Buy It & Try It: Bow-lingual dog translator

(National) Aug. 2, 2004 - Pet stores stock a host of doggone delights from baseball caps to pearl necklaces, fur coats to canopy beds. A new product claims it can tell you what your dog has to say.

Frank Blacklocke and his dogs Avery and Murphy helped Troubleshooter Judi Gatson put the Bow-lingual dog translator to the Buy It & Try It test.

Its ads claim, "The Bow-lingual is the result of many years of work by experts in acoustics and animal behavior." The dog translator claims to have scientific backing and promises to turn woofs into words, "If you love dogs and you're a sucker for dogs, you're going to pick this box up and say, 'I want to try this.'"

Judi put the transmitter on Murphy's collar and waited to see what she has to say. Frank translated, "It says, 'Your dog is needy. I want to see the world."

When Judi asked Frank if he thought the Bow-lingual's translation of Murphy was accurate, he said, "I don't think that's what she was saying."

When Judi and Frank took Murphy outdoors they got a more believable result, "It says, 'What should I do. Frustrated."

Using the Bow-lingual on Avery elicited all kinds of responses like from "Make my day" to "I feel like dancing" to "I wish you made sense."

Frank admits the Bow-lingual is great marketing, "You see something like that, you love your dog - buy it, at least try it out. ... I think it's fun, but I don't think it's a serious science project."

The final verdict on the Bow-lingual was not positive. The device, which originally sold for $120 but was marked down by 50 percent, broke and began translating everything, even Judi and Frank's conversation.

posted 6:00pm by Chris Rees