Honest Reviews

Honest reviews from dog owners who have bought and tried products.
We don't get paid by anyone for these reviews, but if you see your product here, we're open to getting freebies... just sayin.


Doggie Dooley


We have been using the Doggie Dooley for one month. I heard about it on a pet podcast and thought it sounded interesting. Then I went home and checked the price and decided that for $89.95, I could continue putting the poop in plastic bags! A few months later, I found the Dooley on Costco's website for $37.99, including an extra one-year supply of enzymes. I decided to give it a shot.

I purchased the Model 3016D, which is said to handle 2 large pets or up to 4 small pets. So far, I have been very pleased with the product. It handles the waste of my two Sibes just fine. The instructions recommend depositing poop daily, but I have gone as long as three days before scooping and haven't had any problems.

Every time you deposit poop into the Dooley, you also add one gallon of water. Even if I've gone more than one day between poop scooping, I still just put in one gallon of water and it works fine. Once per week, you add some of the enzyme digester powder. The enzyme powder breaks down the poop and then the water washes in down a pipe and into the ground for absorption, just like a septic system.

The installation was a pain. The instructions say to dig a 4-foot deep hole. I think at 3-feet, we gave up and went ahead and put the Dooley in the hole. So far, no problems. The Dooley it's self is only about 15-inches deep, so there is still plenty of open area under the Dooley for the water to wash out.

The Dooley instructions say that it's not suitable for use in clay soil or when the ground temperature is less than 40 degrees. I would also add that if you have very rocky soil, you may have an even harder time digging the hole for installation and perhaps not want to purchase this product.

One more note: The company sells the enzyme digester powder in 6-month supply quantities. That's 6-months for one dog. With two dogs, we have to add twice the amount of digester powder each week, so the 6-month supply is really 3-months. Just something to keep in mind.

I'm rating the Dooley at 3 Claws. It performs just fine, but may not be suitable for some huskies, such as those in colder climates or with rocky or clay soil. It's also a pretty pricey poop disposal system and I'm sure some people don't mind just throwing the poop in the weekly trash pickup for free.

Chris Christensen Brush Review

Ok, before I go into the review, I wanted to give everyone an idea of my history of brushes to prove that brushes are not created equally.

Fur control in a husky is vital to the sanity of the household. While vacuums and swiffers, and brushing won't keep husky fluff from becoming a condiment, or stuck to everything (including people), it does go a long way to keeping the fluff at a manageable level. Therefore, brushing will help in the long run... unless you have a 70lb, extremely fluffy, very headstrong husky that hates to be combed or brushed. Finding the right instrument is vital, as combing or brushing such a husky is a battle of wills and Olympic rated wrestling, not fun for pup nor human.

Finding a brush that will actually put a dent in the densely packed undercoat is a challenge. While the Furminator (see below) is a wonderful tool for getting out that deep down fluff, its not a day-to-day type of brush.


I also found that it makes the coat of a red husky very brittle if used too much. So, while good for getting out the undercoat during a coat blow, its not something you can use daily.

The Rake (pictured below) is also good for getting that deep down fluff, but at a price. Its sharp tines are not good for the sensitive underbelly fluff, it apparently gets irritating after a few strokes (based on the reaction from my pups) and generally, after a few uses, the dogs would run for cover and refuse to let me come near them with it.


The shedding blade (pictured below). Yeah, notice how the cover is still on this thing? That's because it was used only once (with nearly disastrous results) and never used again. The shedding blade has an actual blade in it, it cuts the hair. While the tines are good for getting deep down fluff, you don't want to use this on a daily basis (or at all if you try using it on mine), and you have to use it with care, as it can cut the dog or irritate the skin.



The next set of brushes are what I deem "the worthless wastes of money" brushes (pictured below).









The slicker brush fills up with fur on one swipe, so you are forever cleaning it out, plus the sharp tines irritate the skin and pull the fur. The pin brush on one side, regular brush on the other. the regular brush is worthless and the pin side has sharp pins that pull and stab. the other brush is a pin brush with regular brush bristles mixed in with the pins... so it fills up with fur, is impossible to clean out, and the pins poke the pups.  While the Kong "brush" is good for getting out the loose hairs, it doesn't get that deep down shed.

So, after all of that, when a friend told me about the Chris Christensen brushes I did what only came naturally... laughed hysterically. Sure a pin brush that not only gets through husky fur, but the dogs actually enjoy the brushing and its easy to clean the fur out of it. RIIIIGHT!.

Before I blew the money, I waited for others to get the brushes to see what they had to say. When they started raving about how wonderful the brush was, how their dogs loved being brushed now, how easy it was, quality, fantastic... I thought they were only saying these things to get me to buy one and try out, so I did, being the lemming that I am.

You know what... it is an amazing brush! (see below)




Pictured above is the 20mm Fusion Brass Oval brush from Chris Christensen systems.

Pricey, yes, but worth it? HECK YEAH!!!

I ordered mine online and received it quickly.

I tried it on Meeshka, who runs away whenever a brush of any kind is in my hand. I let her sniff it, the started brushing her back with it. At first she was squirmy, but then just stood there, eyes half closed. Hmm. I moved my brushing down toward her sensitive belly. I thought for sure this would be the deal breaker, but to my surprise, she actually allowed me to continue brushing and even spread her legs a bit so I could get all of her belly. DANG!

She then moved into the living room, and I thought that was it, she's telling me enough, but I followed her with the brush and watched her flop down and give me belly up. Are you kidding me? Yep, she wanted me to brush her belly while she lounged. Even got some itchy leg action going when the brush hit the itchy sweet spot.

All of the dogs love this brush. It gets the loose fur, its easy to clean and the added bonus of the brass fusion model is that it doesn't make the fur all static filled, so its very VERY easy to clean out with just one hand in a nice mound of fluff that doesn't stick to you.

This brush simply is amazing. The dogs like it, it gets the fur out, its easy to clean, and no static fur flying all over.

You can order online. Shipping is pretty fast.

I (and my dogs) give this brush 4 paws and highly recommend it!

Fur Fighter

There's one thing that Northern Breed owners know, and that's FUR! Its everywhere and can overtake a house, ruin a business outfit, and fly freely throughout a vehicle if left to collect, and typically, "collect" means one day without vacuuming.

Northern Breed owners keep sticky rollers in cars, work desk drawers, at home, and some carry them in their bags. No matter how carefully you vacuum or clean... its always there. So when I, and several other Northern Breed owners saw the ad for the new Scotch Fur Fighter, that promised "amazing results... removes EMBEDDED pet hair!" we all laughed hysterically.

The Scotch Fur Fighter claims
  • to pick up over 3 times more pet hair than a lint roller.
  • remove embedded pet hair that vacuum cleaners leave behind
We laughed some more, then went out and bought one using the $4.00 off coupon I found online.

The first test was performed in the back of a 2003 Toyota 4-runner. The upholstery in the back of a 4-runner seems to capture Northern Breed (Siberian Husky) guard hairs and weave them tightly in the fabric. No amount of vacuuming, scrubbing, or scraping has removed these guard hairs, so that seemed to be the perfect test for a product that claims to remove embedded pet hair with amazing results.

The product had a sheet already on it, so using the instructions that simply state: "brush over furniture in any direction to pick up pet hair" I did just that... it picked up NOTHING. It did deposit some of its yellow bristley things on the truck upholstery though. I scrubbed a bit harder, then scrubbed lightly with the same results: it mainly brushed the guard hairs into a nice uniform line, but did NOT remove the embedded hair.

Since it was hot out, I gave up on the truck and brought the product into the house and tried it on a blanket that we had on the bed. Please note that this blanket had been washed the night before, so it only contained a small amount of Siberian Husky fur (about 5 lbs).

Once again, I brushed the product over the blanket and it did pick up quite a bit of fur, but after brushing over a 8x11 sized area a few times, it became clogged with fluff and merely pushed the rest of the fur around into a clump.

As a joke, I put a new sheet on and brushed one stair with it that had collected about a week's worth of husky fluff. It filled up on the first stroke, then clumped the fur into a bundle.

I found the Fur Fighter less effective than a regular adhesive lint brush, and the price of the sheets would drive me into the poor house in no time.

In comparison to a lint brush:
Costco pack of 5 lint brushes, 400 sheet total: $8.89
Fur Fighter refill sheet pack, 8 refill sheets (equivalent to 24 lint roller sheets) $4.99
This price doesn't include the initial Fur Fighter tool kit for $9.99, which comes with 5 sheets.

Save your money and keep buying lint rollers.

We give this product

Bereavement Items

Although I hope you NEVER need these, here are some recommended items for when your beloved crosses the Rainbow Bridge.

Thanks to Nancy P. for her recommendations.

Triple Crown Collar

Kerry writes:

“I saw this collar at my local holistic pet food store. I was intrigued because it had a German Shepherd on the package, and the package said the plastic links were made of high-strength polymer. The store said I could return it if it didn’t work, so I decided to try it.

You are not supposed to slide the collar over the dog’s head, you are supposed to undo a link to put the collar on and take it off. That takes some practice, so practice doing this before you actually put the collar on your dog. It is trickier to undo a link, so make sure you can do this fairly easily. When removing the collar, it's easiest to unlink the end piece that says "Triple Crown"

The packaging refers to a website which has a lot of information about this product, including a free training video you can view online, information about properly fitting the collar, and product reviews.

Once you get the hang of fastening and unfastening the links, the collar is really great. It’s a nice alternative to metal collars. One major advantage over the metal prong collar is that the polymer links won’t bend and become worn and fatigued like the metal prongs. My Husky’s last prong collar lasted about a year before it just fell off of him. Thank goodness, we were inside at the time.”

Kerry Gives the Triple Crown Collar:

Walking Belts

A few years ago during a rainstorm, a leash slipped out of our hands and we spent several frantic minutes (that seemed like hours) chasing down a very happy, playful, running siberian husky puppy who kept looping closer and closer to a busy highway at the end of our street.

Happy ending, we finally tricked the happy puppy into running toward us, she was nabbed and we shook for about 2 hours afterwards thinking what could have happened.

This was the beginning of the perfect (hopefully) anti-husky escape walking device.

As previously reviewed, our huskies all don the Champion K-9 Seat belt harness system with the bullsnap leash, so the next logical step would be to connect them to us in some way where a leash couldn’t be dropped, jerked out of a hand, etc..

On someone’s recommendation, we checked out the White Pine Outfitters High Sierra Walk-A-Belt, which seemed to stock exactly what we were looking for, and we purchased 2 of them. Immediately upon receiving them, we determined that the caribineers that came with the belt were puny and not husky-proof. We purchased some high end climbing caribineers that came with a twist lock mechanism and used those instead.

The walking belts are very comfortable, come in different sizes, and are very adjustable so that in the summer you can snug them up, or let them out in winter to go over a coat. You simple attach the leash loop to the caribineer and your husky is safely attached to you. No more worrying about dropped leashes or losing grip on the leash, you will be dragged along with your husky if they make an escape attempt.

Multiple dogs

You may be wondering how the belt would hold up to multiple huskies attached to it. I (unfortunately) had the occasion to test out the multiple husky theory when my neighbor’s house caught on fire. As our houses are relatively close together, I got all three of mine into their harnesses (in record time) and hooked up by three leashes to the White Pine Walking belt and out we went. The belt held beautifully to three huskies all straining to go in three separate directions and all hooked into the heavy duty caribineer. The belt also held wonderfully as I was dragged down the street on my butt by three huskies who wanted to go play with the firemen. Its very durable, strong and can hold its own with multiple huskies... if you can.

Care

The walking belts are machine washable, which comes in very handy when used for other purposes (see below). I put ours in a pillow case and toss it into the washer and then dryer. The reason for the pillow case is to dull the clanking of the attachments on the washer and dryer. Even after multiple washings, everything holds up very well, with only minimal shrinkage in some areas that doesn’t detract from the whole belt purpose.

Other Uses

The Walking Belt makes a WONDERFUL sling for a dog recovering from spine surgery. We found this out after our husky ruptured a disc and had surgery. We had to sling his back end to steady him during his recovery, and the slings in the stores were pretty much worthless.

Easy to get around the dog, you just clip it together and have a sturdy and strong loop to hold the dog up while it walks and does its business. The width of the sling also is handy for male dogs, as its small enough to fit behind the penis so it isn’t being peed on, and even if it is, just toss it in the washer and dryer. The walking belt was a lifesaving for us during our dog’s recovery period, making it easier for us to sling him, easy for him to walk supported and do what he needed to do without constant shifting.

Rating

We would not recommend the White Pine High Sierra as a belt to use for skijoring or other athletic types of exercise. While strong and secure, the skijoring belts and other types of sports belts are better developed for those sports and are made to cushion the human during those events. Use the proper belt for the proper activity.

We do highly recommend the White Pine High Sierra (with heavy duty caribineer) for every day walking and for use as a sling for recovering dogs.

We give it: