Home > Uncategorized > My vote for the best new dog product of 2012

My vote for the best new dog product of 2012

September 26, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Friendly Dog Harness

I always like to share a great dog idea or product when I see one. This past weekend I saw a dog product that I really loved. To be honest, it’s hard to believe it took this long for an idea like this. It’s long overdue. I have a feeling that many of you will feel the same way.

The dog product? Friendly Dog Collars and Harnesses out of Australia and New Zealand.

What I love about this product is what it does for dog owners who struggle with the well-meaning, but very much misinformed, people who say “All dogs love me” and approach your fearful dog in all the wrong ways. And, what it does for the dog owner who encounters other dog people who assume that because their dog is friendly with other dogs yours must be as well. And, what it does for the dog owner who has a big dog or a much-maligned breed of dog that most people often assume is not friendly because of their looks or breed.

Friendly Dog Collar and Lead

What this product does so effectively for all these dog owners is communicate a message in a quick but very effective way to people who approach when maybe they shouldn’t or veer away when there is no reason to do so.

Friendly collars and harnesses are color-coded (red, orange, green, white, yellow, etc.) and each contains a message or word (Friendly, Caution, No Dogs, Adopt Me, Nervous, Deaf, etc.) that is in bold lettering. It makes it easy to see and the message is clear from a distance.

Friendly Dog Harness and Lead

The collars and harnesses (and other products) are now available to Australia and New Zealand customers via their website: Friendly Dog Collars Australia and in the United Kingdom and United States via their U.K. website: Friendly Dog Collars Store.

The company has been extremely responsive to customer inquiries on their Facebook page as well. In fact, in response to several inquiries they have already begun to create a collar and lead for owners of blind dogs and dogs in training. How’s that for service?

This is definitely my most favorite dog product of the year. What do you think?

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  1. September 26, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    What a great idea! I’ll have to check them out!

    • Mel
      September 26, 2012 at 11:05 PM

      I agree. I was really excited when I saw it.

  2. September 26, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    So it is possible to order from the UK site? Fearfuldogs also had it on facebook, but I didn’t know if I should order from that site. Yup, I need a “Yes I’m cute, but I’m very shy and fearful” harness. (Not for me. I’m cute and outgoing!)

  3. September 27, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    great product!!!!!!!!

  4. September 27, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    I saw these on another blog, too! It does sound like a pretty cool idea! 🙂

  5. September 27, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    I’ve been seeing more and more products geared toward communicating to strangers which dogs can handle their approach. Unfortunately most of them have relied only on color markers which don’t work if people don’t know what the color means.

    The dark lettering on the harness and leash are very readable. And even if someone can’t read them at a distance, curiosity alone probably slows their approach a little bit.

    I agree. It’s a very well-thought out product. And a great teaching tool. This should start some important conversations with dog people outside of blogville.

  6. September 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Do they make these for people too? heheheh.

    Seriously, this is a good idea and I’ll have to let my sis know about these. She has a “no dogs” dog!

  7. To Shea
    September 27, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Your right, what a great idea an how come nobody else thought of that idea, including myself.
    Looks like they have a wonderful product and will do well.
    Thanks for sharing…:-)
    Woof…Woof from Penny, she likes the idea too…BOL
    Alex and Penny

  8. Jen
    September 27, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    These are just very neat, and I love the fact that you can buy one and give one!

  9. September 27, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Definitely a useful tool for walking with a dog that has issues. I’ve seen others at Global Pet Expo, but I like this one better–more visible and obvious. Nice suggestion.

  10. Will and Eko
    September 27, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    That is a very awesome idea – thanks for sharing. It’s definitely one of those “how has no one thought of this before?” products. Genius in simplicity.

  11. September 27, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    This is possibly THE most misguided product to come out in years. The poor “friendly” dog will be assaulted by every kid now given permission by its parents to throw their arms around the poor dog’s neck. Meanwhile, law suits will abound by people threatened or bitten by dogs KNOWN to be a potential threat – it said so on the freakin’ leash! Taking your reactive dog out without a muzzle knowing there might be a conflict? Call 1-800-lawyer before you do.

    • Mel
      September 27, 2012 at 10:56 PM

      As with anything, it’s all in the perspective and in how the dog owner handles situations. For dog owners like me, a “Friendly” collar is not needed. People just assume that because my yellow Lab is so adorable (and she is) that she must also be friendly and love people and kids. I have had to warn people off many a time, often with little to no success. They just can’t understand a dog might be afraid of people. Having a “Nervous” leash and collar could help to stop some of that behavior before it begins.

      I don’t know where you are from, but just because a dog is dog-reactive, it doesn’t mean it can’t go on a walk without a muzzle. I also think that if the dog is dog-reactive and someone chooses to ignore that message then their lawsuit may be less influential. Again, it’s all in the perspective.

      • September 28, 2012 at 6:38 AM

        I’m from Boston, and very few people use muzzles. My point is that the liability implied by taking a “labeled” dog out (and there’s another discussion about labels that’s important, I think, but key here – labeling is a very harmful way to analyze the behavior of a dog or person, puts them in neat little boxes and often, I think, leads to self-fulfilling prophecies on the part of trainer and owner, makes it very difficult to solve the issues at hand) might be huge.

        I have a reactive dog, and I take her out every day and I’m very careful and I’ve worked with her a ton. What if I thought I didn’t have to now, because her leash tells people what I assume they’re going to get out of the message – that, for instance, by “NERVOUS” I mean to stay away, and not to come closer to “comfort” my dog, or show her that “it’s OK?”

        What if the parents of a toddler, who might normally keep their kid away from a strange dog, now took the “FRIENDLY” sign as license to allow their kid to run up and hug that dog?

        What if my “DEAF” sign brought more people, now interested by the dog I’ve called attention to, closer and from all sides, possibly crowding or startling that dog who otherwise would have been largely left alone?

        What if my “NO PEOPLE” leash didn’t work (muzzles don’t, and won’t some people just come closer to see what the leash says?) and someone cake up and got bitten? I’d be liable, I’d imagine, because I *knowingly* took out a dangerous dog into public without protection beyond a sign.

        I really thing these leashes serve to feed some need on the part of the owners – for understanding, maybe for attention (I have many clients that start to identify themselves by their dog’s issues – I want to say on some level revel in it, if painfully at times), but I really don’t think these serve the dogs well. Quite the opposite, in fact.

      • Mel
        September 28, 2012 at 7:03 AM

        I see your point. Yes. Labeling can be dangerous. People may make a lot of assumptions about the dogs wearing these harnesses. But don’t people make assumptions about certain dogs now? I know that people who encounter a dog-reactive dog often assume the dog is bad or dangerous. Which may not necessarily be the case around people. You are assuming that people already labeling dogs or making assumptions or will discontinue working with their dog because they have a harness with a label. I just can’t use a broad brush to make that assumption. Every dog owner is different.

        Liability? Yes. Possibly. But I think that is a matter for lawyers to sort out. The truth is that those of us with dogs who are sensitive to people, other dogs, noises, etc. often have a difficult time telling people to back off or to keep their dog on a short leash when passing by. Too many people assume that all dogs love people and other dogs. If there is a way to convey a message quickly and easily, then I am okay with that.

        In response to your “what if” questions:

        What if the parents of a toddler, who might normally keep their kid away from a strange dog, now took the “FRIENDLY” sign as license to allow their kid to run up and hug that dog? What if a toddler approaches a dog that is afraid of kids now? What if they assume that all dogs are friendly and their parent doesn’t stop them and they get bit? It happens without the collar with the label now. Again, I think the owner needs to choose to use the “friendly” collar if it applies. I prefer never to let a toddler approach my dogs because they generally tend to make most dogs nervous. Why tempt fate? But again, that is a dog owner’s responsibility to make the decision to use that collar or not.

        What if my “DEAF” sign brought more people, now interested by the dog I’ve called attention to, closer and from all sides, possibly crowding or startling that dog who otherwise would have been largely left alone? What if people gave your dog space or made sure they didn’t sneak up behind them beause they knew that the dog was deaf and didn’t want to startle them? Again, both things could occur. One can’t assume that only your scenario will result. I would ask a deaf dog owner how they think the collar will help.

        What if my “NO PEOPLE” leash didn’t work (muzzles don’t, and won’t some people just come closer to see what the leash says?) and someone came up and got bitten? I’d be liable, I’d imagine, because I *knowingly* took out a dangerous dog into public without protection beyond a sign. There isn’t a “No People” collar or leash, so the point is moot. But as you so clearly point out,a dog dangerous to people shouldn’t be out in public anyways.

    • December 16, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      A dog wearing a CAUTION collar did bite someone and tried to sue, but the owner wasn’t fined, nor the dog destroyed…why?? Because the dog was clearly labelled and the idiot still patted it!
      Any parent that let’s their child run up to any dog, shouldn’t be allowed to have children!
      But at least if a dog was wearing a Friendly collar, a responsible parent would at least know what owner they could ask if their child could pat it.
      So many owners have dogs with issues, that just want to be left alone! Finally, they have a product that does that without them having to yell at every owner who lets their dog get in every other dogs space.
      My Stafford was attacked by 3 off leash dogs, she now wears a NO DOGS set and finally owners are keeping their dogs away from her.
      Everyone is responsible for their own dog, don’t make excuses for it, label it, warn others.
      RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERSHIP STARTS WITH YOU!

      • sophie
        July 29, 2014 at 7:10 AM

        This is exactly right. Be a smart and responsible owner. If you’ve done everything in your power to improve your dogs life experience then you have nothing to worry about. My staffordshire bull terrier is 13 years old and, although he use to be dog friendly, is not anymore due to being in a fight with a strange dog off lead who ran up and pounced him from behind. He is never off lead anymore he runs on a long secure tracking line and we’ve just recently purchased a “no dogs” harness as a lady (despite my dog showing very obvious signs of distress and becoming vocal) decided to walk her growling dog right up to ours and past us IN AN OPEN FIELD (?!?!).. if he had this harness I doubt she would have come close enough for my boy to even see or smell the other dog (his senses are very dulled now) and if she HAD decided to despite his distress AND the clear message then who is it being irresponsible?? I’d say it was her. Id like to note that on the other hand we have another dog who is incredibly friendly and well behaved but I’d personally never buy a “friendly” collar for her as a dog is a dog and with the right catalyst any dog will defend themselves and their pack, it doesnt make them dangerous but THAT is when a label CAN bite you on the butt and you’d be in the wrong (in the eyes of the law). Always be responsible and respectful of your dog and his/her space and situation! Great idea. Great product. Great way to get people talking.

  12. maddeline jennings
    September 27, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    I believe this is a great idea! people never know if your dog is friendly or not and many other things and this would let them know quickly.
    Maddeline jennings (JSU student)

  13. September 28, 2012 at 2:09 AM

    OOh, this really is an awesome product!

  14. Lis
    September 28, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    That’s so cute & an awesome product

  15. donnalisa
    October 2, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Love it.I need to get one for my Dog..

    • Mel
      October 2, 2012 at 9:52 PM

      Me too!

  16. October 3, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    I love your website! It has clear non-pixelated and original pictures that you took yoursefl and not from google. I am reading your advice on tips of taking care of dogs and I never knew that I could also get doggy shopping information from you too! Your blog layout is also awesome, not as distracting as most blogs of dogs where there would be too much colours and glittery gif images.

  17. October 9, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    This is a really interesting idea… I’ll be interested to hear how it works for people. I especially like the idea of the “No Dogs” and “Nervous” ones – perhaps giving other dog owners a cue to not approach.

    Although, I’m sure it won’t save us from the My Dog is Friendly people who just let their dogs run off leash and run up to any dog that walks by. Not that I’m bitter about those people or anything… 😉

  18. i
    December 16, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    There was a case where a dog wearing a CAUTION collar bit someone. The owner was not sued nor the dog destroyed….why??? Because the dog was clearly labelled and the person who ignored the warning, patted the dog at it’s own risk.
    The product comes with a Disclaimer stating that the owners are 100% responsible for labelling their dogs correctly. The FRIENDLY range is not an excuse to let your dog off leash to do what it wants. This puts everything back on the owner, be responsible for your own dog. When are we going to get real about dog behaviour, some have come from rescues and shelters, they need space and it’s great to have a product that allows them to have the space they need.
    I have the right to walk my dog without other people forcing their dogs onto mine, the NO DOGS range has been perfect.
    How many times do you see off leash dogs bounding up to others, the owner yelling “Don’t worry, my dogs friendly!” well guess what? MINE’S NOT. Upon seeing the Orange NO DOGS harness now, people are actually controlling their dogs when they see us coming…finally!!!
    If you put a Friendly on your dog and it bites someone, you should be liable, stop trying to look for excuses about your dogs behaviour, tell others, warn others, BE RESPONSIBLE. So many incidents could have been prevented if the dog was labelled correctly.
    So many dog owners out there walk their dog in fear, silently praying that they don’t encounter anyone else walking their dog, they can now! Red CAUTION = Dog needs space, do not approach
    Simple, easy and no mistaking it for a dog you let your kids run up and cuddle. What responsible parent lets their child run up and cuddle a strange dog???? Least if it’s wearing a FRIENDLY, the parent at least knows what dogs they could ask to let their kids pat.
    No more excuses, label your dog, teach your children not to pat ANY dog without asking first and be responsible for your dog and it’s behaviour.

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