Patina Pups – The Heddels Guide to High-Quality Dog Wear

In my opinion, owning a dog is one of the most joyous, fun, and enriching things you can do in life. They can provide unconditional love and companionship that is hard to find elsewhere in the modern world, as well as providing practical and mental support in a multitude of scenarios.

I’m not alone in my love of dogs. They’re the most popular pet in the USA, with over 63 million households owning one or more pooches. Ownership statistics are similar in Canada, too. That’s a lot of dogs. And with a lot of dogs, comes a lot of dog accessories — leads, collars, beds, and the like. Sadly, most dog products are made cheaply, designed to serve a purpose until they perish, ready to be replaced with an equally cheap product – just like lots of modern commerce markets.

At Heddels, we believe in the concept of owning things you want to use forever, and not just when it comes to clothes and shoes. We’ve covered categories like cast-iron skillets, knives, and even Persian rugs in the past, but today, it’s all about dog gear.

Why Invest in High-Quality Dog Wear?

The answer to this question is the same as why we know it’s worth investing in a high-quality pair of jeans, boots, or jacket. Or anything for that matter. Owning fewer, better things that you will use more and grow to cherish will lead to better outcomes for both yourself and the environment. This mantra is the case of dog wear, accessories, and equipment.



Flexi Comfort Extendable Lead & Blueberry Pet Dog Leash. Images via Petco.

In my experience, most of the dog products in mainstream pet stores are perishable and not really that attractive. A quick look on Petco shows the above leashes as the top sellers. On the right is an extendable leash ($24.99 and up) I have personal experience with and would not recommend. It’s a simple extending mechanism in a plastic casing with plastic buttons to operate the mechanism, however, the design allows for rainwater and dirt to get inside the mechanism, causing it to rot and become brittle and prone to snapping. Not good! On the right, a ($23.99) leash with an admittedly cute design made from polyester webbing – a material that is not as strong as nylon webbing like Cordura. This one will last a couple of years, but let me tell you, most of those hearts are coming off after a few months of decent dog walking and the leash will be more prone to fraying and tearing, especially if you own a larger breed.


Heading over to PetSmart for collars, and these are the two best-sellers. On the left, a Top Paw collar offering similar qualities to the heart leash above. I can’t see whether it’s polyester or nylon webbing, but with an $11.99 starting price, it won’t be of the highest quality. Not the worst, but also not the best. On the right, a Kong collar ($19.99 and up) with a stronger ‘chew-resistant’ webbing that will certainly outlive the Top Paw offering. However, both of these collars have plastic buckles. Step on those or let Rex get his teeth on them and they will crack and split. Plastic certainly isn’t chew-resistant.


A conventional dog bed via Petco.

The same goes for almost every dog product. Most mall store beds are made from cheap polyester which will look dull and flat over time, not to mention being no match for your dog’s claws if he/she is a digger. In my view, all of this stuff is the four-legged equivalent of the fast fashion industry, and there are better ways to invest in higher-quality, mindfully produced dog gear that you and your pooches will use for generations. I understand that some folks are financially challenged and access to highly-affordable equipment is absolutely necessary for society, but if you can afford to invest more money in your dogs’ wares, it’s worth it.

With all this considered, let’s take a look at some of the top-quality canine goods out there.


Pigeon Tree


When it comes to collars, you can’t really get much better than a well-tooled leather collar made from a high-quality leather that will last and build patina over time. Pigeon Tree‘s range of leather dog collars are made in Denver and come in a range of leathers, including veg-tan and Horween chromexcel.


It’s not just about the leather, though, it’s the hardware, too. Pigeon Tree fitted these good boys with a solid brass buckle and branded rivets, meaning they’re tough as nails. Each collar is made to the same exacting standards as the brand’s esteemed belts. That means beveled edges treated with beeswax and a choice of standard or teardrop holes. If that wasn’t enough, Pigeon Tree even offers you the option of a hand-stamped name tag to go with it.

Available from Pigeon Tree from $40.

Tanner Goods


If you want an even wider choice of colors, Tanner Goods’ Canine collar is another high-quality collar. Leather and metal is a match made in heaven when it comes to durability and this combo of English Bridle Leather and brass or stainless steel (depending on colorway) won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, so choose wisely!

I honestly feel like these jawns and the Pigeon Tree collar above are practically forever-collars, so whilst they’re a bit more on the expensive side, they’ll be with your pup for their whole lives and be ready to be passed on to another dog when the time comes. Dog’s coats are also full of natural oils which will naturally condition the leather and form a unique patina. It’s a win-win.

Available from Tanner Goods for $75.

Blackthorn Leather


Available for $45 from Blackthorn Leather.



If you’re vegan or you have a hairless dog i.e. Chinese Crested or Xoloitzcuintle, a leather collar may not be suitable. If that’s the case, Carhartt is a fantastic option. The classic American workwear brand offers a few collars that are well-made, leather-free, and affordable. Shown above are two options, the left being made from reflective-striped nylon, woven in the same way as duck canvas, and the right being made from classic heavy cotton duck canvas with blanket lining/coating for comfort.

You already know Carhartt’s stuff is bomb-proof, and the fact that these come built with metal and durable plastic hardware means there is some serious durability for your buck, here. Both options start at $19.99, too, just shy of $8 more than the Petco collars discussed at the beginning of this guide.


Need a Harness? Carhartt has that covered, too, with the same specs as the collars.

You can see all the Carhartt canine goods over at Carhartt.


COBRA Cordura Collar Blaze OrangeCOBRA Cordura Collar Blaze OrangeFi Ready COBRA Pro Collar Blaze OrangeDivision-Road-The-Fields-2023---The-Weekly-Rundown-Cobra

If you use a Fi tracking device for your dog and still want a collar that’s hard as nails Cobra has you covered. This collar is made from mil-spec 500-denier Cordura reinforced with bar tacks and comes with aluminum hardware, which includes a housing for your Fi device (both series 2 & 3). Clever stuff.

Available from Alpinhound for $78.


Tanner Goods


Tanner Goods make Canine Leashes, too, all with the same specs as the Canine Collars — made in the USA from English Bridle Leather with brass or stainless steel hardware depending on color. Each Canine Leash comes embossed with Tanner Goods’ logo and can be configured in 3 lengths – 31″, 39″, and 57″.


Macundo Belts


If you want something a bit more flamboyant than the other leashes in this guide, Macundo Belts is here with its Gitana Dog Leash. Handcrafted in Columbia, this 4 ft leash is made from water buffalo leather and comes with brass-plated hardware and a unique woven design that adds a level of flair and charm to the piece.

Available from Manready Mercantile for $59.

Pigeon Tree


It would be a crime if Pigeon Tree didn’t allow you to match their Dog Collars with an equally well-crafted Leash. Thankfully, there are no charges to answer, here, ‘cos the Denver-based brand makes these 5″ Leashes to order in a choice of 1″ and 3/4″ widths. Each Leash is built with brass hardware and rivets, and comes with an embossed Pigeon Tree logo near the handle.

Available at Pigeon Tree from $45.



Just like its nylon Dog Collar, Carhartt’s Tradesman Dog Leash is a top pick for durability on a budget. Coming in at just $24.99, this thing has it all. It’s made from the same aforementioned nylon webbing (that’s woven in the same way as duck canvas) which features reflective triple-needle stitch for low-light visibility and comes with full metal hardware. And if you live somewhere that gets seriously frigid, the workman-oriented design of the clip allows for easy attachment if you’re wearing thick gloves.

Available for $24.99 from Carhartt.

Coats & Jumpers

L.L. Bean


Trudging around the woods in your Bean Boots and Field Jacket? Your canine chum can match you in style with these Reversible Field Coats from the Maine-based outdoor brand. They’re made from 100% cotton canvas, with 80-gram plaid cotton flannel on the reverse for comfort. The plaid side is yarn-dyed for color retention, and there’s a slit opening on the back to feed a leash through.

You guessed it, these are based on L.L. Bean’s iconic canvas coats. They’re not the highest spec, but their 100% cotton construction means that you can patch this thing up with ease if needs be. If history is anything to go by, though, that canvas will last for ages, and only look better after countless walks and fetch sessions

Available from L.L. Bean for $29.95



Just like L.L. Bean, Filson based this Shelter Cloth Dog Coat on their revered people-sized iconic workwear jackets. Shelter cloth (comparable to Filson’s Tin Cloth) as a wax-coating that provides some water resistance for your dog on drizzle days, and in this case, it’s lined with plaid Mackinaw wool. You can flip this over to wear the mackinaw-side out, but either way, there will be a moleskin collar keeping your dog’s neck comfy.

Available for $110 from Filson.



Yeah, there’s a theme, here. Carhartt’s work jackets are arguably the most iconic out there, and your dog can get in on the action, too. Made from the brand’s proprietary duck canvas, this Dog Chore Coat comes with a corduroy collar and velcro strap to secure it to your dog’s midriff. The patch pocket — which includes a woven Carhartt tag – is one of the cutest doggy details in this guide, and the triple-stitched detail tops off this piece which balances functionality and novelty with aplomb.


This is another piece of dog gear I have personal experience with, and I can confirm, it’s an absolute banger. Pictured below is my Bichon Frise, Benji, in his black edition of this Carhartt Coat. Also visible is the extendable leash from the start of this article, which you can see had frayed to the point of almost splitting. Don’t worry, it’s since been replaced.

Available from Carhartt for $49.99

Naked Cashmere


A shivering dog is a sad site and sometimes it’s so cold that a coat isn’t enough. If your dog is in need of a top for added warmth, something like this Cable Dog Sweat by Naked Cashmere is what you should be aiming for.

Made from — take a guess — 100% pure cashmere, this Cable Knit Sweat is just like boujee human sweaters but knitted for dogs of all shapes and sizes. Whilst I can’t trace where this specific knit is made, the cashmere construction will make it incredibly comfy and wicking and it looks to be of high quality.

You can pick up comparable sweats made from pure wool on Etsy and other vendors. The main benefit of this style is that it is easily repairable —you can likely hand darn something like this using the technique outlined in this article.

Available from Naked Cashmere for $125.




In addition to their other canine-oriented pieces in this guide, Filson went all out with its Dog Beds. They’re made from Filson’s proprietary Tin Cloth — the same fabric you’ll find on the brand’s stellar jackets and bags — and filled with a insert that’s baffled to keep its structure over time. Cheaper dog beds will develop sunken areas over time, but this will be nice and supportive for the long haul. Not to mention it will genuinely look gorgeous in your home. Catch me napping on this thing with Benji if I can ever afford it.

Available for $435 from Filson.

L.L. Bean


I was really hoping to get more denim on this guide but it turns out there’s a gap in the market for denim (especially raw denim!) dog goods.

That said, L.L. Bean is offering up this decent-looking dog bed in ‘vintage indigo’ cotton twill. Whilst L.L. Bean isn’t boasting about the quality of the insert, it can be replaced by the brand affordably if it does wear down. L.L. Bean has a reputation for good quality, though, and at over $100 I imagine this is a good mid-range bed in a handsome material.

Available from $109 at L.L. Bean.



Rounding off this guide is the Carhartt dog bed, made from the same duck canvas as the brand’s insanely hard-wearing workwear.

If you’ve owned a pair of pants or a jacket made from duck, you’ll know that it develops a gorgeous chalky patina with wear and contact with water. And you’ll probably find that this Dog Bed will age just like that, but incredibly quickly. This is far from a 12 oz. duck canvas gimmick, though. Available in both Carhartt brown and chocolate brown, this Bed comes with a firm polyester filling and an extra-wide YKK zipper so you can remove that filling, and wash that duck shell.
Available at Carhartt for $129.99