I am robot; how may I help?


Let me introduce you to Scout - our personal shopper powered by artificial intelligence. He’s just a little bit fancy and makes Bark Bag completely different to anything currently available on the market.

How is Bark Bag different?

Bark Bag was created to provide a more customised experience for our canine clients. We found that existing services were unable to offer customisation beyond the size of the dog which meant there would inevitably be (for us anyway) some products left over or untouched.

At Bark Bag we understand that every dog is unique and has different tastes. We work together with our canine clientele to build the perfect Bags to send by finding out what they like, don’t like and what they absolutely love. We take into account both allergies and preferences. Each and every one of our Bark Bags is specifically chosen and packed with the dog’s preference profile in mind.

How we customise our Bark Bags

We use similar technology to that behind recommendation services like Pandora and Spotify radio. Each dog begins by selecting a few favourites. These become the foundation for their preference profile. After each bag drop, the dog (or their human) can sign in to their online account and rate each product we send them. Each product has attributes assigned to it such as “ear”, “cow”, “chicken”, “chew”. By rating a product, the dog is essentially giving those particular attributes its paw of approval. A dislike will also be taken into consideration against those attributes. Over time and with more data, the preference profile is further refined so it is more accurate.

To help us keep track of all this data is Scout.

Who is Scout?

Scout is our all important technical personal shopper. Using each dog’s unique preference profile, Scout carefully suggests a shortlist of recommended treats and toys he thinks the dog will like. This is then examined by a human to ensure it is appropriate for that dog before being packed.

The Technical Stuff

For those who are interested, Scout uses a hybrid machine learning recommender - it estimates the ranking a dog (or it’s human) will give a product based on two classifiers; how the dog has rated similar products in the past, and how similar dogs have already rated similar items - this second classifier makes sure the first couple of Bags we send out are great even before we get to know our clients in depth. It also means we still send great bags even if a dog doesn’t get around to rating any treats.

Why is Scout important?

The simple answer is scaleability. The level of customisation Bark Bag offers would be very difficult to achieve on a large scale without the help of a program like Scout. Scout not only takes into account your dog’s past ratings and allergies but also how similar dogs have reacted to the products which gives us confidence we’re only going to pack treats your dog will love. It’s a great way to discover new treats your dog loves.

For example, if your dog has selected to never receive a particular treat again then Scout can automatically exclude that from its suggested list. Without Scout, this would have to be manually recorded in a spreadsheet and checked every time prior to packing. We would also need to check what we had most recently sent you and the related feedback on each product along with the existing preference list.

Scout simplifies the process and ensures we can offer a very high level of customisation without compromising on efficiency and cost. Bark Bag is a similar price to existing services despite each bag being bespoke and completely tailored to the dog’s tastes!

Does your dog deserve a personal shopper? Take a look at Bark Bag, we send out dog treats tailored to your dog’s preference profile.

From Auckland with love