During my brief tenure writing product reviews for Dogster, I have been impressed by the number of products intended to improve the dog owner’s experience of managing dog waste. It leads me to assume that for many dog owners, poop is quite the hassle. I imagine this is particularly true if you have multiple dogs, if your dogs relieve themselves in your yard, or if you have physical limitations.
Recently, I received a sample of the Auggiedog ($149.99), an electronic gadget aimed at reducing the stress of cleaning up after your dog. The Auggiedog pulls solid waste into a canister and ejects the waste into the receptacle of your choice, all at the touch of a button. Its height is adjustable so it can be used without bending over, and it includes a bright light and whistle for visibility and safety during nighttime walks. The Auggiedog comes with a cleaning station, which consists of a plastic container that holds a biodegradable cleaning solution.
My first impression of the Auggiedog was that it was cumbersome to carry while walking with Ace. I think the issue is not so much the weight (2.8 pounds according to the website), but that the Auggiedog is long and the weight is unevenly distributed at the bottom of the unit. This would not be a problem if you are using Auggiedog around your yard, but it is a limitation if you need to take it on a walk with you. This Auggiedog commercial shows a woman walking with the Auggiedog and using it a bit like a cane, so perhaps this would be a better way to carry it.
I found the Auggiedog to be effective at picking up Ace’s fresh poo. It took a few tries before I got the hang of it, but using it is simple: Place the canister over the waste and press a button. In order to test how Auggiedog fared when picking up dry poo, I used it to pick up dog waste I found while walking around my urban neighborhood. On one walk, I picked up the droppings of about five dogs, and the Auggiedog showed no signs of jamming up or being too full to function. I found Auggiedog to be even better at picking up dried waste, as the poo was cleanly and quickly pulled into the canister. I imagine the process of picking up fresh waste with Auggiedog would be messier for dogs whose droppings are larger than the diameter of the canister.
Emptying Auggiedog was as easy as collecting waste. You flip a switch to reverse the direction of the pull, and the waste is ejected. I emptied my Auggiedog into a trash bag, but you could easily do so into your toilet or outdoor garbage pail to reduce plastic bag waste.
Cleaning Auggiedog was disappointingly challenging. After each use, the instructions suggest cleaning the unit in the included cleaning station. You submerge the canister in the solution, and run it in collection mode for 10 seconds and emptying mode for an additional 10 seconds. This seems simple and straightforward, but I found it to be awkward and messy.
The instructions state to fill the tub with solution to the fill line; however, my tub did not have a fill line, so I had to estimate. The gray tub is supposed to lock inside the green cleaning station, but mine kept slipping out, coming dangerously close to splashing me with poo-infused cleaning solution. Perhaps most unfortunately of all, my Auggiedog was not clean after following the instructions of running the unit in the solution for a total of 20 seconds. I gave up after repeating the procedure twice more.
You can store the Auggiedog upright in the cleaning station (it is quite secure), and I would recommend this so that soaking the canister in the solution helps to loosen the waste that remains after you try to clean it. For me, storing the Auggiedog inside my home would be out of the question, given I was unable to clean it properly after using it.
I think the Auggiedog is a well-made product that appears sturdy enough to last through many seasons of poo-picking. It operated as advertised and allowed me to pick up Ace’s waste without bending over. However, because of the difficulty I had cleaning the unit, I think using the Auggiedog is trading one problem (picking up dog poop from the ground) for another (cleaning out dog poop from the Auggiedog). For some dog owners, this might be a worthwhile exchange. I can imagine someone with many dogs, perhaps even a shelter, would find this tool saves much time and effort. An individual who is unable to bend over also might find the benefits of the Auggiedog outweigh the drawbacks.
Dogster Scorecard for the Auggiedog
- Quality: The Auggiedog appeared well made and designed to last.
- Style: The Auggiedog is somewhat cumbersome to carry while walking.
- Function: The Auggiedog easily picked up and dispensed of solid waste, but it was difficult to clean.
- Creativity: Almost like a poop vacuum, the Auggiedog is a unique device.
- Value: At $149.99 (plus the ongoing cost of purchasing cleaning solution), the Auggiedog is an investment.
The Auggiedog picks up and dispenses of dog poop easily, but cleaning it can be challenging. Some dog owners might find this to be a worthwhile exchange, such as people with multiple dogs or who have difficulty bending over.
For additional perspectives on the Auggiedog, check out Michael Celiceo’s 2012 Dogster review, as well as this recent review on The Gadgeteer, which includes some excellent photos.
Dogster readers, please share your experience using Auggiedog or other poo-related products in the comments section!
Learn more about dogs with Dogster:
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- 5 Poisonous Plants That Can Ruin Your Dog’s Holiday Season
- I Hear Gurgling Sounds in My Dog’s Stomach; Should I Worry?
About the Author: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its microclimates, farmers’ markets, and secret stairway walks. When she’s not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace’s adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster.