Leather Products for Dogs: A Guide

Whether you are an experienced dog owner or a newbie to the field — we would like to clarify all of your most frequently asked questions about leather products for dogs to make your selection process of collars, harnesses and leashes easier. Detailed guide to general facts about collars, harnesses and leases are found here and here. The following article is specifically about leather variants. Enjoy the read!

1. What is sturdier? Rivets or stitches?

Leather products finished with rivets are generally very stable, hence their use in horse saddles and bridles. However, as stretching of natural materials is possible, the area around the riveting may give a bit of way after some time. Therefore, for owners with dogs with the tendencies to pull on the leash, a leash with stitching finishes is a more sturdier choice. If your four-legged friend belongs to the more active and spontaneous side, we recommend choosing leather products with double stitched seams to be safe. Whether riveted or stitched — leather products strive better with occasional maintenance and therefore lasts longer.

2. Is leather a sturdier material than fabric?

Leather collars and leashes are particularly popular not only for humans but also for dogs due to its robustness and durability as a natural material.

It naturally depends on the width and thickness of the material with regards to the steadiness. Please bear in mind that no material is indestructible. Dogs are capable of developing an enormous amount of strength, which is why strong durable materials such as greased leather, cowhide and double-woven canvas are a few of the suitable options for dog collars, leashes and harnesses.

3. How do I determine the right width of collars and leashes for my dog?

On top of its robustness, it is also important that the collars sits nicely on the dogs neck and doesn’t disturb the wearer. This can be avoided by opting for a proportional width to properly distribute the possibility of pressure. A good rule of thumb is to understand that too wide of a collar is always better than too thin, but don’t forget that it is also important to choose according to the dog’s measurement: due to their size, small dogs always tend to prefer light and small collars that are proportional to their body mass. The same applies to dog leashes: even when put under an immense amount of pressure, the leash should be able to hold itself and not tear, therefore the width should always correspond the dog’s measurements. Whilst dogs on the larger end of the spectrum need the most robust and wide leash with strong metal parts, a narrower and lighter model is sufficient for smaller dogs. As a general rule, we recommend a leather leash to be at least 1.5 cm wide for a dog that weighs more than 15 kg. Whereas a collar should be at least 1.5 cm wide for dogs weighing more than 10 kg, and for those who are above 28 kg should wear a collar with a width of at least 2 cm.

All dogs, collars and leashes to go with it are naturally unique, if you have a great obeyer by your side, of course it is completely up to you and smaller products may also be included in the options. Most importantly is that the product is greatly produced with high quality materials to hold its shape.

4. Is leather suitable for pullers?

Why not? The widen of leather is one of the normal and natural aging processes of leather and when put under extra pressure through pullers, it is understandable that it might widen a little bit more with time. Here is where regular maintenance can be very helpful to keep your leather products stronger for longer. Otherwise, the leather may become very porous and therefore have the tendency to tear. Please note this applies to all leather product such as collars, harnesses and leashes.

5. How can I determine the traction force of a leather?

Not only our metal parts but also the leather materials come with an indication of the permissible traction force at the point of purchase for our production. Therefore, the tensile force of our products are a combination of all the materials used for leash, harness or collar and cannot be derived from only one component.

A carabiner as well as the width of the leather, but also the processing of the seams or rivets should always correspond to the size of your dog to ensure as much safety as possible. So, in addition to the width of the leather, prior to purchasing, be sure to look for reliable metal parts, for example, made of brass, as well as a high-quality make.

6. What is the general care of leather prior of first-use?

As a general rule of thumb, leather products should be treated with a waterproofing agent prior of the first use to prevent any water stains when in contact with water. Any waterproofing agents in the form of odorless sprays or greases works very well in theses cases and should be massaged into the product until well absorbed. While sprays are recommended for rough surfaces like suede, grease should be used on smooth or oiled leather. This way, dirt and water will bead up and the leather will stay like new longer. This process can and should be repeated regularly.

7. Are dogs allowed to swim with leather collars?

Certain types of leather are very durable and can tolerate the exposure to moisture well, while for others the exposure has an unfavorable effect on longevity and look. Greased leather are one of the ones that tolerate water well, should your dog ever decide to jump into the water. More sensitive types like nubuck leather on the other hand, should be prevented from getting in contact with water. However, leather tend to become dark and porous and even brittle in the long run if it is exposed to moisture too often. Thus, leather collars and harnesses are not recommended for regular, intensive swimming. In these cases, materials such as Biothane, fabric and webbing are better options.

Because our four-legged friends often have their own minds, it is of course not dramatic if leather does get wet. Just please make sure that the products are dried properly and extensively afterwards. More information about this can be found in the next section.

8. How should leather be dried if it came in contact with water?

Under no circumstances should leather be dried on a top of heating unit or in direct sunlight, by doing this the leather may become porous as too much moisture are derived out. We recommend, drying your leather collars, harnesses and leashes on a flat surface with room temperature for at least a day. After the crucial period, the leather product should be throughly dried before the next use. Patience is key when it comes to natural materials such as leather.

9. How do I remove stains and dirt on leather?

Stains such as mud should always be in a dry state before the removal. Dried stains can be cleaned off effortlessly with a soft leather brush. If a stubborn stain still persists, a combination of a little water and gentle (leather) soap should help. Please refrain from exposing the leather product to excessive moisture. Suede should be lightly roughened with a nubuck brush after drying to restore the original look as best as possible.

10. Which is more durable: suede or smooth leather?

Dirt and dust settle easier in leather with open pores (for example suede) than on smooth surfaces. As a result the material can lose color intensity; however, this matter can be prevented by regular brushing and waterproofing. The advantage of smooth leather, such as greased leather, is that it can be wiped off effortlessly with a cloth in case of stains. At the same time, it develops a darker color over time and shows signs of use: a so-called patina.

11. What is a patina?

As mentioned previously, leather products tend to develop their own characters with wear over time, this is the process called Patina. Patina is the aging process from leather that is relatively unpredictable but happens very subtly and naturally. This aging process allows your leather to develop its own characters through color and texture, making it unique and your own. Additionally, the leather can become more supple ("buttery") but remains equally resistant to stains. A patina does not represent deterioration, but a reflection of numerous beautiful experiences with your four-legged friends.

12. Can leather products stain?

By treating the leather with near-natural processing techniques, discoloration and transferring of the color may in rare cases occur. Since our leathers are sensitive natural materials, there is a possibility for discoloration when exposed to too much moisture or sunlight. To protect your dog’s coat from getting stained, your leather products require light care and maintenance. Smooth or greased leather should be maintained regularly in order to keep their colors nice and vibrant. Waterproofing spray or agents could be used additionally. In rare cases where the product have stained your furry-friend, with the help of bile soap the stain should easily come out. Please note that metal parts of the product can also stain the leather due to oxidation.

13. How much does leather expand?

Under constant wear through several years your leather products can expand. Usually, leather products can expand and stretch an additional 1 to 2 centimeters, depending on how much force it is exposed to. In cases of strong pullers, it may happen that the leather widen and stretch more than expected. Please bear in mind that tearing and ripping of the material may occur to dry and non-maintained leather products. This applies to all leather products that are not regularly maintained and brushed.

14. Why is the color of my leather product changing?

Leather products tend to develop their own characters with wear over time. These changes happen in forms of color and texture. It is possible to slow down this process by regularly waxing your leather products and lessen its exposure to moisture and harsh sunlight. On how to regularly and correctly maintaining your leather products, please refer to the above mentioned steps.