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A Bit About Leather

A Bit About Leather

Handmade Leather Dog Collar by DogDog Goose
Custom Embellished Extra-Wide Black Anduril Martingale after 5 years of adventuring.
One of my very favourite parts of working with leather is the way that it ages. Over time, each piece is going to develop its own character and tell its own story. No two pieces will age exactly alike because too many factors go into shaping it - your dog's coat consistency, the different adventures your dog takes it on, the products you use to care for it. Even the characteristics of the hide your collar was cut from before it was dyed, sealed, and oiled will play a factor!
Leather Handmade Dog Collar by DogDog Goose Canada
Side-by-side comparison of two Anduril Collars, both in Natural Tan - two years old (left) and brand new (right).
I colour DDG leather products using stains rather than acrylic paint products - this means that the natural characteristics of the leather will still show through. I often choose hides with unique scarring and blemishes to give interesting texture to each piece. Every hide receives stain in its own way, so right from the start, no two collars will be identical. The colour will deepen and darken over time with exposure to the elements - like a baseball glove, it will start out bright and rigid and over time with use it will soften and break in. Toro and Luci are great product testers because they're really hard on their gear - meaning I get to see just how all of my materials hold up. They show me how the leather is going to stand up when it's worn in the lake, the backyard waterhole (read: swamp...), rolling in the mud, and in both really hot and really cold weather. And yes, the colour of a leather collar will often change after even ONE swim! With a little bit of cleaning and oiling to renew moisture every now and then, I have yet to have to retire a collar out of necessity in 6 years - Luci was still regularly wearing the very first prototype collar I ever made her in December of 2011 until my Hubs surprised me by framing it in a beautiful shadow box this past Christmas. It looks a lot different than it did on day 1, but it is still just as durable.
If you love owning a hand-crafted item that will age over the years like a bottle of fine wine, then leather is the perfect choice!
DogDog Goose Handmade Dog Collars
Side-by-side comparison of two Anduril Collars, both in Natural Tan - two years old (left) and brand new (right).
Custom Embellished Extra-Wide DogDog Goose Black Anduril Martingale after 5 years of adventuring.
Custom Embellished Extra-Wide Black Anduril Martingale after 5 years of adventuring.


Leather is a natural, porous product that can lose moisture over time - especially with exposure to the elements. To help maintain moisture and prevent drying or cracking, it is highly recommended that leather be regularly oiled. If necessary, start by removing any dirt and grime on the leather by using a damp sponge and a glycerin soap to gently clean the surface followed by wiping with a clean dry cloth. Next, apply a thin coat of your preferred oil (I like to use olive oil!) to the collar. Let sit for a few minutes and then wipe off any remaining oil with a clean dry cloth. It is recommended to test any conditioning product on a small area first. **Note: cleaning and oiling may cause darkening of the leather. Cleaning and oiling is meant to preserve the integrity of the leather, not maintain the colour.
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