has one they love playing with. However, they don’t quite understand the responsibility attached to training, feeding, and cleaning up after a pet. The best robot dog toy may partially fulfill that desire for a furry friend, but there is nothing quite like a real puppy.
For my oldest son, the DEERC Remote Control Dog Robot Toys for Kids Programmable Smart RC Robot was his favorite choice. He liked that he could program several motions and then watch as he performed it. The shorter battery life wasn’t an issue, since he only wanted to play with the robot dog toy for an hour or two before he moved on to something else. My youngest son preferred FurReal Friends Ricky, the Trick-Lovin’ Interactive Plush Pet Toy. His favorite thing about Ricky was that he licked his face and did cute tricks.
When shopping for the best robot dog toy, think about what your child is going to enjoy the most. For younger kids, a dog that is more life-like might suit them better. An older kid may prefer a toy robot dog that they can program or give voice commands. Hopefully, this post has helped you figure out which is the best robot dog for your child.