We Do Our Own Stunts

Full Disclosure: The Stunt Puppy gear featured here was provided free of charge for the purpose of being tested and reviewed. I’m also friends with one of the HMFICs. I don’t plan on letting either of those facts sway my comments but y’all deserve to know. Moving on…

You know how it goes when you get into something new and have to start buying gear. Searching online, reading reviews, talking to friends. You worked hard for your money and you don’t want to waste it. So you do your research and you cross your fingers and make your decision and then start posting on social media about how excited you are with your new life choice only to get a message like this from one of your friends:

“Dude, &*#@wear? I’m pained. This link is to my company! Check it out.”

My bad homie. In my defense I didn’t realize I had a friend in the business. Probably would have made things a lot easier from the beginning. Misconceptions cleared up though and a few IMs later and Milo was due a whole new set of kit courtesy of my buddy and Stunt Puppy. I mean how could I say no to such an obvious cry for help? The universe really knows how to bring people in need together.

Before I get into the actual kit that arrived though I’ll share this blurb from their website:

We started with a single jacket made from scraps for Jack, our thermally fragile Ridgeback, and fashioning the perfect leash for Bauer to make his hospital therapy rounds. We still design for the Jacks and Bauers who are making the world a better place, one unconditional wag at a time.

If you want to know more just check out their About Page but suffice it to say I like the language they’re speaking.

On to the good stuff. This will ultimately end up being a series of posts but for now I’d like to focus on just showing off the kit that arrived in the mail and some comparison photos of how it matches up to the gear I have been using to date(that I paid my own monies for).

First up is the product I was honestly the most excited about.

Nano Bowl™:

(Tiny.)

Specs from Stunt Puppy’s website…

  • 5″ diameter
  • 5″ deep
  • Weight 1 oz.
  • Nanopore Waterproof™ Membrane, FDA-certified non-toxic and chemical free
  • Holds 3.5 cups of water (28 fluid oz.; 0.8 liters)
  • American-made fabric and construction

This thing is tiny. Once unfolded though it turns into a pretty decent size bowl. First impressions are the materials all seem very nice and the construction is simple but adequate. Even though I’m new to running with a dog I spent over four years working as a detection K9 handler so I know how important it is to have an easy and convenient way of getting water to your dog while you’re out. Sharing a water bottle is not the most desirable. I’m excited to see how it holds up but just the size and convenience is enough to get me excited already.

(Not so tiny.)

Go Dog Glo™ Everyday Collar™:

(This is a really nice collar.)

From Stunt Puppy’s website

“Made with smooth nylon webbing. It includes custom segmented reflective trim made with 3M® Scotchlite™ Reflective Material, which provides 200 candle power and reflects directly back to the light source, up to 500 feet, in clear low-light or nighttime conditions. Finished with best-in-class Duraflex® buckles and D-Rings for security and peace of mind.”

Even in the lightbox the reflective material’s brightness is very apparent just using the flash.

(200 lumens of reflected awesomeness.)

Overall initial impression is it’s a very solid collar. The material itself feels very nice, the stitching is very robust, and the D rings and clip both feel very robust.

Having the reflective material was my main concern since I often run early or late but even without it I’m very pleased just based on the general craftsmanship and construction.

Compare and contrast this to the collar I have been using and the amount of wear it’s exhibiting after less than a month.

Really disappointing to see the stitching coming out after less than thirty days. I don’t use the collar as a leash attachment point so the only wear it has received has just been from being on the dog. In fairness the dog moves a lot but I expected better from a well known brand.

Stunt Runner™:

I’ll say up front I was not a huge fan of the hands free leash I was using but more on that later.

(Solid.)

Just like the Everyday Collar™ the Stunt Runner leash looks to be very well put together. The materials and craftsmanship appear to be Tier 1 and when compared to my current gear the difference in quality is obvious.

First and most obvious difference for me was in how the leash connects. My current leash uses the type of bolt snap you see on most leashes. The Stunt Runner however uses what Stunt Puppy refers to as their Stunt Puppy Alpha™ hardware (aka a spring gate hook). Both connect to the leash using a swivel and ring.

(I stole this from Stunt Puppy’s site but how cool is that?)

This is a subtle but important detail to me because I’ve had a bolt snap on a leash fail before while working a dog. It’s not fun and there’s really no easy fix, especially if the bolt completely exits the clip. I’ve never liked the fact that the spring mechanism is exposed either since this invites dirt and debris to enter the bolt. With the spring gate the mechanism is completely contained within the body of the hook protecting it from the elements. Also the nature of the gate itself ensures that if the spring does fail the gate will still be in place and provide at least a minimum amount of retention until you can get where you need to go.

Looking closer there’s an apparent difference in the quality of stitching as well. The Stunt Runner leash just looks more robust. According to their website the tubular webbing has a 4,000+ lb tensile strength which, when combined with the heavy duty stitching, makes this feel like a rock solid piece of kit. I’m pretty sure you could run with a rhino attached. We’ll have to see how it holds up over time but for now it looks like it should last for a very long time.

Lastly but something I don’t want to overlook. The fact that the Stunt Runner leash has an adjustable length is a huge step up over my previous leash which wasn’t adjustable. I didn’t even realize it had this feature at first but once I did I was stoked. I wouldn’t have thought this would matter but having run with Milo enough while negotiating crosswalks and running along busy streets being able to adjust the leash to keep him close without having to use my hand constantly is a big and very welcome improvement.

Go Dog Glo™ Harness:

Last but not least.

This is a unique harness and a good bit different from the styles of harnesses for I’m accustomed to working with. Everything about it that is different is different in a good way though and I hope to be able to demonstrate some of that in future blogs but for now we’ll just talk about construction and features.

Let me start by saying I was mostly very happy with the harness that I had and I can totally see why more than one friend recommended it. It’s solid, well built, and I feel like it would probably last for a good while under frequent use as long as it was taken care of. That said there are some features on the Go Dog Glo™ harness that I think put it ahead of my current kit. For starters…

They don’t call it Go Dog Glo for nothing. The reflective material on this thing is legit. The straps alone provide a nice level of reflectivity but the chestplate takes it up several more notches. I want to take some photos at night to demonstrate but just in the lightbox you can see how bright this thing is. The amount of reflection and the added safety it gives in low light or at night is worth the price of the harness alone.

Then there’s basic design.

Two distinct differences here. For starters the harness I had included a chestplate with an attachment point and a second section of material over the back (backplate?) that included the D ring for the leash near the rear of the harness at about the middle of the dog’s back. The Go Dog Glo™ harness only features the chestplate and a martingale attachment which places the D ring for the leash above and between the shoulders.

(For comparison and educational purposes. The gray bulge on the Go Dog Glo™ harness strap is actually the Nano Bow™l!)

The second difference is at the heart of what I think sets Stunt Puppy apart. They seem to genuinely care about how the dog feels wearing the gear.

The chestplate on the Go Dog Glo™ harness feels very soft and the padding is noticeable. In terms of material and construction it honestly doesn’t seem too dissimilar to my Sketchers memory foam shoes (comfort first baby). The chestplate on my old harness seems to have little or no padding and the tactile feel of the material seems rougher. I know comfort is subjective and the dog can’t talk to voice his opinion but if I was going to have to wear one of these two for a 16 mile run I know which one I would pick.

That’s about it. I hope you enjoyed the photos and the product breakdowns. As I start putting in more miles with Milo and the Stunt Puppy gear I’ll be back for more reviews but for now I can say I’m genuinely impressed. From materials to craftsmanship to design Stunt Puppy really seems to have their stuff together. I’m excited to see how it all works with Milo and equally excited to share the results with you all.

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