Dog Blog A Day for National Pet Month – Dicky Bag Ltd
Question of the day (QotD) – How far do you have to carry your dogs’ poop to bin it? #bagitandbinit
Well talking poop had to make an appearance during the month didn’t it? As a dog photographer I know that I will not get the best from your dog if they are in need of the toilet. I always advise you to walk your pet around in our shooting location before we start photographing. I not only carry an endless supply of treats for your dog but an endless supply of poop bags too. But what do you do when there is no bin nearby? Well I stumbled, not literally, across this local Cornwall company – Dicky Bags.
Tell me more I hear you cry!
Well I was lucky enough to connect with Mandy the inventor of the Dicky Bag and this is what she said
“The Dicky Bag is airtight, lightweight, washable, neoprene bag that stores nasty poop bags until you find a bin!
The Dicky Bag is a soft yet ridged neoprene bag which is glued and blind stitched to create an odour proof rubber seal. It has a soft pocket in the lid for storing any type of clean pickup bags and has a replaceable air freshener disc. Most customers clip it to their trousers although it also has a belt loop, Velcro one wrap and a carabineer so it can be attached to pretty much anything including a standard lead, extendable lead and our favourite the dog's harness. Super tough neoprene is an artificial rubber material designed to be used in the Ocean therefore each neoprene Dicky bag can be machine washed at 30°.
No dog walker will ever have to carry a smelly plastic bag in search of an elusive bin again.”
You can find Dicky Bags on many social media channels as well as their website
I was sold so, I asked Mandy to answer some questions about her and the Dicky Bag business, she has some brilliant answers including the famous Kevin McCloud, yes, that Kevin McCloud, from Grand Designs, do please read on…
How does your business help dogs and their people?
We make clever and unique products from neoprene, so they are washable and robust.
- Our first and most unique product is the Dicky bag. A portable odour proof bin that attaches to any lead to encourage dog owners to pick up after their dog everywhere, especially in the countryside where dog poo is so dangerous to wildlife and livestock, not to mention poisoning the water table. If people can pick up and not be bothered and hindered by having to carry a nasty knotted bag in their hand they we will see a change in behaviour. We work with organisations like Forestry England, the National Parks, National Trust and the NFU to educate and encourage dog owners to be responsible everywhere.
- Our award-winning treat bags. The Neoprene stops smells and grease treats leave behind and holds its shape so it can be used direct from the pocket. It's soft, easy access and non spill lid makes it very easy for those with mobility issues to access treats.
- Our neoprene mats are good for owner or dog...being waterproof and thermal either of you can sit on damp or cold surfaces and stay warm and dry. Particularly useful during the "outside only" serving at cafes and pubs.
Every item we make comes from a factory in Lostwithiel in Cornwall and we are very proud to say so.
What are your goals and ambitions for your business over the next year and how can we help?
Our goal is always the same. To change people attitude to dog fouling and help them train their dogs. We want to cause discussion, whether you feel you want to use a Dicky bag or not, talk about how it is your responsibility to get the waste you generate to an appropriate disposal point. Why leaving it or "Stick and Flick" is wrong, how much damage it does to wildlife, how many livestock are destroyed because of it poisoning gazing areas, and except that it shouldn't be the landowners problem to solve or to have to provide bins that people complain about always being in the wrong place.
Training relies on quick reward otherwise the dogs don't understand which behaviour you are rewarding and if we want dogs to have good recall and be well trained then the very basic need is a treat bag that works.
What was your biggest triumph from the last year?
Our biggest triumph was being featured on a BBC program called the Customer is Always Right. We have always struggled to get publicity, people want to moan about dog poo, but not find solutions. This program saw we had something that was good to be tested by the general public. The response was immense, our sales increased by 400%.
We have spent 13 years trying to get our product in front of people and as a very small family business we only had money so spend on advertising from re-mortgaging our house. The big retailers didn't think it would work so all promotion came from in house and from our fantastic customers who love our bags so much that tell other dog walkers about it and why we call them Dicky Disciples. This program gave us the boost and fame we always needed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-yAuYZRUO0&t=9s
What is your favourite part of your job?
Talking sh*t! Talking to people, enlightening them to a nicer way to walk their dog and converting those that don't believe they need our bags into true Dicky Disciples.
What is the funniest thing that has happened in your job?
Seeing Kevin McCloud (of Grand Designs fame) emptying poo from bags into a jug, mixing it with water by hand held spoon, to then pour into a bio-digester to prove you can get electricity from dog poo! That wasn't a usual day in the office
What are your favourite things about your community of clients, customers and supports?
Their belief and support in us, our product and our ethos. They are honestly the most wonderful bunch of people as they are unashamed in telling anyone who questions them about the mystery bag on their lead.
If this wasn’t your job what would you do instead?
I was a dance teacher and carried on doing this to earn enough money to live during the first 8 years of the business so I guess I would still be doing that.
If you were to start a business again, what advise would you give yourself in general?
Pace yourself, trust yourself and believe in yourself.
If you could be any dog, what breed would you be and how does that align with your personality?
I'm not posh enough or have enough etiquette to be a pure breed, I'm much more of a Mongrel! But I do know I would definitely have a strong Terrier influence because once I’m focused I won't let it go. So many people have told me that I wouldn't be able to make a go of my 'mad idea'. It made me all the more determined to succeed, that is definitely the Terrier in me!
What is the earliest dog related memory that you can recall?
Sitting on my back step having my photo taken with the family Dachshund 'Pickles' who then proceeded to bite my finger. Still loved him!
Name three things you couldn’t live without?
My Family (including my dogs) Chill swimming (any outdoor water, costume and swim hat only) and Maltesers
I am running a little competition at the end of my 'Dog Blog A Day' series that might just feature one of these beauties…keep reading, and answering my questions and all will be revealed soon.
Don’t forget I would love an answer to our Question of the day (QotD) – How far do you have to carry your dogs’ poop to bin it? #bagitbinit.Answer here
See you all tomorrow.