It was 10 years ago today, January 13, 2012, that WaterDog Adventure Gear® sold its first dog ladder. This anniversary provides a good time to reflect on why I do what I do.

Why did I start? Necessity is the mother of invention. I quickly realized after my first boat outing with a golden retriever, most dogs like water and most dogs don’t think about how they will get out once they jump in. Trying to wrestle a heavy, wet dog back into the boat was not fun. Even after we anchored on a sandbar, lifting the dog onto the swim platform every time got old fast. When I searched for solutions, I could not find anything that functioned properly. As an engineer, this meant one thing; design a product that worked.

Why has my company grown? I launched with one model for fiberglass boats and attended several boat shows across the U.S. On the first day of the first show, I was asked if I had anything for docks and for swimming pools. By listening to customers’ needs, I have introduced several additional dog ladders for a variety of boats, docks and pools. I only entered a new category when I was convinced I had the best product available.

Why does my company make our products in the U.S.? From the beginning, I wanted to make our products in the U.S. using domestic suppliers. I wanted to be able to control quality and be able to respond quickly to changing market conditions and customer needs. This approach has served my company well, especially during the last two years with major supply chain disruptions. We have never been unable to fulfill an order quickly.

Why should you care? If you have a dog that swims or has access to water, you know how important their safety is. Thousands of dogs drown each year in backyard pools and lakes because, like my dog, they jump in without thinking how they will get out. Even if you are there, lifting them in and out can take all the fun out of the water play time.

To summarize the why’s, I can tell you that the feedback I have received over the last 10 years confirms my company provides a line of products that make water activities with your dog safer and more enjoyable for both of you. That’s why I go to work each day.

Jim Perkins
January 13, 2022