Those are the three things I look for when I am buying collars, I have 5 hounds so I need to make sure that the collars will last (like when I am doing cost per wear on something I have splashed out on), otherwise it can become expensive if I need to replace them all the time! Also, because I have whippets, they need specific collars; because their heads are a similar size to their necks, regular collars can quite easily slip.
Now it's no secret that I love having different collars for different occasions for my hounds, of course they don't care (well, maybe Scout does, he likes the finer things), but I like to see them look great! They are such an elegant breed, its nice to see them wearing something that accentuates those beautiful lines.
So here are my top five collars and why. One thing that all of these brands have in common (apart from quality, elegance & comfort), is that the people behind them are SUPER nice and give amazing customer service.
I met Dogs & Horses maybe four years ago at a dog event and immediately fell in love with their two tone leather collars, quite traditional in style but with a bright splash of colour. They are handmade and pretty thick but become supple very quickly and they are super robust, honestly, these collars have seen everything; swimming in the sea & lakes, rolling in the unmentionable, all weather conditions too. They are also padded which I hadn't seen until then so it tends not to rub their sensitive necks.
I have used leather wax to keep ours in good condition, probably not as much as I should really but they still look fantastic!
As well as the traditional hound collars, I 'may' have decided to get their gorgeous horizon collars too.
I'm a bit partial to bright colours, so when I spotted these yellow collars (called Naples on their website) I knew I had to have them! I already had a set of two tone collars from Brindle & Whyte so I knew the quality was there, and I kept the wide style that I accidentaly chose because I prefer them! They also have the added extra advantage of large d-rings so it's really easy to clip them onto their leads. I have put these through the washing machine and they have come up like new, even after a muddy roll.
They have just launched a gold and copper set which looks stunning....I'm pretty tempted!
Made by an artesian leather worker in Dorset who used to make shoes, these are honestly the softest leather you could wish for, padded for comfort with classy brass wear. The colours are subtle and stylish with tonal stitching (do you get the idea that I like two tone??). I'm grateful that I haven't had to wash mine yet (no fox poo rolling episodes yet), Redhound have said that Waitrose Rose & Argan Oil Handwash has been highly recommended to keep them in tip top condition. They look delicate but are very hard wearing, so they tick all the boxes for me!
A few years ago I placed third at Dog Photographer of the Year with an image of Boo; Silver Peacock helped me out twice with a really quick turnaround for special collars for Boo, one pink tweed and this stunning pink silk. Boo had the opportunity to go to London to see the images displayed in the Kennel Club HQ and also to go to Crufts for the award giving so she had to look her best! These are definitely my 'Sunday Best' collars for her, and at some point I'll get round to making sure the boys all have one too. My hounds also all have their braided tag collars (great for popping their tags on so I don't have to swap them over all the time!)
I have recently seen a prototype of a collar by a very talented leather worker who currently handmakes desk accessories, which is how I originally found her, and my oh my, it's pretty special! There may be a two tone aspect to it (I may be a bit obsessed with two tone!!). I'll be getting my grubby little mitts on a few of the first ones available so I'll update you then! #velveteenhound