This January, we are starting the new year by taking a look back at our heritage.  We thought we’d start with the story of how Ruff Wear began:  through the inspiration of our president, Patrick Kruse, whose ingenuity began as a young child.

Humble Beginnings

At the age of 12, Patrick Kruse built his first dog pack out of navy surplus gas mask bags for his dog, Mariah.  His early passion for dogs, product invention, and the outdoors paved the way for Ruff Wear’s humble beginnings.

Young Patrick designs a dog pack from Navy surplus supplies

The Challenge

In the summer of 1992, Patrick took a mountain bike ride in the Los Padres National Forest with a friend and her dog.  This adventure inspired Patrick to figure out a better solution for watering dogs during outdoor adventures.

Patrick is challenged to come up with a solution for dogs on the go

The Collapsible Bowl is Born

Patrick experimented in his Southern California garage with some tent fabric and a sewing machine to create a dog bowl that was waterproof and easily portable.

The original collapsible bowl—The Quencher™— debuted at the 1994 Outdoor Retailer Trade Show to an intrigued crowd who were amazed a fabric bowl could be waterproof.  Soon after the Quencher was invented, Patrick relocated to Bend, Oregon.  Ruff Wear® performance dog gear was born.

Patrick invents the original collapsible bowl

A Company is Born

Bend, a high desert mountain town, proved the perfect testing ground for new product designs.  Otis, Patrick’s Australian Cattle Dog, became Ruff Wear’s first product tester, joining Patrick for many hiking, exploring, river, and travel adventures.  Ruff Wear’s passion was, and continues to be, providing innovative solutions to real customer needs, resulting in products that inspire and facilitate outdoor adventures for canines and their human companions.

The first Ruff Wear logo

Our Commitment to the Future

Guided by our mission, “To build performance dog products that enhance and inspire outdoor adventures for dogs and their human companions,” we understand that our success requires an environmental commitment to protect the lands we recreate in.  Ruff Wear is an active member in the Conservation Alliance, a group dedicated to ensuring that future generations have open spots to enjoy (after all, dogs live to run free of a fenced yard!).

Ruff Wear team volunteering with the Conservation Alliance