The LeashBelt Hands-free dog walking
I walk the dogs almost every day. One of them, Dallas the mixed breed, is quite assertive. She usually pulls me along. Its not too comfortable. Holding the leash out in front of me prevents me from swinging my arms in a natural gait while we walk. I was first motivated to develop something that would allow my hands to be free. I clipped the leash to a belt loop - not bad. It felt good. Not only were my arms free, but she was now pulling me from my center of gravity, my waist, rather than from a shoulder socket. There was much less strain. I could walk and exercise with a natural rhythm. It was a little odd to pull from one off-center belt loop, however. I pursued a belt that would hold the leash right in front.
A pouch for poop bags, phone, keys, etc. and a pouch for a water bottle. The leash link.
I did some exploratory shopping at Whole Earth Provisions, a camping, hiking, outdoors store in Dallas. There was a belt with a padded back (perfect). I got some metal D rings to hold the leash clip, a pouch to attach to the belt to hold the poop bags, and a water bottle. I tested the LeashBelt while walking around the neighborhood. It was great. It was much more fun to walk the dogs without being pulled and with my arms free. I had pockets to hold dog stuff. For the rest of summer 1997, I wore it regularly and got many comments from other dog walkers.
Thinking the LeashBelt was a marketable idea, I met with a patent attorney in 1997. For some reason, I didn't pursue legal protection. Nor did I produce any LeashBelts, other than the prototypes.
Concept inspiration: March 1997
Design and prototype production: spring and summer 1997
Meeting with patent attorney: 1997
While doing a patent search in 2005 for TravelPants, I found patents issued tor similar leash belts - issued in 2002 and 2005, 5-8 years after I saw a patent attorney. The New York Times ran an article in Febuary 2008 evaluating one of the other models. Bottom: Other versions from 2017-2019.