Americans have been adopting and rescuing dogs at record numbers since the earliest days of coronavirus. In fact, the pandemic puppy boom has led to shortages and long waiting lists with dog breeders and pet-adoption centers alike. That’s where robot pets can save the day. If you’re not ready or able to take on the responsibility of a real, live dog anytime soon, you can still bring home a furry friend for your kids — and one who never needs to be walked or fed. The new generation of robot dog toys — aka mechanical dogs or animatronic dogs — is smarter and more pet-like than ever before.
Don’t let the word “toy” fool you. There’s now a tremendous range of robot dogs out there, from the cute and comforting, to the brilliantly interactive, with wide-ranging price points to match. If you’re looking for a cuddly little robot puppy for your toddler, you don’t need to spend a ton on an interactive pet who barks on command. Older kids, however, will want a robot dog toy that’s responsive and loaded with features, and ideally one who can learn a few new tricks along the way. Either way, kids can get the benefits of pet companionship, such as bonding and play, without the full-time responsibility of, you know, an actual pet.
The Best Robot Dogs and Robot Pets
This pup has voice recognition technology, so he responds to sounds. He barks and does tricks. And he comes when he's called. Plus, he can be trained to lie down, shake his paw, beg, and will even play dead.
A dinosaur, who likes bones. So close enough to a dog, if you asks us. He sits and begs and plays. He gets excited when he sees his toy. He dances and plays tug of war. In other words, he's hella fun.
A puptastic surprise toy! The Yorkshire terrier (work with us here) has gold details on her paws and ears, expressive eyes, and soft fur. She plays barking games, gives kisses, wags her tails, and makes dozens and dozens of different sounds.
This puppy makes happy doggie sounds and comes equipped with a leash and poop bags, so kids can walk him and see what it might be like to have an actual pet. One that requires exercise.
This dog is remote-controlled and will sing, dance, crawl, move forward and backward. It plays four songs. And it farts. Yup. It farts. You're welcome.
This clever robot dog responds to both voice and remote control, is adorably interactive (when kids scratch his chin, he responds; kids can dance along to Fisca's three preprogrammed music numbers) and knows more than a few tricks — from handstands to low crouches. Great robot dog toy for older kids (ages 6 to 10), with rechargeable battery included for the dog.
This dog is so realistic, you almost forget it's not a real dog. It has a heartbeat, fur that feels like actual fur, and voice recognition. Great for kids 5 and up, this canine barks when you talk to it, and even moves like the real thing.
Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.