Four years ago, when my Aussie was in her chewing-everything-in-sight stage, we went through several leashes. The bitter-taste sprays didn’t do any good; quite the opposite, in fact. Sky seemed to regard them as gravy.
I wish I’d known then about Lupine collars .
Lupine’s tagline is “Guaranteed, even if chewed,” and they mean it. A chewed-up collar or leash is replaced, no questions asked. But that guarantee is only part of what these collars have going for them. Forget your basic red or blue or green or black nylon webbing. Simply put, they’re gorgeous.
I’ve woven patterned bands, and I know what goes into making a complex pattern. Designing an attractive two-tone geometric pattern is relatively simple. The more colors you add, the more complex the pattern—even a simple geometric one—becomes. Throw in curves, and you’re looking at something immensely more intricate.
Even though the webbing isn’t handwoven by master weavers in a little French village of hereditary craftsmen, the sophistication and execution of the designs that Lupine carries is really impressive. These aren’t simple patterns—they’re detailed, joyous, brilliant, and playful. They range from “Woofstock ”—rainbow-hued peace signs on a black background—through mock paint splashes, muddy pawprints, and bright flowers.
In 1988, Scott Badger and Dave Jensen, two of the future founders of Lupine , were running a video store when Scott acquired a wolf hybrid puppy named Blaze, who came to work with him. Valerie Jensen, Scott’s wife, worked at a local mountaineering equipment manufacturer. She made Blaze a collar out of some patterned webbing. The compliments started coming in, as well as the queries about where to get collars like Blaze’s custom-made one. Soon, the three were making collars , leashes , and even harnesses  to sell in the video store and in local pet stores.
After a couple of years of working with available patterned webbing they started designing their own patterns with colored pencils and graph paper. They now work with a webbing designer, and the results are stunning. The collars come in over a dozen patterns, in sizes from cat collars  to large dog collars  They look great, and there’s probably a pattern to suit any coat color or any owner.
Durable and Rugged
To top it off, the weave is tight and the fabric, durable. They can withstand a lot of wear.
Of course—as my socks and Sky’s collars and leashes proved—very little can withstand the sharp little teeth of a determined puppy. Not even the tough woven layers of a Lupine collar  are always puppy-proof. That’s where the guarantee comes in.
The product is only part of the deal when you buy something for your pet. It’s important to know that the company stands behind its work and to know exactly what it’s prepared to guarantee. As a pet store owner, I’ve refused to carry products the manufacturer of which had a cavalier attitude to the quality and performance of the goods. I think that I can honestly say, however, that I’ve never seen another company stand so firmly behind their product. “Guaranteed, even if chewed” is about as good as you could hope to get.
In the end, all bitter sprays having proved merely appetizers, I found that Tiger Balm was the one surefire condiment that made Sky stop chewing. Eventually, she sprouted her adult teeth and got past the see-it-chew-it stage. We went through a lot of leashes. Learn a little lesson from me and go Lupine!
See the colorful assortment of Lupine collars, leashes, and harnesses in the Almanac.com pet store .
Elizabeth Creith has fifteen years of experience keeping chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys on her farm in Northern Ontario. She currently dreams of a new flock of fancy chickens. Elizabeth and her husband also have six and a half years experience running a pet store. On top of that, she's kept more animals than you can imagine from cats to cockatoos!