MAN'S BEST FRIEND: Jaan Hurditch, creator of Lead Mate with his best friend Polly.
MAN'S BEST FRIEND: Jaan Hurditch, creator of Lead Mate with his best friend Polly. SCOTT POWICK

Leading the way for dogs

HASTINGS Point resident, Jaan Hurditch loves walking his dog on the headland but like many others he found it could be quit challenging to keep control of his dog.

As a mechanical engineer, he was up to the challenge of making his daily dog walk a little bit easier and created Lead Mate.

The 45 gram golf sized ball, which comes a part in two halves, can easily fit on any leash and helps protect the dog walkers hand by avoiding leash burn.

We chat with Jaan about Lead Mate:

What inspired you to invent Lead Mate?

My last dog was super excitable and quite strong. Whenever I would walk him he would try to go sniff everything, so I would try to wrap the leash around my hand which would become quite sore. The idea was it would replace a knot I used to tie in my leash to gain closer and better control of the dog.

What goes into the design of the product?

The product is injection moulded out of 100 percent recycled ABS plastic which was one of the things I wanted to do. Both the product and the packaging are 100 percent recycled. It's made in Canada as I was living there at the time. I looked at doing it in Australia but I wasn't here at the time. I would definitely want to get a production here if demand increases.

Jaan Hurditch, creator of lead-mate with his best friend Polly.
Jaan Hurditch, creator of lead-mate with his best friend Polly. SCOTT POWICK

How did your use of crowd funding help with launching the product?

Over 300 people pledged money for a product that didn't exist yet. It gave me that added boost, the fact that I had the support it gave me the confidence I needed to go and save my own money to get the tooling for it to be manufactured.



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