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Pet Industry Veterans JJ, Amy Stone Create GURU Solution-Based Toys for Dogs

By Pet Age Staff//August 7, 2023//

Pet Industry Veterans JJ, Amy Stone Create GURU Solution-Based Toys for Dogs

By: Pet Age Staff//August 7, 2023//

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Press release: GURU Pet

Pet industry veterans JJ and Amy Stone announce the launch of GURU Pet Company, an innovative dog toy business with a mission to develop products that challenge dogs’ minds, engage their natural instincts and inspire their spirit.

After decades of inventing and developing some of the most successful pet products for several top brands in the industry, the husband and wife duo are stepping out from behind the curtain to bring their brand of dog toys directly to humans and their furry friends. JJ and Amy Stone will officially launch GURU and its first four product lines at the upcoming SuperZoo trade show in August 2023.

With the company’s slogan, “Simple Innovation for Challenging Play,” at the forefront of each product, GURU’s toys will keep dogs engaged through intentional play by addressing instinctive behaviors.

“The toys we are developing are designed FOR the dogs,” said founder Amy Stone. “Our mission is to keep dogs out of kennels and in our homes where each dogs’ unique behaviors and instincts can be addressed by toys that satisfy who they are and how they were created.”

Outside of being incredibly safe and durable, each GURU product must cover three things: It must challenge dogs’ minds, engage natural instincts, and inspire their spirit.

“We bring dogs into our homes and expect them to be perfect little citizens, but dogs have natural instincts to chew, dig, and bark. We are creating products to address these natural behaviors so our pets can feel stimulated, happy and content,” she added.

With over 30 years of combined experience, Amy’s innovative ideas for creating products that improve the lives of animals pairs perfectly with JJ’s passion to deliver the best products available on the market through unique product design, new manufacturing processes, and creation of the safest and strongest materials. Prior to GURU, the Stones spent a decade inventing and developing many pet products for other top industry brands under their company Gravity Product Development (GPD).

“For years, Amy would be out on a hike or in the backyard with one of our dogs and become inspired by an idea for a new product,” said JJ Stone. “I’d then figure out how to create it.”

JJ has successfully brought hundreds of products to the consumer and pet retail markets. Early in his career, he moved to Hong Kong where he trained with some of the top industry leaders, learning and studying the newest and most advanced manufacturing processes of that time. He then spent three years at KONG Company as VP of product development where he helped drive new product innovation and offshore manufacturing processes before starting GPD.

With a lifelong love for animals and a passion to make their lives better, Amy Stone has spent her career in the pet industry. Before GPD, she was a senior product manager at KONG Company for 14 years. During this time, she was at the forefront of many great product launches that helped KONG grow to where they are today.

“Colleagues have been asking why now? And it’s pretty simple,” noted Amy Stone. “Why not now? We’ve enjoyed our simple life of inventing and developing pet products for amazing companies that we immensely respect, but we wanted to create a brand where pets’ mental and physical wellness were the focus and at the forefront of every toy and product we develop. We are determined to design, develop and manufacture products our way — and that’s all for the animals.”

At this year’s SuperZoo, GURU will unveil four lines and 50+ SKUs of multi-functional toys that simultaneously addresses multiple instincts:

  • Hide-A-Tail: With a tail that hides in a hidden pocket, this plush toy crinkles, squeaks, and encourages and challenges dogs to problem solve.
  • Fry Guys: Sticks with attitude! Crinkle, squeak, and fetch with these big personalities while engaging a dog in stimulating play.
  • Chew Perfect: This product comes in three styles — The BusyBall, Adjust-A-Chew, Spin & Treat — all of which are designed with nylon wood to safely encourage chewing while simultaneously stimulating the mind.
  • Chew Pro: Designed for the toughest players, Bonanza!, Challenger and the Duo-Ball are created from thermoplastic rubber for the toughest play.

Products will be available January 2024.