The Story Behind Clawguard

Posted by Kevin Dixon on

The Clawguard story starts in 2000. 

Kevin Dixon, and his wife, Margo, took a casual trip to the Atlanta Humane Society intending to browse available dogs and perhaps adopt one at a later date. If you're a dog lover, you'll understand that few people leave a "casual" shelter visit without a new furry friend in tow, and Kevin and Margo were no exception. When a bin full of Boxer-Sharpei puppies was laid in the center of the adoption area, all the shelter visitors flocked to see them. "Next thing I know, Margo is holding a 12 week old puppy that was wiggling around in her arms," Kevin remembered, adding, "It was love at first sight." An hour later, Foster was headed to his new home. 

Margo Dixon and Foster Rescue Dog

Of course falling in love with a puppy is the easy part, but raising a good dog is more challenging.

Door Scratching Was Getting Expensive

As Foster grew, signs of Foster's anxiety began appearing around the apartment. "He would chew on the cabinets, furniture, and carpet by the door," Kevin said. 

We tried everything to discourage Foster's scratching and to protect our doors. We lost so much money from pet deposits at each apartment.

They tried deterrent sprays, cardboard shields, kick boards, even sliding furniture in front of the door. But nothing worked to stop the scratching. "We started to accept that there was no other solution to this problem," Kevin recalled.

Dog scratching door damage

In 2009, Kevin and Margo bought their first house and barely 6 months later, Foster had already torn up their new front door. They needed to find a solution to Foster's scratching problem once and for all.

 

The Very First Clawguard

Kevin tried creating a cardboard door shield that fit over the door and doorframe. It's worth a shot - right? After a few days it was shredded.

An early prototype of the Clawguard door shield

Kevin bought several door protectors online, but each door shield had it's own drawbacks-- clunky hardware installation that damaged the door, not enough coverage or flimsy construction. It just didn't make sense.

Without a good solution, Kevin decided to take matters into his own hands. He created  a sturdier door shield design then talked to a local manufacturer who made just 10 Clawguards as a test.

Kevin took a prototype home for Foster and gave the other nine to friends. The positive feedback was amazing. This product saved people's doors, and helped their pets learn to stop scratching.

How did Foster like the first Clawguard?

Foster's reaction to the plastic Clawguard was, as Kevin put it, "unbelievable."

Foster stared and sniffed the Clawguard for several minutes and he took a first swipe. The Clawguard moved slightly and Foster jumped back. Then, remarkably, Foster sat by the door! He stayed there for 15 minutes until we came back, praised him and gave him treats.

We tested and changed the design a few times before we were happy with the final Clawguard. We chose the clear finish because it can blend into any decor.

A Business is Born

In 2009, Kevin placed a large custom order with a local manufacturer in South Carolina. It took guts to put money behind this brand new product idea, but what a good decision it was. 

Since he started selling online, the popularity of the product has grown exponentially. Clawguard is the top selling door shield on Amazon.

Kevin still runs the business out of his garage in Charlotte North Carolina and it still feels like a friendly family operation despite the huge growth year over year.

 

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and sometimes necessity comes with four paws, a waggly tail and an appetite for door destruction. 

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Comments


  • Well you plum won my heart when I found out you adopted a rescue. That did it. I order some from you. Yes “some”; I have 12 rescues ;-) and I don’t like to spend my weekends painting!

    Jean Casanova on
  • Enjoyed your story, great job.

    JOhn wAit on
  • Looks great. I have a guest dog who scratches my bedroom door. If the left side is covered it still allows for the dog to scratch the right side of the door. I’d have to buy a whole sheet that covers the entire door. In the meant time picking up a water spray bottle helps stop the bad habit. I had to resort to sleeping in the living room with host dog while my resident pet slept in my bedroom alone.

    Jennifer H on

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