About this project
A Doddle is a collar with an integral retractable normal length lead/leash, which means the lead is always in the same place...on the dog!
The idea for the Doddle came to me when I was walking my dogs. The first problem was clipping the leads on them all. With Crummie being a long haired Wheaten Terrier, it was particularly awkward to find the ring on the collar and then attach his leash.
Once we were out on a walk, I found it a pest to have to keep struggling to clip their leads on and off as we came across various "hazards”. Leads on for a road and off for the countryside. On for a sheep filled field and off for the woods. On for town and off for home. Off to get into the car and quickly on before getting out. On for the park and....well, you know the problem.
I had used flexible extending leads but did not like having to carry a heavy handle while the dogs were running free. Especially since I had three to carry! My idea was to make a standard length lead that didn't have a fiddly clip on the end. A dog lead which was retractable so I wouldn’t have to keep stopping to clip it on and off.
I quickly realised that this concept would be so helpful for people who have difficulty using the clip. It became my passion to invent a lead without a clip. One that couldn't be lost or dropped or misplaced or hidden in the welly boot or wherever. Something that was so fiddle-free that walkies would become a Doddle.
I approached the product development company BlueMT with my idea and they have transformed it into reality. We have had a lot of fun and worked hard to bring you a unique collar which is simple, safe and easy to use.
For dog owners everywhere, Doddle for Dogs offers many benefits. For young and old, fit and infirm, professional dog walkers, that little old lady and especially for people like my mother who has to use a walking stick. For her, now taking “Proudy” for a walk, is a ‘Doddle’!
I have made the journey from working in investment banking to running my own successful interior design business to becoming an inventor and entrepreneur. I have 2 business degrees from Macquarie University in Australia and returned to live in the UK some years ago. I have grown up with dogs all my life and became the proud owner of my first dog Bianca in 1991. That makes 22 years of dog walking so far! I now have 2 ‘volunteer’ testers, Crummie and Bertie.
Simon has over 10 years experience in the design industry having studied Product and Furniture design at DeMontfort University. Since being with BlueMT he has designed and design-managed over 350 projects as well as building the current design team. In his role as Head of Product Design, Simon oversees, manages and directs all the BlueMT design projects. He liaises closely with clients throughout their projects to ensure that their vision is fully developed and realised. More often than not, to a greater standard than they first imagined. Over the years Simon has also grown up with many dogs in his life, putting this experience to good use whilst developing Doddle for Dogs.
SMALL - neck size - min length 28cm max length 32cm
MEDIUM - neck size - min length 32cm max length 40cm
A big ‘Thank You’ and large lick on the face to: Jean, my mother, and Proudy for being such patient guinea pigs. Lucia for just being Lucia. Henry, Simon, Jessica and the team at BLUE MT for the technology and design solutions. Lynette for the graphic designing. Rob for the web wizardry. Paddy for the film direction and edit. Fiona for the market research. Steve for the copy and translations from Dog to English. And Adrian for the photography. All the friends who gave support and advice on our walkies. Finally, to Crummie and Bertie, my inspiration and my passion!
The backing raised will be used for:
- tooling costs
- manufacturing costs
- raw materials
- licenses and legal fees
- packaging and shipping
Kickstarter appeal: 30 days
Production: mid June - August 2013
Shipping from manufacturer: August/September 2013
Delivery to backers: August/September 2013
Is the Doddle patented?
You bet! The Doddle is protected by one or more U.K. and international patents pending (PCT/GB2012/052496). We value our creativity and will pursue all legal avenues at our disposal to protect it worldwide. Doddle for Dogs is fully Trademarked.
Risks and challenges
My experience in business has taught me to be cautious before embarking (sorry) on any new venture. After having the initial idea for the Doddle, I commissioned independent market research. The reaction of dog owners to the idea of a combined lead and collar was overwhelmingly positive. Even people without dogs could see the benefit.
With around 8 million dogs in the UK, all requiring daily walks, I realised I had a market panting (sorry again) for my product. After that I was like a Jack Russell with a bone! I was determined to use a British company for the design and development and discovered that BlueMT had 10 years experience and could oversee the manufacturing process as well.
From my ‘Mark One’ Doddle made from a dressmaking measuring tape and a loop of ribbon we were soon on the way to developing viable prototypes. And now, we’re ready to produce the finished item which will mean, for dog lovers young and old, walkies will soon become a Doddle!
Even if you don’t have a dog yourself, the advantages of a Doddle are obvious. Maybe you have a friend who owns a dog? Perhaps a Doddle would make a great gift for someone you know? Instead of struggling with a leash or a lead, everyone can make dog walking a Doddle!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (30 days)