Gear Reviews

  • There's a road, keeps on calling me! The DOGtrace X20 Dog GPS Tracker

    It's always difficult to know how your dog is going to react to different training styles. Inuk the Shepsky, German Shepherd cross Husky seemed to keep a safe distance to me and be constantly checking where I was. I crossed my fingers and hoped German Shepherd traits would override the rumours you hear about huskies wandering off. I continued to walk her off the lead, mainly down the enclosed canal tow path since I had her at 8 weeks.

    Training was confined to a small space about 20m x 7m but with an open end where she could get to the canal and road and she did know what was beyond that imaginary line due to the walks. With a firm command as she approached this line and armed with the treats in my pocket she had no interest in stepping one foot further. We'd even pop out to this spot for toilet (off the lead) and she'd come straight back in doors on cue!

    It was around 6 to 8 months I noticed a change in her behaviour. She'd always been a scavenger which drew her further afield but the instinct to chase, cats, pigeons, ducks and squirrels. As she began to understand the difference between good and bad behaviour, if she knew she'd been bad, not come back on cue, chased something and gone near a road, the husky kicked in. Friends agreed you could see it in her eyes, she's thinking 'why would I come back to be told off' it was then I realised the difference in positive and negative training techniques and different breeds (more on that another time) this happened one or two times but as I continued the daily routine she quickly forgot this behaviour in these locations.

    And so, the icing on the cake! An unfortunate sequence of events. One afternoon while at the farm where I run a business, she picked up a road kill rabbit, with meat exposed she ran off into the field with it. Surprisingly when I caught up with her she gave it up and recalled quite well ...but not too long after on a walk down a disused railway track she caught and killed another rabbit. Not uncommon I later found in many breeds! This scenario was different, every time I got close she'd pick up and run away, each time with a little less on the rabbit. When it was finally gone there was no recall, not sit, no stay, nothing. As I had before tricked her back into the lead with treats this time I called a friend and his dog. If you switch her back into play mode and the most lifts from her eyes she'd recall straight away. But each time she'd grow wise to the tricks.

    Back on the farm the draw of rabbits, and waste food had become a problem. Where I could usually have her off the lead and under control. If she stepped beyond the circle of control you'd see the most ...and then she was off. It wouldn't be a problem as I know where she goes but they don't like it on the farm so I could not continue any routine. If the doors were open she was penned in or on a tether. But this meant, at the slightest opportunity she'd be off.

    The DOGtrace X20

    DOGtrace X20There's no worse feeling than you thinking you might have lost your dog, she might have wondered to the busy road or evening someone's made off with her. All these things run through your mind during the search. When you know where she is it's different! There's some element of cornering or ushering away from danger. I'd looked at many tracking devices, all with the need for a data connection to transmit the gps and of course reliant on phone signal. All great but the locations you are most likely to be in this situation is usually remote.Armed with the Dog Trace X20 I headed down to East Head on the West Wittering Estate. I have no problem recalling here, only the farm! But I know there's rabbits in the dunes and bramble bushes so as we walk on the inland side off the peninsula she'd be off on the hunt. With the collar and handset paired and full GPS signal we set off. The handset is fairly simple with 4 buttons and a simple, hold the 2 components together to turn the collar on system. The range is up to a massive 20km but we wouldn't be getting to test that today. While she's close the handset signals this so I sent her off into the dunes for a hunt. Very accurately the device tells you the dogs direction and distance so I continued the walk her down, not looking back and not with the usual occasional recall. At times she was 80m away, out of sight but I knew exactly which bush she was patrolling

    DOGtrace X20

    The system comes with lots of other functions including beeper, fence and can even monitor up to 9 dogs. It's waterproof and for me this means sand proof which is great for down the beach.

    In my opinion, keeping you dog on the lead at times they should be able to roam is not the solution to the wandering dog problem. I managed to correct this behaviour in locations where I still had some element of control. But it's piece of mind you need in order to remain in the correct state of mind yourself to deal with the issue and train it out.

    Find out more here:

  • Hurtta Summit Parka Winter Coat – Product Review

    I take my cockapoo to work with me every day, which mostly involves us hanging around a large, unheated workshop. In the Summer it’s oppressively hot, but in the winter it’s arctic levels of cold.

    So I needed a dog coat she could wear all day, every day. It therefore needed to be warm, but comfortable enough that she can nap in it during the day.

    After a bit of research and some careful measuring, I settled on the Hurtta Summit. The first thing that really hits you is the quality of the materials and construction. This is probably better made than most of my human coats.

    The coat has a thick fleece lining and a water proof top part, which really gives you the best of both worlds. There’s a flap on the back if you want to use a harness, otherwise the coat allows you to attach the lead to the collar as normal

    You fit the coat on the dog by placing the hood part over its head. You then strap the underside to the top side with a snap clasp. There’s then two further elastic hoops that hook around the dogs back legs. These keep the coat fixed and central, which means the dog can still go to the toilet as it would do normally, which was a big concern.

    Once it’s on, my dog doesn’t even really seem to notice it’s wearing it, but I’ve noticed she doesn’t shiver anymore! It’s not the cheapest dog coat you can buy, but for everyday use, it’s the best one I’ve seen. It’s durable, comfy and fully washable. If you’re after a great winter coat for an active dog, then you can’t do much better than the Hurtta Summit


  • Hurtta Torrent Coat Review

    If it is possible to improve on excellence Hurtta have achieved it. For a number of years now the Hurtta Raincoat has easily been the most popular out of the range of coats Inner Wolf has offered. Surely we were not the only ones with a look of surprise on our faces when we heard that Hurtta were discontinuing it. That was until we got out hands on the new Hurtta Torrent Coat, the Hurtta Raincoats replacement. the reason the Raincoat was so popular was simply due to it's quality of fabric and design. Complete waterproof and very good coverage, including the underbelly, the coat kept dog dry but also made the clean-up job considerably easier post walk.

    Hurtta Torrent Coat Hurtta Torrent Coat - Running, always running
    The Hurtta Torrent still has these same features with slight changes to the shape and tailoring without compromising the coverage, but improving it with a longer neck collar. The fabric is still the same high quality waterproof and breathable Houndtex with large areas of hi-vis reflective strips making the coat highly visible to road users, and your torch, on dark walks. With more dogs wearing harnesses and the popularity of the Hurtta range of harnesses, Hurtta have included in this and all their coat range the access point on the back to allow the connection of a lead to a harness beneath the coat. The two smallest of the size range, 20cm and 25cm, have an integrated harness system. Hurtta_Summit_Parka_Raven In all we simply cannot fault this coat. The long adjustment of the chest strap ensures that the coat fits well to a good range of dog shapes including the deep chested breeds like Greyhounds and Pointers. The price ranges from £46.99 to £63.99, from 20cm in length to 90cm and in four smart colours, Fern Green, Orange Sun, Cherry and Raven. For more information and to order click here Hurtta Torrent Dog Coat >>>
    Measuring for a dog coat A quick guide to measure your dog correctly for a coat.

  • Garmin GTU-10 - Quick Review

    New on the market and great tool for any owner who's dog like to talk themselves off for a walk. The Garmin GTU-10 is the latest of the dog GPS tracker on the market. Whilst this model does rely on mobile network coverage this is the best we have found of this type. The collar can be tracked either from your computer via the My Garmin site, or using the iPhone or Android app. The unit is very simple to set up. Simply register the unit with My Garmin., set-up any email address or mobile number to send notifications, or a GeoFence around an area that will alert you when the dog leaves this area.

    • No running cost for the first year. £45 p


      er year thereafter.
    • Good battery life - set to 15 min check-ins- 5 days outside the GeoFence, 4 Weeks inside the GeoFence. 5 min check-ins - 3 days outside, 10 days indside. 30 sec check-in - 20 hrs outside, 24hrs inside.
    • Waterproof ((IPX7)
    • Low battery warning via email
    • You can change the settings live so if the dog leaves the GeoFence and you need to track the dog you can change the checkin rate.
    • iPhone App and Android App

    Garmin GTU-10, £179.99. For full details go to, Garmin GTU-10 modeled by one of our more well trained hounds!

  • Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Coat

    This time of year one of our most popular products is surprisingly a dog coat. The Ruffwear Swamp Cooler. This is not a coat designed to keep you dog warm or dry but the opposite, it is designed to keep your dog cool in warm weather. The Swamp Cooler achieves this by wicking away the dogs heat through evaporation as the coat gradually dries. The light colour of the coat also prevents the dog from absorbing heat from the sun by reflecting it away. We regularly use the Swamp Coolers when out running with the dogs in warmer weather and you can really notice the difference, especailly on the black dogs. The coats are also extremely popular on the FlyBall and Dog Agility circuits. Although the coats are very effective we would still recommend not to work your dog on the very hottest of days. Features

    • Uses evaporative cooling to keep dogs cool in the heat
    • Exchanges the dog’s heat with the coolness of the stored water
    • Releases the heat as the water evaporates
    • Three-Layer construction maximizes cooling effects: o Top air-mesh layer generates evaporation, releasing heat o Middle layer absorbs and stores the cooling water o Bottom layer cools the dog
    • Light color reflects sunlight and ultraviolet rays for added sun protection
    • Auto-lock buckles adjust and hold for a custom fit

    To buy a Swamp Cooler online £49.95 with FREE postage, click here >> Swamp Cooler Sizing Designed for comfort and a full range of motion.

    size dog girth†
    XXS 12"-19" 30-48 cm
    XS 17"-24" 43-61 cm
    S 23"-30" 58-76 cm
    M 27"-32" 69-81 cm
    L 31"-40" 79-102 cm
    XL 35"- 48" 89-122 cm

    For in between size measurements go for the size up.

  • If you're looking for some camping gear for you and your dog?

    If you're looking for a site with a good range of products and brands then take a look at Simply Hike Camping Equipment. The site provided an easy shopping experience, pictures were clear and showed clearly the products. The checkout process was smooth and offered multiple payment options including Paypal, an added option to opt out of signing up for an account sped things up immensely. Simply Hike also have a few sister sites selling other specialist products such as fitness, beachwear scuba gear etc. One of the nice functions on some of these websites that I have not seen before was a countdown to next day delivery. I didn't put is to the test but I though it was a nice touch.

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