As of next month, Sony Corp will offer free software kits for its plastic pet dog, called AIBO, which will give owners many more training options.

AIBO will even be able to meow rather than bark.

Up to now, most AIBO owners could only play with a pre-trained computerized pet whose behavior was largely defined by Sony’s programming, but the new software kit will allow experienced users to teach the dog any amount of new tricks. The release of the development kit, called OPEN-R SDK, is an about-face for the Japanese audiovisual electronics giant, which had tried to cage in independent developers who were hacking into the AIBO’s electronic innards and making what Sony claimed were unauthorized modifications.