Our Mission: To build dog gear to enhance and inspire exploration for outdoor adventurers and their human companions.
Our Story: In summer of 1992, while mountain biking in the Los Padres National Forest with friends and their dog, Ruffwear founder and owner Patrick Kruse, was met with a challenge that sparked a series of innovations in outdoor-inspired dog gear.
While trying to give her dog Moqui a drink, Patrick’s friend Liz emptied half of her water bottle into a plastic bag and held it while her Rhodesian Ridgeback took a few slurps. Moqui then walked away panting and Liz was left holding the bag—she couldn’t set it down without losing the water and she didn’t want to dump what was left back into her water bottle. “You need to do something about this,” Liz said, challenging Patrick to develop a solution.
Patrick was the right person to ask. As a kid, Patrick constructed packs for his dog out of army surplus gas mask bags, using them on backpacking trips in Northern California’s Trinity Alps. As a young adult, he sailed for several years as crew on charter boats in the Caribbean and Central America where being resourceful was a necessity. Patrick’s interest in kayaking led him to start Salamander Paddle Gear acquainting him with numerous technical fabrics. With this unique mix of knowledge and experience, Patrick developed the Quencher™, the original collapsible food and water bowl for dogs—and the solution to Liz and Moqui’s drinking problem.
In August of 1994, after 16 months of research, development, and product testing, Ruffwear made its enthusiastic debut at the Outdoor Retailer trade show. Since then, the collapsible bowl has won praise from thirsty dogs and has been in numerous publications, from Outside Magazine to the Japanese version of Newsweek. L.L. Bean, as well as pet and outdoor retailers around the world, began selling the Ruffwear bowl, and their encouragement inspired Patrick to develop more product solutions for active dogs.
“They were impressed with the simplicity, quality, and function of the Quencher™ and wanted to see what other solutions we could come up with,” Patrick says.
Today, Ruffwear offers a full line of innovative Performance Dog Gear®. In addition to three collapsible bowl options in various sizes, the company produces a full line of dog-related gear designed to enhance the interaction between humans and dogs. Ruffwear gear includes dog packs, harnesses, apparel, dog boots, and dog life jackets.
“We want to enhance the outdoor experience for all dogs and their two-legged, human companions,” Patrick says. In addition to outdoor-loving humans and their dogs, dog trainers, working dogs, search and rescue teams, and guide/companion dogs have become Ruffwear supporters and product users. Each of these unique groups present specific challenges regarding product development. “My needs pale in comparison to those who depend on their dogs for assistance,” he says. “The specific tasks and companionship dogs provide is really incredible. It puts a smile on my face when people appreciate the simple design approach that we build into our gear to address complex tasks.”
“We’ve always been oriented toward products that will enhance and assist the interaction between dogs and humans. That has been, and will continue to be, our motivation here at Ruffwear.”
Learn more at www.ruffwear.com.