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Because you can never have enough leashes…

11 Jun

Leah, the owner at The Evolved Dog suggested that we try out leashes from her store, which specializes in USA made and hand-crafted goods.  Given our differing taste, Potnoodle and BusyBee (Fang decided to sit this one out) chose two different leashes to review, both of which are available on her website.

First off, we give The Evolved Dog an A+ for customer service.  Within a few days of communicating with Leah, the leashes showed up at our doorsteps with some extra yummy treats for the beasts and packed in eco-friendly packaging. Top that*.

 

BusyBee received the Bayline Leash

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 5.19.56 PM

Pros:

-Ahoy matey!  This leash is made from sailing line and marine-grade brass and matches perfectly with Mr. T’s new nautical stripe collar, which totally fulfills my recent penchant for all things preppy and nautical.  Now all I need is a boyfriend with a boat and a name like Chad or Tugg.

-The leash is super soft but also incredibly sturdy.  The nice thing about being made from such a hardy material is that you really don’t have to worry about ruining it.  If it’s good enough for Maine lobsterman, it’s good enough for my rough and tumble dog who isn’t exactly gentle with his belongings.

Cons:

-My only complaint really is that it appears that leash is only sold in a 6 foot length, which is much longer than I usually use.  While not a deal-breaker, I would love if this came in a 4 foot length.

 

Potnoodle, never one to turn down leather, got the It’s like Buttah Leash

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 5.23.33 PM

Pros:

– The leash is literally like butter. Softest leather, right out of the box, I have ever owned hands down. Leather is the only material in leashes I really ever use at this point and this one has quickly become a favorite.

– That little ring on the handle. Seriously, is there a reason every single leash in the world doesn’t have those? I order it on all my custom leads but this is the only one I’ve seen that comes with it standard and I love it. So useful.

-This leash is both stitched and riveted, so those of you with pullers need not worry, The leather is thick without being bulky too. (We’ve talked about the pulling thing though. Stop that.)

Cons:

-Another Dog snob that isn’t a fan of a six foot leash. It just isn’t what I’m used to, and since my dogs are in a four foot range of me when on a leash, that extra two feet just ends up balled up in my hand. Not that I mind with this leash since it is, indeed, like buttah.

– Brass only. I don’t mind brass, since several of my dogs’ collars are brass hardware but if they weren’t… the hardware must match. Always. I’d love to see this leash offered in nickel hardware.

 

* Sorry, not sorry. The rest of this blog entry was written while singing this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEa1BYBgeQI

 

**If you’d like the Dog Snobs to review your product/products, drop us an email at thedogsnobs@gmail.com. Keep in mind there are three of us**

 ++We were given two leashes and asked to review them. These are our honest opinions on those leashes.

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Real Keen Leash Review

21 May

A few months ago, a lovely reader named Debbie offered to send us some of her hand-felted leashes from her company Real Keen leashes.   Now that we’ve been using them for a while, we wanted to share our (not totally unbiased) reviews.

Pros:

-Because they are handmade, every piece is unique and made to order

-So soft!

-Great tug leashes!

 

Cons:

-As clearly stated on the website and packaging, these leashes are meant only for dogs who are well-behaved on leash and are not suitable for dogs who are strong pullers.  While that is fine for our dogs, you can see how that knocks out a good portion of dog owners… and that’s okay. The deal is if you can’t teach your dog to walk nicely on a leash then you don’t deserve nice things and these leashes are nice things. If your dog still pulls on the leash, allow us to point you to yet another mass lupine dealer.

BusyBee:

 

Of all three Dog Snobs, I am definitely the most utilitarian when it comes to leashes, as in, I have one that I use pretty much all the time and it is made out of recycled climbing rope.  Not exactly anything fancy.  I’ve been using the same kind of leash since I got Mr. T six years ago, and am pretty much content sticking to my ways.  That being said, I was excited about the idea of trying something new, especially something handmade.  Debbie asked us what colors we were interested in, and away she went.  When the leash arrived at my doorstep a few weeks later, I was in love.  The tag that came along with the leash described all the different types of yarn (mmm alpaca) in them and you can tell how much attention went into creating them.  Now that I’ve been using it for a while, I’ve really gotten used to how it feels versus my other leash and I love how soft it is,  Plus,  every time I’ve used it I’ve gotten tons of compliments, and who can blame them, it’s a thing of hand-crafted beauty!

My precious

My precious

Potnoodle:

I feel like I’m probably the Dog Snob with the most hoarder like tendencies. I like stuff. I LOVE dog stuff. I have a lot of it but I can honestly say I don’t have anything like the Real Keen leash I received. Another confession, I’m a knitter. I was indoctrinated at a local yarn shop so along with being a Dog Snob, I’m a bit of a yarn snob. I LOVE knowing what went in to these leashes, and the yarn she uses is top quality. The personal touches, like knowing the yarn and the thought went into making them, really puts these leashes above anything else. I’d compare the strength and stretchyness to a braided fleece leash so again, not for pullers. My non-tugger poodle (Who’ll tug if I ask nicely and cover whatever it is in the flesh of dead rabbits) LOVES to tug with his real keen… a fact I probably should have accepted given how much he likes to rip in to my yarn stash and shred my various felted things.

 

It’s okay. You’re allowed to be jealous of his facial hair flapping in the wind.

Fang:

So I have this thing where I am picky. I know, it shocked me too, but I am what I am. I’m always game for new stuff so I made up my order which was more like a “Well the Malinois wears red now, so okay” and off we went. Even the skeptic, I figured if I hated it (And I’m not a crafty person nor do I have wool-gasms) Potnoodle could have it. Many months passed of Potnoodle holding my leash hostage for enormous sums of cheesecake. Finally the other weekend (And why this has taken so damn long*) the leash was retrieved and used as a makeshift puppy harness and walking thingy. The puppy is a fan and so am I. It’s the perfect puppy tug. Soft, a little bit stretchy, thick but not too thick. Needless to say the skeptic is a fan.

14

Tugging Hell Beast

*perhaps next time Fang will have it sent to her own abode and Potnoodle won’t have to hold it hostage.
***We were given three leashes and asked to review them. These are our honest opinions on those leashes.

If you have a dog product you’d like the Dog Snobs to review, send us an email at thedogsnobs@gmail.com and do keep in mind that there are three of us.

Ode To A Dog Collar; or, The Dog Snobs Review Paco Collars.

20 Dec

Potnoodle and Fang’s collars.

About a month ago we were contacted, out of the blue, by the founder of Paco collars. Apparently, she’s a fan of our writing and wanted to send us collars. After Potnoodle managed to pick herself off the floor, all three of us started the process of picking out our collars. Paco was amazing to work with and went above and beyond to ensure we got what would look best on our dogs. 

BusyBee:

I’m a woman of simple tastes.  For years Mr. T wore identical collars that came from Old Navy (gasp!)  When my hoard finally ran out last year, I found myself completely overwhelmed by the thought of finding something new.  Slowly, and with Potnoodle’s guidance (read: enabling), I’ve been slowly but surely adding to my collar collection.  During my search for new collars, I had come across Paco several times but had never bitten the bullet, so when we were contacted with the generous offer, I was thrilled.  I must admit, having never owned a leather collar before (told you, simple tastes), I was completely overwhelmed by the all the glorious options.  I finally settled on a gorgeous collar and sent the size specifications off to Paco (side note:  I literally got a message back making sure that Mr. T’s neck was as big as I said it was.  It is.)  When the collar arrived, I opened it like a kid at Christmas leaving remnants of the packing strewn about my house.  I may have even cradled it like Gollum (“My precioussssss”) and marveled at its beauty.  This is easily the nicest collar I’ve ever owned.  The leather is super soft, the finishes are immaculate, and it fits Mr. T like a glove. Now, thanks to this collar, I want ALL the collars.   If there is such a thing as a “gateway collar”, I’m pretty sure this is it.

Potnoodle:

Serious Moustache is Serious about modeling.

Hi, My name is Potnoodle and I’m a collar whore. Seriously, it’s getting out of hand. I have quite a few fabric collars and a couple of leather. Still, I’ve never quite managed to get to a Paco collar. They’re expensive, I’m in college… you know the story. So when we were offered a chance at these GLORIOUS collars… there may have been squealing. Undignified pitches were reached, I won’t lie. Still, I thought, leather is leather. The stones can’t be that different from the leather collars I already have. No, I was incredibly wrong. The leather is buttery soft and the design is just gorgeous. I’ll be honest.. there were moments I contemplated not giving the collar to I and just cuddling it myself for the rest of my life. There were brief threats to elope with my… I mean I’s collar as well as Fang’s that was sent to me so I could hand deliver.  I’m not proud. I finally  managed to release the collar and finally put it on my boy… and I never want to take it off again. It came already ridiculously soft but it broke in to I’s neck like a dream. I love the leather, and I love even more that it is cruelty free. I’m officially a convert… and already saving up for my matching leash.

Fang’s contribution is coming soon. She was busy saving the world… or yelling at people to pick up after their dog. One of those two. In the meantime, admire M in his collar.

Fang:

So I arrived finally (Matted dog to groom, Lesson to teach, private lesson dude to yell at because he STILL DOESN’T GET IT, computer repair and the DMV made for a long-ass day. I know, you should be jealous.) but I’m here with my review. When we were contacted by Paco I was the last to respond, not because it wasn’t incredibly flattering, but (And Potnoodle will unfriend me for this admission) they’re not a style I normally pick. I know, I know, sacrilege. My taste doesn’t have a particular bent but generally I don’t like wide flashy collars. I’m more of a braided skinny kangaroo in contrasting signature colors. My preppiness is showing. My dogs have hair that tends to hide flashy collars, they leave collar swooshes on the neck (It’s actually a problem for me. I use blending shears and hand stripping to get rid of it.), I don’t have ID collars on the big dogs and I have a bunch of super skinny, slips and martingales that get thrown in my disaster of a training bag for every necessity. I hemmed and hawed and dawdled but just went for the blingiest pattern (The Glow) I liked and told them to pick something for my Malinois. I didn’t care what, I trusted their taste and if I didn’t like it, I’d give it to BusyBee or Potnoodle (who by the time they arrived was threatening to abscond with it) or if they didn’t want it, I’d auction it off for a rescue and everyone wins… Well it arrived via Havanese Express on Friday and shockingly to myself at least, I loved it. While it’s not something I’d have gone out of my way to order (I’d probably have chosen a more utilitarian collar) it’s absolutely stunning on M. The leather is absolutely perfect. They “deluxed” it by adding a second layer of leather, for M’s poofiness. It doesn’t leave a weird collar swoosh and the weird indent in the photo is because I’d just been collar bouncing him around the yard. It’s flashy, but not in a gaudy way and the number of positive comments on it have been amazing, so sorry charity but I’m keeping it and I’m a convert. You win, Paco. I need more. Z will have to wait her turn for a flashy collar so it’s best not to tell her yet. Now I just need to pick a style and let them work their color selection magic.

**Disclaimer: We were given these collars for free, however we were not asked to review them. We did that because of how purely awesome we think they are. **

Have a Paco? Tell us about it in the comments. If not, go check them out over here.

Shameless Product Endorsements/Slams: Kyjen Invincibles Plush Dog Toy Snake (3 Squeakers)

6 Jul

Product:  Kyjen Invincibles Plush Dog Toy Snake (3 Squeakers)

You sexy, sexy snake.

Average Price: $6.99-$9.00

Durability: High-Very durable

Cool Factor: Medium- High.

General Impressions:

Fang:

I’ll admit it, I have at least two versions of the first generation of this toy already (Green rather than red but same idea) and I think I love it more than my dogs do. For better or worse these are my dogs absolute favorite toys even above the ones that feed them.

When this arrived I was excited and after noting what it was, so were my dogs. To my dogs this toy means two things 1) We’re going to tug 2) Play with the flirt pole or 3) TUG!. I hadn’t even fully opened the box before Z’s nose was shoving in to see it and she was trying to instigate a game of “I own that”.

As the resident seam-chewer Z’s track record with these is iffy. She has destroyed every single “tough” soft toy I have purchased in under an hour. I don’t bother with rubber or nylabones since she won’t touch them. (She is a chewing snob)

This one got off easy.

As I said previously we have the previous edition of this toy. The first one I purchased took about forty minutes but once I got bored and forgot, she had chewed apart a seam and surgically removed and destroyed a squeaker. The semi-ruined toy was still highly valued by the monster and even by M whose attention span on toys is notoriously short. It still resides in the car as a spare tug-toy as I purchased a second one to at least pretend we have nice things. The second however also met a similar fate though at the end of the flirt pole. I had been debating purchasing a third when Kyjen sent us this new generation toy

Since I wanted to give the other dogs a shot at the toy I put it up on the high toy shelf that she can’t reach. It’s been pulled out repeatedly but mostly as a tug toy or when I can contain the beast and let the others have a chance to play. Once everyone had a turn I let the monster go to town and I was frankly surprised. For the sake of experimentation I set aside a day where I left Z alone with it for and hour. I came back into the room and while frayed, the seams were all intact. Every squeaker still worked. The most damage had occurred to the eyes (Pop up fabric at the front of the head) but I consider a half-blind squeaker a vast improvement to the usual destruction I’m met with.

I paused the destruction and settled her with a bully stick in her crate and then brought out M. He as per usual met the toy with incredible enthusiasm. He flinged it. He threw it. He caught it (Once, accidentally. He’s terrible at catch.). He pounced it. He carried it around. He tried to get me to tug with him. All in all he had a blast. The endless squeaking entertained him and it occupied his desired to chew and groom something that didn’t bite back. I considered my experiment finished until H (The geriatric munchkin terrier) came from the bedroom to steal and destroy the snake. In her heyday she was my toy destruction expert. As it is, the snake is simply too large so just merely delighted in tormenting Z and prancing/tripping around with this marvelous thing she was so certain she killed.

I like food and murder.

Pros: Reasonably pleasing colors, Fun tug toy, more durable than other “tough” toys on the market, and inexpensive in comparison.

Cons: The seams aren’t lined with lead (Which is unreasonable, but honestly it’s good,) it doesn’t come in a small dog version (That we know of).

BusyBee:

I’ve often joked that I should get Mr. T a job as a toy tester since he is rather adept at conquering and destroying any toy that crosses his path.  I’m actually fairly certain that he thinks the point of toys is to destroy them, not play with them.  So, naturally I was skeptical when I saw that this particular toy was part of a line called “Invincibles”.  However, I can tell you that it has lasted 4 days, 23 hours, and 57 minutes longer than pretty much any other toy we’ve owned.

Day 1: A Worthy Foe

After a few minutes of frolicking with his new toy, he got right down to business and hunkered down with the sole mission of killing the green snake.  Much to my surprise, after about 10 minutes of trying to tear the snake from seam to seam, Mr. T simply gave up.  I’m pretty sure he was just as shocked as I was that the snake put up a fight.  For the next few days, he attempted to destroy it again, with little success.

On day 5 of the toy being in our home, Mr. T finally managed to rip out the squeakers.   He managed to do so by tearing off the seam on one side of the snake (I’m assuming he had been whittling it away the whole time). The toy’s product info claims that it keeps squeaking even when punctured, but I never got to see that, since Mr. T literally disemboweled the snake and chewed the squeaker into smithereens.  Needless to say, the squeaking has stopped.

Day 5: Silent Snake

Since the squeakers were forcibly removed, Mr. T has shown limited interest in the snake.  He will toss it around a few times, but upon realizing that it no longer makes noise, moves on.   Now, for some of you with gentler dogs, 5 days may not seem like a long time, but I am completely impressed that the snake made it past 5 minutes.

Pros:  Squeaker works even when punctured, no annoying stuffing to clean up when your dog tears apart the toy. Amazingly durable all things considered.

Cons: Squeaker works even when punctured (sometimes it’s nice to have quiet)

Overall:

This toy is actually relatively hardy compared to other “tough” dog toys on the market.  Although it probably won’t last long with power chewer/destroyers, it provided plenty of entertainment, especially for the low cost.   The idea of squeakers that still make noise is brilliant, but perhaps unrealistic for many dogs who tend to shred toys.
Stars:  9 out of 11

Disclaimer: The Dog Snobs were given two toys by the Kyjen company to review. We were in no other way compensated and this is an unbiased review, and in this case they happened to just make a kick-ass toy.

Have one of these toys? Tell us about it in the comments!

Want us to review YOUR dog product? Shoot us an email at thedogsnobs@gmail.com

Shameless Product Endorsements/Slams: Kong’s AirDog Off/On Squeaker

28 Feb

The Before….Photo Credit to Gizmodo.


With seven dogs between three people on one blog it’s little wonder we’re always acquiring new dog crap equipment and comparing pros and cons. The most recent acquisition by two of us here I know had many people smacking their heads in ‘Why didn’t I think of that’ frustration. The Product: Kong’s AirDog Off/On Squeaker. The premise is genius. A small sliding button on the side of the toy will silence what can be a deafening racket or allow your dog to go into paroxysms of murderous glee as they squeak and squawk, chewing their little brains out.

Product: AirDog Off/On Squeaker
Average Price: About $10.
Durability: Medium (Less than a Tennis ball but more than a Wubba)
Cool Factor: High

General Impressions

Fang: I was somewhat reluctant to purchase this toy (My dogs are shredders not players) but I had a coupon, plus 10% off and they were on a minor sale so dropping the $7 seemed minor. M, the Malinois loved it. He flea-ed it. He threw it up in the air and caught it. He cleaned it. He squeaked it with glee. He not-squeaked it with wonder… for two whole minutes. Z, my cattle dog who also goes by ‘The Destroyer of Things’ got a hold of the little wiener dog and bit off the end in 4.8 seconds. Now the toy is permanently silenced. Luckily M isn’t that bothered by it, though he does seem confused by the no squeaky-effect.

Kong1

The After… *sigh*

Pros: It’s really nifty. No really, it’s cool. I love that I could have turned off the incessant noise that is my dogs with a toy. Colorful be that a plus or a minus. Kept my dog’s (albeit limited in span) attention. Pleasant feel. Bounces well. I assumed the slider-region would be the weakest area but as you can see… we never really got that far.

Cons: My cattle dog is a witch who refuses to let anyone have nice things. Not suitable for a ‘rear jaw’ grinder.

Potnoodle: My dogs aren’t self starters. They don’t play with toys by themselves, as a rule. I likes to play fetch, L likes to chase I and attempt to neuter him while he plays fetch. If I stuff food in something, they’ll try to get it out but that’s about the extent of it. There is one exception to this rule. Both of the Poodles love squeaking the “Air Kong” toys. Usually when I’m in the middle of an REM cycle. I am almost completely sure they are communicating with the overlords back on Planet Poodle. For whatever reason, if I ever leave an airkong down within reach… I will wake up to the death squeals of the ball. So when I spotted the on/off switch on the new Air Kong Off/On squeaker toys I was intrigued. I brought it home and gave it to L. She squeaked and was pleased. When she bored of it, I picked it up. He squeaked and was pleased. Then, I flipped the switch. I handed it back to I as L had gone back to her number one hobby, napping so that she can keep me up all night with squeaks. I bit down on the toy and the look of disappointment on his face was epic. Honestly, it’s worth the almost ten dollar price tag just to see the “WTF?” look on your dog’s face.

Pros: You can turn the frickin’ squeaker off! I mean, how cool is that? I’d like to shake the hand of the inventor.

Cons: L lost interest pretty fast, once the squeaker was gone she felt no need to keep chewing on it. Once you take out that faux murder sound, it becomes just an oddly shaped tennis ball and she has no interest in such mundane things.

Overall

A genius idea that should have a place in any reasonable-players’ toybox. It’s not as fragile in the slider-region as you would expect so concerns about it being destroyed quickly were (mostly) incorrect. I think for both of us the ‘cool factor’ certainly won out over some practical concerns, but if those are forefront, we’ll get over our hipsterness for a moment.  

If you have a power-chewer, this probably isn’t going to be for you.
If you have a dog who doesn’t ruin toys like they’re aliens intent on destroying the universe or like they’re edible, it’s a cool addition and it kept the reasonable ones highly entertained while squeaky.

Stars: 7.25/11 (You didn’t expect scientific polling, did you?)

Our third snob, BusyBee chose not to participate in our initial product review as her charming, yet finicky pittie, T, would “destroy that shit in two seconds flat”. (And he would, too.)

Disclaimer: We weren’t compensated for this review in any way shape or form.