We Road-Test the Auggiedog Hands-Free Pooper Scooper
Michael Celiceo is Director of Communications at Dogster's parent company, SAY Media. Follow him on Twitter.
As a condo resident and the owner of a 70-pound Lab named Indo, I have to take my favorite canine out day and night, in rain or snow, whenever nature calls. For whatever reason, I have never gotten used to scooping up his warm (and often streaming) "leave-behinds" with a plastic bag. Rather, I recycle used coffee cups and carry them with me to collect and dispose of Indo’s waste. It works for me, but for a great many people facing a similar situation, this is a less than ideal solution.
Recently, however, I could not believe my eyes when I walked into the office and saw the Auggiedog. It's billed as a way to clean up after our canine friends in a clean, eco-friendly way, without ever having to stoop over and pick anything up by hand. Is technology neat or what?
How it works
The Auggiedog is a tubular device that works like a vacuum, and it's lightweight (less than 3 pounds), which makes easy to take to take on walks. To get started, you need to adjust the telescopic shaft to the desired length, and then charge it up (the company claims one charge lasts several days). Then you're ready to start scooping.
I tested the Auggiedog over a three-day period, cleaning up after Indo on surfaces like grass, sand, and bark, during both day and night. The Auggiedog had no trouble collecting his specimen on any of it.
To collect a stool, all you need to do is to hold the “collection end” of the Auggiedog over the stool, select the “Collect and Lift” switch, and it’s sucked away like magic. To dispose of the droppings, just visit a trash can and depress the “Pickup/Release Button,” and off goes the poop. It’s that easy.
Cleaning the Auggiedog is easy, but not perfect. It comes with a foot-operated cleaning station and a biodegradable cleaning solution. While it was easy to fill up and dispose of the waste water, I noticed that not all of the waste residue came off the device, which required me to clean it several times to get it just right. This concerned my significant other, who suggested that I keep the Auggiedog outside.
Finally, the Auggiedog comes with a light, which was strong enough to illuminate the area where Indo laid down his droppings -- very helpful at night. It’s also equipped with an obedience training whistle and a stand, where you can keep the unit when it's not in use.
Should you buy an Auggiedog?
If you never want to stoop down and pick up after your dog again, the Auggiedog is for you. And while I can easily see how the Auggiedog can make dog park employees, doggie daycare professionals, and those with back problems very happy, it’s not for me. The thought of having to carry (and then clean) the Auggiedog several times a day is just too much to ask, in my opinion. So I’ll keep recycling my coffee cups and collecting after Indo in my usual way.