Picking up poop is an essential part of life with a dog, but finding the right pooper scooper can make the job easy. To find the very best, we purchased 18 popular pooper scoopers and sent them to volunteer testers, who each spent two weeks on duty with their doody device, following the testing methodology we wrote with the help of dog experts. While picking up after their dog, our testers evaluated the ease of use, performance, portability, and quality of their assigned pooper scooper.
After weeding out the scoopers our testers pooh-poohed, we found our favorite: the Arm & Hammer Claw Scoop. Its handle expands in length and the claw scoop mechanism can be controlled with one hand. It opens up like a claw machine at an arcade, but with this pooper scooper you always get the prize you want (it's your dog's poop). There were also several other pooper scoopers that our testers loved, which may work even better for you and your dog's butt.
Arm & Hammer Claw Scoop
Handle extends up to 27 inches
Stands on its own when not in use
Works on grass, gravel, and concrete surfaces
Easy to clean with a hose
Able to operate open and close mechanism with one hand
Can be stored outside
Bulky design doesn't lend itself to taking along on walks
Quickly tidy up your outdoor space with the Arm & Hammer Claw Scoop, a lightweight plastic tool that can nevertheless withstand hard use.
"It's perfect for the backyard. Lightweight, easy to use, and stands up," shared our tester, who tried out the Claw Scoop with their corgi. "It's easy to store because it stays upright, so I don't have to worry about it falling over."
The handle on this claw-shaped pooper scooper can extend up to 27 inches so you don't have to bend over every time your dog does their business. The scoop has wide teeth which are effective on lawns without tearing up your grass, and also works well on gravel and concrete surfaces.
A one-handed squeeze is all it takes to open the scoop. Weighing just one pound, everything else is doable with just one hand too. Despite its easy-to-handle weight, our tester felt confident about its lasting durability, and found that it worked well even after leaving it outside in the elements.
Since it's so well-suited to storage in a garage, the Arm & Hammer Claw Scoop is best for yard work. While its light weight made it possible to take along on walks (rather than carrying bags you can just leave the poop in the scoop), it's a little too bulky to be truly portable. If you're looking for a pooper scooper to take on walks or road trips, then you'll probably want to look elsewhere.
"This is the best scooper I have ever owned," our tester said. "I would recommend this to anyone with a dog and a backyard."
Price at time of publish: $23
Dimensions: 27 x 6 x 6.8 inches | Weight: 1 pound | Material: Plastic
Dogit Jawz Dog Waste Scooper
Able to operate open and close mechanism with one hand
Can hold multiple pieces of dog poop
Handle has rubber pad
Effective on turf, grass, and gravel surfaces
Easy to clean with a hose
Our tester felt the grip was uncomfortable
With the DogIt Jawz Dog Waste Scooper, you only need to use one hand to pick up your dog's number two. The rubber-padded handle makes it easy to activate the spring-loaded claw mechanism, which opens and securely closes around your dog's latest dump.
"This scooper works really well on most surfaces," our tester said. "It can also hold up multiple pieces of poop."
The lightweight device is portable but its bulky design is better suited for backyard use than for taking with you on a walk. It's effective on turf, grass, and gravel surfaces and easy to hose off should anything get stuck. Our tester felt the handle could be softer, but overall they found this tool for stool to be much more efficient than their regular rake-style scooper.
Price at time of publish: $15
Dimensions: 25 x 6 x 5.3 inches | Weight: 3 | Material: Plastic
Best Rake Scooper
Pawler Dog Pooper Scooper
Works on grass, sand, dirt, and gravel
Long handles make it easy to reach the ground
Easy to clean
Need two hands to operate
The Pawler Dog Pooper Scooper has a sturdy rake with durable tines and a large tray for picking up poop, both fresh and old, and of all shapes and sizes. Our tester found the long handles to be beneficial when reaching for waste around their yard.
"I didn't have to stoop to an awkward angle to scoop, and the rake made it easy to scoop over different types of grass and weeds," our tester said.
The two-piece contraption is easy to carry and safe for use on grass, sand, gravel, and dirt, but cannot be operated with one hand.
Price at time of publish: $40
Dimensions: 37.8 x 9 x 9.5 inches | Weight: 2.3 pounds | Material: Aluminum, stainless steel
Best Budget Rake Scooper
Four Paws Wee Wee Wire Rake Scooper
Effective on grass and sand
Easy to clean and store
Capacity to handle larger poops
Rubber grip on handle
Doesn't work well on concrete
Smaller sized poops are likely to slip through the tines of the rake
On grassy and sandy surfaces, the Four Paws Wee Wee Wire Rake Scooper makes it easy to pick up the pieces your dog leaves behind.
"This rake performed flawlessly on wet and dry grass," our tester said.
This easy-to-hold rake-style pooper scooper is made with rust-resistant wire so you can spritz off any residue that gets stuck with a hose. The handle has a padded rubber grip which made the experience a little more comfortable for our tester. They also noted that this rake would probably work better for larger dogs, because petite poops might slip through the tines of the rake.
Price at time of publish: $13
Dimensions: 29 x 6.1 x 5 inches | Weight: 15.68 ounces | Material: Wire, rubber
Best Heavy Duty
Activedogs Best Ever Dog Poop Scooper
Rust resistant aluminum
Made in the USA
Rubber grip handles
Hinge-style with two options to suit your surface, tooth for grass, dirt, gravel, or flat for concrete, wood floors
Lightweight and easy to carry
Picks up large poops
Bulky design is challenging for storage
You have to pick flat or tooth style, they are not interchangeable
The Activedogs Best Ever Pooper Scooper is a hinge-style device, made in the United States of rust-resistant aluminum. Our tester selected the tooth version to pick up dog poop from grass, gravel, and dirt, but there is also a flat-edge style made for flat surfaces like concrete, tile, and wood flooring. You can pick the style that works best for the surface you plan to clean.
Our tester was able to quickly and easily clean up after their Husky using this pooper scooper and a trash bag and felt the dung-focused device could handle waste from a much larger dog.
"It works quickly and doesn't have tons of complicated moving parts," our tester said.
With 38-inch handles, you won't have to bend over. Plus, the top tips are molded with rubber for comfort and an easy grip.
Price at time of publish: $60
Dimensions: 38 x 8 x 8 inches | Weight: 3 pounds | Material: Aluminum, molded rubber
For all the fecal matter that matters, our favorite pooper scooper is the Arm & Hammer Claw Scoop. It's easy to use with one hand, effective (yet gentle) on a variety of surfaces, and can be stored standing upright. Another great choice is the Active Dogs Best Ever Dog Poop Scooper. The aluminum hinge-style tool is rust-resistant and made in the United States.
How We Tested
We researched and selected 18 poop-picking-up products and sent each one to a real home with a dog for real-world testing.
Each of our canine participants handled their business as usual—launching new "product" for testing whenever and wherever they liked. Our canine tester's human companions followed closely behind with their assigned pooper scooper. Over the course of two weeks, they gathered insights and then provided feedback in the following categories: Ease of Use, Performance, Portability, and Quality. They were also asked if they would recommend the pooper scooper they tested.
Equipped with this first-hand information, we ranked and categorized our top picks to weed out the duds and spotlight the studs. All of our recommendations received very high marks from testers.
What to Look for in a Pooper Scooper
If you don’t want to bend and stoop, choose a device that is long enough for your height. It may not matter if you’re picking up the occasional pile. But if you have a week or two’s worth of deposits from a couple of dogs, you’ll be glad you have a product with a long handle.
Are you planning on using the scooper to take on a walk or to use in your backyard? Some products are heavy and awkward and would be way too bulky to take with you. Others are lightweight and easy to clip to a leash.
How do you clean a pooper scooper?
By the very nature of its function, a pooper scooper is going to get dirty. Some scoopers don’t make direct contact with piles, however, because they have a bag in the middle. Others do a lot of dirty work. In most cases, they just need to be squirted off with a hose. You can let them air dry or pat them dry with an old towel, especially if they’re metal and you want to make sure they don’t rust.
Do pooper scoopers work on grass?
Scoopers with rake-like edges work better on grass than those with flat sides. That allows the tool to reach down between the grass blades to grab piles. However, some types of runner-type grasses like St. Augustine can be a little harder because the runners get caught in the rake.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
This roundup was updated by Anna Mejorada, a writer for The Spruce Pets. Mejorada can often be heard exclaiming "good potty" at her local park while cleaning up after her happy pomeranian named Gidget. Before researching and writing about pet products for a living, Mejorada embarked on a self-mandated, ongoing quest to find the optimal items for her dog. She is now delightfully devoted to helping humans discover and select the most favorable products for their pets.
A previous version of this article was written by Mary Jo DiLonardo, who has covered animals and pets for several decades. DiLonardo has fostered more than three dozen puppies and is always searching for the healthiest and most effective products, foods, and treats for them. She has also cleaned up after all of them!