Dog Powered Well Pump

While looking through a book from the early 1900’s I found this article on a dog-powered well pump.  Having read about the many uses of work dogs in the past, I believe this would work.  Now unfortunately they don’t show a lot of details, but I am sure with a bit of work this could be connected to almost any hand or wind operated well pump.



This sketch shows an arrangement for making use of the dog for carrying water. It simply consists of a wheel 8 feet in diameter and 18 inches wide, with room enough inside for the dog to walk around, where he acts as a tread power, which causes the pump to revolve
In southern California there are a number of these dog-power pumps, which cost less than $15. A good-sized dog can easily earn his living in an arrangement of this kind.

2 thoughts on “Dog Powered Well Pump”

  1. Since hand pumps of that era (and now) consist of a rod that just goes up and down inside the pump, inside the covered “pumphouse” I’d expect to see a simple right angle cam that converts the rotary motion of the drive shaft to a up-down stroking of the pump mechanism (instead of the pump handle doing it).
    Once in motion, the weight of the large walkway for the dog would be heavy enough to act as a “flywheel” to dampen out the varying pressures that would occur during its motion of travel.
    That said, I can’t imagine the “better half” here agreeing to put our pampered pet to work like this –even in a SHTF situation !!

  2. My Dad talked about a ranch where he was employed back in the 40s, they had one . He said it was a small dog and it loved the job! He would pump all the water to service the ranch (40-60 cows). This dog was used for years and other dogs before it. It was a hand pump with a pump jack, a squirrel cage for dog to run.

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