|Article Author: Dog Harness and Collars Review - A Merryvaluation by Angie McKaig|
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: puppy collars and leashes are the shoes and purses of the dog world. Just as no self-respecting fashion lover would allow her closet to feature anything less than a couple dozen pairs of shoes and at least a dozen handbags (and believe me, I know divas out there with ten times that number), so it is with our dogs with respect to collars and leads.
Collars and leads are, at a miniumum, how dogs (and more accurately, their owners) can show off their personality. Their sense of personal style. You need basic everyday items, fancy items, colorful items, as many options as mom's pocketbook can afford. :)
With that in mind, we were excited to receive a review package from the folks at Hamptons Hound, a company with a great line of collars, leads and harnesses to provide some personal style options for your furkid. The package contained a great selection: the Flower Harness, Bliss Dog Collar, Reflective Harness & Leash, and the Prophet Collar.
The Flower Harness is a subtle floral ribbon design (we loved the muted tones!) with the durability of a backing made from webbing. Unlike most nylon-backed ribbon items which tend to be stiff and a little oddly shaped until broken in, we were thrilled to discover that this combination was actually soft and flexible straight-out-of-the-box. It's a nice lightweight webbing that is perfect for a harness, since it's more flexible and isn't likely to rub tender doggy parts.
The harness design is fully adjustable - neck, chest and girth all have adjustable tabs so that the fit can be entirely customized for your pet's individual needs. It's a t-style design with a strap across the chest which is looped through a single strap lengthwise over the chest which meets up with a strap around the girth. We particularly liked the safety snap over the shoulders, which features two d-rings (one from each side) to make a more secure fit for a leash. Tabs and saftety snap are in black plastic; the d-rings are silver.
The Bliss dog collar represents a Swiss traditional family craft that dates back over 250 years - the Appenzell style, covered with pressed metal cows for the herding dogs of Switzerland (although she is tiny, Merry does "herd" her people as well, so it's appropriate!). This sturdy leather collar is double stitched in a contrasting color and backed with soft natural colored suede. The pressed metal cows are fastened securely to and through the collar with small flat metal studs on the backing. Heavy nickel findings complete the look. What impressed us most was the handmade look to the collars. While they're obviously well made, they have tiny differences in the stitching and fastenings that make us think that these collars might be put together by hand (not sure if that's the case). Either way, they're lovely and sturdy and would be a really excellent choice for a midsized to larger pooch in particular.
For travelling at night, we've come to love the reflective harness and lead. Lightweight electric blue webbing features a line of reflective ribbon down the center (on both sides of the webbing, as an added bonus). The harness is styled identically to the Flower harness, above, and the leash features a large polished Italian nickel clasp for the double d-ring in back. The lead is also capable of being doubled up so that the entire lead is a short loop to wrap around a tree, or more easily wrap around your hand. We were surprised what a difference it made walking the pug at night with the reflective set on - so much more visible! And it lets us save the really fashionable stuff for daytime when folks can actually see it.
Finally, what was perhaps our favorite of the bunch: the Prophet dog collar. We loved its chunky modernity, its casual urbanity - the two toned look, the casual hardware, even the leather accents and heavy zigzagh stitching were just perfect examples of good urban dogwear. Made from 100% woven polyester, it's really strong too. The hardware was a real standout for this collar - the metal hole covers, d-rings and buckle are all antiqued silver and are absolutely fabulous. We also really loved the inclusion of an additional d-ring at the front for ID tags and charms.
What was most impressive about this collection was its range and determination to stand out from the crowd. Not with flash, but with subtle design that sets Hamptons Hound apart from the crowd. We hope to see a lot more from this company in the future!
You can find out more about Hamptons Hound from their web site at www.hamptonshound.com