I’ve been through a wide variety, and I finally found one that works and holds up over time. I don’t coddle my pooper-scoopers – I leave them outside in the rain, the dogs have full access to them for their destructive pleasure, and I still expect them to work perfectly and easily every time I go for my half-acre poop hunts.
Here are some of the ones that have failed:
All of these have fundamental flaws. Two-handed operation means I have to put the bucket down to use the device. The 90-degree rakes and shovels require that you tip the scooper at the same awkward 90-degree angle to release the contents, which means you still have to put the bucket down to get the handle out of the way. Many have wooden handles, which don’t survive being left outside. The rake-style has the most flaws – the tines bend, causing pieces to fall through, they tend to stab, making the release phase more difficult, and if the consistency isn’t perfect, well, use your imagination.
Finally, thanks to my cousins Bruce and Jill, I found the pooper-scooper that actually works. Let me introduce you to the Four Paws Allen’s Spring Action Scooper. I had seen it in stores, but it looked clunky and over-engineered (read doomed to fail). When I saw it work at their house, I decided to give it a try. Turns out it’s a plastic spring-loaded design wonder that meets all of my criteria.
- One-handed operation
- Works on all surfaces (there’s a special model with teeth for grass, but I haven’t found that necessary)
- Effective on all consistencies
- No bending
- Ecologically sound (bagless)
- Simple and complete release into the bucket in my other hand.
It comes in several sizes and models, and is widely available online and at pet stores. There are other brands out there with similar designs, and I have no reason to believe they don’t work just as well. But this is the one I have used and can vouch for.