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Meet the Maker Podcast: Doug Danforth of LINKS-IT

Meet the Maker Podcast Links-It
Doug Danforth and his daughter Diane Danforth of LINKS-IT are on a mission to take a major hassle out of pet owners' lives. No one looks forward to changing out pet tags, not even the pets. The tags are so difficult to remove some owners end up with bloody fingers and all of them deal with seemingly endless frustration. But changing them is essential. Now it can be painless, too, with the LINKS-IT pet tag connector. Hear how Doug got the idea, brought it to life, and partnered with The Grommet to share it with their pet-friendly community.

Doug Danforth and Atticus


To learn more about LINKS-IT, watch our video here.

Like what you hear? Rate, review and subscribe on iTunes.


  • Linda Says:

    We have three dogs so I bought three of these and only one of them lasted a year. It is a great idea, but not really sturdy enough.

  • Penny Says:

    OK, cool idea (by the way, tags and keychains can be easily opened with a staple remover!)
    Now what I need is something to keep my dog's tags from turning his ruff to a dirty gray! Some sort of transparent
    liquid that would get solid, and keep the metal from rubbing off on his ruff? Some sort of clear plastic 'tag holder' that would do the same?

  • randy Says:

    I fail to see the innovation here as a simple $2.00 carabiner from the Home Depot would accomplish the same thing.

  • Antoinette Sobota Says:

    Fantastic idea, but it only lasted less than a year. It broke and I had to go on a hunt to find the dog tags. Totally frustrating experience.

  • Mary Says:

    Bought two awhile ago. Best thing ever! Thanks!

  • Sandra L Says:

    I love these. I will never figure out how my dog kept losing his tags. With this link he hasn't lost another. I change his harness after every bath which means I have to move his tags. It's easy now. I do suggest a harness. If I put this link on a collar, I'm pretty sure he would eat it. I would buy again if you can make in metal. I'm happy with this for now.

  • Ann Says:

    I bought 2 of these, one for each of my dogs. For a while they worked very well. I was able to change their licenses easily when they were renewed.

    Then one of them inexplicably gave out. I don't know when or how it happened. All I know is that one day I noticed one of my dogs has no tags.

    Now I need to replace them all. Uggg.

  • Leatha Says:

    I purchased one of your Links-It several months ago and it broke about a month after I purchased it. I think you need to make them stronger. I didn't try to return it because I thought the cost of postage would be more than the cost to replace. However, I've kept the broken one for some reason!

  • Kristine Says:

    ordered 2 Links It and one came apart a day or so after attaching to the collar. The other one is still okay but just wanted to let you know.
    Kris Bowring

  • Laura Says:

    I purchased 2 of these several months ago - one for my dog and one for a friend's dog. Within 2 weeks mine had broken even though it was not stressed. I wouldn't recommend this product.

  • Andrea Watson Says:

    These don't work. I bought several of them and they broke within a week. I got home after walking the dog and found the link broken and all my dogs tags gone. I had to retrace my steps and fortunately I found all the tags at various points on the sidewalk.

  • Cheryl Says:

    I ordered and received a links-it for my Sophie, and got a few for a friend for her dogs, I love it! Easy open, no broken nails, I don't tend to change her collar but for tags, fits her I'd tag, license tag and home again tag. I like that it keeps her safe should tragedy strike.

  • Karian Favresu Says:

    I would like to purchase 3 of this item!

  • Mindy Says:

    Unfortunately, both tags I put on my dog did not stay on the collar. When my dog wrapped her tie out around a tree or caught it on the decorative lawn border, the dog tags were easily pulled off, never to be found again.

  • Lynda Says:

    I love these Links-it, what a great thing to have when you have several dog collars.would love to have this for my dog, where could I purchase these?

  • Sonya Says:

    Thanks for developing this product. I had been using the "s" link that came with the rabies tag. One day I came home for lunch to find my 6 pound Maltese named Violet's rabies s tag hooked onto a knitted afghan on our bed. I still shudder to think about what could've happened. I ordered Links it that same day!

  • Mary Says:

    For you tag problem where is turns your dogs fur all gray and ugly try Googling 'Quiet Spot.' It a neoprene case that goes around the tags, keeping them from coming in contact with your dogs fur. It solved my problem.

  • Adam Abelson Says:

    Great idea in theory...so I hate to rain on the parade. I bought three for the dogs. Two fell apart within a few months, causing three tags per dog to get lost. Once the quality of the plastic is improved, I'll happily buy replacements.

  • Lisa Says:

    I have 3 small dogs and I love these things! One did break, but I think the good far outweighs the bad. With the old o-rings, or little s-hooks that have to be pinched, my dogs would sometimes get stuck on some of our doormat rugs, with all tend to have some kind of berber loop - something I didn't notice until my dog is struggling. No problem at all with these things. Worth every penny, I just have a couple of back ups. . .

  • Deanna Says:

    How much are they?

  • Marlene Austinson Says:

    I would like to hear the inventor respond to all the negative reviews of the Links-It. Most of the ones I read were unfavorable.

  • david overton Says:

    WOW! Simple but genius. If I had an idea for a product, would you guys be interested? My idea is simplistic and of course, "genius", but maybe only in my mind. I had one patent but it has since expired so I am familiar with the patent process however, I have medical issues that prevent me from "pounding the pavement" if you will, like I did on the aforementioned patent. If possible, I would love to hear from you through this forum and maybe exchange contact information later if interested.
    Thanks, ...David O.

  • Dusti Says:

    I ordered one over a year ago and it has been great. We rescued another dog so I ordered another one last month.

  • Sandi Says:

    I bought 3 (2 dachshunds & a young schnauzer) several months ago. My schnauzer plays hard with the much-bigger dogs at the dog park every day & there's been no problem. So far, so good! BTW, I never put names on tags but do add "needs medication" to thwart dog-snatchers. Thieves don't want dogs that need the expense of meds & my dogs will always respond to the names I gave them.

  • Kim Says:

    I tried everything for our dog's tags, and nothing kept the tags ON, QUIET, and CLEAN until I found the Paww Pick Pocket Pouch. I bought the small size on Amazon, and it's just big enough to put 3-4 tags in and zip up securely. It's perfect!

  • Pat Says:

    Tell Penny to coat the tags with clear nail polish and let dry. Maybe 2 or 3 coats. As a kid, we did this to keep cheap jewelry from turning our skin colors.

  • Laura Says:

    To Linda: To keep your dog tags from leaving the gray/black mark on your dog's fur, coat them with clear nail polish and let it dry before you put them on. works every time

  • Gene Says:

    First answer to Penny RE: Tags turning dogs coat gray. Answer is right at your "Beauty" table, Clear nail polish. A quick 2nd would be spray shellac but it might turn a slight yellow

    2nd At the dollar tree buy a set of carabina's. You might have to widen the whole in the tag a little but holds tight.

  • LaLa Says:

    I've bought several, they don't last!

  • Terence Bibro Says:

    Great product. I would like it a little larger but it sure saves on my fingernails. I've had it on my 110lb Lab for over a year and its fine.

  • Mike Says:

    Hi everyone, thanks for all the comments. For those who are loving LINK-IT, I am thrilled to hear it. I'm such Doug and Diane are, too, that's why they do what they do.

    For those who haven't had success, I'd love to know if you can put your finger on why. LINKS-IT has a 4.1/5 Grommets on over 440 reviews so it has performed very well for most. If there are specific aspects of the connectors that stuck out to you, particular use cases, etc. I know Doug and his team will be eager to hear what they can do to improve the product and thus your experience.

  • Kevin McCormack Says:

    I believe I left a comment a year or so ago about the failings of the product, but I'd be happy to repeat my concerns. Basically, it is a great idea, but failed miserably within a multi=dog household. I have 4 Flat-Coated Retrievers that like to play with each other, meaning rough housing and grabbing of collars. Two of the four Links-It just snapped and most of the tags were lost. If the item was made of metal and not cheap plastic, I think the product could be a 5. It it's present form, the best I could rate it is a 2.

    Hope this helps.

  • Johanna Says:

    Thought you should know that it was that great image of the lab wanting to (what I imagine) kiss the side of the man's face (and the look on his face as well) that attracted me to read about the product. We are waiting for another love to join our family, hopefully soon, and I will keep this product in mind. Thanks!

  • Christine Says:

    Why is there no response from the guy, who invented the links? Speak up, explain why they breakage or all the bad reviews.....would be nice. I'll keep my money.

  • Kathryn Lumpkin Says:

    As a veterinarian, think about 2 things: either hand out or sell these to your customers, and also [advertising idea] put your office contact info on the links-it.

  • Patricia Says:

    I have three of these which my dogs have worn for over a year. They are great. Very small parts and so would be challenging for arthritic fingers, but otherwise a super product.

  • Lauren Cash Says:

    Purchased two. One lasted two weeks, the other just over a month. Too flimsy.

  • Debra Says:

    Hi. I bought one over a year ago and it is still going strong. My little pom Romeo wears it 24/7. Thanks for a neat gadget. Funny thing is my husband has to change tags as I still can't figure it out! lol.

  • Doug Danforth Says:

    Thanks for all of your comments. Let me say first, we are happy to replace any damaged Links-It at no cost to you. Please email a picture and brief explanation to [email protected], and we will mail you a replacement.

    Now for my comments:
    1. Links-It has been on the market for almost three years. We have provided tens of thousands of Links-It to pet owners, veterinarians, and others who care for pets. Most customers have reported positive experiences. In many cases, customers are very pleased to have an alternative to the hassles of split rings and S-hooks.

    2. We can do a better job of explaining how to use Links-It. We have had success with the following suggestions to our customers:

    · To close and lock the connector, the clasp of the Link must be snapped together first before closing the Lock. One way to test this is to pull on the tags.

    · Many tags come shipped with metal rings attached. Metal rings should be removed so that the tags remain close to the pet’s neck and out of harm’s way.

    · It is important that the D-ring of the collar is placed on one side of the Links-It and the tags are placed on the other side.

    3. There are circumstances where Links-It, as well as most other connectors, is challenged:

    · Links-It was designed to break with about 50 pounds of force. We purposely did this to avoid pets being hung by their tags. For example, if a pet’s tags were to be lodged between slats of a deck or bench, it is important that the pet be able to break free.

    · Some dogs like wrestling with one another. When they wrestle, they can pull on each other by the collars or whatever is handy. If they pull on tags attached by Links-It, they may cause it to break. This would likely be the case with a metal ring or S-hook. If you experience this problem, the best alternative is to have the ID mounted on the side of the collar or embroidered on the collar.

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