I I saw this toy – actually a set of two – for the first time at a trade fair. I had no idea what they were doing, but they didn’t look that’s interesting too.
But then a company representative came up and asked if I knew what the toys were doing. “Nah!” I answered. “Show me!” He pushed a hidden button on one, and there were some ringing sounds. Then he pressed the button on the other egg and it rang too – and then began to make an electronic chirp. “The toys are paired using a Bluetooth connection,” he said. “You make an intermittent noise until it is jostled; then it becomes quiet and the other egg makes a noise. Once your dog finds out how they work, you can place the eggs up to 30 feet apart and your dog can have fun running from one to the other! “
Okay, now I was intrigued. I know that many dogs like to play with toys that make electronic noises, such as the Wobble Wag Giggle Ball. The concept of a toy made up of two Parts that take turns interacting with your dog – that’s more than twice the fun! I couldn’t wait for my dogs to try the ricochet.
THE RICOCHET EXPERIENCE
The toys are intended to be enjoyed by one dog at a time and, in fact, will not work well with more than one dog in play at the same time. The noises that make them “bounce” from one egg to another when the loud one is moved; When more than one dog is playing, the ricochet of the sound from one egg to another cannot be predicted or tracked.
We gave the ricochet six different dogs to play with; Everyone was intrigued by the noises the toys were making and intuitively nudged the toys with their noses or paws. The larger dogs all tried to put the toys in their mouths and break them open; Play with these toys needs to be monitored and sometimes diverted. (My big dogs could definitely bite open the toy if they were allowed.) But even our six pound test dog enjoyed pushing the toy around.
Another reason to play with the ricochet toys with your dog: At some point, every dog fixated on the toy around him, regardless of his silence and the increasingly hectic sounds of the other Toy. Then you need to jump in, remove the one they’re fixating on, and get them to listen to the chirp of the other Toy. “Oh right!” The dog seems to be saying he’s yanking out of the room to find the other. Then you can quickly hide the one you took with you so your dog can enjoy looking for it when he starts chirping again.
The length of time our test dogs played with the toys varied depending on their temperament. A 6-year-old golden retriever woman would have played with the toys until they were dead. My 12-year-old mixed breed man Otto understood the game very quickly – but lost interest when I stopped actively encouraging him to leave the non-chirping toy and look for the one that was making noise. All the other dogs were in between.
The toys are each about five centimeters long and consist of a hard plastic shell. The ends are covered in a softer, rubbery substance that prevents the toys from causing a terrible rattle if a dog whirls them around.
The toy can be turned off by pressing a hidden button on each egg. If you don’t turn them off, they will occasionally chirp and turn off for good after 60 minutes of inactivity.
Each egg requires three AAA batteries. According to PetSafe, the batteries will last for about a month a day. The ricochet comes with a one year warranty when purchased new from an authorized seller. PetSafe offers a satisfaction guarantee that returns your purchase price (minus shipping costs) if you return the toy within 45 days.