After this they all need their dog beds

At the moment there is again demand for the dogs. This time of year is grouse counting time. In March-April the grouse pair up as husbands and wives and start looking seriously for a nesting place. On the big Scottish moors they decide which little bit will be their territory to defend and this is where they will make their nest (well, “nest”….. because a grouse nest is really not much more than an indentation in the moss under some heather). The pairs sit quite close together, so when you sweep across the moor, you will see two birds fly up each time. The grouse moor estates like to know how many breeding pairs that live on the moor and this is when they ask us, pointer owners to get our dogs off the dog beds and get them out on the heather. The dogs LOVE this. This is what life is all about for a German Wirehaired Pointer. We cast the dogs off, preferably in to the wind and they quarter back and forth across the wind with their noses up hoping to get the scent of sitting birds. You can see when the dog hits a few molecules of bird scent as they are almost towed by their noses after the scent. As they decide that it seems to be real and not just old residual scent, they start moving into the scent, holding their heads up high till they think they are definitely standing right down-wind from the bird. Wow, how far can they get from being interested in lying at home on their dog beds in front of the fire? THIS is a dog’s life. As you go up to the pointing dog and ask it to flush, a good pointer should spring forward and get the birds in the air without grabbing any of them. We then count the pairs as we move forward, pair by pair.

DSC_0151 oooo

So far I have been out three days and the dogs are needing their dog beds every night as they are not as fit as they used to be in August – September. We had two days last week and Gaia’s weakest point was clearly her nipples. She ran for just a few hours, but her nipples were bright red and swollen. Next time we went out I gave her a lovely little Gaffa-tape-bra to protect her nipples. It obviously fell off, but lasted a few hours and did the job as she is not lying on her luxury dog beds licking her undercarriage all evening now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe had a great couple of days and went out again today. The weather forecast was absolutely great and we set off in bright sunshine. However, the snow started gently at first and then really filled in.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe kept going, but it was becoming really difficult to see now and in the end we had to turn round and go home. I nearly got lost in the snow storm as I couldn’t see the landscape and suddenly got really disorientated. Thanks to radios, I was found and we started the descent. The dogs continued to work as they were not the least interested in returning to their car dog beds and we got some funny point on the way

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe were happy to find the cars and get home. This was on 30th March, hardly spring time…

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Dog Beds in the Snow

On annual leave recently, I was skiing in Italy, a nice break after four busy days at Crufts. Having stood up on a concrete floor for 10 hours a day, talking non-stop about dog beds, some fresh mountain air was welcome. My three pointers, never left on their own, were securely looked after by Jodie and they love it. Jodie has four dogs and it must be quite a party with seven dogs and little house, but Jodie has a handle on it all and it went fine.

 

If you ski in Scotland, you are certainly told to leave your dogs at home on their dog beds and not bring them with you on the down-hill slopes. I did it once, years ago, and the snow patrols told me NOT to ski with the dog because I could have a bad accident and sheer off the paws. Well, with that thought in mind, I put her back in the car. What a hideous thing to happen. I am sure it has also to do with other skiers, who may be scared of dogs or just don’t want to get scared when a black dog runs across the slope.

 

However, when I have been to Austria occasionally, there are super fit people, who ski/walk up the hill with skins on their skis so they can walk (cross-country type of style) up, where they take off their skins and ski down. Often these enthusiasts take their dogs with them and it’s clear to everyone HOW much these dogs are enjoying running on the snow instead of being left at home on their dog beds. When these fit people have walked to the top, I am sure they get a cup of hot chocolate and then they ski down, sometimes with head lamps on. If skiing over your dog’s paws was a common disaster, we would surely not see so many people bringing their dogs.

 

While in Italy we had stopped to eat at lunch time and I saw a lady with three extremely happy dogs. Two were still with her, the last one had to be called a lot to be found. It was a funny mix with sticky-up ears that wouldn’t really behave. It was obviously running round the woods, having a great time. The skier eventually got them all round her and went off. They will be sleeping very well on their dog beds tonight.

 A person skiing with her dogs in the Dolomites, Italy

At the ski-lifts there is a note to say that dogs must pay for their tickets too and that they must wear a muzzle. It is a bit of a shame, but we never quite know our own dogs and it would be horrible if they suddenly decided to chase AND BITE another skier.

 

We also skied past a place where food was served and we noticed the dog on the top of the roof having chosen this as his cooling dog bed: in a snow pile. OK, the March sun can be strong and warm and this dog had a good, thick coat, but to actually seek out a lump of snow to lie on, must be because he is very hot.

 Ski resort cafe with dog sleeping on the snowy roof

Dog lying on the snowy roof top

We excel in making warm dog beds and then we find a dog that wants the opposite. Haha.

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Good times selling dog beds at Crufts

So we are back again, pretty exhausted after Crufts. We has such a good time and as usual it was brilliant to meet everyone who came to our stand. We find, every year, that there is a steady stream of happy customers who may or may not need any more dog beds, but who want to come along to see if we have any new products that would tempt them. Many of you come and tell us how happy you are with your Tuffies dog beds even when you don’t need a new one. It is hilarious how we may have new people looking at the dog beds and we are trying to explain the exact features of the products and then you come along and take over the speech telling everyone how great they are and how many years you have had yours. This is real testimonial evidence and new customers will trust a stranger in this situation far more than the people who are in charge of taking the money, in fact we are a bit too shy to add quite as many superlatives as you are. Thank you to everyone who gave up a couple of minutes to stop and tell fellow dog lovers about your great experience of our dog beds.

 

Being at Crufts was also important for us in order to see if there was any feedback that we could learn from regarding our new Durasoft dog beds. We first launched the Durasoft fabric in September 2014, so there would be plenty of people who had had them for a good long trialling period and any comments, good or bad, were eagerly anticipated. Firstly, there was not a single person that had encountered any problem, on the contrary there were a lot of people, who were thoroughly impressed with our move from the Woven Surface dog beds to the Durasoft. It has been a great move because we now offer a proper choice between the Wipe Clean fabric for people who definitely want to see dog beds without hairs sticking to them and which they can simply wipe off and then the Durasoft for everyone who likes their dog beds to be more like an upholstery fabric item, more suitable for indoor use. Well, the wipe clean dog beds are great indoors, but you know what I mean. The hairs also vacuum off the Durasoft in absolutely no time and it is downright amazing how well they appear after a good scrub down with hot, soapy water. They come up as new.

 

At Crufts we also gave everyone the chance to see our newest products in the flesh: the Tunnel Cover, the Nest Sock and the start of our Sink-in Tuffie. Both we and customers like the opportunity for everyone to see and feel the dog beds. Some customers would not like to buy before they have seen an item, but many, many people have of course seen the dog beds at their friends’ place, but, believe it or not, there are still some folk, who have never heard of our dog beds and when they come across them at Crufts, they are bolted over. Some, again, had found us on line and liked the dog beds, but just needed to feel them and see them for real before they committed. We did indeed once buy a competitors dog bed, which looked amazing, for the price, on line, but when it arrived, it looked nothing like the original picture. Ours do!!!! No, they look even better in the flesh….  :-)

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Winning Dog Beds at Crufts

We would of course like to claim that our dog beds are the winning dog beds at Crufts if you consider all the other dog beds for sale. Tuffies dog beds stand out not only because of what is inside, but also what the covering is like. There are plenty of companies making lovely looking puffed up dog beds, that later, in a matter of a few months, are just flat and of very little use……  and smelling rather horrid. Tuffies have to be the winner because we are making a proper little futon mattress for each bed, which we cut to just the right size so that it will fill the cover completely. We make sure that the futon is firm and supporting so that all dogs will feel comfortable and always, always feeling totally insulated from the floor. The covers we use for our waterproof dog beds are of the absolute best quality and we have two types: The Wipe Clean fabric is a polyester weave with an acrylic coating on both sides. It is a very strong, mildew and UV resistant fabric, which you can wipe down. Our other waterproof dog beds are called Durasoft and they are more like an upholstery type, however super strong and waterproof. The other winning side of Tuffies has to be our Luxury Fleece covers. Fabulous for the dogs, easy to wash and looking stunning.

 

However, there is another level at which there are winning dog beds at Crufts. We have already given one winner a wipe clean nest dog beds from our facebook competition instigated by Crufts. We put out a 24 hour competition on the Kennel Clubs facebook and had 500 entries. The lucky winner will soon receive one of our best dog beds. She just needs to tell us which size and colour combination.

 

The other competition with a chance to win one of our dog beds is at the Dog Theft Awareness Stand at Crufts. As this problem is so horrific we are more than happy to donate a Tuffies nest to the raffle at this stand. They need all the help they can get and we are doing our bit. Go to the Dog Theft Stand and buy a ticket to get a chance of winning one of our dog beds.

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Packing dog beds for Crufts

It’s upon us again!!! We make our great dog beds in Aberdeenshire and every year two of us go down to Crufts to sell dog beds at the world’s biggest dog show. This has been a tradition for years, I think we must have attended Crufts for over 10 years and as soon as I think about the Crufts week, I think about the daffodils that I see for the first time near Kenilworth in March a good while before we have the pleasure of seeing them up here in the cold Aberdeenshire. Maybe we make such warm and great dog beds because we experience the cold weather here more than in any other part of the country. I spoke to a customer just down the road this morning, she was in Dundee, just 100 miles South of Aberdeen, and was wondering whether to take a nest cover on her Tuffie nest. As she was buying two giant nests for her two Great Danes, it was all mounting up and she decided that she really didn’t need the nest covers, especially as it is going towards spring and summer. She told me that the horses were already casting their coat and that it is all very nice and warm in Dundee. Well, we had frost here this morning. As an experiment I had one of the waterproof dog beds sitting outside last night with a puddle of water on it. This is one of our Durasoft mattress beds with a silicone coating and I had allowed my big German Wirehaired Pointer to use it because he digs a lot. I wanted to see how the silicone coating coped with his keen digging and this morning I had to break a frozen puddle off this bed. Anyway, the bed has been washed in scolding water and soap followed by a good rinse and it looks absolutely great. We are very proud of bringing such great dog beds to Crufts and we shall soon be launching our silicone coated bed as this provides, at a modest extra cost, a bed that feels soft and pleasant like an upholstery fabric, but which will not allow dog hairs to stick. Best of both worlds.

 

At Crufts we will be bringing all the dog beds we normally have available on our web site and we will also bring a couple of new items such as our new Sink-in Tuffie. For the extra sensitive Princess on a Pea, we have made a sink-in Tuffie, which is filled with layers and layers of carted hollow fiber that is unwilling to move or separate, but which creates a very soft and sinking feeling for the dog. For these soft dog beds we have created a special system with vented eyelets in the waterproof fabric allowing the air to go in and out. These dog beds will come with a cover of your choice, either a luxury fleece of any colour or our beautiful 100% wool tweed. We are confident that these beds will be extremely popular once we have them fully out for sale. At Crufts they will not be amongst the dog beds for sale, but you will be able to place order for later, free, delivery.

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Dog Hairs on Dog Beds

Here at Tuffies we spend a huge amount of time (and money) on exactly that problem and on how to prevent it. While fabrics and textiles tend to attract hair in general, we have made sure that we found the solution for all of our customers, who really don’t like dog hairs stuck to their lovely dog beds. We have the Wipe Clean fabric, which is incredibly popular because, not only is it very durable and mold and UV resistant, but it also feels like a fabric without being an open weave. It also feels a little bit like a leather without being a leather or a faux leather and most of all, it does not allow hairs to stick to it. It is a wonderful fabric to make dog beds out of and it is the most popular fabric out of our range. When it is new it might feel a bit stiff and shiny, but is literally only in the very beginning and it soon wears in to a smooth and pleasant feel. A bit like a waxed jacket. If your dog comes in from that long, muddy, happy walk in the woods in the autumn, he might be longing for one of his luxury dog beds and head straight for the one you have put out for him, the Wipe Clean bed. There he will cosy in to the futon mattress and feel all nice and warm while he dries out, dripping muddy water and hairs and little leaves and sticks from the woods on to the bed. But heho, no problem, because the beds are waterproof and won’t go soggy, hence they remain nice and insulating for the dog without any sneaking dampness coming through. Once your dog has dried up on one of our waterproof dog beds, you can simply hoover off the dry mud and dog hairs. This will leave the bed clean enough for further use and it will look presentable, but of course there will be an element of bits of stains there, which, if you really want it to look pristine, can wash off with hot soapy water. The beauty with these beds is that you can literally boil the kettle and add a little liquid soap and then sponge and scrub the dog beds down followed by a good rinse with the garden hose or the shower hose. Now the bed will be wonderfully clean and almost look as brand new.

We have other fabrics that are also very friendly to the hair problem. We make some of our great dog beds out of Durasoft fabric, which will appeal to you if you are looking for a fabric that feels much more like an upholstery fabric. The Durasoft will have hairs stuck to it, but it is very easy to vacuum off. The Durasoft dog beds have proven to be extremely popular and we are very proud of it. We have, again, this fabric made for us and we make extensive tests of its strength and water resistance. We go right down to the back ground and have Hydrostatic head measured, not only in the beginning, but several times after when we get new batches of fabrics.

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Leaflets for Dog Beds

Wow, it’s quite staggering how long it takes to produce a nice, new leaflet showing all our waterproof dog beds. I have decided that we definitely now are ready to make a larger brochure as we keep extending the product range. I have actually only made the new leaflet 50% bigger, but I have this time excluded indications of size and colour. These days a leaflet is more of an appetiser so that, if the reader wants to know more, he or she will go on line and get all the details. It’s a bit like a large business card. Obviously there are some customers that will not entertain buying on line or who have not got internet and it is great that we are able to send them a leaflet with a lose price list enclosed, which will enable them to make a decision on which of the great dog beds they want and then call us up to order over the phone.

 

So I have spent the last week playing with design and photos and wording. All photographs are taken in our studio, so it is handy that I can go and pick one of the dog beds and get the lights right and then the photo can be taken. I can then bring it in the office, where I work in Photoshop to isolate the product from the back ground and set it up with the colours perfect. Our leaflets tend to have dogs sitting or lying on the products and that introduces a whole new raft of problems. Not all dogs like to sit still on a bed. Some are positively scared in the studio environment (I am sure they think they are at the vet’s and that I am the vet with a dubious instrument that has a large eye and goes ‘’click’’). There is no shortage of owners that would like to have their dogs modelling Tuffies Dog Beds, but although their dogs might be impeccably well behaved at home, sometimes they won’t even sit on command, forget lie down. The dogs are sometimes so nervous that even with tons of patience, they still pant and yawn after an hour sitting waiting on them.

 

Maybe the dog models are super laid back at home and can hardly be persuaded to get off their luxury dog beds to get out for a walk, that mood has all gone when the four studio lamps go on and the “vet” brings out the scary camera. No more lazy lounging on their dog beds, instead pure adrenalin. However, you never know and some of the models have looked rather spiked up when they arrived, but have turned into sleepy creatures in a matter of half an hour. That’s when you get some cute photographs showing how comfortable our strong dog beds really are.

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Puppy Dog Beds for later travelling

Spring time is when a lot of people would like to invest in a new puppy. Also, breeders tend to aim for planning puppies so that they can have most of the mess in the late winter and early spring giving them the chance of letting the puppies out in the sunshine when they are more lively and messy and inquisitive.

One of the first things you should think about if you are planning a puppy will be some good quality dog beds for him or her to lie in. It is very common for puppy buyers to bring one of their dog beds to the breeder in advance of the puppy coming to its new home so that the comforting smells from its first home can be transferred on the bed back to the new home. To be honest nobody knows if this helps the settling in, but we all believe this would be best for the puppy as it must be a shocking experience to leave mum so early and go to a strange home. A good idea would be to bring one of our Puppy/Travel Tuffies so that it smells of Mum back in your home. The Puppy Tuffie has to be one of our best dog beds as it grows with your new dog till he is an adult. The puppy version is simply a scrumptiously thick bed that your puppy will feel very secure in. Given puppy doesn’t chew the bed, it will then continue to be useful when puppy has out-grown the size because you can simply un-do the poppers and make the bed twice the size.

We make many great dog beds, but not any others that can double in size by a simple pull of the buttons. The idea behind this is that the unfolded Puppy Tuffie is now a light weight Travel Tuffie, which will be really handy to have in the back of the car where you are not needing lots of warmth and support, but where you need something that is not taking up a huge amount of your car space. When you go and visit your friend with the dog, they will hopefully say that pooch is more than welcome inside and you can then easily lift the light Travel Tuffie from the car to the house.

Your friends may have lots of great dog beds already, but I am sure your dog would want to stick with his beloved Tuffie even if it’s a bit thinner than his own dog beds at home.

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Dog Beds for Smaller Breeds

Apparently there is an upsurge in ownership of smaller dog breeds. According to the Kennel Club, the small breeds rule the top ten of risers in dog breeds. For example the French Bulldog has risen by 529% in registered puppies in the UK. The smooth coated Chihuahua has gone up by 221%. As we know there is NO shortage of dog beds for larger dogs because we make tonnes of them, but there is maybe a convenience factor involved as owners think that a smaller dog will be less work. OK, they will of course take up less space in the house and will have less hair to shed and spread round, but apart from that, they do apparently need almost as much exercise and attention. Just because they are small dogs, it doesn’t mean that they will just all sleep on their top quality dog beds all day without needing any looking after. Seeing a few interviews with owners of both big and small dogs it is clear that the small dogs are not, in general, needing less exercise, on the contrary some owners say that the bigger dogs are less mad for a walk. The need for tearing around, hunting through everything has more to do with how they are bred, not the size. You see people living in the middle of London having a perfect time with a Great Dane in their house. The Danes are happy with a stroll in the park and a little play with fellow dogs, but they do not demand hours and hours of exercise. Owners claim that they “Don’t take up much space” which I must say I find difficult to believe, maybe it’s something you get used to. Certainly the dog beds for large breeds are bound to take up irritatingly much space in a house. We have a neighbour with a Great Dane, who lives in a small, two bed room house with two children. Lovely dog, it is often outside and will just plod over to the garden fence and look at us when I walk past with my five dogs. It doesn’t bark, just looks. To be honest I thought they might have castrated him, but no he is still entire, just a gentle giant. We supply the large dog beds for him of course.

The thing about small dogs is that they are often small terriers!!! Yes, and they are bred to be active and brave, mostly to disappear down fox holes or to kill rats. They are bursting with energy and go and curiosity and with that comes a bit of “deafness”. They can be a bit difficult to train as they just get busy with what they do.  There is also a chance that the new owner is not quite so strict with the puppy training simply because they are so small and cute as puppies. But you should not be deceived by the small dogs sleeping like angels on their small dog beds…. they are big dogs in their heads!

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Dog Beds with Head Rests

It is funny how important it seems for the dogs to be able to rest their heads on something. As we know, our warm dog beds are super popular and in particular our nest beds. When our happy customers send us pictures of their dogs in the Tuffie Nests, the dogs are very often either lying up-side-down in the beds or they lie with their heads resting on the sides.

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Play time in Tuffie nest with upside down dog

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Labrador in Tuffie nest with warm nest cover

Looking at our own dogs here, it’s definitely a very popular way of using their warm dog beds. They can lie in the cosy middle while watching everything going on around them. In our house there is obviously some eating going on from time to time and the dogs can comfortably lie with their heads resting on the side checking for crumbs dropping on the floor. Should a decent sized morsel land on the floor, they have their heads ready on the side to mark the exact spot and they can quickly get up and clean it off the floor. The odd peanut of cheese crumb is never, ever missed.

However, the need for resting the head up high as if they had a pillow is about more than watching for food spoils. It seems to be the most comfortable way of sleeping and resting. I observed Tippex when she came with us to the holiday cottage. We didn’t really want her inside, but allowed her after all. She is a clean little dog and she came in for the afternoon because she was all on her own. We had no warm dog beds with us, so she was EVEN allowed to sit in the chair. I couldn’t resist taking this photograph as she used the arm rests to rest her head. Not a particularly soft place for a dog’s chin, but it was obviously important for her to have her head up.

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Tippex enjoying her time inside on the sofa

We do hear from time to time from our customers that the dog needs a pillow. Sounds ridiculous, but there is certainly a truth in it when you see how much they enjoy dog beds with sides. Although we, as humans, don’t sleep in warm dog beds, we would not like to be in a normal human bed without a pillow for our heads. Or at least I would think over 90% of humans use a pillow in UK. Maybe you can tell us otherwise?

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