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4. FAQ

4. FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Using the UTurn handle, walk 3 dogs on 3 leashes or walk 4 dogs on 4 leashes
Untangle all LEASH tangles in seconds while walking

 

UTurn_Handle_Grey

 

3-Leash 3-Dog UTurn Handle


 


 

 

 

 


Using the UTurn 3-dog handle with 2, 3 or 4 leashes; walking 2, 3 or 4 dogs, with confidence
Walking/guiding any team of 2, 3 or 4 animals
Walking with 3 toddlers or a triplet, keeping them safe at all times
Resolving tangles, tangled leashes, tangled leads, tangled dogs
Why a 3-way coupler leash for walking 3 dogs has disadvantages

 

 


1. When will my items be shipped?

For US:  Items are shipped Standard or Priority Mail with USPS (United States Postal Services) within 1 - 3 business days after receipt of your order.  Delivery of priority mail by USPS may take 2 - 3 business days.  Free shipping (US), if offered as a promotion, will be Economy Shipping which may take about a week.

For Canada and other countries*: USPS First-Class Package International Economy Service. Delivery may take 1 - 3 weeks depending on the destination.
 

(*Caution: An international (non-US) buyer is responsible for paying import duties and/or value added taxes (VAT) levied by the buyer's country at delivery. These vary a lot from country to country and are not known, not listed and not included. They may vary from zero to 20% value added tax plus zero to 30% import/customs duties. To avoid a nasty surprise at delivery any international buyer should investigate these charges for merchandise imported from the US to your country before placing the order)

 

2. Where do you ship?

We offer direct shipping to all states in the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii and US Territories.
It will take much longer than 2 - 3 business days for USPS delivery to
Alaska, Hawaii and US Territories.
We also ship to Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and many other EU countries (as allowed via our Etsy/PayPal or   Amazon settings).  For other countries see the following note:


Note for payment from and shipping to countries that are currently blocked:
Payment via PayPal INVOICE, using PayPal.  As of January 1, 2014, we ship to other countries than the abovementioned ones upon request, by arranging the following special payment method via PayPal. 

Please email us first at support@uturnhandles.com with:
a) your request/interest to ship to your country
b) the email addres you have used with PayPal before or are going to use for your PayPal transaction, and
c) your full name you will use with the PayPal transaction, and your billing and shipping address
d)  what color handle (black or dolphin grey or red) and what quantity.

We can then let you know the shipping cost and add your country to the allowed PayPal list (if still needed). When you are ready to order, we will prepare an invoice with your information and submit it to PayPal. Next PayPal will email this invoice to you for payment (to PayPal). This will also work if you don't have a PayPal account.  PayPal will not pass on any of your financial information. We will ship to you within 1-2 business days after we get notified by PayPal that your payment was received by PayPal.


 

3. Do you sell and ship internationally? 
Yes, we ship to a restricted list of countries on Amazon and Etsy.

We sell to domestic (US) buyers on Etsy who have a US PayPal account or who use the PayPal Checkout option as a guest (without signing up for a US PayPal account, see below) and provide their financial and shipping information to PayPal when ordering. We ship to addresses in the United States checked by PayPal against the credit or debit card billing address or verified by PayPal through an alternate method. In many cases this means the shipping/delivery address must be the same as the account's billing address.  PayPal may not accept orders or payments from non-US PayPal accounts and international buyers other than the ones mentioned above. PayPal may still allow a shipping address that differs from the billing address.  PayPal will add the shipping and handling (S&H) charge for international orders that are allowed.

Shipping internationally is costly and most international shipments have to adhere to special regulations imposed by the receiving country.  This varies from country to country. You may incur tariffs, value added taxes, customs and/or brokerage fees for which you will be responsible at delivery of your order (see *caution in FAQ 1).  See the FAQ 2 above for shipping upon request to other countries than allowed per the PayPal settings.
 

4. What are your shipping and handling (S&H) prices? 

For US S&H is $4.97 for one handle, $6.97 for two handles. Unless FREE Shipping is offered (Amazon only, US buyers).
For Canada S&H is $13.90 for one handle, $15.85 for two handles.
(S&H Charges for Canada and other allowed countries are added by PayPal and shown at checkout)

PayPal: For many EU countries, also for Australia and New Zealand S&H is $22.90 for one handle, $25.90 for two handles.  For the PayPal invoice method as described above, the order limit is 2 handles in one order/shipment.

  
Amazon: Shipping to Europe by our company for Amazon orders is also $22.90 for one handle, and $25.85 for two handles. There is no order limit; 10% discount for 2 or more handles.
 

5. PayPal - How can I pay?
Etsy uses PayPal to handle the payments.
Payments are made by credit or debit card via PayPal, the online payment processing company. PayPal accepts most major credit or debit cards. You can login with your PayPal email adress for your existing PayPal account if you have one. You can also pay with your PayPal balance in your PayPal account if you have a balance. (See above for payment possibilities for other countries than Canada).


6. PayPal - Can I pay with a credit or debit card if I don't have a PayPal account?
Yes, you can pay without having a PayPal account, or without having to open one. You pay with your major credit or debit card and your payment goes to PayPal.  PayPal will pass the payment to our company.

After filling your shopping cart, click the "Check out with PayPal" button in the Shopping Cart.  Then select the second option on the PayPal form 'Pay with a debit or credit card, or Bill Me Later' or on this newer PayPal form, start with clicking Check Out as a Guest see below:

PayPal_Login

 

Then provide your billing and shipping information to PayPal for a secure payment with your credit or debit card. On this form PayPal does not list what you ordered but you can review and modify that later or backout at any time.
 
At the bottom of this PayPal form (see below) it will show a small check box with a plus sign in it, followed by the text   'Save your information with PayPal  Why? (Optional)'  



No_PayPal_AccountPhone # is only needed by PayPal. Email is needed for PayPal and our  company.
 

 

 

 

 

 

This PayPal panle shows (Tiny) Checkbox

 

 

 

This checkbox allows you to open your own PayPal account using the already provided information, but there is no obligation to do that!  In that case just make sure to un-check this check box located under the email box. PayPal likes to have you open an account so it persists in asking you.  Just make sure to keep this checkbox unchecked. After submitting the PayPal form, PayPal will return a check-out form (leaving the financial information off) for you to check and modify if/as needed. After completing the order, PayPal will email you an order confirmation.  All payments are securely handled by PayPal and your financial information is never passed on to our company. 


7. Are quantity discounts available?

A single order will be for 1 or 2 or more handles shipped in one box to one delivery/shipping address. The parts are shipped without any markings, tags or store display packaging or labeling.  There is no quantity limit on Amazon and a quantity discount of 10% is applied for orders of 2 or more handles, all in one order/shipment.
 

8. Do I have to pay sales tax?

Online sales from our Washington state company to out-of-state residents currently do not require us to collect a state sales tax for other states (based on the shipping address). In the past the sales tax for Washington residents (9.5%) was added by PayPal and included in the PayPal bill. However this sales tax is now directly paid by our company (per August 28, 2013) which makes the total price of the handle, including shipping & handling, the same for all US buyers. 
 

9. Can I return the handle if I don’t like it or for any other reason?

Yes.  Our return policy for domestic orders is Amazon's policy of 30 days from the delivery date for any reason, no questions asked.  See the Returns Policy section in Terms & Conditions for details about returns or cancellations.  A payment via Etsy/PayPal can be cancelled or a payment refund request can be submitted.  See the PayPal.com website for more details if needed.  PayPal is a world-famous online payment processing company and their payment transactions and policies are robust, reliable and fair. 
Amazon's generous return policies apply.
 

10. Why is the UTurn handle so expensive?

There are several reasons; the main one is that it is "Made in USA" (it is not mass produced in China).

Expensive Machining: The handle is 100% made in the USA as we do not want to outsource manufacturing to other countries. The machining of the handles from thick plastic sheets is done nearby in Everett, WA. However the machining on the required computer controlled machinery (CNC) is fairly expensive as it is low-volume production (max 500 - 900 per year).

Expensive Material: The handle is made from a super-strong weather-resistant thermoplastic material made in USA that will not break. This top quality material is provided by a large plastics company in Florida.  This special material (HDPE) is non-toxic and also recyclable (even approved by FDA for use in kitchens and food handling equipment). It was selected to ensure that the handle will never break under normal use with dogs up to 100 lbs each or 300 lbs total. The material is at least five times stronger than the best hardwood. Wood is much cheaper but very brittle across the grain. A wooden handle could snap easily. When walking multiple dogs by yourself you never want the handle to suddenly break (or be worried it will break).

The handle is a real timesaver as you can now walk 2, 3 or 4 dogs by yourself instead of needing two walks or a second person to help you every time. This may save you 200 or more extra walks per year.  In addition, walking with the UTurn handle is also surprisingly fun!  Because it is enjoyable you, your spouse or partner may also start walking your dogs more often!  That happened to us:  From 2 or 3 walks per week with 2 people we now walk them nearly every day with one person.

The handle will last for many years and without maintenance. 

(Our cost breakdown: Material & machining is 25% of the handle's price. Packaging + free shipping + 15% Amazon fee totals 30% of the price. Taxes/licenses/insurance+labor+tools approx. 20%, yearly charity donations 2%, misc. office expenses 2%. Net $7.75 per handle for re-investment in equipment and new products).
 

11. Why is the handle so large and bulky?

When walking multiple dogs it is important that the handle can be put on an arm easily to free one or both hands when needed.  The central opening is large enough to allow putting the handle on an arm (even in a thick winter coat or jacket).

Another reason is the size of the curved grip. The grip has to accommodate small, medium and large hands and still be comfortable. The grip also needs to be large enough to accommodate hands in gloves or mittens for use in cold weather.

A third reason is that a larger handle is somewhat easier to turn, as the untangling may require many turns during a walk.

A fourth reason is that the hand must slide easily to a new grip depending on the new order of the dogs after untangling. This smooth sliding works better with a larger handle. Padding on the grips was considered and tested but it wears down fast as the hand slides from grip to grip so often.  Padding also interferes with this smooth sliding motion of the hand.




12. What can the UTurn 3-dog handle do for me?

You can walk multiple (2, 3 or even 4) trained or untrained dogs safely all by yourself without fear for the coming entanglements. There will be entanglements but you will be able to untangle all internal LEASH entanglements without dropping a leash and within seconds. Instead of relying on a tripler leash or a more complex system with swivels and extra leashes that may not always work, you accomplish all untangling of the leashes yourself by rotating the handle as often as needed. Your dogs do not have to be trained. Even trained dogs can become entangled. You can use your existing leashes. No other parts, leashes or connectors are needed. You can use the normal leash length so each dog has ample space to roam without bothering each other. You can also shorten or choke the leashes together as a  bundle to reduce the roaming space quickly in half or more for all three leashes at once if needed for safety. Your dogs are not constrained to walk side-by-side as is the case with a 3-way tripler leash that has short end leads.


13. Is turning the handle to untangle not lots of work?

Yes, the handler has to work it, and as often as the dogs are getting entangled!!!  The less trained the dogs are, the more entanglements may occur. The advantage is that every leash entanglement (between the leashes) can be resolved quickly and while walking. Entanglements will always occur, even with trained dogs. Active dogs move or dart around all the time. That's why so few people currently walk three or four untrained or partially trained dogs by themselves. It's too difficult.

With the U-turn handle the handler has to stay alert and should untangle whenever one or two or three leash entanglements occur. That is much easier than allowing many leash entanglements, e.g. five or more, to build up. It gives a terrific feeling of being able to free your dogs from any internal leash entanglement when they happen. The handler controls it all without dropping a leash, without the frustration of a tangled mess and without the dogs’ frustration with all the stops and waits. With a little practice, often within minutes, the handler keeps on walking while turning the handle!
 

14. How can I test if this really works before buying a handle?

A simple way of testing and practicing the untangling rotations is without using dogs. You can cut a closed triangle out of a stiff enough material such as cardboard or wood, make three holes in the corners and a large opening in the center. The recommended overall size is 7 or 8 inches.  It does not have to be a triangle. It can be a circular ring or any similar shape you already have, as long as the 3 holes are sufficiently spaced apart.

Drill or cut the 3 leash attachment holes arranged in a more or less triangular pattern in this shape and attach or knot the 3 leashes (or long strings) to it or clamp the 3 leashes firmly to the corners of such a triangular shape.

Next test it with the 3 leashes and the help of a second person. This second person holds and entangles the lower ends of the leashes a few times and then pulls the leashes somewhat tight (to simulate dogs pulling). If a second person is not available, the lower leash ends can be entangled first and then in the entangled state be attached somewhat spaced-apart to a rack, fence or other object using the swivel snap hooks at the lower leash ends.  Pull the leashes or strings somewhat tight, then start untangling the entanglements with half turns of the handle. Try very few entanglements first, then add more when you get the hang of it.  Different colors or patterns for the leashes may help to see which leash overlap is on top at any one time. Wood is a good material for testing but not strong enough for a real dog handle. It is often fairly good in the grain direction but way too brittle across the grain. Shock loads from lunging dogs or dogs pulling in opposite directions can easily snap it. 

An additional untangling test could be to use your test handle with your 3 dogs in an enclosed yard where no harm would be done if your test handle breaks.  However it is often difficult to make your dogs walk on leashes in your own yard!


15. Can I use the handle with other animals or even toddlers?
Yes, it can be used with cattle, ponies, goats, piglets, cats, rabbits, etc..  If they are not used to walking on leashes, it will take some time and patience to train and get them used to being on a leash.
Especially large animals should have been trained or be very calm and docile, otherwise the animals will pull you down or along and that is never fun or could be very dangerous.  Also with larger animals longer leashes will be needed.

The handle can also be used with toddlers, e.g. whenever there is a real safety concern such as in parks, near water, in parking lots, in crowds, near animals, or near traffic, etc..  Many people frown on or disapprove of walking toddlers with leashes but it may be acceptable as it often is a question of:  Walk or go out with them all safely OR don't walk with them at all.  We all know what most toddlers prefer: They would love to go for a walk every time!. Walking with 3 toddlers generally is easier than with 3 dogs as dogs dart around much more, pull more, entangle much more, are much faster and often much stronger.  However toddlers will fall often.  Using the UTurn handle for walking 3 toddlers works much better than using 3 separate leashes or a 3-way coupler leash as couplers have a single main lead.  With the UTurn handle you can direct each child individually, pull a toddler gently back if needed or provide slack to prevent any of the three toddlers from falling when needed.
 

16. Can I use the 3-dog handle with 1 or 2 dogs?

Yes, you can. The advantage of using it with one dog would be the large central opening. This makes it possible to easily hold the handle with an arm or to park it over a post.  Many leash handles are too small to do that easily.  The advantage of using it with two dogs would be that the two leashes are kept combined on one handle while you can still direct each dog individually. In addition, you can easily untangle and the central opening in the handle makes it possible to put the handle on an arm when needed. For two dogs a simple two-lead coupler, comprised of a loop handle, a ring with swivel and two long end leashes, may work well and will automatically untangle. A coupler with short end leads will work too but the dogs then don't get much space to roam. If you do not plan on ever having a third dog, then the Uturner handle may not be needed unless you want to give your dogs lots of roaming space. If you use the Uturn handle mostly for three dogs, you can leave one dog at home when needed and take the third leash off.


17. Can I use the handle with 4 dogs and 4 leashes?


Z_Walking_4_dogs_all_tangled_up

 

 

 

 

 

Walking 4 untrained dogs with 4 separate leashes is practically impossible. Tangles build up too often and too fast.

 

 

 

But with the handle you can walk four dogs. However the fourth leash should never be connected to the three-dog handle. If you do that, the fourth dog and its leash will always become hopelessly entangled with one or more of the other three. We have tested this: The handle does NOT work with all 4 leashes tied to the handle.

One way that works is 2 leashes tied to the handle AND the main lead of a 2-way coupler tied to the handle.  However attaching the upper end of a 2-way coupler lead (having two end leashes) to the handle will only work if the two end leashes are very short so that the two dogs are constrained to walk side-by-side and each short end leash cannot get entangled with any of the two regular leashes on the handle.

A better way to walk four dogs with the UTurn handle while giving them space to roam is to use the handle with three dogs in one hand AND to hold and use a fourth leash separately in the other hand. Whenever the fourth leash gets entangled, you quickly move that fourth leash under or over and around the tangled leash(es) tied to the Uturner to untangle. Then you untangle the leashes tied to the Uturner if they were entangled as well.  Also see How to Use the Handle for more information.

We use this method with our 4 dogs. Although one needs to be alert and fairly fast, it works. More attention is paid to the fourth leash as it needs to be untangled first. It is much more challenging than with 3 dogs, but it works very well with some practice. So an owner or handler with some courage and practice can walk four untrained/trained dogs all by him/herself and does not need a companion! The patent application included claims for three-dog handles as well as for special four-dog handles. However the tested four-dog handles are complex and their operation is (too) challenging. The handler must react very fast to the fourth leash otherwise it will quickly block the other leashes.   Any mistake makes it really hard. Use of these 4-dog handles therefore is not reliable and therefore they are not offered for sale.
 

18. Can I use the handle with UP to 9 dogs???

Yes, you can. See the images below. However it is not recommended.  It will only work if you use the handle with 3 tripler leashes and connect each main lead (upper end) to one corner of the handle. Each tripler must have three very short end leashes so that none of the dogs in a team of 3 can get entangled with each other in the same team, and also not with any other dog in the other two teams. It helps if the length of each main leash is different so each team is staggered. This setup means very short end leashes that will fully restrain each dog on all 3 teams. The dogs on each team basically have to walk side-against-side.  It's very hard on the dogs and not recommended unless the dogs are used to walking this way.

The same is true for THREE 2-way couplers (6 dogs) or any mix of single leashes, 2-way couplers or 3-way couplers/triplers, i.e. for 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 dogs on one handle. It is not recommended as the dogs may suffer.  There may also be too many dogs for the handler if anything goes wrong and the combined pulling power of so many dogs may overwhelm even the strongest handler.  Never walk a team or two teams together you cannot control.

An exception could be a team of  5 or 6 small(er) dogs you can control.
Walking 5 (Smaller) Dogs: Three on the UTurn handle on one side, and two on a 2-way coupler on the other side.  The 2-way coupler should have a long main lead, maybe of a similar length as the 3 leashes on the handle, 2 very short end leads and a swivel between main and end leads. These short end leashes will not give the two dogs on the coupler much space but the 2 end leashes must be so short that none of the three dogs on the handle can entangle with these 2 short end leads. For untangling the long main lead of the 2-way coupler leash is passed around the 3 leashes on the handle in the same fashion as the separate leash when used with 4 dogs (as described above under FAQ 17).

 

                Couper_2-way
 
 
 
 
 
2-way coupler    
 
 
 
 
 
Couplers_3_way
 
 
 
3-way coupler or tripler
 
 
 
 



 
 
Couplers_triplers_for_6_to_9_dogs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


      Using 3 short 2-way couplers                   Using 3 short 3-way couplers
 
 
It is recommended not to use TWO UTurn handles with one person at the same time, one in the left hand and one in the right hand. We have never tested it but it seems impossible to keep the two teams apart at all times. Turning each handle (for untangling) with ONE hand is somewhat difficult.  The untangling will not work when one or more leashes of one team get entangled with one or more leashes of the other team.  No system can untangle between two separate teams of 3 dogs.

The same is generally true when using the handle in one hand and a handle with a 2-way coupler or a 3-way tripler in the other hand. However as described for 5 dogs above, when the central or main lead of the coupler or tripler is long and the coupler or tripler end leashes very short, then the central main leash can work as a fourth leash.  That would offer another way of walking five (as described above) or even six dogs.

Walking 6 (Smaller) Dogs: Three on the UTurn handle (each having roaming space) on one side plus a team of three on the other side on a 3-way coupler/tripler leash (the 3 on the coupler walking closely side-by-side). The main lead of the 3-way coupler leash is fairly long and the 3 end leads must be very short, with a swivel connection in-between. The main lead of the 3-way coupler leash needs to be moved around the other three leashes on the UTurn handle to untangle (same method as described when using a separate fourth leash when walking 4 dogs under FAQ 17). 

 

19.  Is it safe?
Connected to the handle - Yes, it is safe, especially when the three leashes are directly connected to the handle without intermediate hardware connectors. It is also safe with a quick-release collar as a safe connector between the handle and leash. Leashes will not get dropped or come loose. Of course all leashes, clasps and connecting collars have to be in good shape and strong enough for the size of your dogs.

Material - The handle itself is very safe and made from a strong thermoplastic material and will never break in normal use with three dogs, even with large dogs up to 100 lbs (45 kg) each. Testing has shown it is at least five times stronger than hardwood. Wood is not strong enough, as it is very poor across the grain. Wood may suddenly fracture under sudden pull loads from the dogs.  The forces in one or more of the handle's sides will then be across the grain and wood is very brittle that way. A handle suddenly breaking and one or more dogs escaping is frightening and the result can be dangerous, especially with nearby traffic.

!!Safety Cautions/Usage Warnings!!
Larger Dogs - An average adult can control 3 or 4 small dogs, even when they suddenly lunge for a squirrel, a cat or other 'attraction'. Larger dogs can easily pull a person over or down or injure a person, especially when suddenly lunging or pulling forcefully together. A fall by the handler especially on pavement or against an obstacle or near traffic can be dangerous.  The dogs escaping into traffic can cause accidents.  Safety for yourself, for your dogs, for other people or for other animals around you should always be the most important consideration.

Never use the Uturn handle in cases and environments where the dogs can pull you over or down and/or escape into traffic. Large or strong dogs should be well-behaved and never lunge for objects, persons or animals or have been trained to immediately stop on command. Do not let children use the handle.  Practice using the handle in a safe environment. Do not use the handle if the dogs cannot be controlled and/or near traffic or other hazards or in crowded places.  Use by adults 18 years or older.

Another caution/warning is for leash encirclements that get wrapped around the handler’s legs. It is possible to lose your balance when stepping out or over leashes that have wrapped around you. Always use caution, lower the handle and step out carefully before the entanglement becomes  too tight.


20. What if I sometimes drop the handle?

If the handle itself gets dropped, we found that the dogs usually stop and wait, or pull in opposite or different directions and thereby roughly stay in place, or stop soon or stop on a loud command. In most cases they get confused and don’t really move away much and the handler can easily catch up and grab the handle again. Always be careful and stay away or use extra caution near traffic or other hazards. When using 3 separate leashes and when one is dropped and a dog escapes, it's often very difficult to retrieve the escaped dog while pulling the other two dogs along.

 

21. Do I need short leashes for safety?

If needed for safety, you can use shorter leashes (e.g. 4-ft leashes) but it's also very easy to shorten the roaming range of the dogs temporarily very quickly!  Just grab the three leashes with your free hand and slide your hand down to halfway of the leashes, or even further, keeping the leashes bundled together and pulling the handle upward or sideways with the other hand.  This is also called 'choking' or 'reducing' the leashes. It comes in very handy when you anticipate that one or more of the dogs may lunge at or come to close to a car, bike rider,  another person, another dog or other animals.  Preventing a run or lunge is always better than letting momentum build up. It is always easier to restrain the dogs from a hold position than from a moving position. We use this 'choking' fairly often whenever we see a danger or to keep the dogs away from cars as some of our streets don't have sidewalks.

Mar_Reducing-3-Leashes-for-Safety-320






'Choking' 3 leashes at once

Shortening all leashes quickly for safety reasons; slide one hand down and pull the handle up or sideways with the other hand
 

 

22.  What should we do about uncontrolled dogs?

With regards to safety, we found that one should be prepared for the following (rare but possible) danger:  Another person's dog(s) breaking loose or escaping from its surroundings.  Most of those dogs are friendly and just curious but some may threaten or attack.  Even if they are friendly they all usually approach very fast!  An attack with so many dogs involved is always frightening. 

Avoidance - If at all possible, always avoid walking close to other dogs' territory or towards or past people with aggressive dogs.  Avoidance is always BEST!

If an attack does happen it may be better to let the handle go.  Focus on blocking the attacking dog's path, deterring the dog or fighting him/her off while your team gets a chance to move out of the way or escape.  A better solution may be to carry a small can of pepper spray and be ready to use it as a last resort to save your team and yourself.  We carry a can of citronella spray, a 2-ft very strong plastic defensive stick, and a whistle on a cord around our neck for immediate use.  We don't like to use the spray but it increases our feeling of safety when walking our dogs in streets and parks.  Some walkers use a citronella or soap solution spray in their own spray bottle.  Some handlers use a walking cane or a longer stick. Others use noisemakers such as a sharp whistle, an air horn, a small can filled with coins or pebbles, a rattler, a device that hisses like a snake, or an ultrasonic whistle that emits high frequency sounds when activated.

(This safety information is also included in the combined Safety chapter).


 

 

23. Does the 3-dog handle always work?

Yes, all internal LEASH entanglements can be 100% resolved by successive turns/flips of the handle by the handler.  As mentioned earlier, internal entanglements are defined as entanglements between the dogs and leashes themselves, not with anything else. A dog and its leash may get entangled with any other leash or two of them, and even multiple times.

The slogan on our website pages  'U turn it, U untangle It'  is true!
However no system can resolve what we call 'handler’ and 'object' entanglements. These are entanglements of the leashes and dogs with something else and they always require special action by the handler.
 
'Handler' entanglements happen when one or more dogs move behind or in front of the handler to the other side and block or even encircle the handler.  'Object' or external entanglements happen when one or more dogs split the team of three around an external object, another person or entangle with another person’s dog on a leash. For more details see How to Use the Handle.


24. Does the handle work as well for large dogs?

Yes, it works equally well. Sometimes even better as the leashes do not drag on the ground as much. All internal leash entanglements can be resolved. The owner or handler could even use longer leashes as long as it is safe. In general it is better when the leashes do not drag on the ground. It is also safer when the leashes are not too long. If you have a mix of small and large dogs, you may want to experiment with the best length for the leashes. It really depends on how the dogs behave and walk on the team. Usually equal-length leashes will work andd it is recommended to try that first. With large, strong dogs always use caution (see safety warnings above) as the team of three (or even one) may be too powerful and could pull you down.
 
 
25. What material is the handle made from?

The handle is made from very strong marine board, a high density polyethylene (HDPE) thermoplastic. This is a high quality and rather expensive material but the cost is worth it.  A handle should never break.  Wood is too brittle. This quality material is more than 5 times stronger than the best hardwood. The handle is manufactured locally in Washington State and the material itself comes from Florida.

The material is environmentally safe, non-toxic and can be recycled. It is used in marine applications on boats, yachts and docks, etc., especially for its strength and weather-resistance properties.  It is even FDA-approved for food processing equipment.  However the handle should not be used as a dog chewing toy (to avoid ingestion of small pieces).  The material has high impact and tensile strength and will not break under normal use with large dogs up to 100 lbs. (45 kg) each. In the worst case it may bend a little out of the plane. The material does not need any maintenance, is weather-resistant, does not need paint or stains, and can be washed with soap and warm water. The handle will last for many years under normal use.
 
Extreme temperatures can affect the material strength temporarily. The recommendations are: Do not leave the handle for many hours outside in very low or very high temperatures, e.g. in Alaska at subfreezing temperatures, or e.g. in Arizona or in a very hot car in the sun at over 104 ºF (40ºC). Do not put the handle in freezer, oven, microwave oven, dish washer, washer, dryer, or other appliance where it may be subject to extreme temperatures. Do not put it near or on stoves, furnaces, heaters, machinery, near fires, in chemicals or hot fluids of any kind. Also do not clean it with chemicals or abrasives of any kind.
 
 
The handle’s material has a light texture on both flat sides. This provides some friction for the fingers which makes holding and turning firmer. It also helps a little to dissipate heat from the handler’s hand on the grip in hot weather. The thinness and flatness are design features to improve the handling as the handle is turned so often.  The material is very strong but relatively soft at the surface and somewhat prone to cosmetic scratches and dings (very similar to wood surfaces). UH_BL500PhotoBlackHandleDropping or scraping the handle on concrete or hard pavement should be avoided if at all possible. If a textured side gets scratched, the scratch can be repaired by holding 80-grit sandpaper locally over the scratch and tapping it very lightly against the surface with a hammer.  Sanding of the handle is not recommended as it dulls the material, removes the texture and may leave visible scratches.  Use sanding only if there is a real nuisance ding at any of the rounded edges.



26. One of my dogs is more than 100 lbs, will that be OK?

Yes, provided the total weight of all dogs combined is equal to or less than 300 lbs, e.g. 120, 100 and 80 lbs, or 150, 100 and 50 lbs. The handle is  very strong and there is a built-in safety margin.  Be extra safety conscious with large dogs as even one large dog can pull a person over or down (see all safety and caution warnings in this website).


27. What started the idea for the handle?

Paul (see About Us) tried to walk 4 small dogs by himself using 4 separate leashes. That was to prepare for his wife and daughter going on a 6-week vacation. Those trials did not go too well at all :-)  To avoid having to walk twice every day he experimented with a flexible metal chain through the 4 leash hand loops and walked all 4 dogs together holding the chain. That did not work too well either but to his amazement by manipulating the chain he was sometimes (barely or nearly) able to untangle an entanglement. After many more trials with the chain with only 3 dogs he found that by attaching each leash at a spaced-apart distance from each other and then rotating the chain the right way allowed him to untangle all 3 dogs all the time! He found the solution after the first 10 days in his wife's vacation and replaced the chain with a wooden triangle.

After many tests with fixed and variable circles, triangles and other shapes for 3 dogs, the handle's shape evolved into the current very simple curved three-grip triangular shape. This shape is close to a Reuleaux triangle, a familiar tri-symmetrical shape also used for the rotary Wankel engine. In the first weeks of test walks with the wooden 3-dog triangle and an extra leash for the fourth dog, a neighbor (who was walking two dogs with difficulty) had seen Paul walking 4 dogs all by himself several times and remarked: “I don’t know how you do it, you make it look so easy!” (without realizing it was really the handle that made it all possible).


28. What other products are available for walking three dogs?

There are many 3-way leashes for walking multiple dogs. However they have real disadvantages which will be mentioned here.
1. Example:   3-Way Coupler, Triple Coupler or Tripler Leash. 
Most common. This website's example shows longer end leashes which gives the dogs some space  but allows the dogs to cross each other's leashes, which will always lead to entanglements.



BBB_Coupler_3-way_3_dogs
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tripler = 3-way coupler with short end leads, connected with a single ring


 
 


Pros: Simple; rather inexpensive
Cons: Untangles only 25% of the entanglement cases, unless the dogs are fully constrained with three very short end leashes that will never entangle. In that case the dogs are forced to walk side-by-side, cannot cross each other's leash and don't get space to roam. The main lead has a swivel snap hook at its end and is attached to the ring, or the ring itself on some triplers is a swivel as well (preferred). The other disadvantage of a tripler is that you cannot communicate movement direction (pull left, right or back) to an individual dog as there is only a single central lead. A third disadvantage is that the dogs can and will jerk each other around.

3-way coupler leashes do not work fully. The main reason why tripler leashes, the ones with longer end leashes, do not work well is very simple.  The swivel connector in the middle of a 2-way coupler always untangles the two end leads. However a swivel in a 3-way coupler can only untangle when all 3 leashes are entangled in the same direction and that is often not the case.  A swivel can only rotate and untangle 2 lines, a swivel cannot untangle THREE lines. Even when using 2 or more swivels in series, the same problem remains.  If end leashes 1 and 2 are entangled, end leash 3 will block the swivel from untangling.  If end leashes 1 and 3 are entangled, end leash 2 will block the swivel from untangling. If end leashes 2 and 3 are entangled, end leash 1 will block the swivel from untangling.  Out of these 4 entanglement types, 3 cannot be untangled, that's only 25% success rate and that's not good.

A very nice 2-leash/3-leash handle is Zoya's Doggie Pal. However with 3 leashes, the rotation of the openable hook really works the same as the swivel in a 3-way coupler and you will still get entanglements. And after a while the entanglements start to build up.

2. Double-Coupler Leash.  These are usually made by dog owners themselves using two separate couplers as shown in this picture.

Coupler_tripler_combined_leash






 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shows handle with swivel snap hook, first coupler (with an end leash on the right), second coupler upper left. The joint of each coupler has a swivel.

 
 
 
 

 
Pros: Simple, medium expensive
Cons: Untangles only 50% of the entanglement cases (similar problem as described for the tripler above), unless the two leashes on the end coupler are very short so that the third leash on the right can never entangle with any one of these two, only with the team of two. The two dogs on this end coupler are then forced to walk side-by-side. The other disadvantage is that you cannot communicate direction to an individual dog, the same as with the tripler leash described above.

Another way of walking 3 dogs is using a 2-way coupler in one hand and a separate leash in the other. This is a similar setup as the double-coupler but the handler untangles the separate leash manually when needed.


3.  Friendly Dog Leash® Walker
Pros: Medium expensive due to the cost of special leashes and the T-bolt.
Cons: Entanglements may still occur and use does not look very easy as shown in a related YouTube video.  Movement direction cannot easily be communicated to an individual dog as it has a central lead and handle.
There are other variations of this setup where the intermediary connection, the T-bolt, is replaced with connecting rings and swivels.


4. Other more complex leash-and-swivel systems.
There are many patents for these but we could not find any of them commercially available.
Pros: These could achieve more automatic untangling, maybe over 75%
Cons: Would be expensive; requires many special leashes and swivels.
Movement direction cannot be communicated to an individual dog as these systems all have a single main lead.  None will provide 100% untangling and as these systems are so complex (so many parts), any entanglement situation will be very complex and nearly impossible to resolve with one person.

 
The above listed products or systems all HELP with untangling but most cannot untangle automatically in all cases and/or do not allow enough roaming space for all dogs and/or are expensive due to the required special leashes or may be difficult to use. If a system does not untangle in ALL cases, it cannot be trusted and the handler still faces frustrating entanglements.
 
 

Team-Argentina520







 

For fun: Admire this master in Argentina with well-trained dogs. Not much fun for the dogs.

 

 




29. All my dogs are well-trained, do I need this?

No, not if walking them rarely gives an entanglement. However even trained dogs may become entangled. Having a UTurn handle would give you the option to walk an untrained or partially trained dog on the team when needed. Walking with the UTurn handle will give the dogs more roaming space than walking with short walking leashes. In addition, with the Uturner all leashes are kept together on one handle which often is safer and easier than holding and handling three separate leashes. The handle also makes it easy to put an arm through the central opening and free both hands when needed.
 

30. What can I expect after receiving the handle?

You can always untangle all LEASH tangles. There is some work involved in turning the handle. Other 'work' is 'handler' entanglements as discussed in the Use chapter.  Often these are simple blocks by a single leash from behind after a dog darts behind you to the other side. The handler needs to step back or sideways over the leash to get out and avoid a full entrapment.

Some patience in becoming familiar with the handle is required. One should not necessarily expect perfect walking results with the first walk. It depends on you, the leash lengths, the habits of the dogs, the pack leader, etc..  It helps if the dogs are already used to walking on separate leashes together in a group of two or three. You may need to experiment with shorter or longer leashes, e.g. for a mix of large and small dogs. On all walks it will help a lot if you untangle as soon as one or two entanglements happen. Avoid getting distracted (stopping and talking) as the dogs may encircle you several times within a minute!  While walking always try to keep the dogs tangle-free/untangled or untangle as soon as you see an entanglement, that makes walking with multiple dogs by far the easiest and smoothest. 

Untangling by turning the handle is very easy to master and works 100% of the time for LEASH tangles (i.e. between the 3 leashes).  It may take a few walks to really get used to walking your dogs with the handle.  The dogs will get used to the manipulations of the handle by the handler, the space they have and the short stops, e.g. when the handler picks up dog waste or lifts a dog off its own leash, etc.. The dogs will entangle less over time, will anticipate your actions more and the handler will become faster and more proficient. The more you use it, the easier it will be.


Z_Walking_4_dogs_is_easy
          ZZ_Walking_4_doggies_with_UTurn_handle_-_Copy

 


Again, the general recommendation that makes walking 3 or 4 dogs with the UTurn handle by far the easiest is:
Always untangle often =
Try to keep the dogs untangled while walking =
Avoid a buildup of many tangles =
Resolve tangles as soon as you can=

 


 

End FAQ