Enter beta biothane. Beta biothane is a synthetic material that looks, feels, and behaves like leather. However, it is 100% waterproof and stinkproof. It doesn't stiffen in sub-zero temperatures, and it doesn't require conditioning to keep it in good working order. It comes in many colors and does not run or stain coat. My husband calls it "unicorn leather" because it's basically a magical substance.
DogWalkies (a Canadian company!) crafts fantastic collars and leashes out of beta biothane. They have 17 colors available in multiple widths. Yes, you read correctly - they have seventeen colors! Owners Christine and Andre (and their English Setters) sent over a 1" collar and a 5/8" wide, 6' long leash for me to work with.
I was pleasantly surprised with how flat the collar lays on Kaylee's neck. Other biothane collars I've used tend to be fairly bulky in the buckle area, but DogWalkies use roller buckles and metal keepers to keep the buckle area low-profile. Sizing is also extremely customizable, which is another way DogWalkies sets their products apart from other biothane collars.
As expected, the collar didn't rub or chafe Kaylee's neck at all. It rinsed clean and dried quickly. This is one of my new favorite collars, especially since it's so versatile and sturdy without being bulky. It's well worth it's $22.83 USD price tag, which is a bit higher than commercially-produced biothane collars. (The 5/8" wide collars are priced at $19.85 USD.)
Let's now talk about the leash. I love this leash! I generally am not a fan of thick leashes, and finding thinner biothane leashes is next to impossible. DogWalkies has 5/8" leashes (yay!) and even 1/2" leashes, though the 1/2" leashes are geared towards smaller dogs. The hardware is very high quality. One of my favorite features of the leash is the small ring* riveted directly into the handle. Floating handle rings are a peeve of mine, so a leash with a riveted-in-place ring was understandably a huge thrill! At $21.84 USD, biothane leashes made by DogWalkies are competitively priced and in my opinion a much better product than the commercially-produced biothane leashes available elsewhere.
* I use handle rings to make it possible for me to 'wear' the leash when it's not in use. Handle rings also provide a great place to hook poo bags, keys, etc.
I went out to get some photos of the collar and leash in the field this weekend, but the outing had to be cut short due to the first rainstorm we've seen in nearly two months. Fortunately, it gave me an opportunity to photograph how great biothane works in water!
"It's wet and cold and I really think we should go back to the car now."
In summary, DogWalkies rock. Christine and Andre respond promptly and are truly dedicated to sending out a quality product. If price allows, I always prefer supporting small business, and in this case price does allow it. Doing business with actual people also means the potential for a product tailor-made to your needs is possible.