On a nice sunny day, I decided to take Loki (my Wirehair Pointing Griffon) for a trip to the beach. The family and I decided on the Sequalitchew (try to say it out loud) Creek Trail. The trailhead starts at the Depont city hall (WA) and descends towards the ocean for about 1.5 miles (3-mile round trip). It’s an easy walk, which first takes you through traditional Washington forests (Ferns, Cedars, etc.), and as you come to the ocean there is a pedestrian tunnel with disconnected timeworn train tracks. You cannot see the ocean until you come out of the tunnel, which makes it a unique experience. The beach is composed of large rocks (similar to river rocks), and old pier pilings scattered around.
Loki decided to take a quick dip in the frigid Puget Sound waters while we were at the beach. When we got back to my truck I needed to dry him off, so I took his collar off and then loaded him into the truck. What I didn’t realize, until I got home, was that I had left his collar on the back bumper of my truck. Loki had that collar for a little over a year and it was a bummer that I lost it, but it meant that we were in the market for a new one.
I have had the standard ½-1” nylon and leather collars before and although these collars worked fine, I really wanted to get something different. After doing a little cruising on the internet I came across Tactipup, a company specializing in tactical style dog collars and leashes. Their website describes the company as a:
“Law enforcement family owned business based out of the Tampa Bay Florida Area. Our company started when we were searching for stylish tactical style dog collars and leashes made in the USA and could not find anything we got excited about. We started making our own collars to fill the void, and quickly found that lots of people were looking for the same thing and we started selling these collars online. Our collars and leashes are built with an extreme focus on perfection. If a collar is made and every last detail is not perfect, we will throw it away and start over. Our customers do not pay us for middle of the road quality and we’re certainly not sending something out that we’re not proud of.”
The first thing I noticed was just how cool these collars looked. There is a range of color options (mostly different camouflage patterns): multicam (green, alpine, arid, tropic, and black), Kryptek (mandrake, highlander, nomad, raid and typhon), non-camouflage patterned (blue and red). They are wider than your average collar coming in at 1.5” (they have a lite version at 1” if you prefer a smaller collar) and they’re all custom fit based on your dog’s neck size. All you need to do is provide your dog’s neck size. To measure you can take a length of rope (550 cord, string, whatever) and wrap it around your dog’s neck at the thickest area making sure you can fit 2 fingers between the rope and your dog’s neck.
There were a ton of different designs to choose from. Some had extra handles, some Velcro panels for your patch collections. I ended up settling on the Extreme Custom Embroidered Collar. I picked this one mainly because I wanted Loki’s name on the collar, and the design Tactipup uses for this is awesome. You can pick a counter-color so the name pops, or a matching color so it’s a little more subtle. Finally, I finished off the collar design with a subdued American flag patch because, America.
Aside from collars Tactipup also has a line of leashes: Ultra tactical, and Extreme tactical. The real difference between the two is the clasp hardware. The Ultra has a standard dog leash clasp while the Extreme uses a Kong Frog connector give it a more aggressive appearance and more overall strength. Both leashes come in varying lengths you just select the length which works best for you.
I was in a bit of a bind because I was supposed to be leaving for Canada in a few days and I really needed a collar before we left. After ordering the gear I reached out to Tactipup and told them of my time crunch. I was blown away by the customer service I was provided. Not only were they willing to expedite the order (remember it was a customs order), they worked with me on shipping to make sure it would arrive before I left on my trip. I really can’t say enough good things about the customer service I experienced.
When the gear arrived the first thing I noticed was the quality. The heavy webbing and quality stitching reminded me of the gear I used to get done at Tactical Tailor (was a small custom sewing shop specializing in pouches and military gear modifications-now is a large well-known company) while I was still in the Military. The custom embroidery turned out great, Loki’s name is clearly visible right beside his American flag patch. The collar is so different from what people normally see that I get stopped while walking him so folks can ask where I got it from.
I used the collar and leash while on our road trip to Canada, and Loki has used it every day since without issue. The only thing I hadn’t considered was the difference in the Extreme collars V-ring compared to standard rings on dog collars. It is thicker, so I needed to get a different ring set on Loki’s rabies/chip tags so that it could fit onto the V-ring. Not a big deal, but it is something you will run into if your State requires you to have certain tags on your dog.
If you are in the market for a collar that isn’t like all the other ones out there take a look at Tactipup’s line up.
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*Originally published on the Loadout Room and written by Robert McCartney