Mother and Baby

Edushape Dr. Pooch Review

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Mother&Baby Awards
  • 2018 Shortlisted Best Toddler Toy
Mother & Baby 2018 Shortlist

At a glance: 

Dr. Pooch helps your tot learn how to dress themselves, whilst giving them a cuddly companion to look after. Our mums loved the friendly pup who taught their little one important motor skills, yet wished he was a tiny bit smaller, to make taking him on-the-move easier. 

What they say:

“This pup teaches children how to dress with buttons, buckles, zippers and more squeezably soft and huggable features. The happiest dog you’ll ever meet, this colourful veterinary pup has lots of fun features to show children how to dress. Its ears button, shoes tie, stethoscope giggle, belt buckles and jacket snaps. Kids go for its soft jacket, floppy ears and squeezable arms and legs, and love it as a pretend play friend, too. Interesting activities for busy little hands, where dressing themselves makes kids so proud. Excellent for developing dexterity.”

Tested by mum Gabriella Challis for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018:

Would you recommend this to other mums?

Absolutely! Pippa (three-years-old) has been using her imagination to role play with Dr. Pooch, and has been learning new skills all the time - a big one being patience on the task at hand! She has been learning new motor skills too, which has carried over to her being able to help herself with her own clothing.

How did the product make your life easier?

My little girl always gets frustrated when it comes to getting dressed. She hasn't got much patience for it, so more often that not we just help her to make it fuss free. However, since she has started playing with Dr. Pooch, she all of a sudden is taking herself off to the toilet on her own and seems to be able to unbutton/unzip her bottoms with no trouble at all, and is now quite adamant that she does this on her own! We are sure that Dr. Pooch has encouraged this turn around!

Would you choose this product to win?

I don’t know of any other toy on the market that does or offers what Dr. Pooch can! I quite like the idea that it has many different parts from tying laces to buckles, but these are quite advanced, and I think that by the time she is able to grasp doing these parts, she probably won’t want to play with a soft pup.

What changes would you make to the product?

I think it would be a good idea to add something on to toy to make it more interactive. My daughter has always responded well to interactive toys that ask her to do something or have songs involved, as it is, ultimately, a soft toy with zips, buckles, and Velcro, all of which carry a fairly high price tag.

Tested by mum Sarah Combe for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018:

Would you recommend this to other mums?

The different features of Dr. Pooch were fun to use, such as the stethoscope, zipper, shoelaces and the buckle. It is slightly large, so wasn’t too easy to store away. That aside, the colours are interesting and bright, which really engages with younger children.

How did this product make your life easier?

I don’t think this necessarily makes my life easier. I understand that the aim of the product is to enable children to learn how to do zips, laces, buttons and buckles, so it may make their lives easy and, subsequently, make our lives as parents easier, but it doesn't do this straight away, and to be honest, I think tying actual shoelaces would be more engaging or useful than the shoelaces on a teddy.

Would you choose this product to win?

I don’t think this should win the best toddler toy, as my son didn’t really play or use it as it was supposed to be used. It simply ended up being ‘another cuddly toy’, rather than a fun, interactive and educational toy. My son tends to play with other exciting toddler toys, so I probably wouldn’t say this product stands out enough to win.

What changes would you make to this product?

I would change the size, as it would be so much easier to transport and take around with you if it was a bit smaller. I also found that the toy wasn't that interesting for my son, as he wasn't excited about the shoe laces or the buttons at all, so it wasn't a toy that he wanted to play with too often. Perhaps it could be more challenging or engaging, it may grab a child’s interest more.

Tested my mum Emma Devere for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018:

Would you recommend this to other mums?

I would recommend this to my friends with children of a similar age to my three year old daughter, as it’s great for learning key motor skills such as doing up buttons, zips, and putting on shoes and trousers. I really love that it is an animal, which especially appeals to my daughter, who loves dogs at the moment.

How did this product make your life easier?

My daughter LOVES the toy, and really enjoyed playing with all the features. It is great for developing key motor skills, which as a parent is always a winner with any toy. It is brightly coloured and my daughter loved that it was a dog.

Would you choose this product to win?

I do think it should win, as it is great for my daughter's age group. I especially think this would be good in a nursery or pre-school environment, as it is great way to teach them how to dress themselves and improve their motor skills.

What changes would you make to this product?

If I really had to change something, I would make it a bit smaller. I would also like it if they could do another version, maybe in a different colour, just so that there’s an added variety there for the children.                                      

Tested by mum Nicola Hogan for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018:

Would you recommend this to other mums?

As a teddy and a companion, we love Dr. Pooch! He has become my son’s favourite soft toy. The idea of him as an aid for dressing skills is great, and he boasts several features such as a zip, buttons, shoelaces, Velcro and a belt for fastening. Dr. Pooch is machine washable, which is very useful, as he’s been taken all over! I've washed him a few times and he’s always come up brilliantly, and dries quickly thanks to the hollow-fibre filling. That said, we’ve had him for a month and there is already a tear on the seam between his trousers and shoe, and the thread used to make the toes of his paws has come loose on one side. None of which are major issues but with an RRP of £29.99, you would expect him to last longer without mishap.

How did this product make your life easier?

Dr. Pooch has become a firm friend; my son takes him to bed and out on trips (notably wedged in his bike). Prior to Dr. Pooch he took a silk sheet everywhere, so it’s great for him to have a comfort toy he can play with instead of just stroke! The various fastenings keep my son occupied with fiddling while we’re out. He’s around 35cm tall; a decent-sized toy for a toddler, and is big enough to cuddle properly but not too big that my son couldn't carry him while we’re out and about.

Would you choose this product to win?

Dr. Pooch is more expensive than most of the other offerings, and boasts similar features. If I were shopping for a dressing toy I would likely have opted for Dr. Pooch, as both my children are big fans of dogs, but the price difference wouldn't have gone unnoticed! In fairness, Dr. Pooch does seem to be bigger than most of the others. Should anything ever happen to Dr. Pooch, I would definitely have to replace him now that my son is so attached.

What changes would you make to this product?

I would make the product more interactive by making the trousers, shoes and jacket fully removable, which would build on the dressing experience even more  (potentially even making the clothes reversible to expand on playing options). I would put poppers on the trousers and put a full zip on the jacket so children could practice starting off a zip rather than just pulling one across. As this toy is recommended for three years plus, it shouldn't be a problem so far as small parts, as I think they would still be a fairly decent size. This may also help with the construction of the toy, as the seams would be in different places and less likely to rip like ours has after a month or so (especially if the leg and foot were long pieces).

Tested by mum Nicola Lahiffe for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018:

Would you recommend this to other mums?

This toy is quite large which, is nice to cuddle, and I like the idea of it being a doctor. It helps them to practice a variety of fastenings, and I quite like that not all of them are used in clothing. For instance, the buttons are used to attach the stethoscope to the dog’s ears, which actually makes it slightly easier to do. My children enjoy playing hospitals, so this was also quite appealing.

How did this product make your life easier?

It has made my son a lot more interested in getting himself dressed. The fastenings are nice and chunky for small hands and they are quite engaging, as not all of the fastenings are related to the clothing. Both my three and five-year-old have enjoyed playing with him, as he is a doctor, but it's been the three-year-old that has well and truly adopted him.

Would you choose this product to win?

We actually have a toy that is designed to do a similar job that neither child has been interested in. Dr. Pooch, however, is a lot better, as the doctor part gives him a bit more character, and he is also quite a lot bigger, meaning the fastenings are all nice and chunky, which is great for small hands. I'm not sure that he should win, as we certainly have toddler toys that are more exciting, however, I would say that for a stuffed toy or a toy designed to teach children how to dress, he is probably the best that I have come across so far.

What changes would you make to this product?

I thought the Velcro plaster was a genius idea, but it would be a bit more fun if it could be moved. They did find it a bit frustrating that you can get the coat off, but that it's then really difficult to get back on over the paws, as the paws are slightly too big. 

Product Information

Suitable from age three. 

  • Author: Joe McGuire
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