We use trigger snaps (sometimes called "French scissor snaps") rather than traditional bolt snaps on our standard leads. We really like the large, comfy trigger that's easy to manipulate with gloved hands in the chill of an early-morning tracking session. Our trigger snaps are constructed with solid brass or stainless steel. The stainless steel trigger snaps are 200lb test marine rigging hardware made by a small, US manufacturer. You'll have a hard time finding hardware of this quality on dog gear, anywhere.
The trigger snaps are great for most dogs, though some fractious dogs who do a lot of jumping around or abrupt lateral pulling may be able to open the jaws of the trigger snap. If you have a preference for a standard bolt snap, please specify during checkout and we're happy to accommodate.
The snap options displayed are as follows, left to right, top row: Mini bolt snap (used on little-guy and show leads), standard trigger snap, quick-release snap, bullsnap, all in nickel/zinc, stainless steel, or steel-plate with a standard-sized business card for reference.
Bottom row: Mini bolt snap, standard trigger snap, quick-release snap, bullsnap, figure-8 twist-lock snap, in brass.
The bullsnaps, steel-plate quick-release snaps, and figure-8 twist-lock snaps are all large, very heavy snaps produced for use as livestock restraints. Please be aware that the livestock restraint snaps are -exactly- as they are photographed and described: very large, heavy, and extremely secure clasps appropriate for use with cattle and horses. You should not be surprised when you purchase one of these snaps and receive a very large, heavy, and secure clasp appropriate for use with cattle and horses. They do not, as yet, come in other size options. If you have a small-sized escape artist and are looking for high-security without the hefty clasp, please contact us and we'll discuss the most appropriate options for your particular clasp challenges. We have designed and built "escape proof" leads for all sizes of critters and all types of escape artists.
The quick-release snaps (also called "panic snaps" in the livestock world) are snaps that stay securely closed until you grasp the center barrel. You pull the spring barrel toward you in the direction of the arrow and the clasp pops open. Some clasps are very difficult to open when oppositional force is applied (ie when your pooch is pulling forward), this clasp is designed for a quick release in agitation work, field trials, at the dog park, or any time you need to be able to instantly separate the animal from the line with a minimum of fiddling. The brass quick-release snap is significantly smaller than the steel-plate version, as pictured.
The bullsnap is another very heavy livestock snap. They are opened by pulling the rocker forward, rather than back or down. This is extremely secure for those Houdini-dogs who are strong or wily enough to escape from other snaps. These snaps are absolutely able to contain the biggest canine beast.
The twist-lock snap is opened by holding the clasp end of the figure 8 and rotating the barrel 180 degrees. The clasp lines up with an opening in the barrel and pops open. This is another heavy and very secure livestock snap for the large escape-artists.
We'll happily offer any help or advice you need in choosing your perfect gear, but only you can know what's most appropriate for your pets and your situation; ultimately you are responsible for choosing the most appropriate gear and features.
The sheepskin we use is undyed, unbleached, and non-chemically tanned. Originally white, they get their golden color from the oak-tanning process. This process leaves the hide and wool with a rich golden color and much of the natural oil; it's got a deep and springy natural pile with the rich scent and feel of natural lanolin. They are sometimes called "medical grade sheepskins" as they help to keep air circulating under the body to prevent bedsores in bed-bound patients. Wool naturally wicks moisture from the skin and pads achy joints. Whole hides make absolutely luscious crate-pads or down-stay mats for pooches that can be trusted not to destroy their bedding. For working dogs, the sheepskin tugs provide a deep, comfortable grip and promote solid, confident, secure, and deep-mouth bites. Natural sheepskin should be hand-washed in Woolite and dried in the air and sunshine, when necessary.
Our plush toys, made with this all-natural sheepskin, and stuffed with raw wool, are the finest you'll ever find. Of course, no toy is indestructible and it is unrealistic to expect that from any toy. Because the raw wool is terribly exciting to a dog's sensitive nose, destructive chewers may quickly dismantle the plush toy to get to the inside. Although we make every effort to use the most natural of materials, like any toy they are not food and are not meant to be ingested. Please supervise your dog's play and remove any damaged toys.
The wool we use to stuff our plush toys is shorn from the happy sheep at Wylie Farms and stuffed straight into our plushies. This raw wool is quite exciting to canine noses, adding an absolutely riveting scent dimension to our plush toys. Also, we figure the less polyester in our lives the better.
Our leather is all premium quality, top-grain, veg-tan latigo. Hides are hand-selected for condition and quality. Unfortunately, most of the bright colors do not come in the very heavy weight we generally prefer. The lighter-weight latigo leather is quite strong, but is thinner and not as heavy in the hands. Layering the light latigo is an option when strength and high security is crucial.
The handle and collar lining suedes are velvety, rich deer or elk suede. It's every bit as soft and comfy as you might imagine. It feels like butter in your hands and is supremely comfy on a dog's neck. This natural suede is wonderful for comfort and it won't generally wear a path in the fur the way synthetic materials like nylon often do. Decorative color elements are added with premium lambskins, deer, elk, light latigo, or upholstery leathers.
We try to keep our money as close to home as we can, so all materials are locally or domestically produced and purchased whenever possible.
We here at Raw Dog believe that there is a tremendous overpopulation issue in this country that has gone long-unrecognized. That's right... we're talking about the marching hordes of stray, homeless cardboard boxes in this country. Every year, millions of new boxes are born in high-production, factory-like facilities. They are often treasured and loved, right up until the first time they are used... then summarily abandoned without remorse, often ditched in bins in front of the grocery store where they languish... miserable and alone... waiting for new owners to come along and rescue them. Although new, purposely-produced boxes do have their place in the shipping world (like when USPS flat-rate Priority services save you big bucks), we generally feel that there are way too many boxes living out there in the world to justify using new ones to get your gear from here to there.
In recognition of the teeming millions of homeless cardboard boxes and acres of abandoned packaging paper, we pledge to do our best to rescue and re-home as many homeless packaging materials as possible. Sometimes we'll put a box out of its misery when loss of condition appears to threaten quality of life, but otherwise we'll take in any box of useful size we come across and press them back into active duty. We feel that re-use is nearly always the preferable first step over recycling in reducing our impact on natural resources. Reusing materials also keeps packaging and shipping costs as low as possible. We use USPS-provided flat-rate boxes from time to time, when doing so saves us both money... but we promise we'll never spend our money (or yours) or our precious natural resources on new packing and shipping materials, when reusable ones are so readily available.
Though the box that arrives on your doorstep may have scribbles and stickers and old labels on the outside, we promise the gear inside is a first-class product of our hearts and hands.