It might be hard for you to believe, but I have a few interests and hobbies that do not include Ace. Although I prefer Ace to accompany me when I’m being active outdoors, there are some activities that are not appropriate for a dog. One such activity I enjoy is rock climbing. As an (extremely) amateur climber, I love puzzling through the spatial riddle of how to move my body from the ground to a specific point perhaps 55 feet high. When climbing, the key piece of safety equipment that makes it all possible is the rope. Tied and mounted correctly, the rope is strong enough to prevent even the heaviest, most muscular climber from falling.
Since I started climbing a few years ago, I’ve noticed folks around San Francisco walking their large dogs with what appeared to be lengths of climbing rope. Recently, I did a little Internet research and discovered Mountain Dog Products, which makes dog leashes out of recycled climbing rope (check out this article for the story of how Mountain Dog was inspired by a chance meeting with a stray dog named Jefe). Mountain Dog sent me samples of two of their leashes to test with Ace.
Mountain Dog presents a pretty compelling argument for why their leashes are the best you can buy. Made from climbing rope, they are strong and durable. The leashes are eco-friendly because rope itself is recycled, meaning it either was used for climbing or it is a remnant leftover from manufacturing climbing rope. The leashes are handmade in the USA. Perhaps most impressive, the leashes have a lifetime guarantee: Return the leash for any reason and receive a full refund or a replacement leash.
Ace and I tested the Original Clip Lead and the Amazing Versatile Leash. I immediately appreciated the aesthetics of the leashes. The climbing rope appeared brand new, and there was no branding of any kind. The overall look is athletic, colorful, simple, and clean.
The Original Clip Lead ($27.50) is Mountain Dog’s basic leash. It is six-feet long and has a loop handle. The one we received was gray with flecks of bright neon colors, which I thought was sporty and attractive. The clip is large, hefty, and appears very strong; the leash seems appropriate for medium to large dogs. As a small dog owner, I would love to see this leash available with a smaller yet still durable clip, as the large clip is a bit cumbersome for Ace.
I was surprised that the leash actually made walking Ace easier and more pleasant. She tends to pull at certain times, like when we are approaching the park or when she sees someone she knows. This leash is quite soft yet provided excellent grip without chafing my hands.
Another option for the owners of dogs that tend to pull is the Amazing Versatile Leash ($37.50).
This leash adjusts from 3’ 9” to 7’ in length, depending upon how you clip and knot it. The leash comes with simple instructions, which include color photographs, so you can learn to shorten the leash or even clip it around your waist or torso securely. I found the leash easy to convert by following the instructions, though it did take me a moment to do the first time. Because there is a clip at each end, you can walk two dogs on this single leash.
Overall, I found these leashes to be unique, strong, and attractive, much like a certain Boston Terrier I know. As Christmas approaches, I imagine these leashes would make great gifts for large or active dogs, for dog owners who love climbing or outdoor adventure, or for the dog owner who thinks that when it comes to dog products, she has seen it all.
Dogster Scorecard for Mountain Dog Products’ Original Clip and Amazing Versatile Leashes
- Quality: These leashes harness the strength and durability of recycled climbing rope.
- Style: The leashes are simple, clean, and colorful with no distracting branding.
- Function: The leashes were quite strong, and the climbing rope gave me excellent grip on a pulling Ace.
- Creativity: What a great idea: recycle used and leftover climbing rope to create a durable, eco-friendly leash for active dogs.
- Value: These leashes are more expensive than your typical flat nylon leash, but given they are durable, attractive, unique, and made in the USA of recycled products, I would consider them an excellent value.
If walking your dog is reminiscent of climbing a mountain, one of Mountain Dog’s climbing rope leashes might be just the thing to wrangle your rambunctious pup.
Enter to win a Mountain Dog climbing rope leash!
Mountain Dog Products wants to give three lucky Dogster readers the leashes of their choice -– for free. Just enter our contest by leaving a comment about your favorite outdoor activities to do with your dogs. Whether your dog runs in the Iditarod or runs up and down the driveway, we want to hear about it! Make sure you have an active email address associated with your Disqus account, or else we won’t be able to contact you if you win.
Ace will choose the winners by Friday, December 6 at noon PST, so make sure to check your email to see if you’ve won.
Dogster readers, where do you go for unique dog products? Share your recommendations in the comments section below.
About Ace’s Mama: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its microclimates, farmer’s markets, and secret stairway walks. When she’s not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace’s adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster.