3. The safe use of the Hound-a-bout system with a wheelchair depends on many factors, including but not limited to: The skill and balance of the wheelchair user; The stability of the wheelchair itself; The responsiveness/obedience of the attached dog; And, the environment in which the system is used (e.g., quality of the wheeling surface, limited number of distractions for the attached dog, minimal traffic of all kinds – animal, pedestrian, automotive, etc.). It is the ultimate responsibility of the end user to deploy the Hound-a-bout hands-free dog walking system in a manner that falls well within his/her personal limits and abilities.
4. When inserting/removing the Hound-a-bout system’s mast into/from the wheelchair’s tubular armrest receiver, the user should stow the leash’s clasp by securing it around the leash’s cord (as shown in the picture to the right). While this will require the user to temporarily remove the dual-looped bungee assembly from the system, this practice will prevent the metal clasp from swinging freely upon insertion/removal, minimizing the risk to the user of being struck by the clasp.
5. Medium-weight, full-finger, leather gloves (similar in protective quality to cowhide work gloves) should be worn by the wheelchair user when using the Hound-a-bout system.
6. The aluminum mast used in the Hound-a-bout system is essentially a five-foot long lever arm, capable of multiplying the force a dog generates several times. In order to avoid potentially serious injury to the user or the user’s dog, or serious damage to the wheelchair to which the system is attached, it is imperative the user understand and abide by the following procedure: In the event the user’s dog bolts in a way that would cause him/her to outrun the maximum extended length of the leash, the user should pivot the wheelchair so that his/her knees are pointing in the direction the dog is running. Failure to do so may result in the wheelchair tipping over when the dog hits the end of the leash at full stride.
7. In certain circumstances, as a dog attached to the Hound-a-bout system crosses the wheelchair user’s path from left to right (or vice versa) at a particularly close range (five feet or less), it may be necessary for the wheelchair user to duck or otherwise adjust his/her head and/or neck position in order to avoid making contact with the cord of the retractable leash.
1. The Hound-a-bout™ hands-free dog walking system has not been tested with dogs weighing more than 20 pounds. Therefore using the system with dogs larger than this size is not recommended by the manufacturer.
2. Because the wheelchair user must be particularly vigilant when using the Hound-a-bout system without able-bodied assistance, he/she should be free of any visual, aural or cognitive impairment. Likewise, headphones should not be worn while using the Hound-a-bout system.
8. On occasion, negotiating obstacles like a rough or uneven curb cut may cause the Hound-a-bout mast to whip back and forth with the wheelchair, resulting in the “candy caning” effect pictured to the left. If this should happen, the wheelchair user should stop and manually unwind the leash cord from around the Hound-a-bout mast before resuming use of the system. NOTE: This phenomenon can be minimized by traversing curb cuts at a 90-degree angle.
9. Similarly, traversing rough or bumpy terrain may displace the leash handle and carabiner from their optimal relationship established at system setup. If the wheelchair user suspects this has happened, he/she should verify that the narrow end of the carabiner rests in the cradle of the nickel-plated snap clip, and that the wide end of the carabiner cradles the leash handle at the wide end of the handle’s opening, before resuming use of the system. Failure to do so could result in the carabiner spontaneously releasing the leash, potentially freeing the attached dog and/or causing the wheelchair user to be struck by the unclipped, falling leash. For a visual representation of the proper relationship between the snap clip, carabiner and leash handle, please refer to the photo on the system setup page. NOTE: This kind of upset can be minimized by traversing curb cuts at a 90-degree angle.
10. When the Hound-a-bout system is affixed to a user’s wheelchair as directed (e.g., dropped into a receiver for a tubular arm rest), the wheelchair user needs to be aware of the effect of their dog tugging on the leash and be prepared to respond accordingly. Because in most cases, the receiver for a tubular arm rest is stationed behind the wheelchair’s center of rotation, the wheelchair will yaw in a direction OPPOSITE of the direction in which the dog is pulling (e.g., if the dog pulls left, the chair will want to veer to the right and vice versa).
11. The Flexi Classic One Long leash provided with the Hound-a-bout dog walker comes with its own set of warnings provided by its manufacturer. Users of the Hound-a-bout system must also familiarize themselves with and heed these warnings.
12. Both the cord of the Flexi leash as well as the dual-looped bungee assembly should be inspected for signs of wear (stretching, fraying, etc.) prior to each use of the Hound-a-bout system. If signs of wear are present, the Hound-a-bout system should not be used until these issues are properly addressed. Blue Zone Enterprises will not be held liable for any loss or injury related to the failure of the user to comply with this advisory.