When the Dog Hoop™ arrived at the Good Dog! office, I was very excited and couldn’t wait to try it out. But, before I opened the package, I thought it was a basketball goal for dogs. I thought, “How am I going to get the dogs to put the ball in the hoop?” Much to my surprise, it was a hoop for humans! The object is to throw a tennis ball at the hoop and train your dog to bring the ball back.

The hoop did require some assembly, but I was able to put it together in just a few minutes – without tools. Basically, it’s a small basketball goal with a narrow hoop. The stand is made from PVC pipe and has a metal stake which sticks in the ground (and makes it easy to move around); the hoop is a normal basketball hoop with a PVC elbow on the bottom that’s just big enough for a tennis ball. Attached to that is a bell that rings when you make a basket.

I tried it with Chops, Good Dog!’s Chief Test Dog. Since she’s part Golden Retriever, I thought she’d be really good at this game. I was wrong! Not enough Retriever in her, I guess. She stayed interested for about one minute, and then took the ball and wanted me to chase her. I was very disappointed, because I was having a great time.

Next, I took it home to my dogs for a game of 3-on-1. I thought with my wide variety of dogs – Jack Russell Terrier, Keeshond mix, and Alaskan Malamute – at least one of them would think this was as great as I did. I was wrong again. All three played for a total of three shots, and then Fisher (the Malamute) went and stretched on the deck while Mandy (our Keeshond mix) returned to the house for her hedgehog toy. Harley (the energetic Jack Russell Terrier) did stick with me a little longer, but he then joined Mandy in a game of “kill the hedgehog.”

I think the Dog Hoop is both a great idea and a lot of fun, even if the test dogs didn’t. My dogs have never really played anything like this before, and they get distracted easily, but I think it would be great for the right dog. Now your job is to figure out if you have the right dog or not!

Gary Hansen, the inventor, told us, “As an owner of a retriever-holic dog, I realized the need for a game in which both parties can get enjoyment from playing. Hence the Dog Hoop. Instead of throwing the ball aimlessly for your dog, you now have something to shoot for.”

If your dog likes to retrieve, then this is a natural for him and for you – if you like to shoot baskets!

The Dog Hoop comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. To order, send a check or money order for $39.95 plus $5.00 shipping to G.B. Hansen Co. Inc., PO Box 39697, Minneapolis, MN 55439. If you have questions, call 612-844-0760.

Wendy Houtz

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