This toy is made by Playskool and I remember this being within their range from many years ago.
Most toddlers are fascinated by animals and also by copying adult behaviour. This toy covers both of these interests.
The toy is essentially a pull along plastic dog with sounds. It is mainly made of plastic but has soft material ears for stroking. I don't remember the earlier versions having material ears but the one we bought a few years ago does. The dog is pulled along by a shortish cord allowing the child to take it for a walk. When the cord is pulled and the dog moves on its wheels it makes a variety of noises including barking, sniffing and whimpering. These noises are designed to sound like a puppy so are not at all scary for a little one. The dog moves along on wheels but has legs connected to the wheels which move to make the dog look like it is walking.
Positives: my children loved this toy and the realistic noises it makes. There are no small parts and it has survived well despite some rough dog walking play!
Negatives: the cord is not very easy to grip. It could be improved by adding a ball or ring to the end to grip onto. My main criticism however is that it is very unstable. If it is pulled with a jerk or at the wrong angle it topples over and then gets dragged along on its side. I guess they would need to adjust the weighting to improve this. The final downside is that it requires batteries (2 AAs) but this seems to be the case with most toys.
Despite having listed more negatives than positives, this really is a good fun toy and I would highly recommend it. It could however benefit from a few design tweaks.
It sometimes can be very hard to buy toys for a second child in the family. My first child I bought, before his sister came along, a huge variety of different toys that did numerous things. The older he got the more I would buy. Sometimes I would hunt for specific things, sometimes I would come across items that would catch my eye and my imagination, and I hoped it would do the same for him. Now with his sister, I am lucky in the sense that because she is a different sex, I can go abit bonkers down the traditional girl route, which is dolls, teddy bears, tea sets etc. But what I have realised is now that they are of a certain age and can play together, chances are they will end up playing ( and fighting over ) the same toys. I bought this particular toy online for my daughter for Christmas 2012 for just under £5.00. Ive seen many variations of this by different brands that are readily available, but not this one, so may have to search around.
Why did I buy it?
It looked cute online and to be honest, the main reason was my son had never been given one of these. It gave a different slant to the pull along telephone I had bought my son when he was a toddler, and overall I thought it would be abit of fun.
How does it look?
This toy resembles a dog, but in a very child friendly manner-big puppy dog eyes that are painted on, cute black protruding nose and black floppy ears that appear to be made out of felt. He has a red collar that is a part of the main body of the dog so painted on, a large brown spot on his back that has the ' Playskool ' logo on it, in a way that it looks like a dog tag and a black stubby tail again apart of the body of the dog itself.
Attached to the collar is a long yellow piece of string, which the child uses to pull it along. It measures just over 25 inches long.
The dog moves along when pulled by the help of four blue wheels that are underneath the dog itself-two on each side, just underneath his legs. His legs, although don't aid in the dogs movement, do move when its pulled along, as they are separate pieces attached to the main body of the dog.
When its pulled and in motion, the dog barks for afew seconds and does an odd whimper, then stops unless continuously pulled.
The dog is cream in colour and made of some form of plastic. Its length is 9 inches and 4 inches wide.
This toy requires batteries ( cant recall if they came along with it or not ), and they are inserted
underneath the dog.
It takes 2 AA batteries.
Suitable for 12 months plus.
So what do we think?
When my daughter first got this, she didn't like it. The mixture of the barking and how the dog would move when you pulled it along didn't appeal to hear and I think it spooked her out, much to the delight of her sadistic brother! My son on the other hand found it fun, and would regularly pull it along, quite aggressively, and pretend it was a real dog ready to bite everyone! Move forward nearly a year later, and my daughter is abit older, and she can recognise a lot of animals. She knows this is a dog and its name is ' Woof woof '. She pulls him around with confidence and ease, she role plays with him e.g talking to him, ' feeding ' him, kissing him. Most of the time very affectionate towards her pet. Now, this isn't her favourite toy, and plays with him from time to time, normally when she sees his body poking out at the top of one of their toy boxes and she pulls it out for a quick play. She plays with this for afew minutes at a time, maybe 5 minutes at the most, as she gets bored of it very quickly.
Its nice that when you pull it along, even though it has wheels underneath to help it move, that the dogs legs are made in such a way that they give the appearance of moving along as well. Makes it more life like and less boring to look at.
My feelings? It looks cute. Its obviously supposed to be a dog and that's how it looks, but more cartoon like not true to life. Very robust, as my kids have at times not been so kind or gentle to the poor thing. Easy to clean, due to being made out of plastic and not too big so can be thrown in a toy box for storage. And most importantly, easy to use. The string is a good length, so I don't feel either of my children struggle to pull it along. Its also not too long where I have to worry about the string being wrapped around limbs or necks.
Negatives? The barking is annoying. Very high pitched and after awhile very repetitive. Its not too loud but loud enough for everyone to hear. There should be a button to turn the sound on and off, for obvious reasons. I would find it alot more pleasant to have that option when the barking gets on my nerves!
It's a toy that doesn't really do anything. All you can do is pull it along and it makes an annoying noise and that's it! The kids get bored of it and so do I!
The only thing that moves on this toy besides the wheels are the dogs legs. The ears don't, the facial features e.g eyes, nose etc are painted on, so theres not much you can do with this.
Would I buy it again? Probably not. For what I paid for it I wont complain. Its well made, still works despite my violent children and its very robust and easy to use. Main issues are it doesn't grab my kids attention for along time and the barking drives me barking mad! But saying that, if you get it below £5.00, its not a bad small present for a young child for Christmas, birthdays etc, just be prepared it may not be the adults favourite toy.
Not bad, but could be better!