Monday, November 5, 2012

Funnel Tug = Pure Genius

The flyball boys from North Carolina are brilliant -- first, Andy McBride invents the FlyballGeek race tracker, then Leerie Jenkins starts the whole "Run Shady Run!" phenomenon, and now Kyle Mankes has come up with an innovative solution that protects your hand from an enthusiastic tugger...

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you -- the Funnel Tug (a.k.a. The Flaccid Tug, a.k.a. Tugtronic 9000).

Kyle has taken a 99¢ gas funnel, available at Walmart or pretty much anywhere else, and attached it to the end of his tug as a hand protector. He puts a knot in the tug to keep it from sliding down. And if he ever has to replace it, it just costs another 99¢. (He told me the first one lasted about six months.)

I think leaving the sticker on is a nice touch.

Just thought you guys would enjoy a little fun on this post-flyball monday. :)


K-Koira said...

I'd be worried about my dog's mouth if she bit something like that. The hard plastic would probably not be able to break sound dog teeth, but might do damage to an already cracked canine (as one of my dogs has). Plus, I think the plastic would probably rip open my dog's mouth and cause some serious bleeding if she grabbed onto that thing. Much better to just have a dog with good bite inhibition and train them to target the end or middle of the tug.

Kyle said...

The plastic is pretty soft; certainly softer than a nylabone. It's similar to the plastic used in most pet toys. I think it goes without saying that if a dog has a cracked tooth, it shouldn't be chewing anything hard. Having said that, there is no issue with the plastic causing serious bleeding, or any bleeding for that matter. Any punctures in the plastic face inward, leaving a smooth exterior. I think this is a pretty good training tool because prior to the funnel Bender would bite really close to my hand, and if he missed the tug, my hand suffered. Now, he bites the tug, and if he lands on the plastic, he repositions himself.

Chris said...

I'd like to know how long has this innovation been in use? How many different dogs has this been tested on? Breeds of the dogs using this? What kind of data have you developed/lessons learned having this device in use?



Lisa Pignetti Murnan said...

I can't wait to try the funnel out with my borderstaffy, who has nailed me in my (Mechanix-glove-clad) hands many times.

I can totally see this working as a training tool -- maybe instead of biting right next to my hand, he'll target a few inches lower on the tug from now on.

Kyle said...

Chris: I think I've been using the funnel-tug for about nine months now (about a dozen flyball tournaments). It's been tested with one dog, and he's a BC. The main lesson I've learned is: since I started using this, there have been zero accidents. Most people think it's too weird to try it. They go out and buy $50 hockey/La Cross gloves, but I didn't want to spend that much money. This was a cheap, easy way to solve the problem.

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