Spoiler alert: The DogNerd harness is NOT the cheapest harness you can buy. We firmly believe it provides the best value though.
What sets our harness apart from the competition? I can think of 3 key areas:
- Brand Integrity
Our harness was not designed to be a disposable, replace every 6-12 months, piece of equipment. My grandfather told me "buy right, buy once", so when designing the prototype, I insisted on finding the highest quality most applicable materials, each component has a different job to do.
Here are some key facts:
- 1200D Oxford fabric - don't know what 1200D means? Nerd alert: D stands for denier, which is the thickness of the threads used in the weave. The higher the number, the more durable the material. Case in point 1200D is the same stuff the military and tactical teams use for their backpacks. Some competitors use as thin as 600D in their race to the bottom on price. While 1200 isn't the highest D rating available, anything higher tends to add more weight than durability. Basically 1200D is what the smart Goldilocks' bear would choose because it's "just right"
- Aerospace grade aluminum buckles (aka cobra clips). They're the same thing construction workers & high-rise window washers use on their safety harnesses. I've broken more plastic clips stopping a charging bernard, or dead lifting their stubborn asses - these clips are made to last, and they won't rust either.
- 3 layer design: durable exterior, padding in the middle, and a breathable fabric interior. Beaux has his harness on all the time, the breathable fabric prevents any issues, and doesn't seem to impede the wet dog drying process, which in our house only takes 12-14 hours.
Truth is I don't have an expensive test lab. Instead I've got an intermediate grasp of material science, a passion for product design, and real world experience guiding me. DogNerd as a company exists because "Beaux breaks stuff" and his predecessor Sal went through a very expensive competitor's harness every 6-9 months. He'd either bust a plastic clip -or- the outer shell of the harness would fray so badly I no longer trusted it to not rip apart. I intuitively knew I couldn't be the only one who just wanted to find something that lasts, and lasting businesses solve real problems.
Every product I sell has been tested by Beaux - the harness he's wearing is the prototype, which is close to 18 months old now. It's largely not the same color it used to be, but there's no popped stitching, the canvas shell hasn't frayed, the middle still provides soft padding, and the reflective stitching still makes him visible at night.
I'm an inherent sceptic - I'd be thinking "cool story bro, how do we know the prototype wasn't made better than the production run?", to which I'd reply "I like the way you think!"
I'm not even sure how many harnesses & leashes we've sold, hundreds at least. Only 1 user has made a warranty claim, and that was due to a manufacturing defect which we're now screening for. I'm committed to turning any issue that arises into a learning opportunity, and we'll only get better at preemptively catching issues as the business matures. I've got a head full of ideas, and I can't wait to turn them into reality.
How do you know what you're buying is as good as the seller claims? The truth is you don't - it's an act of trust. Going back to grandpa quotes, "your word is your bond". There are few things as gratifying for me as earning a complete stranger's trust, trust that I'm interested in building a lasting relationship with you, trust that I care for your dog's safety as much as I do for Beaux's.
By extension, I want DogNerd to be a brand you can trust - I aspire to grow this thing into a 1-stop-shop for quality dog gear - they may not all have the "DogNerd" branding, but you can rest assured anything I sell will be products I believe in, and ones I use myself.
Thanks to dog parents like you, who believe only the best is good enough, Beaux & I are off to a great start. I hope my passion for quality & safety resonates with you. Please reach out to me directly if you have any questions, need post-sales support, or just want to tell Beaux how cute he is by emailing chris@DogNRD.com.
We'd be honored to earn your business, and endeavor to meet or exceed your expectations.
-Chris & Beaux