"But you guys love cats"

People Are Paying Money for Classes That Teach Dogs How to Use iPads

Disrupt pets?
Sure! (Photo: Friskies)

Sure! (Photo: Friskies)

Well, here’s a new way to get your money’s worth out of that iPad. The Wall Street Journal reports that there’s now a “nascent but growing group touting the use of apps for pets.”

Cats seem to have inspired a proliferation of apps. Nate Murray, one half of the team behind “Games for Cats,” admitted, “I started off really early on thinking that it was ridiculous, but it ended up being something really meaningful for people,” admitted Mr. Murray. Friskies also has its own line of apps, and there’s even an animal shelter using the apps to draw out shyer cats, to socialize them before adoption.

But, as usual, us crazy cat ladies have nothing on monied Manhattanite dog owners. The Journal stopped by a class taught by dog trainer Anna Jane Grossman and watched her smear the screen of an iPad with peanut butter in order to hold a Hungarian hunting dog’s attention. She justifies the lessons:

“People always say, ‘Oh, can you have my dog do my online banking?’ ” Ms. Grossman says. In reality, dogs don’t “necessarily do very useful things on the iPad,” she adds. “But I don’t necessarily do very useful things on the iPad either.”

So far 25 people have subjected their dogs to this, and “she is planning a 90-minute iPad clinic for dogs later this month, where they will learn to nose the screen to activate apps.”

Anyway, in a brief test of an offering picked at random, this reporter’s cat didn’t seem too impressed with cat apps. After a moment of interest, he waltzed off to lay beside his food bowl and fish out kibble with his paw. Cats win again.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com