Friday, April 24, 2015

DIY Dog Leashes

Do It Yourself Dog Leash 

    We do make our own dog leashes.  There are a number of reasons.  We can choose the color of the leash we want. We can make the length of the leash any size to fit our many training and working situations. We can customize the handle and type of hasp we use to connect to our dogs collars.

    Making a leash does not take any particular skill.   On a scale of 1-10 in terms of difficulty I would give it a 2. 

Time to complete: 30 Minutes

Materials needed:

1/2" polypropylene rope in your desired color ( Menards/Home Depot etc.)
Swivel hasp to attach to the dogs collar 
Electrical tape
Heat shrink tubing 1-1/8" (electrical aisle) 6" long
Kitchen stove top burner / heat gun
Tape Measure

1.) Cut the rope to your desired length. 

2.) Remove the shrink tubing and cut it in half

2.a.) Your rope ends will look like this.
3.) Slide one piece of the tube over the end of the rope.

4.) Turn on your exhaust fan above your stove.
Take each end of the rope and hold it over your oven burner
until it starts to melt and catches a small flame.

5.) The melted ends should look like this. It will stop your
rope from fraying at the ends. Let them cool for a couple minutes.
If you touch them you will get melted polypropylene on your hand
and it will not come off until it cools. OUCH!

6.) We use these swivel hasps. They are cheap and durable.

7.) Slip your hasp onto the rope and leave about
4 inches exposed to secure it in place.

8.) Using electrical tape, tightly wind it around both
strands of rope to secure the hasp in place.

9.) Wrap the tape around tightly about 3 times
It should be just short of the length of shrink
tubing that is on your rope.

10) Slide the Shrink tube up the rope to cover the
electrical tape up. 

11.)  Hold the shrink tubing above your burner about 6-8 inches.
If your fingers are too hot you are too close. The tubing needs
just a little heat to shrink. Rotate it every 15 seconds until
it is very tightly shrunk to the rope.
This should take only 1- 1.5 minutes 

12.) The finished heat shrunk end should look like this.
The tube, tape and rope will shrink together and should
ooze some clear glue like material. Just don't touch it!
It is hot stuff!

Now let's do the handle end

13.) Slide your other half of the shrink tube over the unfinished end.

14.) Make a loop that you feel comfortable with using.
It could be any size. Use the electrical tape to temporarily
test different handle sizes.

15.) Tape your handle up the same way as we did the
hasp end. Make sure it is a bit smaller than the piece of
shrink tubing you are using.

16.)  Slide the Shrink tubing up to the handle and cover the
electrical tape.  Then proceed to the burner as we did above
and shrink the tubing using the heat from the burner.
Again, let it cool and do not touch the shrink tube!

17.)  You now have a completed, customized dog leash!

Now you can take your dog for a walk and when someone asks "Hey where did you get that nice leash ?"
You can brag and say I did it myself!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Balaenoptera Musculus RC Boat Review - 0 stars

Balaenoptera Musculus RC Boat Review 

    One of the more challenging aspects of getting geese to leave an area is when they go to water. Canada Geese will run or fly to nearby water, immediately, when they feel threatened by our dogs.  As goose control professionals we cannot leave the geese there because they will return to the land they left and feel safe.  We have several methods of getting the geese out of the water depending on location, time of day and the size of the body of water.

    One of our techniques is to use Remote Control Boats.  Geese are afraid of them.  One boat we have tried is the Balaenoptera Musculus RC Boat.  It is relatively inexpensive, $36 - $70 depending on who is selling it on ebay or elsewhere.

    This boat is relatively fast, runs a bit loud and has a tail of water that streams from it's dual propellers.  We originally had thought these were going to work out well.  However, you get what you pay for.

  We purchased two of these for use in ponds and lakes.  Initial use was OK and they got rid of the geese. However, they frequently stall in the water.  Thinking that it was the flimsy antenna falling in the water we supported the antennas by sliding a small straw over them.  They ran a bit longer but still stalled every now and then. They leak water inside and this may be the issue. battery, motors etc get soaked. The lid is not waterproof.   So the routine became: turn on and off the remote a couple times, bang on it with your hand or just wait and it would restart. (Patience) 
Just in case we damaged a boat, lost a battery or broke a remote control, we purchased a third as a back up. 
Stranded Musculus Boat,!

    In our line of business, we do not have time to dilly dally with poor craftsmanship. The third boat we received would only go about 10 yards in the water and stop.  Then it became take off your shoes, socks and roll up your pants, wade into the murky pond (get black feet, yuck) and retrieve the boat.  Using  one of these boats late one evening, I had to leave it in the middle of a lake overnight and retrieve it the next morning during daylight hours.  They were so unreliable we put our phone numbers on the bottom so if someone found it stranded, they could call us and return it.

     We purchased these boats though a company called We contacted them to return the defective non running boat and were told to contact the manufacturer. They could and would not help us. Herman Street would not even do a return refund.  We contacted who Herman Street purchases the boats from and got no response.  

    Needless to say our experience with these boats is poor. I would not recommend buying one based on our experience. You get what you pay for.  If you do buy one, look for a store that has good customer support because more than likely you will buy one that does not work and may need to return it. 

    Many hobbyist reviewers like this boat because of its hull but they rebuild it with better motors and controllers. We chose to buy a different boat and will review it next. 
    You can also search problems with these boats like here:

Hope this review helps you out.