By Ferris Jabr

If you saw Pixar’s 2009 computer-animated film Up, you’ll likely remember the character of Dug: a lovable golden retriever who can talk, thanks to a collar that translates his thoughts.

I know what you’re hoping to read next. Something like, “Now, scientists have invented just such a collar! Soon we will we unravel all the mysteries of non-human animal communication!”

Well, I must disappoint you. Scientists have created no such collar. But one of the world’s largest toy companies, Mattel Inc, has made something even better: Puppy Tweets.

Yes, you read that right. Twitter. For dogs.

Here’s how it works. Mattel provides dog owners with a USB receiver and “special” software to install on their computers. Owners then attach a pretty plastic tag (available in blue or pink) to their dog’s collar. When the wirelessly-enabled tag senses movement or barking, it randomly selects one of 500 pre-programmed Tweets and activates the USB receiver waiting in the owner’s laptop, which automatically updates the dog’s very own Twitter account.

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