Monday, February 25, 2013
ToughHound All Sports Collar Review
Several weeks ago I was contacted and asked to review a new product from the dog bark collar store. The product in question is the ToughHound All Sports collar. This collar "is a personalized collar that lets you display your dog's name and address. The collar is made from highly-durable polycoated webbing which will allow you many years of rough and tumble play with your pup. The ToughHound's non-porous surface dries quickly, will never absorb offensive odors and makes mud easily removable. The collar also features an integrated stainless steel laser-engraved nameplate which won't jingle or fall from its ring."
Anyone who knows me knows how much I HATE jingling tags on collars! I cannot stand it and my dogs have not had tags on their collars for, well, years. Honestly, when it comes down to it, my dogs don't wear collars all that often, which is what took so long for me to write up this review. I figured I should at least wait for a few opportunities for Secret to wear the collar before I reviewed it.
I find many things about this collar highly appealing. The colors available are bright & fun, which also makes them highly visible. I'm always a fan of anything that is waterproof -- While it's a bit too cold to consider testing the water resistance of this collar, I imagine it will become Secret's go-to swimming collar this summer. I hate how the nylon collars retain odors and that is certainly one perk of this collar!
There are numerous font choices to choose from, so you can have fun personalizing your own collars! I settled on "Arial Round" for Secret's collar. Each tag can hold up to four lines of text with 14 characters each. I opted to limit Secret's to three lines so that the text would be more visible. Working at the shelter, the only thing worse than having no tag at all is a tag that is completely unreadable. The engraving appears to be very good quality and these tags should remain readable for a good long time.
The ring for clipping on your leash is good-sized, which is always helpful. Secret has a couple of collars with small, flimsy rings and it's very hard to clip on the leash one-handed. This one is nice and hefty and even with the spare end of the collar tucked through it there is ample room to easily clip on the leash. I didn't feel like I had to fish around for the ring like I do on some collars.
The metal plate is rather thin, which I'm not so sure I'm in love with. When the collar is being used with a leash, the name plate ends up on the bottom of the dog's throat. If you have a dog that pulls on the leash I could see this fairly thin metal plate digging into their neck. Maybe it would be an aversion to pulling; who knows, but I'm not a huge fan of this aspect of the collar. Kaiser and Luke both have Boomerang tags that operate under the same principle (no jingling), but those tags are attached to an actual collar so that the tags themselves aren't pressing against the skin.
I showed the collar to several people at a couple of trials we attended and they seemed to have the same thought regarding the design. Most people said they preferred to have the collar material against the dog instead of the metal tag.
I thought the sizing was a little peculiar. I was instructed to measure one of Secret's current collars to get the correct size (measuring from the buckle to the tab). I admit that I didn't measure her again. I was pretty certain that I used 14" as the measurement for her custom sparkly collar a while back ago (the beads came unattached on that, did I ever mention?), so that was the measurement I used.
The picture above is the collar on the smallest setting. For some reason they punched that many holes into the collar to make it adjust that small, but there is very little room for error on the larger end. The holes are also spaced quite far apart, so there isn't much room for fine-tuning. As a result, the collar is either too snug on Secret or slightly bigger than I would prefer (on the largest hole).
None of these things would necessarily prevent me from using the collar. I'm terrible about having identification on my dogs, so I can very much see myself using this as a traveling collar for Secret. As I stated earlier, I think I will definitely use it as our swimming collar for when we visit the river. I likely will not choose to use it as a "walking around the neighborhood" collar for the reasons I stated above regarding thickness and digging into the dog's throat. I'll be the first to admit that I fail at teaching my dogs to walk well on leash -- Secret is fine at trials, potty stops on the road and other every-day sorts of things, but she does get excited and pull for the first half of our leash walks around town (granted, we don't do them often...).
Secret's collar is the 3/4" thickness. I would be curious to see the 5/8" collar, but I still think that this collar and the material would be a little overwhelming on a smaller dog like Kaiser. I think it would be a great collar for Luke in the 1" size, and I wouldn't worry so much about the plate digging into him because he has so much hair around his neck.
After going to the link I included above and not being able to find the actual collar by navigating the web site, I figured I could include the direct link for you here: http://www.dogbarkcollar.com/toughhound The collars retail for $29.95. Boomerang tags cost around $11 and you have to provide the collar, so I would say they are pretty comparable in that regard.
If you also hate jingling tags and would benefit from an easy-to-clean collar, don't hesitate to check out the ToughHound collar.
As a disclaimer, for providing this review I did receive a ToughHound All Sports Collar of my choosing. I was not required to give a positive review and all comments and opinions stated above are my own.