A Wombourne inventor is enjoying global success after creating a new animal innovation that could prevent over 1 million dog bites ever year.
David Daly has put his former aerospace engineering skills to good use by coming up with a range of behaviour sleeves for the canine market that are attached to a harness or a lead.
Branded ‘Gizapaw’, the products use a simple colour coding system to indicate the temperament of a dog, with green being ‘safe’ and red indicating ‘caution’.
The entrepreneur, who has been assisted by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), has already received orders from responsible owners, training bodies and re-homing centres.
He has also used exhibitions, such as Crufts, Interzoo and Winners in Amsterdam, to generate demand from overseas clients in Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, Spain and the US.
“It all started about two years ago when I was over Baggeridge Country Park with my daughters. They went to stroke what appeared to be a friendly dog and the next minute it lurched at them – fortunately the owner was prepared for it and pulled the dog back,” explained David.
“I got chatting to him and his words were ‘he’s fine with me but doesn’t like kids, I could really do with some way of warning people’.”
He continued: “This got me thinking and I went away and came up with several ideas to solve this problem, eventually settling on the Gizapaw concept due to its simplicity, yet effectiveness.”
David used strategic support and mentoring from MAS’s New Product Development programme to help him in the early-stages before turning to Wolverhampton-based LS Manufacturing for production of the animal behaviour sleeves, which are reversible and embroidered on both sides.
Over 1600 have already been sold via trade shows, www.gizapaw.co.uk and the Baggeridge Country Park shop, with Betterware placing a 1000-strong order and a letter of intent received from the RSPCA for 4500 units for their rehoming centres across England.
The idea is to help workers easily identify what stage of resettlement the dogs are at, which will help reduce the number of attacks and help the organisation negotiate a more cost-effective insurance policy.
“This shows the flexibility of our products, which are patented in the UK. If the order is large enough, we can manufacture in different colours and the text can be different to suit the messages you are trying to get across,” pointed out David.
“Our desire to try new things doesn’t stop there. We’re already looking at creating dog jackets and have taken our first step into the equine market, with the launch of animal behaviour sleeves for horses.
“These can be fitted to the head collar, bridle nose band, or even on the tail to warn people if it is a novice (green) or a kicker (red).
“Horse owners currently use a coloured ribbon plaited into the tail to indicate temperament, but only people who are used to dealing with horses know this. Our solution makes it easy for everyone to understand.”
“David has even sent a sample to MP Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for the Environment, in a bid to nationally promote responsible dog ownership.”
If volumes continue to rise, David has the long-term vision to bring the manufacturing in-house at a dedicated factory in the West Midlands.
He will also continue to hold discussions with the Army, RAF, West Midlands Police and NASDU (the National Association of Security Dog Users) to try to get Gizapaw used within all of these organisations.
More details on Gizapaw can be found at www.gizapaw.co.uk or by contacting 01902 673465.