AIRFLOW BUMPERS: Engineered to improve oxygen intake and carrying position, all while encouraging a softer grip.

Superior to conventional bumpers.

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10 Things to Consider in Evaluating Dog Training Bumpers

All dog training bumpers are not created equal. Here are the factors to take into consideration:

  1. Is it safe?

Traditional plastic training bumpers are all made from PVC, polyvinyl chloride, which contains phthalates and BPA, known to be reproductive toxins. For more detailed information please read this article.

Although the level of exposure is undetermined, why expose your dog to something that might be harmful, when a safer alternative is available?

  1. How well does it work?

Do the bumpers you currently use enhance your dog’s performance, or hinder it? A bumper designed to promote optimal performance and health is better for your dog in the long run.

  1. What value do you place on your dog’s health?

If you’re like most dog trainers and hunters, you want optimal health for your retrievers and seek out the best products and alternatives for training.

  1. What value do you place on optimal performance?

Good hunting dogs are elite athletes; just as Olympians seek out the most technically-advanced apparel and gear to optimize performance, the performance of your dogs can also be enhanced with the most technically-advanced training gear.

  1. Does technically-advanced design matter?

If you were to give Usain Bolt a pair of running cleats like those used almost 100 years ago and time his running, he’d still run faster than most people. But his time wouldn’t be as fast as it is running in modern running shoes. Superior design for athletic gear promotes optimal performance in dogs just as it does for people. The AirFlow Bumper is a patented, technologically superior design, as different from traditional bumpers as modern running shoes are from the running cleats of the 1920s.

  1. Is the bumper the most healthful for your dog?

The most healthful bumper for your dog is one that, first of all, does not contain any potentially harmful substances. Beyond that, a bumper should allow your dog to breathe freely – both for his health and his performance.

  1. What factors would your dog find important in a bumper design?

Dogs can’t talk, but we have to guess that they would appreciate anything that helps them breathe easier while they’re working. Aside from that, a bumper that’s easy to grip without a heavy bite would probably be welcome from the dog’s point of view. The AirFlow Bumper’s ridged design fits into the dog’s teeth, interlocking with them and making it easy to hold without heavy bite force.

  1. Does the bumper impede or enhance my dog’s breathing?

The AirFlow Bumper features a narrower middle, almost like a cinched waist in the center of the bumper, corresponding to the center of the dog’s mouth. The wider diameter of the ends of the bumper hold the dog’s mouth open during carry, allowing air that enters the front of the mouth to circulate around the narrower center and ultimately, allowing the dog to get more air through his mouth while carrying. This corresponds to a 90% increase in air flow – a huge advantage over the traditional, cylindrical training bumper, which occludes over 93% of the dog’s mouth.

  1. Where is the bumper made?

All, or nearly all, of the traditional plastic training bumpers available on the market are manufactured in China. The AirFlow Bumper is manufactured in the U.S., primarily for quality control, although we’re proud to support American manufacturing and American jobs by making our product in the USA.

  1. What is the bumper made of?

See #1, above. All traditional plastic training bumpers are made of PVC containing phthalates – 36% to 72% of the material is phthalates. AirFlow Bumpers are made of FDA-approved, nontoxic, food-grade plastic. In addition, it’s flexible, puncture-resistant and tasteless. The AirFlow Bumper is the ONLY plastic training bumper on the market that is 100% phthalate-free. Why risk your dog’s health when a safer, better alternative is available?

Introducing AirFlow Bumpers

If you’re a dog trainer or hunt with dogs, you’re already familiar with the bumpers or dummies used in retrieval training. The basic design for training bumpers has remained the same ever since they were developed – a cylindrical-shaped plastic or canvas stick that can be filled with water or another substance to simulate the weight of game, used to train dogs to retrieve on land or in water.

This design is so basic that apparently no one has ever given much thought to it ? until now.

Chuck Yanke, the owner of AirFlow Bumpers, is a hunter and trains dogs for hunting. He’s also an engineer, so when he learned of a superior bumper design that had been developed and evaluated at Auburn University, he bought the rights to the design. The inventor of the AirFlow Bumper had noticed that the standard training bumper made it difficult for dogs to breathe through their mouths while retrieving, so he designed a better bumper, one that would allow dogs in training to breathe more easily and as a result, perform better.

The result of his effort is the revolutionary AirFlow Bumper, a patented design that allows 90X more air to pass around the bumper while the dog is carrying it, allowing the dog optimal performance during retrieval training.

The design evaluators at Auburn discovered that the old, standard training bumpers blocked 93.3% of the dog’s mouth, making it impossible for the dog to take in much air through the mouth while carrying. So the inventor developed a design that allows more air to flow around the center of the bumper, through the front and center of the dog’s mouth. With this design, instead of 93.3% of the mouth being occluded, the blockage is reduced to only 59%, allowing almost 6 times more air to be taken in through the mouth during retrieval.

This design also includes features to encourage proper carry during retrieval. The AirFlow Bumper, instead of having bumps or nubs to assist the dog in gripping the bumper, has a series of concave depressions, which “lock in” to the dog’s teeth, allowing the dog to carry the bumper securely with less bite force, promoting a softer mouth. This feature also allows better air flow into the dog’s mouth; air can flow in along the depressions that are not in contact with the dog’s teeth. Finally, a ridged edge around each end of the bumper discourages the dog from attempting to carry the bumper by one end. This feature ensures that the dog will carry the bumper centered in the mouth, so he will benefit from the greater air flow provided by the design.

Finally the inventor took a look at the materials used to make standard plastic training bumpers and decided a safer alternative was needed. Traditional plastic training bumpers are made of PVC, which includes phthalates, known to be reproductive toxins. Phthalates are known to leach into food from the plastics that contain them; if phthalates can leach into food, then certainly they can leach into a dog’s mouth when PVC is in contact with saliva. In the analysis of standard PVC training bumpers, it was revealed that they contained from 36% to 72% phthalates. A variety of different material possibilities were considered for the AirFlow Bumper; Santoprene, a phthalate-free plastic approved by both the FDA and the EU for safe contact with food, was the material ultimately selected. The Santoprene used to manufacture AirFlow Bumpers is flexible, puncture-resistant, tasteless and has the proper feel and bounce – all while being safer for dogs.

The final result is a training bumper that allows dogs to perform at their peak, without the risk of contact with harmful chemicals. That’s the AirFlow Bumper – better for breathing, better for training, better for performance, and better for your dog’s health.