We're excited to announce the latest member of the Fierce Edge team. Meet Gracie, our new Chief Morale Officer!
Gracie is a good girl with 15 month's experience being a Labrador and French Bulldog cross (Bullador.) As Chief Morale Officer for Fierce Edge, her duties include napping, zooming, sleeping and demanding to be petted. She likes guinea pigs, chickens, cold muddy water and making sure squirrels know who's boss.
Gracie has been paying particular attention to her cardio and is now able to very comfortably run 7-8 miles. Her favourite toys are other dog's toys.
As a member of the Fierce Edge team, Gracie has a very active lifestyle so we equipped her with the best gear we could find. Here's our mini review of what we found.
Please note that Fierce Edge is in no way affiliated with any of these sites and receive no compensation. We write this review for the love of cool gear.
Rex Specs. Dog Googles.
Riding shotgun is a duty which Gracie takes seriously. Hanging her head out of the window and lolling her tongue at pedestrians is a serious undertaking which cannot be underestimated.
We equipped her with these awesome dog goggles from Rex Specs to protect her eyes from the wind, debris and the sun. Something else that Gracie loves to do is run into shrubs and hedges and these googles do a great job shielding her eyes from branches and barbs. We can see the scratches on the replaceable lenses which otherwise would have reached her eyes.
The Rex Specs dog googles come in six different sizes (XS - XL) and can be personalised with easy to change lens colours including clear for night time operations. Fitting is very easy, although it can be tough to get a good fit for dogs with short muzzles. Check out their size chart and you can always contact them if you're not sure - they're very friendly and helpful! Gracie wears a Large and her muzzle is 10" and head is 16"-17"
OneTigris. Tactical Dog Vest.
Yeah, we could have procured a basic issue civilian dog jacket but our Chief Morale Officer needs better than basic issue!
Gracie's OneTigris tactical vest is a combined dog harness and light jacket. As a harness it has three securing straps which secure across and under her chest and under her abdomen. It has two points along the top to attach a lead, front and rear. The rear attachment is great for times you want your dog to be leading. Very useful too are the two carrying handles to control your pet or lift them out of hazards, like canals...
Being a very active and adventurous pooch, dog coats don't normally last long for Gracie. They begin to tear and fray within days as she explores the thickets. The OneTigris is made from extremely tough and lightweight 1000D Nylon which protects her from thorns and branches and so far has shown no signs of damage. It's not intended as an insulating layer, which is fine because our Chief Morale Officer prefers the cold anyway.
We used to put things like treats and poo bags in her pouches but then, she loves jumping into water and having a swim so everything would get soaked! The pack weighs 850g, probably 1.5kgs wet so adds a little strength training to Gracie's cardio.
Gracie weighs around 18kgs and wears a size Medium.
Ruffwear. Grip Trex Dog Boots.
Gracie gets at least two workouts a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Most days she also rides along with us as we perform our chores and activities.
During the heavy snow this spring (!) we noticed that her paws were getting a little raw especially around the pads. It was strange as she mostly runs around fields and trails so we figured that it must be the anti-freeze on the pavements that was irritating her feet. She wasn't showing much sign of discomfort but we bought these these Ruffwear boots to protect her feet just in case. They can also be used in the summer too to protect the paws from hot pavement. We don't take Gracie out in the heat if we can help it and prefer to go early morning or later in the evening/night time.
We're really impressed by the boot's very solid construction. The uppers are made from a breathable mesh, dogs don't sweat but I guess when your dog goes into water each step they take will squeeze the water out of the boots. The toe caps are reinforced, double stitched and feature Scotch-Brite for night time safety. The soles are constructed from Vibram (the 'vi' is pronounced 'vee') which will last forever. The hiking boots we've had have all fallen apart way before their Vibram soles wore down!
Gentle Leader. Head Harness.
Gracie is a good doggo but she can still be every excitable and pull on the lead. Sometimes there are occasions where we need to take an extended walk on the lead and we don't want to have the constant low pressure pulling. This is where the Gentle Leader head harness comes in! It follows the same principle as a horse bridle, control the head and you control the animal. Fitting around the neck and muzzle the Gentle Leader redirects the force from the chest to the head. It's entirely painless and the stronger Gracie pulls the more her neck needs to work to keep her head from turning. Obviously her legs are stronger than her neck so she must stop pulling or her body will over take her head!
The Gentle Leader absolutely doesn't stop the dog breathing, eating, panting or drinking. The dog might need to get used to the harness and may for a few days attempt to get it off.
One downside to the Gentle Leader it the metal O-ring which attaches to a lead. Because it hangs down from the harness, if your pooch wants to have a shake, the O-ring becomes a flail and the poor dog ends up flagellating itself. As a work around, when she's in safe places I slip the nose loop off and it's fine. With the nose loop off, The Gentle Leader can still be used as a normal collar.
Morale patches by Fancy Stitch and Flox Superior Stuff.
Big thanks to Fancy Stitch with their speedy service and making our patches for Gracie's tactical vest. Fancy Stitch stood out by being amazingly helpful and willing to produce patches in low quantities. Flox Superior Stuff is based in Sweden and stocks some great internet culture patches. Both stores supply patches which are very well made and have taken half a year of weathering, abrasion and general dog adventuring abuse without showing any signs of wear. As big fans of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, naming Gracie was just a happy coincidence and the stylised Gracie Barra G looks great on her tactical harness. Of course she's going to be wearing the Fierce Edge roundel too and as crypto-currency enthusiasts, we had to include the best coin of them all; Dogecoin (such style, much wow!)
Do you have pets, do they have jobs too? We want to see them! Have some other cool equipment or training tips - let us know in the comments below.