July 2017 sees 11 years making dog leads and collars for Sarah Gleave at Meg Heath. Inspired by a stall at Heckington Show in 2006, Sarah saw a product she could market to run alongside her dog training school at the time. Running dog training classes, private lessons and residential dog training at her boarding kennels, Sarah saw the niche for making and selling extra long dog training leads to compliment her training techniques.
The difference being these leads would offer a wide variety, various upgrades and up to 50 metres in length; something that wasn’t really seen back then in 2006.
Sarah says –
I bought the software to open an commerce shop, an industrial sewing machine from Ebay and set about learning the ropes. By 2017 the business is run alongside my kennels which make up a full time income supporting my home and 9 dogs.
She now makes a range of products including dog collars, webbing leads, training leads, double up leads, Kennel Evacuation Leads, the slip lead, the figure of 8 lead / head collar, the Car Boot Lead, the Simple Leader Head Collar, the Marty Harness, house lines, dog training leads, dog walking belt all with a range of upgrades to customise each product such as colour of webbing, width of webbing, fittings including size variations for different sized dogs in nickel and solid brass, length / size & padded handles for your comfort.
Have a browse around our site, if there is something you do not see, drop us an email and we may be able to work out a bespoke solution for you.
Some bespoke items we have made for people have been team colour sets for BBC Scotland, a prototype head collar design for a well known dog trainer, embroidered leads for dog training clubs, special leads for wheel chair use and collars with plastic fittings for those dogs whose coats discolour easily from nickel and brass.
We try to help with designs that are not listed but for obvious reasons cannot copy any existing designs or pinch other peoples ideas.
Try us, we try to excel in customer care and ship worldwide.
Dog Collars – A massive market for businesses nowadays as people jump on the bandwagon for apparent easy pickings to earn a living. No so. It’s a hugely competitive market place, with businesses setting up monthly to compete with each other. Meg Heath Dog Leads having been trading for 11 years this July 2017 and have immense experience in this area along with designing my own website and the marketing and SEO etc that comes with this.
The dog collar in itself comes in many designs, but is essentially a piece of material or leather that goes around the dogs’ neck mainly to be used for control, i.e. to attach a lead to, secondly to attach identification to in the form of a metal disc with the owners contact details on it. More so recently and with the popular up rising of ecommerce, people have more and more choice of bespoke and designer collars. Collars adorned with charms and ribbon, collars with material covering them giving a vast amount of creativity. Collars specific to breeds are also popular, mainly for sighthounds whose heads are pretty much the same size as their necks so unless a collar is fitted correctly, they can come off.
Above all, collars are a jolly good idea where safety of the dog is concerned, without it, there would be no means of control. We attach our dogs’ leads to the collar, we sometimes hold it directly for control, dogs look great with bespoke collars and of course its somewhere to hang the ID tag, microchip tag and any other tag you wish.
Collars can be made from a variety of materials, we have leather, probably the most expensive of them all, then polypropylene, which is what I use, then there is cotton – less popular, biothane, polyester, material & ribbon covered and embroidered collars with phone numbers and names on them. All providing a massive choice for the consumer.
Basic collars come in the form of buckle collars – that being plastic sometimes metal side release buckles also known as quick release buckles or nickel and brass buckles like you see on horses head collars; a bit like your belt buckle. Martingale collars are popular with sighthound owners, greyhounds and the like, but are not just for those breeds they can be fitted to any breed and the nice bespoke ones look great. Due to their safety, martingale, choke and half check collars are popular in kennels for reactive dogs and for dogs who have been known to slip their collars.
The martingale collar is a bit like a choke or half check collar, but the loop is made from material. The word martingale comes from the part of a horses tack called the martingale which pulls the horses head down when pressure is applied to the reins when slowing down or stopping, not quite the same action on the dog, but it does pull tight and I cannot stress enough how these collars more than any other should be fitted properly.
How to fit a martingale collar, a choke collar or half check collar – The 2 rings on the material part of the collar should ‘just about touch’. If they don’t touch then when pressure is applied to the leash ring, the collar will attempt to go smaller than the dogs’ actual neck size, obviously not good and this will strangle your dog, if they touch then the collar may be too loose, so just about touching is the best advice I can give. If you are not sure which loops I mean, see image above.
All collars come with a loop or a D ring made from metal sometimes plastic, we offer solid brass harness rings too. The loop is there for your dogs ID tag and to attach the lead to.
Fitting – rule of thumb advice is can you insert 2 fingers? I say try and take the dogs’ collar off over its’ ears, that way you know if its safe and will not come off accidentally.
Collars also come as reflective, made from reflective material, they can be flashing that run on batteries, you can have a flashing attachment to clip to the O or D ring.
To summarise, there is a massive choice online and in store these days, treat your dog to a nice collar from a local or online maker. Obviously this blog is to promote Meg Heath Dog Leads and Collars, but I can’t make them all as much as I’d love to make more collars, so have a look around our store as I endeavour to provide a wider selection. Our service is second to none and you can actually speak to a real person if you call – me!
Entering a Pet Product Awards competition is something i’ve been thinking of for a while. I had a bit of time today so I thought I’d look in to it. I did a bit of research and came up with PATS – PAT Show UK. However and here’s the catch, you can only enter if you exhibit at their show, the next one being September 2017. The cost for this would be £1760 (inc VAT), so basically the cost of and privilege to have your products considered for an award.
Now yes, I could probably pay this and yes I’d get some publicity, but I can’t commit the time off from my dogs and kennels plus I’d have to make a lot of stock to exhibit, I’d have to buy stands and displays to show of my products and I’d actually not be making enough money to cover this.
I thought this was a real shame. If anyone is reading my blog and knows of a more easily accessible route then I’d love to hear from you.
Are there any smaller organisations that run awards schemes?
Upon doing a bit of research, as you do, its all a bit of a money spinner for the people who run the awards and what makes them so good anyway, I mean $500 to submit 1 product to Hot Diggity Awards? Woah, now hang on a minute, we’re here to make money not hand it over as easy as that for mega bucks! So Ive hit a brick wall, I can’t find anything in the UK thats open to us normal folk. HELP!
If you are interested in collaborating with me on any thing pet product awards related then please contact me 0on 01522 810150 or email email@example.com
Have you ever wondered what would be the best lead or collar and not really known which one to buy? Well I’ve written this handy guide which has been taken from both customer feedback and from my own inspiration for some of the designs to help you decide on the best lead or collar. Enjoy …
Arthritis – This one has been suggested in a couple of customer reviews. The webbing we use is soft while not compromising on strength and definitely not visual appearance! Our products are of course beautiful! Here’s why –
Padded handles – recently I decided that padded handles would be nice and it has been a total hit. Some recent feedback on a dog training lead – “Fantastic long training lead for my GSD girl. I have arthritis in my hands and this is just what I was looking for! I will be recommending to my dog owning friends. Great to find such a good product and service!” Thank you Laura, tis is the kind of feedback we love as it tells us we are making the right products. This upgrade can be found on our dog leads and training leads.
Reactive dogs / Rescue dogs – The Simple Leader Head Collar – wow what a revelation this was. I had already designed a head collar for dogs, but wanted to re design it. I wanted something simple to fit, comfortable for the dog to wear and above all something that worked with no flaws. I was mindful that the pet trade was full of designs but I was adamant that mine would be different, I was so confident this one would be a success that I registered its’ design with the Intellectual Property Office to make sure no one would copy my idea.
Safety Lead to compliment the head collar – any piece of equipment whether it be for dogs or anything else, is potentially going to be fitted wrong. I now send out best use notes with my head collars to try and prevent any fitting and use problems. The Simple Leader Head Collar Safety Lead is a lead I designed, also protected with the IPO. It attaches to both your head collar and dog collar so if one fails then the other is still firmly attached. I gave one to a customer FOC who hadn’t fitted their dogs’ head collar tightly enough so that it didn’t ever happen again.
Dog Training Lead (Police Dog Style) – this dog lead does the same as the Simple Leader Head Collar Safety Lead, but is a 6 foot lead with a trigger hook (clip or clasp) at each end with 2 O rings places at strategic intervals along the lead to provide you with a means of making different lengths and therefore using in a variety of different situations.
Dog Training Lead 5-50 metres – the reason why I started Meg Heath Dog Leads back in 2006, to teach a recall and our best lead by far! Also incredibly useful for not only teaching your dog to come back when called but to –
allow extra freedom to dogs who would otherwise not be allowed to run around. Sarah says, the affect this has on a dogs’ wellbeing is noted. How many times have you seen dogs ‘swimming down the road’ because they are never allowed off the lead and are pulling like sled dogs?
Dogs who pull on the lead – … but won’t wear a head collar right? Try our padded simple leader head collar. Soft as a bunnies bum! Sits in just the right place on their face so as to make it nice to wear. Other owner and doggy benefits include –
The elderly – makes walking your dog a doddle, even with fingertip control.
Injuries – have you ever had a shoulder injury and had to stop walking your dog or swap to the other hand?
Hip and leg problems – as an owner if you have ever had injuries to your legs or a hip or knee operation, our Simple Leader makes walking a pulling dog a delight!
Dog injuries – a dog with an injury is not a happy dog if it is pulling on the lead.
Brachycephalic dogs – otherwise known as dogs with short faces like Pugs and Boxers. We only make our head collar in 19mm now and even the padded version is not that much wider so fit most dogs nicely. If you have a smaller dog like a Pug then we can make a smaller head collar for you to combat pulling on the lead.
A dog with lung problems – with our head collar there is less puffing and panting caused by pulling on the lead so less stress to your poorly doggy.
Loosing Dog Tags all the time? – Enter the Double Tag Flat Dog Collar! A beautifully made adjustable dog collar with a spare O ring for extra name tags for your dog.
I’m scared my dog will jump out of the car! – Really, well don’t be. Our Car Boot Dog Safety Lead is your answer. A short, double ended, adjustable (design protected) lead for attaching either to boot anchors in your car or the head restraint. Genius! One of the best lead designs from Meg Heath Dog Leads.