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Inventing the Perfect Pup Product
Leash inventor featured on Quirky reality show
Kosuko leash "ideator" Sara Carpenter with Ben Kaufman, founder and CEO of Quirky, in the Sundance Channel series "Quirky."

Have you ever felt like you had a great idea for a million-dollar dog product and all you needed was a little technical—and maybe emotional—support?

Tonight, Sara Carpenter of Richmond Hill, N.Y., finds out if her idea for a soft retractable-leash with a pocket for waste bags is going to have its chance at the big time. She’s one of two inventors featured on the Sept. 6 episode of Quirky (10 pm ET), a Sundance Channel reality series built around a product-development company that brings the inventions of everyday folks to market—with a big dose of public input via social media.

Carpenter is an unemployed single mom, an ex-New York police officer (with the accent to match), who pulled together her idea for the Kosuko leash trying to find something that worked for her and her dog, Pom. I have serious reservations about retractable leashes. At the very least, they encourage bad leash-walking behavior, and at the worst, the extended leads create tangling and strangling risks. Plus, a dog running out the full length of the leash can build momentum that is dangerous for the dog and the walker.

That said, I am impressed with people who take an idea and run with it, especially if the motivation is, at least in part, to make our lives with our dogs better.

It has me thinking though: With so many dog products out there, what still really needs to be improved on? What canine accessory would you like to see the team at Quirky tackle next? An edible Frisbee? A calorie-calculating food dish? A nail clipper that your dog LOVES?

Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com

Photo: Christian Clothier

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Submitted by Frances | September 6 2011 |

A non-tangle lead with a strong light weight clip for small dogs! I walk three dogs, and the leads go into my pocket neatly rolled, and come out like tangled spaghetti...

Submitted by Quirky Inventor | February 19 2012 |

I am a Quirky Inventor, ready to solve your pet problems and make the product you need. Shoot more issues or ideas this way on what you want to see.

Submitted by Basil Brown | September 7 2011 |

The nail clipper that dogs LOVE! Please!

Submitted by Monica | September 7 2011 |

I wish her much luck, but what we do NOT need is another retractable leash. Those things are dangerous and a pain in the butt to use.

Submitted by Quirky Inventor | February 19 2012 |

Hi everybody. I can invent products for pets, but need to know more ways or products that need to be improved on.

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