What is leather and what leather do you use?
Leather is a natural by-product which is biodegradable. Just like human skin, leather will gradually change colour and texture with age, and oils from your dog’s skin will produce a collar which will soften to a wonderful mellow texture. Leather is fantastic for your dog to wear – it’s a natural material which will last for years. The black, brown, tan and red leather that we use is English bridle leather (the same grade that's used for horse applications) and our garment-grade lining leathers are lamb nappa. The 'Elephant Print' leather we use is a soft cow hide with an embossed texture.
What metals do you use?
All our hardware (buckles, d-rings, keepers) are either solid brass (gold colour) or nickel-plated brass or nickel-plated steel (silver colour). Our ornaments are a mixture - most of our spots, studs and rim settings (for the jewels) are either solid brass or nickel-plate, but some of our decorations and ornaments are steel, silver-plate or antique silver plate. We've even used copper-plate ornaments before. Of course, if you'd like to know about any items in particular, just drop us a line.
What makes a BOO! collar?
Once you’ve selected the design and told us your dog’s neck measurement, the process of producing your collar will take around three weeks, from start to finish.
First, we take a strap cutter to cut a strip of leather from the cowhide. Next we use an edge beveller to trim off the sharp edges to ensure a rounded and comfortable fit for your dog’s neck. An edge dye solution is then applied after burnishing the edges to a smooth and super-shiny finish.
Our own special blend of leather conditioners, including oil, cream and wax is applied to your collar over a period of a few days to ensure even absorption and deep penetration and the leather is then hand-buffed to prolong its life and ensure good water resistance. A scratch awl, hole punch and rawhide mallet are then used to mark and punch buckle holes and a sharp blade is used to skive the leather in certain places to reduce the leather’s thickness and remove bulk. Any ornaments, jewels, spots or studs are then set by hand.
Soft garment-grade leather is then measured and cut to produce the supple lining which will rest against your dog’s neck. Our linings are a BOO! signature; they are double-layered with rolled edges. All linings are stitched in place using strong, rot-proof thread. Your chosen hardware is then secured and with just a final polish your BOO! collar is complete.
How do I care for my leather collar?
Natural oil from your dog’s skin (and your hands) will be absorbed into the leather to create a unique and pleasing patina over time. Remember that oils may darken some of the lighter leathers. Waxes won’t darken the leather so much and they also provide excellent water resistance and overall protection.
Your BOO! product has been conditioned for you using a special blend of oil, cream and wax but, because it’s a natural product, you’ll be responsible for reconditioning it from time to time to keep it looking and feeling its best.
Do not apply any detergents to remove dirt. Just wipe with a damp cloth. Always let your collar air dry naturally and never apply direct heat (such as a radiator or hairdryer) to it.
Can my collar get wet?
The cowhide we use for our collars is the same leather that's used for equestrian gear, so it's pretty durable. Some freshwater exposure is OK, but you should avoid saltwater. If your collar does come into contact with sea water, you should wipe it with a damp cloth, let it air dry and then use a leather conditioner. See our blog topic: 'Leather & Saltwater'.
Remember that regular conditioning of your collar will slow down the ageing process and help keep the leather looking its best. A wax conditioner will also help with your collar's water-resistance and help prevent salt stains.
The fine garment-grade leather we use for the linings in our collars is not so durable. It will stand up to occasional water exposure, but it's best to avoid saltwater. If your dog is a sea-lover or swimmer then get in touch and we can customise a collar with no lining.
Can I buy a BOO! product anywhere else?
No! There is only one place to buy... and that’s right here on this website. We never wholesale to third parties. Our work is exclusive to this site and that's the way we plan to keep it.
Do you make half-check collars?
Not yet, but hopefully soon! Because we’re a small company (and perfectionists...), it takes time to create new designs and different styles of collar and we don’t release anything for sale until we’re both 100% happy.
Do you make spiked collars?
I’m afraid not.
Historically, spiked collars go way back. Long before dogs were around as pets, they were used as working animals, eg: hunters and protectors. Spiked collars protected a dog’s neck from a wolf bite and traditionally these types of collar were very well made.
Unfortunately, today’s spiked collars aren’t always used with the best intentions, so Boo and I have made a pledge not to design or make them. So, in the nicest way possible, please don't ask us to break our promise.
I'm confused about collar widths, can you help?
Of course! If you're at all unsure about choosing the right width of collar for your dog then just let us know - we're here to help. We understand that collar width can be confusing, which is why we've done our best to split our collars up into categories to make sizing easier. Obviously there's a bit of overlap there, but that's because we can only create a guideline, as every dog is different and there can be huge variations even within the same breed. Please see our 'Choosing the right width' topic in our blog section for further guidance. And probably the best thing to do is take a look at your dog's current collar... if it's a comfy width, then best stick with it!
Do you make collars for toy breeds?
I'm afraid our materials are just too heavy and sturdy for the little ones (eg: Chihuahuas, Chinese Crested, Papillons, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians etc) and we have no plans to release a toy line in the near future.
Will my collar be exactly the same as the one pictured on your website?
All our products are entirely handmade, so slight variations are all part and parcel of the process. Nothing major of course, it's just that no two collars will be identical. Because leather is a natural material, colour and dye is picked up differently from hide to hide, so although the colours you see here won't vary greatly, small changes in hue are to be expected. And remember that the size of your collar will restrict the amount of ornaments / decorations which we can fit on, eg: a 40cm collar will have less decorations than a 60cm collar. We take great pride in the photographs that we take of our products and believe they represent true-to-type colours. If you're at all unsure about selecting a leather colour or design for your dog, then just drop us a line, as we'd be happy to help.
Can you email me a photo of my finished collar?
Of course! If you'd like us to take a picture of your collar and email it over, just let us know. We know how tempting a sneak-peek preview can be, before it's received in the post, so we're happy to offer this little gesture.
If you have a design in mind, or are unsure what colour / size / style will suit your dog, please ask us for advice. We love creating one-off designs and we'll always do our very best to source any ornaments or decorations that you have in mind.
Order placement & turnaround time
Because BOO! products are all handmade to order, and are not mass-produced, please allow three weeks for your order to be received, processed, made-up and shipped to you. Our products are made on a first-come-first-served basis, so I'm afraid we can't jump anyone to the front of the queue (no matter how nicely you ask).
Free UK postage!
For international postage costs please contact us before buying.
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept PayPal, plus cheques and postal orders in UK Sterling. Your order will be made once payment has cleared.
ALL collars should be checked regularly for damage and excessive wear and tear. Remember that no collar is indestructible.
We at BOO! believe in handmade artisan products which have been lovingly handcrafted with respect for the tradition of our trade. We are a small specialty maker and not a mass manufacturer. More than anything, we want you to LOVE our collars as much as we do! So, whatever you need, or whatever you want to say, just drop us a line...