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A functional dog collar which provides additional protection from neck and spinal injuries.

Photo of Katherine Thomas
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The ProtectAPup is a dog collar created out of layers of shock-absorbent EVA foam wrapped in textiles. This design would decrease the stress applied to the pup's neck when their leash is pulled. Our design works by 1) Absorbing a large percentage of the energy applied to the leash and 2) Increasing the surface area of the pup's neck in which the stress is applied. Before prototyping, I talked with vets at the local animal shelter I volunteer at. They told me that the majority of the neck and back issues in the dogs they see are from repeated stress directly on their neck (i.e from pulling on their leashes). Therefore I wanted to make a design specific for reducing the stress caused by leashes. 

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • EVA Foam Sheets & Blocks
  • Footwear Fiber "Fluff"
  • Synthetic Leather

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

ProtectAPup will be made out of layers of synthetic leather, EVA foam sheet, and footwear fibre fluff. The combination of these materials will allow for the collar to be highly compressible and therefore reducing the resultant force applied to the pups neck.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

My rescue pup, Coco, was the model for our prototype. We used a makeshift clasp to adhere the leash to test it against his regular collar and found the ProtectAPup resulted in less stress on his neck.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Prototyping

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Dog Owners

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

I envision that in order to properly market ProtectAPup's , they shall be given to select dog blog's for compensation. The other volunteers I work with at the Wood's Human Society (the animal shelter where I adopted Coco), always tell me that is their first place to check for new products for their own dogs. I foresee that some consumers may not like the change to a larger collar that may look more awkward on their dog, but I believe if the benefits are properly marketed, dog-owners will be glad to buy a product that increases their dogs' quality of life.

How is your idea innovative?

When I checked the amazon marketplace for the variety of dog collars available, the only two types I saw were a basic strap collar and an anti-bark collar. I have seen no improvements in the area of dog collar safety and believe this idea could be the beginning of reducing these preventable injuries in our dogs.

What inspired this idea?

My rescue dog has a neck injury from his past owner who would pull on my pup's leash. I want to ensure that dogs can be protected from these easily preventable injuries in order to improve their quality of life.

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

We are sophomore mechanical engineering students from California Polytechnic State University. I (Katherine) have a rescue dog who I want to make the happiest pup in the world.

In what city are you located?

San Luis Obispo

In what country are you located?


Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

It will allow us access to the Nike Grind materials so we can make a more accurate prototype and begin testing our design with stress/strain instruments.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Michael Coelho Sillman

I think the harness design for dog leashes is a better idea.

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