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Muddy Paws Testers

Review of the Ruffwear Hoopie Collar

We rehomed Harpo when he was 10 months old and quite a handful! It was tough work to start, but our efforts paid off and we've now got a beautiful, affectionate, smart hound that makes us very proud (most of the time!). We've tried Canicross, synchronised obedience, trick training and scentwork.  But my best time is out in the wilds with Harpo - multi-day walks, camping, canoeing, whatever adventure we can find.Mary-Ann & Harpo

Every chance I get, I'll take him on a job with me, presenting anthropology, archaeology and adventure shows for TV or researching pieces for written features. He's come to visit ancient stone circles, met mountain rescue search dogs, wild camped across Dartmoor and canoed down the River Severn. I'm not a big fan of pointless stuff for dogs - let them be dogs - but certain kit is essential if I want Harpo to stay safe, comfortable and enjoy each experience I present him with. I'm always looking for functional, hardwearing and well-designed equipment that really does the job. If it looks good too, then all the better. Muddy Paws has always delivered - they've got the best kit, at great prices, fab customer service and reliable advice on what products will meet you and your dog's needs.

Testing the Ruffwear Hoopie Collar

Harpo with his Hoopie CollarWe've had collars before that get really heavy when they're wet, don't stand up to the job of keeping a 40kg dog safe, or don't look that great on Harpo. Until now, I haven't found a collar that is both robust enough for getting out and muddy, with heavy everyday use, as well as looking smart and tidy when the occasion demands.

The Ruffwear Hoopie Collar is lightweight and hardwearing. The black plastic push-clip buckle is strong, solid and unobtrusive. I love the attachment point for the lead, an aluminium ring which sits flat and doesn't make an annoying jangling, and is securely sewn into the collar. The other clever little detail is a rubber disc that you can put between your dog's identity tags so they don't knock against each other and make a noise. Now I have an (almost) stealth brown Labrador!

The rest of the collar is flat webbing which I like as it doesn't add weight, doesn't get heavy when it's wet, dries quickly and doesn't smell! AND it looks good. Hurrah!

The colour (I have the blue one) is bright with a subtle yellowish stripe and looks great against Harpo's brown fur. It's about an inch wide, and on Harpo doesn't look bulky or too thin. This is the first collar I've had that people have complemented me on, which must be a good thing.

Harpo side on with Hoopie Collar

The collar size is easily adjustable with a flat buckle that slides the length of the collar, so this is a good option if you've got a dog that's still growing and you're having to change collar size regularly, or find yourself frustratingly between standard sizes with other collars. I do find that after a few weeks the collar has got a little looser sometimes, and you need to tweak the buckle back half a centimetre. It doesn't slide too easily though, so I don't think this would be a hazard, even if your dog pulls.

RATING: 5/5 functional, strong and a good colour.



Mary-Ann Ochota

Mary-Ann Ochota is a TV presenter and writer, specialising in archaeology, anthropology and adventure.  Topics have included the Stone Age, Roman lighthouses, feral children, life after the Chernobyl disaster, and what the British think of the Germans, for channels including the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Animal Planet, Discovery and History. Shes a regular guest on Sky News, writes about outdoors things for newspapers and magazines, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Harpo is her first dog, and a great buddy for hiking, walking and general messing around in the outdoors. - @MaryAnnOchota

Mary-Ann Ochota

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