Evolutionizing Dog Training Tools for the 21st Century

Dog WalkingThis guest post is written by Alecia Evans, Professional Dog Trainer, Inventor of The Walk In Sync™ Humane Dog Walking and Training System. For over a decade, Alecia has been transforming dogs of all ages, breeds and temperaments and turning their humans into respectable leaders in the most human and fun ways.

After a decade of training dogs of all ages, breeds, and temperaments it occurred to me that the most recommended tools available to train our beloved companions involved choking them or possibly harming their spines and necks. I began asking the question: “What else was possible in developing training tools that not only worked quickly and effectively but completely respected and honored the dog’s body and intelligence and made training a stress free, humane, pleasurable and rewarding experience for dog and human alike?”

My answer arrived when I had a vision for a new type of training harness that would eliminate pulling and never harm the dog by providing a clear consistent boundary. which would teach them to back off of pressure in a such an effortless way that it seemed like the dog was training themselves.

Virtually all dogs that pull have been unknowingly taught by their people through continuously changing boundaries that pulling gets the dog and their human to move forward. Most training tools were devised to work through the application of pain or at least pressure in spots that can harm your dog by misaligning vertebrae in their spine or damaging soft tissue through repetitive strain. ”In a retrospective study on spinal pain, injury or changes in dogs conducted in Sweden, Hallgreen (1992) found that 91% of dogs with cervical anomalies experienced harsh jerks on lead or had a long history of pulling on the lead. This strongly suggests that such corrections are potentially injurious.” – Karen Overall, Clinical Behavioural Medicine for Small Animals.

Well, it’s the 21st Century and the time for more Humane Dog Training tools has arrived.

Imagine using the proper tools to turn you into the leader your dog or puppy has been begging you to be. What if there existed a new way to train your dog that is totally humane and actually teaches your dog how to harness and master their own energy to unleash their greatest potential in just minutes.

The first thing you will require is a training tool that does not choke your dog, such as a harness. The harness should fit below the dog’s throat to allow free range of motion and never inhibit shoulder stride. Next you will require a leash that allows you to create clear consistent boundaries for your dog or pup that are unchanging. These tools will be your life line to creating a great relationship with your dog.

Now that you have the proper tools you will need a new method to use to train your dog or puppy to sets you up for pain and stress free success.

A training method should be: easy, consistent, fun and effective while teaching you how to harness your dog’s energy to unleash their greatest potential in just minutes without choking them. The method should be developed to work with the humane training tools to teach and support you in educating your dog in a very short time to move off of pressure without any pain and how to walk in sync with you within minutes.

For more information on how to join the legions of dog parents choosing Humane Training please visit: www.dogwalkinsync.com for more information.

Dog Exercise: Hiring a Dog Runner or Dog Jogger

Dog JoggingWhen your dog paws the doorknob or plops your running shoes on your lap, it can only mean one thing. It’s time to hit the road. Man’s Best Friend needs sufficient daily exercise to maintain optimal bone, joint and heart health. A pedestrian-paced 15 minute walk, with extended potty breaks, generally doesn’t provide enough activity to allow your dog to channel that extra energy, especially if your dog is young and has significant energy.

When you are at work, have another commitment or are just need a break, a dog jogger (or dog runner) can keep your dog’s motor running and help reduce his excess energy. These pet care professionals are a great option for dogs that need a higher level of activity than a traditional dog walking or daycare service can deliver. They love dogs and understand the importance of designing a session that meets their unique needs.

Most dogs were born to cruise. Dalmatians, Samoyed, Dobermans and many other active breeds need daily 30 to 45 minute high energy runs to keep them healthy and happy. Dog joggers are athletes and can easily set a pace that will give any dog a great workout, rain or shine. Dog joggers and runners know how much they are able to push a dog, and they are knowledgeable about when to let the dog rest and finish the run or jog.

For senior dogs and those with injuries, weight issues or other physical limitations, dog joggers adopt a swift-paced walk to accommodate their fitness and abilities. Pugs, Beagles, Akitas and certain other breeds do not need high level workouts and are ideal candidates for these walks. Every dog can benefit from daily exercise session with a dog jogger.

When working with a dog jogger, people should consult their veterinarian to determine their dog’s level of readiness for exercise. Dog joggers can handle up to two dogs during one session. If you need a private workout session, there may be extra charges.

For safety reasons and to make the most of the session, dog joggers will normally exercise with your dog in a park near your home. If this is not an option, they will jog on nearby sidewalks. Dog jogger services are available in most major cities. There are a number of dog jogging and running services on this website… simply ask the company if they can accomodate this request for your dog.

The cost for this type of workout varies based upon the locale, length and number of the workout sessions. One private 30 minute session can cost between $20 to 32.

Photo: Flickr

Our TechCrunch and Zaarly $500 Donation Offer

If you aren’t aware, TechCrunch is one of the most popular technology blogs with a focus on startup companies. The publisher of the site is venture capitalist and journalist, Michael Arrington, and the site (and company that operates it and other related sites) was recently acquired by AOL. TechCrunch has a huge audience, and being featured on the site is a dream of most Internet entrepreneurs.

The other day, Arrington introduced his new new assistant, Greg Barto, and he announced that his assistant will be doing things in San Francisco that are requested by readers. The “event” is co-sponsored by a new startup called Zaarly, which is a site where people can post requests and others can fulfill them for a fee.

This event is happening today, and in order to be considered, people need to use Twitter and the hastag #gregzaarly to make requests. According to TechCrunch, “since all of the money is going to charity, the Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue, we are going to give priority to those suggestions that offer the most money.”

DogWalker.com is a 20 month old start up that helps dog owners find local dog walkers. In the city of San Francisco, there are 20 dog walking services listed. We made an offer that Greg post a video on TechCrunch and YouTube to tell people what DogWalker.com is and how it works, and we’ll donate $300. We upped the offer to $500 if Greg has a hand full of dog treats and is surrounded by hungry dogs.

Let’s hope TechCrunch takes us up on the offer!

How Much Dog Walkers Are Paid

Dog Walker salaryProfessional dog walkers can earn a very decent income. Depending on the city (or even the neighborhood) and time of year, they can really make a nice amount of money for their efforts. The following is a brief analysis of the basic prices that dog walkers can expect to charge their clients. Keep in mind that this is really varies depending on the city where the dog walker works.

A walk that lasts between 15 and 20 minutes usually nets about $15 to $20. A walk that lasts a half hour to 40 minutes can net about $18 to $25. A walk that lasts between 40 minutes and an hour can get $22 to $30. Prices go up if there are more dogs going on the same walk, although prices will go down a bit if the dogs aren’t owned by the same person. The usual price for an add-on dog can range from around $5 to $15, depending on the location. A dog walker can charge an average of $5 more if he is walking the dog in the early morning or late evening.

Some services bill based on the number of walks per week. For example, 5 walks per week may be $15 per walk, while a single walk per week could cost $20. Dog walkers may offer discounts to clients if they walk their dog every day of the week or provide multiple walks per week.

The average dog walker walks typically walks a single dog at a time. Some dog walkers do walk more than one dog, especially those who work for a dog walking service where it’s permitted.

Dog walkers can earn a nice amount of money each year. This is especially true if they consider themselves professional dog walkers and maximize their time dog walking instead of just walking to earn a little extra income on the side if they’re a student or something of that nature. A person can do up twelve visits per day, and each of those visits might just be 30 minutes, and that is a full time job. If each visit nets $15, then that person could make $180 per day. That would be close to $50,000 per year if they work 5 days a week.

The good news it that people need their dogs walked during all seasons, and especially on holidays. Some people don’t like summer weather, and others don’t like winter weather, and a dog walker can make a neat profit playing off of different peoples’ temperaments when it comes to temperature. People are especially busy on holidays and need someone to walk the dogs.

You must keep in mind that this does not take any costs into consideration. Professional dog walkers should have an insurance policy and bonding, which can be expensive. Training programs may also have been expensive, especially if the dog walker is enrolled in continuing education courses to keep up to date on new techniques or things like pet CPR. Also, Many dog walkers need to use a car, train, or the subway to get to clients, and those can be very expensive.

Dog walking may not seem like a lucrative business, but it can be financially rewarding to those who love dogs and want to spend their time with dogs.

Photo: Flickr

Connect With Your Community on Twitter

I want to share a marketing tip with you to help grow your business locally. If you’re like me, you’ve already signed up for a Twitter account (the DogWalker.com account can be found at Twitter.com/dogwalker). If you haven’t signed up for a Twitter account, you should do that soon. Since this is for business, I recommend using your business name as your Twitter user ID.

Once you’ve signed up for an account, you’re ready to rock. Start off by filling out the profile information. You don’t have a lot of room, so be sure to post your main services and location. You should post your company website as well. Here’s a tip, don’t use “www” as you normally might. This will give people more chance to see your actual url if they don’t want to click yet. There are many places to get a free Twitter background, or you can hire someone (do a Google search for Twitter backgrounds – they’re cheap).

Now that you’re up to speed and your account is set up, here’s what I recommend. Start following people in your community. Visit search.twitter.com and search for people mentioning your city name. You can also follow your local politicians, newspapers, businesses, chamber of commerce accounts, and other local people.

If you can contribute to a conversation, by all means, do so. If you can share information that others would find valuable, do it.You should also share pet care tips that local people can take advantage of. You might share some insider tips about local dog parks and dog runs. Become known as the local dog and pet expert, and people will come to you with their pet questions and needs. This will help grow your business.

Avoid politics and polarizing conversations. Just like you probably wouldn’t discuss politics or religion with a potential client you don’t know well, it’s best to avoid conversations like this on Twitter. If you do have a desire to discuss politics and other polarizing topics, set up a personal Twitter account! Your business account should be strictly for business.

Your goal is to become known on Twitter as someone who locally walks and takes care of dogs. As people get to know your online persona, they will become more comfortable with you and hit you up when their pet care needs arise. If they feel comfortable with you on Twitter, it’s a great first step in a business relationship.

You don’t necessarily need to be active on Twitter, but you should update your feed as frequently as you can (maybe daily or even weekly). By connecting with local people on Twitter, you will help grow your dog walking service client list.

Don’t Find a Job – Create a Job

Start a Dog Walking BusinessWe all know the job market is pretty dreary. Unemployment is high, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. It seems that no matter how hard some people try, finding a job in this economy is next to impossible. If you love dogs and have been thinking about starting your own business, now seems like the perfect time.

Stop spending time searching for a job. Start a dog walking business! Don’t worry – this is not a sales pitch, I promise. I am not here to try and sell you some program that shows you how to start your own business or service. In fact, the only things that are really sold on DogWalker.com are business listings to help dog owners connect with local dog walking services.

The point of my post is to give you a kick in the tail to get you up and motivated. Do a bit of research in your state and city to see what is required of starting a company. We have some tips on starting a dog walking company, but those are just tips and not really anything more than some free advice we’re happy to share.

I started my own Internet company several years ago, and I haven’t looked back. I work a lot (just ask my wife), but I don’t work for anyone else and I can make my own hours. If you are able to start a dog walking company, you can become self reliant. Find dog owners who will become clients, and if you serve them well, they will refer you to others. You’ll be able to make your own hours and build your business.

The best part is that pretty much anyone who is responsible and self-motivated can do this. If you want to find a dog walking job, that’s totally cool, too… we can even possibly help if you follow the previous link. However, starting your own company can be a great way to create your own job.

National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS)

National Association of Professional Pet SittersIf you’ve searched through the DogWalker.com directory of local dog walkers, its’s very likely that you’ve seen dog walking services mention that they are members of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS). Since you probably are wondering what membership entails, I want to give you some information about the organization.

The National Association of Professional Pet Sitter is an animal advocate organization that supports pets and the people who care for them. When human beings are affected by personal and natural disasters, their pets suffer too. NAPPS also works with the Humane Society of the United States to rescue pets and benefit shelters nationwide.

NAPPS is a non-profit organization that is run by it members for its members. It provides the tools and resources members need to be professional pet sitters. Certified pet sitters complete courses of study in pet care, nutrition and general health and behavior and a complete pet first aid course. They also learn business development and management. Pet owners often have questions about their pet’s behavior and training. Some of the areas where members get help are:

  • Obedience and Behavior Training
  • Medical questions about aftercare for surgery or allergies
  • Behavior traits for different breeds of dog

Members also get help in establishing their pet sitting business including:

  • Client scheduling
  • Transporting pets
  • Methods of payment
  • Liability insurance

NAPPS aims to become the leader in the professional pet sitter industry and provides its members with professional integrity. It also provides education in the care and behavior of different kinds of pets and networking opportunities to further its members pet sitting businesses.

Members join the NAPPS referral network which pet owners can use to find local NAPPS members. Being a member also gives access to discount rates for bonding, health and liability insurance. Any questions members have about the care of certain animals can be answered by the staff at headquarters or they will direct members to the appropriate resource. There is a Mentoring Teleconference every month where members can ask questions and get answers.

There are many other benefits of becoming a member of NAPPS. Members may:

  • Have a voice in the association
  • Attend the annual conference and trade show
  • Receive a quarterly magazine
  • Have access to a virtual library
  • Receive free business forms and press releases to boost their business
  • Have access to list serve

You can learn more about NAPPS, including information about joining, on the organization’s website, http://petsitters.org. Since DogWalker.com is not a dog walking or pet sitting service, the website is not affiliated with NAPPS, but it’s certainly an organization that benefits its membership.

Vote for NAPPS Business of the Year

National Association of Professional Pet SittersThe National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping pet owners find suitable pet sitters for their pets and helping pet sitters become better at providing their pet care services. Pet owners want nothing but the best for their pets and can find pet sitters for their pets instead of leaving them in a kennel. The pet gets to stay at home with a professional taking care of him, and the owner has the peace of mind that her pet is receiving the care it needs. NAPPS helps the sitter and owner find each other.

Knowing that a pet sitter is certified with NAPPS assures the pet owner is leaving their pet in good hands. Certification requires that the sitter is knowledgeable in pet nutrition, pet care, health, first aid, and behavior. It insures that the sitter knows the value and importance of business development and management, and integrity. Many dog walking services are members of NAPPS as well.

When you find your dog walking service and can rest assured that your pet is receiving professional and loving care when you’re away, do your walker a favor; nominate him for the NAPPS Business of the Year Award (pdf on NAPPS website). This prestigious award goes to the pet sitter / pet care business that is knowledgeable, shows good business skills, is innovative, dependable, and promotes NAPPS and the standard of excellence that is expected by NAPPS.

The winner of this award receives transportation, lodging, and registration at the NAPPS Annual Conference, registration to the Saturday night event of the Annual Conference, and many other valuable prizes. The runner-ups also receive valuable prizes.

If you think your dog walker or pet sitter is the best of the best, give this devoted person the recognition he or she deserves: a nomination for the NAPPS Business of the Year Award. Share the experience of peace of mind that comes with having a good sitter or walker with other pet owners in your area.

Normal Day for a Professional Dog Walker

Dog Walking in MalibuThis is a guest post written by Jackie Bass, owner of Malibu Pet Care, a pet care company that offers dog walking services in Malibu, California.

When you do what you love, there is no such thing as a truly bad day… not to say there aren’t challenges. Owning my own pet care business has meant a ton of hard work, far more work than any corporate job has ever thrown at me… and yet, it is all so very worth it.

Today I start out with a morning walk before the sun has a chance to heat up the air, and the clouds still obscure the ocean horizon. My first visit of the day consists of two Staffordshire Bull Terriers and two French Bulldogs, to be walked separately in pairs. I love these dogs, we have our greeting ritual, our pet names, our routine. “Oh my big bullies! You ready for your stroll?”, I coo to the staffies. Lollie frantically searches for her tennis ball, excited about the fetch and retrieve activities that lay ahead. Bert is more laid back. He looks up at me with one open eye, wondering if it really is worth it to abandon his daydreams for the varied smells of the block.

Leashed up, the staffies power-walk down the block, little rose ears flapping like proud flags in the wind. I’m getting into the rhythm, and we’re all hitting our stride, when I feel a sudden jerk on the line. I look down and realize that Bert is lying on his back with his feet kicking in the air, and a huge smile on his face. Apparently, the super-sized stinker has decided that 200 yards is as far as he’s willing to go this morning, and he’s already petitioning me to turn back for home and resume his nap. Unfortunately, this was communicated in a secret language that not every human has the capacity to decipher.

As soon as the big galoot flops over, a well-meaning, but tightly wound, woman comes rushing out of her front door still sporting a pink bathrobe, fuzzy slippers, and giant curlers in her hair. She wants to know if she should call the emergency vet?! Her tone is half concerned, half accusing me of exhausting that poor dog to near death. I calmly point out that we were a mere five doors down from Bert’s home, and that he’s just being lazy. The concerned neighbor huffs back indoors. I’m sure Bert is laughing inside.

It’s these little moments that bring a smile to my face when people ask me what it’s like to be a dog walker. On an average day, I walk 8 dogs separately from 5 households, spanning 6 hours and covering 17 miles. It can be a pretty physically demanding job, particularly when you’ve got canyon trails involved and the sun bearing down on you.

Once the last dog is walked, it’s time to head home and shower quickly so that the next part of my day can begin: the business side of things. Answering phone calls, text messages, emailing GPS reports, and scheduling meetings with potential new clients. In order to keep doing what I love, there’s also the marketing, accounting, and billing. At the end of the day, I average 14 total hours of work from the time I walk that first dog until I send that last email.

The long hours and the hard work isn’t what I expected when I first started this business, but to take in the fresh sea air everyday and spend my time outdoors is all worth it. Not to mention, there’s just something satisfying about seeing the joy in dog’s faces when I come, and leaving them tired out so they can enjoy a better relationship with their guardians.

Kingsman Field Dog Park in Washington, DC

Washington DC Dog ParkKingsman Field Dog Park is a fun and inviting place for dogs and their people. Kingmans Field is conveniently located on NE D Street and NE Tennessee Avenue in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington D.C. The dog park is open seven days a week from 7 am to 10 pm. Kingsman Field is fully enclosed for the safety of the dogs that frequent the space. It offers two separate enclosures so that large/out going dogs can be in a different area than smaller/shy dogs. The dog park area has gravel ground for ease of cleaning up after dogs during their play time.

Kingsman Field Dog Park provides bags for waste clean up, although the box didn’t have any bags when we visited in early August. They also provide a dog water fountain so that your pooch will not get dehydrated while having fun in the park. There is a large trash receptacle for the owner’s convenience for tossing out filled waste bags.

There is a sense of community as owners donate various toys to the park so that no visiting dog is without something fun to play with. The community of Kingsman Field are inviting to new dogs and their owners. The community likes to share knowledge to help new owners or individuals new to the area to find resources for their dog’s health care needs. People who were in the park seemed very friendly and paid close attention to their dogs.

Overall, Kingsman Field Dog Park is a great place to take your dog and enjoy a day outside. The safety created by the fully enclosed park allows dogs to romp and play without the fear of them bolting. So if you are in the area, stop by and enjoy the day with your best buddy.

Pet Insurance is Important!

This will be a very quick post. Apparently my dog ate a latex glove in Central Park the other day. We didn’t notice anything peculiar until she began throwing up and had diarrhea. We figured she may have caught a gastrointestinal bug, so we fed her a bland diet for the evening (white rice).

Later in the evening and as the night progressed, her condition worsened. She couldn’t get comfortable and continued to vomit and have a very upset stomach. In fact, she started to have bloody diarrhea and couldn’t control this (she went on the apartment floor for the first time ever).  I immediately brought her to the emergency veterinarian who did a work up of tests.

One of the radiographs revealed that she had something in her stomach about 3cm big, and the veterinarian ordered an endoscopy to see what it was and if they could remove it. Luckily for us, they were able to remove it. The cost for her stay was very expensive, but we have pet insurance and assume much of this expensive will be covered.

The moral of this story is that if your dog gets sick, your pet insurance should save you considerably.

Professional Dog Walking: Seattle Style

When my husband’s job sent him to Seattle for a six month project, I was able to leave our house along with our 5 dogs in the care of our grown daughter and go with him. For the first 2 months I was content to make our temporary living space more like a home, but after that was accomplished I began to get stir crazy.

I read about the growing need for Seattle dog walking services, and the greater Seattle-Tacoma area. Since I was desperately missing my own dogs, I was immediately intrigued by the idea. I put an ad in the Seattle Times “pet needs” section and within days I had 4 clients. After meeting with them one by one and explaining my non-professional dog expertise to them, I was hired! I charged $20/wk per dog. That included 3 walks per week. Because these walks lasted between 2 and 4 hours, I also provided fresh bottled water as well as healthy treats for my new canine buddies. I also provided pick up and delivery service.

I took them to several different dog friendly areas with many sights to see….or smell. My favorite places to take them was Discovery Park and Magnuson Park, but sometimes we would switch it up a bit and go to Seward Park Trails or Burk-Gilman Trail. I only took 2 dogs at a time so not to overwhelm myself and I wanted to be sure that each dog got the attention they deserved. I absolutely enjoyed myself as much as the dogs.

I got my daily excercise while being payed to do so, and I had so many laughs along the way! The only downside to my 3 month gig as a dog walker was that when it was time for us to leave Seattle, I had to say goodbye to them. I wonder if they still think about me?

Discovery Park in Seattle

Discovery Park in SeattleIf you ever have the opportunity to visit Seattle WA, Discovery Park should be a must see on your list. It is locacted in the Penninsular neighborhood of Seattle. Its 534 acres of vast beauty makes it Seattle’s largest and most popular public park. Having been a professional dog walker, it was my favorite place to take the dogs. Unlike a typical dog park there is plenty of room to freely roam the area without the dogs getting too distracted by a crowd.

The people we encountered along the way were all so friendly. It was obvious that they were enjoying the park as much as I was. There was never a dull moment for the canines and me as we would wind our way through more than 11 miles of beautiful walking trails. The park is full of history as you will learn about in the United Indians of All Tribes’ Daybreak Cultural Center. The park’s beautiful grounds will not disappoint.

Along with its history, Discovery Park is considered to be the best place in the city to view wildlife. For instance, the Seattle Audubon Society has documented over 270 species of birds to be viewed in the trees and around the waters. There are bays within the park that are a habitat for sea lions and seals. You will surely see an array of wildlife if you choose to hike the Loop Trail. For those who are interested in dendrology, there are many different types of trees to see as well. What a way to get your excercise while enjoying nature!

Whether you are visiting Discovery Park just to walk your dog or trying to learn a thing or two about nature, you are sure to be in awe of its beauty. Trust me when I say, you will want to go back.

Discovery Park is located at 3801 Discovery Park Blvd. in Seattle. More information about the park, its hours, rules, and directions can be found on the city of Seattle website.

Photo: Flickr

Unleashed: Dog Walker Web Series – Episode 1

Unleashed is a new comedic web series that follows Heather Posen and her rapidly growing Los Angeles-based dog walking company, LEASH. Each Tuesday, a new episode is posted on YouTube and on the WatchUnleashed.com website. For your viewing pleasure, episode one is embedded below.

If you own a dog walking service or work for a dog walking service, we think you’ll thoroughly enjoy this series and have a few laughs.

Catch It Don’t Fetch It With The Poop Hoop

Here’s a guest post from Robert Plotkin, President of Fusion of Ideas, LLC, and inventor of the Poop Hoop!

Are we talking baseball ? Football ? Soccer ? No … not by a long shot! We’re talking to the owners and care givers of man’s best friends … Dogs.

Those of us that have the luxury of living in a rural area with plenty of room to let our dogs run free and leashless need not listen. But those of us who have the requirement to walk our dogs two or three times daily in a more urban setting or live in communities that require leashes and waste management, may really need the help I suggest.

For years, my yellow Labrador “Kramer” and I would leave the house rain or shine, cold or hot, and negotiate our way down sidewalks, streets and walk paths for both of our health benefits. We were pals, buddies, walking together and enjoying the time. That is, right until the time “nature called”. Then the pleasure faded into a little bit of a necessary task. It wasn’t the worst of times and certainly wasn’t the best of times, but the effort still usually required me bending, picking up, carrying, and the removal of Kramer’s deposit into the proper receptacle. Sure all of us dog owners did it, but there had to be a better way, so off Kramer and I went to the local pet superstore. Before long we reappeared with a “pooper scooper” in hand. It wasn’t long before I realized that this newly acquired device was not only costly, heavy to carry, needed a full cleaning at the end of every walk and most of all, could not fully remove the dog waste from many surfaces, especially when the waste was not hard or firm.

Well, there seemed to be only two answers to this problem. One, carry a bucket of water or hose, to wash down the pet waste. Or two, catch the waste before it hit and any surface. That’s when I strolled into my home workshop and built a prototype of the POOP HOOP. The prototype was a far cry from the POOP HOOP of today. It was merely a stick with a small plastic hoop on one end holding a plastic bag. The first test of this new device provided a revelation of information about the possible success of the new technique. The things I found consisted of learning that once my dog sniffed the device and became comfortable with the knowledge that it wasn’t there to hurt him, he actually paid no attention to me carrying it when we walked. Secondly, I found that, once Kramer “assumed the position”, very little would stop him from the completion of his event. With that knowledge in hand,

I replaced the stick with an adjustable aluminum handle, and a fully adjustable plastic hoop to hold any common plastic bag. So with the new, improved, POOP HOOP in hand, Kramer and I used it twice daily for the next six months. During that period of time, many of my dog owning neighbors questioned me with comments such as, “What is that ?”, “How does it work ?”, “Where did you buy it ?” and finally…. “Could you make me one of those for me ?”

That ignited an idea in me that maybe I should make five or six more of these and find out whether my success with the POOP HOOP would be duplicated by my neighbors with other sizes and breeds of dogs. Within the next two months the neighborly responses I received was fantastic. And this was visually confirmed by me seeing my neighbors actually carrying their POOP HOOPs when walking their dogs.

After ten months, I finally received my patent and trademark documentation and began to market the POOP HOOP via dog shows, emailing, TV commercials, and placement in local pet stores. Sales have been improving on a daily basis and is on the verge of forcing me to increase the size of my assembly facility.

The intent of my comments here are truly directed at ordinary people with extra ordinary ideas. Inventing or becoming an inventor does not require brilliance, but it does require common sense. Good or even great ideas cannot be determined within one’s own head, they must be reflective of economically resolving a need for a comparatively large amount of people. Cost of this resolution must be economically proportional to the value of having the problem resolved. Acquiring or fabricating a working prototype, in my opinion, is a must in testing an idea before proceeding with more costly legal work. Be very aware of the many unscrupulous invention companies which offer to take your idea to market and provide you with unrealistic promises about the worthiness of your idea and its ultimate success. Very often the motivation of these companies is to sell you a fabrication and marketing package, with no real interest in the ultimate success or failure of your idea. Do not circumvent the “due diligence” required in finding the true facts and motivation of these companies.

So often an individual with a GOOD IDEA fails because he refuses to use his own common sense and is initially discouraged by deceitful companies …

Do Not Give Up !

Unleashed: Dog Walker Web Series – Episode 2

Unleashed is a comedic web series that follows Heather Posen and her Los Angeles-based dog walking company, LEASH. Each Tuesday, a new episode is posted on YouTube and on the WatchUnleashed.com website. For your viewing pleasure, episode two is embedded below. We recommend checking out Unleashed episode one before viewing episode two. Hope you enjoy the series!

Unleashed: Dog Walker Web Series – Episode 3

Unleashed is a humorous web series that follows Heather Posen and her Los Angeles-based dog walking company, LEASH. Every Tuesday, a new episode is posted on YouTube and on the WatchUnleashed.com website. For your entertainment, episode three is embedded below. We recommend checking out Unleashed episode one and Unleashed episode two before viewing episode three. It’s pretty awesome and we hope you enjoy it!

Unleashed: Dog Walker Web Series – Episode 4

Unleashed is a comedy web video series that follows Heather Posen and her Los Angeles-based dog walking company, LEASH. Every Tuesday, a new episode is posted on YouTube and on the WatchUnleashed.com website. For your entertainment, episode fur is embedded below. We recommend checking out Unleashed episode one, Unleashed episode two, and Unleashed episode three before viewing episode three. It’s pretty awesome and we hope you enjoy it!