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Friday, January 8, 2016

Ultra Paws Boots & Skijor Review

Ultra Paws For Dogs!

Pulling as a team!
Something we have always wanted to do is try out skijoring, last year we trained really hard all summer long doing urban mushing and canicross.
Dz Dog dad worked with each dog both separately and together teaching them verbal commands and training them to work as a team while he roller bladed behind them. By the end of the summer they looked awesome! Ready for some snow! But it never came, we ended up with a pretty dry winter.

No snow last year...
This year though we've been getting tons of rain, so the first chance we got to head up into the mountains for a snowy adventure we took it! However this meant we needed new boots for the dogs. 

Thank You Ultra Paws for supplying us with boots and skijor equipment!


Ultra Paws Skijor Package includes: 
  • Ultra Paws Skijor Hip Belt with safety release
  • Padded Dog Harness
  • 8 Foot Tow Line

Boots not included in the skijor package.

Dante and Ziva both were in need of a good pair of winter boots, although they do love the snow - they are simply not equipped to be snow dogs without a little bit of help to protect their paws. We've tried other brands of boots but the problem is always twofold: either the boots don't stay on, or they rub a raw spot.

After looking at Ultra Paws Rugged boots which are designed for winter wear - I can say I was a bit impressed!

These boots have two velcro straps to help them stay on, they open up very wide - kind of like a clam shell and have foam around the opening to give them a secure grip on your dogs paws, they are water resistant around the toes, and the sole is made of recycled tire so it is flexible, offers a solid grip on slick surfaces, and is built to be quite durable! Check out the grip she had on our hardwood floors, normally she slides.

Ziva was pretty hilarious at first when we put the boots on her, we've only ever had boots for Dante so this was a brand new experience for her. We kept it really positive though by breaking out her tennis ball and she quickly got the hang of it!



Based off of their size chart we went with a medium for both Dante and Ziva, however in hindsight I think Ziva would have done a little better with a small.

Size medium worked really well for Dante!

On our trip we had a blast hanging out with Dz Dog Dad's brother and sister in law, as well as our twin niece and nephew. Since we only had one day to play in the snow we wanted to make the most of it, so while I tromped around in snowshoes Dz Dog Dad played around with skijoring for the first time. It was sooo funny to see them take off at first! Initially the dogs were ecstatic to see the snow and their was lots of tangling happening, but after they got their psycho energy out they fell into a nice rhythm that was a lot of fun to watch!

Dz Dog Dad's side of the story HERE.


I think Ziva is laughing with Dante! Look at em go!
Hipbelt & Towline

We really enjoyed Ultra Paw's equipment, the padded hipbelt was extremely comfortable and adjusted easily to fit both Dz Dog dad and myself. The towline was the perfect length and has a sewn in bungee for smooth pulling. Dz Dog dad even ended up using the quick release at one point when he became worried of running Dante and Ziva over - and true to form it worked perfectly!

Dog Pulling Harness

The harness though I was most impressed with.

We received a size large for Ziva, it fits a 12-24 inch neckline, and 30-75 pound dog.
Ziva's neck is 18.5 inches and she weighs 50 pounds, this harness has multiple points of adjustment and is fleece lined/padded across the neck, back, and chest. 

We've had a heck of a time finding a good harness for Ziva.
Dante already has an awesome pulling harness, however when we went to purchase a harness for Ziva a year later we were out of luck the company had disappeared!

We then ordered a harness from a highly recommended and reputable company but it didn't fit so we had to send it back, then I called them and had a custom harness made - also didn't fit... Pit Bull type dogs are rather uniquely built, with her big head, broad chest, tiny waist, and not a very long body even the custom harness didn't fit  because their pattern was just wrong for her.

We love Ultra Paws harness though!
Having so many adjustable straps meant we were able to dial it in and now she has her own amazing harness! 
We are even considering purchasing a harness for Dante so that he has a backup if we ever need it.

Once you have your sizing figured out you can cut the excess straps down a bit, we haven't done this yet because we were messing with fit but I think we've got it figure out now. It even went on nicely over her jacket!

Happy girl playing in the snow!
While Dz Dog dad skijored, he took turns working together and seperately with both Dante and Ziva to give them breaks from running. So whichever dog was with me helped to pull the babies!

Using a carabiner we attached the sled to the dog's pull harness, and I walked our sled team with baby in tow using a leash on the collar. The babies loved it and had fun reaching over the edges of the plastic sled to snatch up handfuls of snow to stuff in their mouths.

**Sorry for the blurry cell phone picture...**


Ultra Paws Rugged Dog Boots

Overall I was happy with these boots, like I said - I think Ziva would do better with a size small rather than a medium. But these boots stayed on pretty well. Ziva's boots were slightly prone to coming off, but they only fell off a couple times. Dante's boots however didn't have any issues staying on until the end of the day when the snow started to clog up the velcro.

Periodically throughout the day I would stop to check the boots for fit, re-tighten as needed, and check our pups paws. Since I believe it's important to be checking equipment throughout an adventure to prevent injuries anyways, re-tightening the boots as needed wasn't a big deal.



You know the best part though?
After all the running that the dogs did in the snow they didn't have any raw spots on the paws or ankles where the boots were! Yay!!

So if you need a set of boots, a pull harness, or any joring equipment we recommend you checking out UltraPaws.com !


100% DZ Dog Approved!



This post was sponsored by Ultra Paws, however all opinions are our own and we do not endorse products that we don't 100% support for safety and usability. Ultra Paws is not responsible for the content of this article.


FitDog Friday

21 comments:

  1. Wow! That's looks like lots of fun and so pretty! The equipment looks top rate too. Awesome workout!

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  2. I love it that you tried out skijoring. Whenever we look at gear, we want to know how it performs over time. Keep us posted in that regard. We do 20 + miles a week with the dogs, and we need something that is going to hold up. I understand the difficulty of fitting a pit bull in a typical sled dog harness. Pits aren't built like a typical sled dog. Square peg, round hole, or short dog, long harness. I look forward to another review down the road, perhaps not sponsored. So we know how this holds up over time.

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    1. Will do Kev!
      We're pretty hard on our gear so I like things that last! :-) WOW 20 miles that's great! I need a mile tracker so I can know how far we go, we definitely go further in the summer.

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  3. That looks like so much fun...I bet you all had a great time and what great exercise for the pups! Looks a little cold for us SoCal folks though :)

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    1. Hahahaha! Yep it was cold but as long as we were moving we were warm! Totally worth it!

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  4. Believe it or not, I have a tiny pulling harness for Gretel and a canicross setup. She pulls quite a bit when we walk.... until I put that harness on! Then she is beside me, behind me, and all over the place. Ha, ha. I have visions of teaching her the signals and doing canicross with her though. Imagine the look on people's faces :)

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    1. That is sooo awesome!! I bet the looks on people's faces are priceless! I'd love to see a picture of you guys joring!

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  5. This looks like a great time! I might have to get these boots for Barley--we tried some little rubber ones last winter because they were cheap and I wasn't sure how she'd respond to them, but even though she's a snow puppy, it was absolutely necessary if we were going to get out for short walks since it was so cold. She hated the rubber boots, but maybe these would be less offensive to her.

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    1. She might still dislike the boots, but they work really well. :-) We used lots of treats and bribery to get our dogs to be ok with boots.

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  6. Skijorring is a great sport. We have a friend that used to do it competitively in Europe with her Husky. She trains all year, using a bike when there is not snow. Super fun!

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    1. That's my plan too! Only I want a kickbike which is like a super awesome off road scooter. :-) I've been researching, and saving money for a nice one.

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  7. Amazed at how quickly Ziva took to wearing boots. I briefly considering getting some for Honey to improve her traction on the boat. But I was afraid all the jumping around at the beginning would send her right over the side.

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    1. Start in the grass, put the boots on her and then play a game! She'll begin to associate boots with fun things. :-) That's how we did it with Dante and Ziva. Boots = games!

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  8. Wow, you guys must have had a blast!! Thank you for recommending Ultra Paws - I'll be adding them to my list of dog gear companies.

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    1. I hope you like them! We love the harness!

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  9. That looks like the perfect equipment for your sport.

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    1. Thanks! It was certainly a successful first run with the gear!

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  10. I'm thinking for next winter I'm going to try out booties with Bain.

    You guys are so active, it looks like you had a lot of fun! You are always so prepared.

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    1. Thanks much! We love to be outdoors, and high quality lasting gear is super important to us. :-) I'm glad our reviews are helpful for you!

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Barks & Howls are always welcome!!

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