I didn’t want a cosplay prop for my dog, I wanted an honest to goodness heavy-duty dog collar like you might see on german shepherds and doberman pinchers. Instead of a spiked black collar with stainless rivets I wanted to find a brown leather collar that looks like the bandoleer complete with bow-caster reloads worn by the famous wookie co-pilot Chewbacca.
As it happens our family golden retriever is named Chewbacca and I’ve been on the lookout for a Chewbacca-style dog collar for some time. In my quest to find the right collar I’ve been to ThinkGeek, Etsy, and a slew of specialized online pet supply shops. Unfortunately all of the studio-licensed products that I found were cheap nylon collars with cheesy screen printing, pithy tag-lines, and flimsy plastic clasps. Whereas the hand-made Chewbacca collars featured on Etsy and online shops failed to inspire my confidence in the overall structural integrity of the collar if used as an everyday collar for a large active dog.
Behold! My search was over after working with the owner of Superior Leathercraft to commission a durable collar for my trusty canine co-pilot that would be made of the same treated leather used in saddles and horse tack. The metallic reloads were made of hand-cut leather rectangles that were stained with a silver leather dye and then affixed with a bonding adhesive and held in place with a narrow leather strip complete with authentic looking brass rivets. It just looks so cool in-person and everybody I’ve met thinks the silver squares are real metal.
The product description on the Superior Leathercraft website is pretty entertaining (and descriptive).
Every co-pilot worth their salt wears a collar like this one. One just never knows when extra storage options will be required for those spare kibbles and other bits; always thinking with their stomach.
These collars are crafted from top quality harness leather, vegetable tanned bends, and solid brass rivets, D-rings and buckles.
Each “reload” is individually dyed before being smoothed, burnished, and bonded to the underlying harness strap. The contact cement used to bond a second sole onto your favorite pair of boots? The same no nonsense adhesive is used here. Once cured, the layers need to be cut apart, as the leather will rip before the cement will. And this leather is tough! The top retention strap offers secondary security for each, as well as the final detailed nod to the original.
If you happen have a canine co-pilot in your family that loves to swim, wrestle, and requires a sturdy collar for everyday use consider what I did and contact a leather worker. Make sure you have pictures for inspiration or a sketch of what you’re looking to get made. The hardest part about going custom will be the waiting. Amazon Prime has spoiled us rotten with 48-hour gratification for most of our online purchases. Whether your pet is a wookiee, a dire wolf, or a rancor you can be assured the wait is worth it. I happened to luck-out and find a leather worker online with a familiarity of what I was asking for. If you are looking to commission some geek-inspired leatherwork and you want to work with somebody that knows the difference between a browncoat-wearing space cowboy and a smuggler that makes his own luck, I’d recommend checking out Superior Leather Craft for your own canine co-pilot dog collar.