Auggiedog Automatic Pooper Scooper review

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If you have a dog, chances are you also have a few good dog doo war stories about the time the bag you were using to scoop the poop had a hole in it or the time you stepped in something right before work because the kids didn’t want to pick up Spot’s droppings from the night before.  Classic gems!  Let’s face it, no one wants to bend over and pick up dog poop.

The Auggiedog Automatic Pooper Scooper eliminates the need to bend over or even touch your dog’s waste.  Seems like a dream come true, but does it solve a messy problem or introduce additional problems of its own?

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Auggiedog is a poop “vacuum” utilizing an auger to pick up waste from the ground and hold it in an internal receptacle.  It’s a battery-powered system, with an onboard rechargeable battery and a wall charger.  Once the vacuum is charged, it’s good to go for about two weeks of use on a single charge.

There is an ergonomic trigger on the handle which controls the duration of the spinning auger.  A toggle button on the handle will reverse the auger’s spinning direction to dispose of the waste over a toilet, compost, or garbage bag.

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 Since the Auggiedog is intended to take on walks with your pooch, the handle is equipped with a couple additional features.  There is a switch on its top that when pushed in one direction turns on the LED flashlight and when pushed in the opposite direction triggers the emergency alarm.

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The vacuum is roughly 3 pounds, and while that doesn’t sound like all that much, I found it to be a little awkwardly weighted in both the handle and base.  For me, it was uncomfortable to carry for long periods by its handle.  If I were going on an extended walk, I’d just carry it by shaft to even the weight distribution.

The full Auggiedog system consists of the Auggiedog vacuum itself with an adjustable length shaft, self-standing cap for the base of the auger, charging cord, cleaning station, and biodegradable cleaning solution.

The cleaning station is also “hands free”.  Stepping on the lift will open the lid and allow the cleaning and storage of the Auggiedog in the  bucket.

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Over the last month, I’ve used the Auggiedog on my dog’s bathroom runs.  She’s a Pomeranian, so her droppings are about the size of the droppings of a Canada Goose.  The first few times I tried using the Auggiedog with her, I think she had a bit of performance anxiety from me hovering behind her holding a giant stick.  Then we had a misstep when I pushed the light button in the wrong direction and ended up triggering the alarm.  When we did have a successful drop/pickup, the noise of Auggiedog ended up terrifying her.  After a few more uses, she was able to ignore it.  During operation, it’s no louder than a coffee grinder.

Fall is in full swing here, so there was an assortment of leaves and pine needles on the ground while I was testing, and theAuggiedog performed just fine each time.  The auger really does lift away solid dog waste each and every time regardless of the surface.  But my biggest problem with the system revealed itself on the very first use – it’s still pretty messy.  Large waste can be picked up by the auger in pieces by placing the Auggiedog atop a piece, cutting it into halves, and scooping each one at a time.  And let’s face it, there are still remnants left over even after the waste has been disposed of.

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The cleaning system includes a concentrated cleanser, and cleaning the vacuum works similarly to picking up dog waste.  The cleaning station gets filled with a mix of cleanser and concentrate.  Then simply suck up the cleaning liquid from the cleaning station, and then reverse the motion back into the station bucket.   This can be repeated until “clean”, but I was still having issues with smell and residue.  Thus, Auggiedog has not come back into the house since that first night; it’s kept in a corner of the garage.

The cleanser is septic-friendly, so used cleaning solution can be disposed of in the toilet as well.

Even though the Auggiedog works just fine as a hands-free pooper scooper, it just isn’t a tool for me.  On paper, it sounds perfect, but on the whole, it’s just easier for me to stuff a plastic bag in my pocket when I take the dog out and toss a used bag in the trash in the garage.  It also saves me the $130 price tag.  I could see this working well for a doggie daycare, professional dog walker, or doggie doo clean up business – people who have to pick up a large amount of waste at any one time.  However, for the person picking up after just one dog, the convenience of not having to physically pick up dog waste is overshadowed by the machine’s own cleanup process.

 

Product Information

Price:$129.99
Manufacturer:Auggiedog
Requirements:
  • Dog
Pros:
  • No need to touch dog waste
  • Works on any surface
  • No need to bend
Cons:
  • Difficult to fully clean
  • Expensive
  • Can smell even after cleaning
Posted in: Pet Gadgets, Reviews

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Jeff November 18, 2013, 12:15 pm

    Having been a professional pooper scooper for over 10 years, I can tell you this thing would NOT work well for a doggie doo clean up business, as the author states. Many of us pick up 50 to 100 pounds a day. This thing would be a nightmare, taking 2 or 3 times as long as a rake and pan, running out of charge in the middle of a route, requiring cleaning between yards, etc. etc. How would it work on diarrhea in rocks? How about when it’s jammed full of pine needles? How about snow and ice? Nope, it’s a waste of $130.

  • Morgan Bornstein November 18, 2013, 2:03 pm

    @Jeff: 50-100 lbs per day!? Good lord, that’s a lot of. . . well, you know. While the Auggiedog *could* probably handle it, you’re absolutely right–nothing would beat a pan/shovel. Since the thing is a bit of a pain to clean, I was trying to think of uses that would make the cleaning to convenience ratio a bit more even. I thought bulk scoopage might do that, but thank you for the real world clarification–yikes, I had no idea! And yes, it’s solely for a solid #2, anything other than that would just add to the mess to clean up.

  • Jeff November 18, 2013, 3:06 pm

    Yep. You have to disinfect tools between yards to avoid spreading diseases like Parvo, Newcastle, etc. Also, most of the pros use rakes. MUCH easier than shovels! :D You wouldn’t believe the number of yards I’ve been to where there are 3 or 4 different “contraptions” leaning the the corner rusting. Simplicity is the key.

  • Timothy November 18, 2013, 5:40 pm

    Gotta agree with Jeff, (Hi Jeff) The professional pooper scooper will never use this device. And around here, “solid waste” doesn’t always come out solid. Ah hem. That can be quite messy! You would think that inventors of these devices would consult a professional pooper scooper while they’re designing the product, not after. I’ve been asked to “review” dozens of devices over my 25 year career as a professional and I have not come across one yet that would be effective for the professional. At least this one is not like the “blender on a stick” that popped up a couple of years ago. Yech!

  • CR November 19, 2013, 1:16 am

    I have four dogs of varying size (15 – 95 Lbs.) and fully support plastic grocery store bags. You can never tell how much and when on any given walk and a supply of handy cleaning aids in your pocket is convenient and inexpensive (important after covering the quality dog food needs of the pack). The back yard calls for a shovel, small hand digger and garbage bag-lined bucket. Never seen any of these dog poo tools that could be that easy to use.

  • Pete November 19, 2013, 3:24 pm

    This is clever. It’s not terribly useful and certainly not any good for a professional scooper. Slow, noisy, difficult to clean and too small for professional use. What’s worse is that it’s too complex.

    Some day there may be a tool better than an intelligent person intent on going a great job, but this is not the day and that is not the tool.

    It’s pretty cool, though. Tim, Jeff – nice to hear from you guys.

    Pete Hulse, owner
    Pet Butler of Central Ohio
    Serving pets and their people for over 25 years.

  • Jeff November 19, 2013, 5:47 pm

    Nice to see you, Pete! And the Timmer, too! Come on, SNOW!!

  • Dawn S November 20, 2013, 9:43 am

    This is a great review. You really got down to details and in the end a very good summary. The comments are fantastic from the pros!

    I have two 15-22 lb dogs and use bags when in public. At home I use a little shovel and plastic grocery bag. I have a small trash can with a trash bag in it. I clean the yard daily and toss it in the trash can and pop the lid on it. Once a week it is taken out on trash night.

  • Morgan Bornstein November 20, 2013, 10:19 am

    @Dawn: Thank you for the compliment! I use a very similar approach at home myself. Plastic grocery bags that immediately get piled up in the garage trash to await garbage day.
    I’m glad I had the pros weigh in; sometimes when you’re reviewing a product, you start thinking “is it me or does this just make no sense?” so it’s a relief to get that honest feedback. It’s also been a learning experience–I never even considered a pro would need to disinfect tools across yards to prevent spreading canine diseases. I’ve gotten a kick out of checking out these pro websites after the feedback. Very cool stuff, thanks everyone!!

  • Dawn S November 20, 2013, 10:42 am

    @Morgan- I didn’t even know pros went around and cleaned yards, so that was really interesting. I could understand and appreciate them disinfecting the tools, but I sure didn’t know it. This was just awesome getting them to tell what they do.

    I have tried a few tools and always went back to my trusty little shovel and bag. I even tried the waste disposal thing many years ago. It was a pain to use and when cold weather came it was not gong to work.

    I was in a doggie door test for a manufacturer. It was a smart door and they had such horrible software issues between Windows XP and other systems that I gave up on the test and sent the door back. Mine can push a flap and so I stick with the KISS method.

  • johnkes November 21, 2013, 4:15 pm

    Subway sandwich bags are perfect, and low cost if you don’t mind picking up something soft and warm.

    Maybe someone more squeamish would be willing to pay $130.

  • chester h December 18, 2013, 1:18 pm

    I wonder if this is the solution to a rather unique problem. I have sled dogs, and off-season, they (usually 1 or 2 at a time) pull me on my bicycle (bikejoring). When they’ve finished their business, they are frantic to get back to the run, and will simply drag the bike down the trail if I dismount to bag a poop. I could see strapping this thing to the bike and using it one-handed while restraining the dog(s). As long as the stuff doesn’t fall out, I can live with the “cons.” Hmmmm…

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