Pup toy has four wheels, a short pull string attached to a bone shaped handle, a bobbing tail, and 28 keys.
Dimensions: 5.3 X 13.9 X 8 inches
Toy BlogTv made a full demo of the sounds the keys make. The music playing in the background is not from the toy itself, just music added by the video editor.
Each letter of the alphabet has a key that when pressed, says the letter’s name and sound. Press the key again to hear a word starting with that letter and a sentence using the word. For instance, press the B key to hear “B says buh,” and again to hear, “B is for bark. Bark!”
Two more keys include the Songs key, which plays several short tunes. One is the alphabet, one is a counting song, one is a silly song about going for a walk, and the last is pup saying how much it loves going on walks. The last key has an image of a dog’s face, and plays a few affectionate phrases such as “I love walking with you.”
Simply walking the pup triggers songs to play, so kids can easily just let the singing pup trail along after them.
The most common complaint about this toy is the length, or lack thereof, of the pull-string. Very short children, those around 1 year old, seem to be okay pulling the toy along without it nipping at their heels. However, children around 18 months and older seem to need to bend down a bit to keep the toy’s paws firmly on the ground.
This design is intentional. A previous version of this toy, the first Alphabet Pal, had a plastic piece in the middle of the much longer pull string that would break apart under tension. This was to prevent children from potentially choking themselves. Unfortunately, sometimes the plastic pieces would pop off, becoming choking hazards of their own. This toy was recalled. So, LeapFrog updated that toy into their second version of the Alphabet Pal. It was incredibly annoying. High pitched and too loud for kids who may get really close to the speakers, this toy was one to avoid. Now, we have the AlphaPup. A much more pleasant voice, and without the threat of damaging ear drums, this current toy is getting much love from users.
If determined that the string is still just too short, it can be cut in two and retied with another length of string added in. We used basic twine. A shoelace would also work.
Aside from that, most users report kids playing with the toy several times a week, often dragging it around the house after them. Pulling the pup makes it sing, while stopping will initiate one of its lures. A plaintiff, “Come back and play with me!” or “Let’s walk!” may be said when the toy’s wheels stop moving. It should go quiet after the single phrase though. If you want it quiet sooner, just flip the switch on the collar to OFF.
The collar switch has OFF, and Low and High for volume. We found the sounds to be bearable, but for a full demo of all sounds, please watch the video above.
We have heard of some toys breaking before receiving a full year of use. However, most user’s toys last for several years, and are able to be passed onto another kid. Maybe a little scuffed, but it works just fine.
We want to clean up some confusion about the X key. It does not say “X is for exorcist,” NOR “X is for ex-racist.” It says “X is the first letter in X-Ray Fish.” As in the X-Ray Tetra fish.
Wipe down with a damp cloth, being mindful of the electronic components
For more information on how to clean this type of toy, please see our blog, The Cleaning Guide for Toys.
Parts and Pieces
The AlphaPup comes in Pink and Green. Batteries come installed, but we recommend getting more.
We found that many children have trouble with the length of the pull-string. It can be cut off and another, longer string can be glued in place, but really, it should be sized correctly for the recommended age.