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Ruffwear Celebrates 210 (Dog) Years as an Industry Innovator

The outdoor performance adventure gear manufacturer reflects on its history and plans for the future.

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(PRESS RELEASE) BEND, OR — Ruffwear, the dog outdoor performance gear pioneer, celebrates 30 years in business this summer. Since its inception in 1994, the brand has remained steadfast in creating gear that is measured by its ability to enhance outdoor adventures and strengthen the connection between dogs and humans. Driven by the desire to push the boundaries and explore, Ruffwear embarks on its 210th dog year in business with renewed commitment to core pillars of business including industry-leading product innovation and design.

Patrick Kruse, Ruffwear founder and current Research and Development director, launched the brand three decades ago by creating an easy-to-carry collapsible water bowl for dogs on the trail. Recognizing a greater need for high-performing outdoor recreational dog gear, Kruse founded Ruffwear from his garage, with a logo inspired by his beloved canine companion Ursula and a product acumen forged from a lifetime of outdoor pursuits. The early success of the dog bowl blazed a trail for the brand that originated the idea of performance gear for dogs, designed from a dog’s perspective.

“The bond between dog and human is truly one-of-a-kind,” says Kruse. “Ruffwear was created to inspire dogs and humans to explore, adventure and connect with each other in the outdoors with gear that makes adventuring more accessible. Our canine and human ancestors discovered the world together – Ruffwear gear allows us to carry on this tradition.”

Ruffwear was one of the first to innovate the modern Y-shaped harness, avoiding pressure on the trachea and other soft tissue areas and allowing for full range of motion that does not inhibit a dog’s natural movement. With functionality at the core of its design philosophy, three decades of product design have launched product lines from harnesses to dog boots, life jackets, and rain gear, all with the purpose of making the great outdoors more accessible to dogs and human companions. In 2024, Kruse and the brand began making improvements to key in-line products that include fit enhancements for easier adjustment as well as the incorporation of more recycled materials, solidifying the brand’s commitment to responsible manufacturing.

“Since 1994, Ruffwear has been the clear leader in both innovative design, engineering, sustainability and supply chain within the outdoor dog gear market,” says Brandan Hill, president of Ruffwear. “We look at this 30-year milestone as an opportunity to double-down on our deep heritage as the original performance dog gear brand on a global basis. I could not be more optimistic about Ruffwear’s future.”

As Ruffwear celebrates its 30th year, the brand has also invested in key leadership, introducing three C-suite executives to the pack to help expand retail partnerships and design an even more agile design and manufacturing process to empower outdoor exploration for adventure-loving dogs and their humans.

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Based in Bend, Oregon, Ruffwear sells its products through specialty pet and outdoor retailers as well as at ruffwear.com.

About Ruffwear

Ruffwear’s mission is to build performance dog gear to enhance and inspire exploration for outdoor adventurers and their human companions. Since 1994, Ruffwear Performance Dog Gear has combined technology, quality, fit, function, and safety to facilitate its belief that every dog is an explorer. The brand is committed to enhancing the lives of all dogs and human companions through relationships with The Conservation Alliance, local dog adoption groups, and with working dog organizations across the globe.

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