Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hyper Pet Pooch Post

Owning a big dog is a lot like being a parent to a 3 year old child.  Much of the experience is very rewarding, but along with it comes a lot of challenges, some frustration, and the occasional need to chase him down when he breaks free.  Indeed, an American Akita is a head strong breed.  He's fiercely loyal, but sometimes, no matter how much training and discipline he's had, he thinks it's a good idea to bolt.  As owners of this big responsibility, my wife and I have learned to adapt and have come up with good ways of keeping the pooch in place.  We got a place with tall fences in the backyard, and take care to ensure he's on a leash whenever we are out.

Recently, we camped at Lake Powell, AZ and we wanted to take the dog so he could share in the experience.  Plus, we didn't want to leave him home in the backyard for three days by himself.  With my wife's brother (and his wife and family) going, we thought it might be fun to have Kobun interact with the kids and with their pretty little dog, a Brittany Spaniel.

My wife knew we needed a good way to keep our puppy in the campsite when we were not able to hold onto his leash every minute.  She went down to the local pet store and bought one of those corkscrew type leash anchors that you attach a leash to.  I figured it was a good idea.  Well, it sucked!  The damn thing was more like an auger than anything else, and it churned up the ground pretty good while not providing the best, most secure anchoring point.  Odd, it was rated for dogs up to 130 lbs.  In the end, I tied his 30 foot leash to the picnic table because in spite of that so-called pet anchor, the table wasn't going anywhere.

While taking a stroll through the new Scheels store here in Utah, I discovered this device made by Hyper Pet, called a Pooch Post.  No joke.  It's claim to fame is that it is essentially a giant spike that you hammer into the ground.  You can then remove the inner post from the sleeve, so it can be mowed over, or the dog located somewhere else, without having to pull the entire thing up from the ground.  Cool!  At $12, it was a steal compared to that other contraption.  I found that the inner shaft is held by three keys (as seen in the pic to the right) and you have to align them all to get it out.  Well, Akita's are smart dogs, but they aren't that smart.  There is also a cap that you install so you can hammer the spike into the ground prior to installing the swiveling shaft, which allows 360 degrees of rotation to keep the dog from getting tangled in the device (another downfall of the other thing we bought).

In this picture, you can see the three separate components that make this thing up.  After you insert the cap into the spike, you them grab your favorite BFH and send this thing home into the ground wherever you want your dog to roam.  I made sure not to pound into the septic tank, or sprinkler lines, underground power lines, etc before doing so.  It takes a bit of effort to pound this thing all the way into the ground, so be sure to wear gloves for additional safety.  After it is in, you simply remove the cap, and then key in the inner piece until the head contacts the top of the outer spike.  You are then ready to attach your leash or cable, and then let your dog run wild within the parameters you have set.

Now, the website says that it is good for dogs up to 150 lbs, where the packaging said any size dog.  That's a bit confusing, but in this instance, I'll trust the weight limit stated on the website.  If you have big dogs, you know that weight limitations are always a buzz kill when trying to outfit for your beloved family member.  So  when a product comes along that is actually made for bigger dogs, I naturally get excited.

I think the biggest advantage of this invention is that you can remove the internal spike.  This is good for two reasons:  First, if you want to mow the lawn, you don't have to unscrew the anchor only to put it back in, or try to mow around it and just use the weed whacker.  What a pain in the butt!  Having to go through extra steps is a surefire way to make it so you won't set it up again.  Plus, your dog loses out.  With this, you simply line up the key ways and pull it out.  Easy.  It takes less than 10 seconds.  Another benefit is that if you bought two or more, you can pound the stakes in various locations around your property.  If you happen to be working in the side yard, and want your dog back there, you simply pull the stake and move it to another sleeve without having to unscrew or screw or pound anything.  That's a freaking great idea!

Removing the entire assembly wasn't hard.  I just put the inner piece back into the spike, and used the handle of my hammer to tug on it.  Then it came out pretty easy.  As for your dog being able to remove the whole thing, forget about it.

It's all about physics.  If the dog pulls as hard as he can, he's still pulling laterally against a spike that is over a foot long, driven into the ground.  The compression of the soil around the spike alone means that it has plenty of grip.  This is precisely why we use spikes to hold down tents.  As for the weight limit, well I think that's a disclaimer just in case some big ass dog manages to break the weld that holds the eyelet on the head of the spike, not the dog yanking the entire thing out of the ground.  But nothing surprises me anymore.  As for my dog, he was plenty happy to be in the front yard (which is fenced, but the driveway does not have a gate yet).  He got to play with the kids while I was in the garage working.  I was able to see him, and he could see me, and that always makes him happy.  My dog tends to get a little anxious when he can't see the members of his pack, which is understandable.

Another good test of the system was when Kobun saw a guy walking his pit bull across the street.  My 100 lb dog, who for all intents and purposes is still a puppy, went charging as fast as he could until he used up all 30 feet of his cable.  He was quickly reminded that he was not able to leave the yard (not even touch the driveway).  That little spring attached to the cable helps keep him from hurting himself should he decide to bolt.  Either way, when the pit bull came by 15 minutes later, my dog was alert, but had no desire to go chasing after him again.  Instead, he just went on eating this stuffed dragon toy that has like 15 squeakers in it.

Stay safe.


1 comment:

  1. Excellent product review. I only hope Spencer is not 100 Lbs by the time he is three...