Since the beginning of time, mankind has been asking itself one question: Should we use dogs to power scooters?
Roll Past Your Neighbors Like A Weird Santa Claus With This Dog-Powered Scooter
Finally, we have an answer, kind of. Dog Powered Scooter, a small company based in Oregon, offers ... well, dog-powered scooters. Behold:
The idea is similar to dogs pulling a sled, only, in this case, the dogs are pushing the scooter, rather than pulling it. The steering and brake control are up to the human rider. Dog Powered Scooter's website instructs you to "ride the scooter as if the dog wasn't even there," and says that the Dog Powered Scooters makes mushing available to everyone, even those in urban or suburban environments.
Though quirky and potentially cool, the Dog Powered Scooter raises a lot of questions, namely "is this a good idea or the worst idea of all time?"
Some owners with high-energy dogs speak highly of it. Writer Anna Jane Grossman reports success, and even shows us a video of a Pit Bull that seems very happy to be powering the scooter.
In the video, we see Logan the dog galloping along the scooter and looking pretty stoked. Toward the end, he definitely seems tired, but in that happy dog way that guarantees a good night's sleep.
But the DPS (Dog Powered Scooter) raises ethical questions. Is powering a scooter too hard on a dog, and should we be making our dogs power our recreational vehicles? Logan seems happy, but do other dogs feel the same?
That question is hard to answer definitely, but there are a lot of videos of dogs who seem happy to power the scooter. Even the dog in the official Shark Tank pitch video (yes, they pitched it to Shark Tank, obviously) seems jazzed.
I couldn't find any videos or stories of dogs hating the DPS, which is a good sign, but it doesn't exactly prove anything. DPS inventor Mark Schuette insists that his device's rigging is both safe and comfortable for dogs. Fans of the DPS also argue that the rigging is similar to that of a leash and harness, and that it's great exercise for dogs.
Still, the DPS does come with a few warnings. Schuette says that these scooters "are not recommended for couch potatoes or overly spooky [sic] dogs."
Like so many dog products, it seems that the Dog Powered Scooter is a good idea in some cases, not all. If your dog is old, sleepy, or "spooky," this device probably isn't for them. However, if you have a dog who's crazy about running, it might be worth checking out. Check out all the different scooters if you have a few hundred extra dollars lying around.