Mission Statement: Give Your Dog the Slow Down Advantage with the Runaway Dog Stopper
Brandy, a six-year-old Pom-chi (Chihuahua and Pomeranian mix), is a beloved member of the Debbie and Tom Rogers’ family. A fidgeting red-haired ball of energy that runs like a whippet, she is irrepressible and thinks everyone she sees is her friend. And this can be a problem, since the Rogers’s Inverness business, opens onto a busy parking lot serving a dozen other businesses with three entrances onto the five lanes of speeding traffic. What’s a family to do to protect a lively little dog that is too happy and too busy to protect itself?
Tom’s solution to the problem is an invention called the Runaway Dog Stopper, an ingeniously simple device that interrupts the gait of a running dog, slowing it down to a trot or a fast walk. But unlike so many of the new inventions one sees these days, it requires no batteries and needs no software to make it work.
The idea was born when Brandy, a rescue dog only six-months of age joined the Rogers family.
Because she loved to run, and was so fast, they had no hope of catching he were afraid she was going to get hurt, either in their neighborhood or at their business, where she stays with with them everyday.
One day Tom was walking Brandy when he accidentally dropped her leash. She became confused by the loose leash on the ground at her feet, and would not run. He wondered whether it would be possible to create a self-contained device to attach to a dog’s collar that would have the same affect.
Tom started by attaching weights — nuts and washers, actually — to Brandy’s collar with a rubber band. It didn’t work. When Brandy ran, it bounced down and interrupted her gait, just as Tom had hoped. The rubber band made the weights spring back up and hit her in the jaw, so it was back to the drawing board.
Rogers tried different kinds of weights, but a breakthrough came when he used a retractable reel to attach the weight to the collar. When Brandy began to run, the weight would drop, touching her legs and breaking her gait, causing her to come to a walk. As soon as she would stop, the reel would retract and return the weight to her collar.
The affect was almost instantaneous, creating the desired reaction within only two or three steps. After only a few times, Brandy learned the drill and adopted a moderate pace that would not activate the device. At that moment, Rogers realized this was not just a dog safety device; it was also a dog training device.
For Tom and Debbie, good fortune arrived one day when long-time friend Eric Schreiber stopped by their business. He saw Tom was walking Brandy while she was wearing the device and immediately recognized the potential of the invention as a marketable invention.