Thursday, October 15, 2015

Product Review: Leather Laced Dog Boots

These old-fashioned leather laced dog boots are the only shoes Brisbane is willing to wear while herding sheep. They come in two sizes and are available from various hunting supply pages. Brisbane's are a size small and were purchased from Gun Dogs Online. I've seen them described as flat leather dog boots, Australian style dog boots, and aussie dog boots.
Aussie-style flat leather dog shoes
Photo by Erin Koski

These things are kind of weird. They arrive totally flat, and have to be folded over and laces up. When I put them on Brisbane, I must carefully pull each section of each lace tight before tying them. Keeping them on for herding also involves running a strip of waterproof bandaging tape around the tops. Yes, I have to tape the shoes to his feet. But they stay on.

The Aussie boots are clearly made for large hunting breeds and not zippy little heelers. Brisbane's shoes are size small, and are nearly too big. Unlike pretty much all the dog boots I've ever seen before, these are open on the sides. They let in sand and rocks and everything, all they do is keep a small bit of leather between Brisbane's feet and the ground.

There are two slits in the front of each boot to allow the two middle claws to poke through. Presumably this is to reduce wear and tear on the boots while allowing for superior traction. The holes are a little bit too far apart for Brisbane's nails, and even when I poke them through they don't stay. Maybe if he had bigger feet? At any rate, it doesn't seem to be an essential part of wearing them. I'm guessing the slits allow a single size of boot to fit a larger range of feet.

aussie lace-up dog shoes
It's worth noting that the vast majority of stock photos for this style of dog boot are laced wrong. Ive included a picture of the sheet that came with Brisbane's boots. Most of the ones I see in stock photos have the edges of the tongue flipped around so the laces are going through the opposite side.

Pros: Somehow less offensive than any other type of boot. Does not trap sand or moisture or anything else really.  Minimal loss of traction.

Cons: Takes forever to put on. Stays tied approximately as well as lace-up shoes on a kindergartener. Does not stay on my dog without being taped.

Bottom Line: If that's the only thing Brisbane will wear to herd sheep, that's what he will wear. I should get some suede and copy the pattern over and see if I can make some of these in fun colors.

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