Ruffwear, the leading manufacturer of performance dog gear to enhance and inspire adventure for outdoor explorers and their human companions, has announced the development of an assistance harness for the visually impaired, along with a full line of products specifically designed for working dogs. For more than 20 years, Ruffwear has supported working dogs and their handlers. Working together with organizations like Wasatch Backcountry Rescue, Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment, Conservation Canines and Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Ruffwear has worked to better understand the job these dogs do and provide the gear they need to perform. Products will be available for purchase through accredited guide and service dog organizations.

UniFly™ Harness. The UniFly™ is more than a guide dog harness – it’s the unique line of communication between a human and their guide dog as they navigate everyday life. It allows the handler to feel the subtle nuances of the guide dog's movement, enhancing feedback exchange. Both harness and handle feature several points of adjustment and connect at a single, easy-to-use attachment point. The lightweight, padded harness has an internal frame that moves with the dog, free of distractive rubbing or chaffing, and equipping them to lead the way in comfort and confidence.

UniFly™ Guide Dog Harness

  • Weight-saving and ergonomic design reduces fatigue
  • UniFly™ internal frame moves with the dog and allows for full range of motion while capturing and exchanging feedback
  • Foam-padded harness provides comfortable, extended wear
  • Side-release buckles for easy on/off
  • Built-in attachment for The Beacon™
  • Reflective trim for visibility in low-light conditions
  • Four points of adjustment
  • Patent-pending

UniFly™ Handle

  • Single point attachment system allows it to be disconnected and easily reconnected
  • Three points of adjustment: length, hand position, and offset angle
  • Tactile reference points indicate length and rotation adjustment
  • Design is ergonomic and streamlined to be snag-free
  • All-weather grip
  • Available in either a lever adjustable or tool adjustable configuration
  • Attachment position is compatible with leash portal on Ruffwear apparel

The UniFly™ System is the culmination of twenty-two years of conversations, collaborations, partnerships, testing iterations, learning and discovering. The result is something that has never been done before and something that represents who Ruffwear is at its core: Freedom. Companionship.

“We believe in and support the critical role of working dogs in our society,” said Patrick Kruse, founder and lead designer at Ruffwear. “Highly trained service dogs mean freedom for humans with disabilities. The dogs who perform these critical tasks are partners, in every way, for the humans that rely on them to enjoy life to the fullest. The partnerships that we have been able to engage in over our 25 years has provided so much fulfillment to me and the team at Ruffwear. We look forward to seeing how UniFly™ and the rest of our working dog product line will make both people’s and dogs’ lives better.”

“For the past 35,000 years, humans and dogs have developed a very special emotional bond. The UniFly™ celebrates our connection with dogs in a very purposeful way. The thoughtful design embodies the evolution of our natural desire to feel connected,“ said Thomas Panek, President and CEO of Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

Throughout the years, many of Ruffwear’s consumer products have been designed, inspired and influenced by these unique relationships. As a young company in the nineties, these partnerships and learning experiences helped shape the brand’s journey toward who it is today.

ADDITIONAL NEW SPRING 2019 PRODUCTS FOR WORKING & SERVICE DOGS

Audible Beacon™. Waterproof, rechargeable safety light with audible accessibility.

  • Audible signals to indicate on/off, low battery, charging, and charge complete
  • Audible reminder beeps every 10 minutes while Beacon™ is on and every 5 minutes in low battery mode
  • Rapid flash and audible indications when battery needs to be charged
  • LED lights emit through translucent red shell
  • Rated IPX7 waterproof
  • Rechargeable, includes micro USB cable, charges in 1.5 hrs
  • Operating time up to 12 hrs
  • Silicone mount compatible with guide dog harness handles and canes
  • Easy-to-use Quick Clip™ compatible with all Ruffwear collars and apparel light loops
  • $34.95

Guide Dog Pouch. Attaches to guide dog harness handle and keeps small essentials.

  • Zippered pouch for small essentials
  • Abrasion- and water-resistant, UV stable polyester fabric
  • Key hook
  • Internal organizer
  • Side-release buckles for easy on/off
  • Fits most guide dog harnesses

Guide Dog Sign. Identifies working dog and carries small essentials.

  • Identifies a working dog
  • Abrasion- and water-resistant, UV stable polyester fabric
  • Zippered pockets for daily essentials
  • Side-release buckles for easy on/off
  • Stable and secure dual strap attachment
  • Fits most guide dog harnesses
  • Reflective trim for visibility in low-light conditions and light loop for attaching The Beacon™

Access™ ID Vest. A comfortable and functional identification vest for service dogs that presents a professional appearance.

  • Comfortable vest allows for full range of motion
  • Abrasion- and water-resistant, UV stable polyester fabric
  • Chest and side panels allow for 360 degrees of identification
  • Transparent ID pocket
  • Zippered pockets for small essentials
  • Magnetic buckles for easy on/off
  • Five points of adjustment
  • Reflective trim for visibility in low-light conditions and light loop for attaching The Beacon™

Protégé™ Vest. Functional identification vest for working dogs in training communicates to public and signals to dog that it’s time to work.

  • Facilitates natural progression to working dog harness
  • Abrasion- and water-resistant, UV stable polyester fabric
  • Stretch mesh fabric at neck opening allows proper fit through states of puppyhood
  • Chest panel design allows for full range of motion and keeps vest in place
  • Three points of adjustment allow room to grow
  • Side-release buckles for easy on/off
  • Reflective trim for visibility in low-light conditions and light loop for attaching The Beacon™

Treat Trader™. Waist-worn treat bag for hands-free training and quick access to treats.

  • Features one-handed, secure magnetic closure with audible cue
  • Durable, water-resistant shell fabric and lightweight, waterproof lining
  • Ergonomic fit for all-day comfort
  • Small outer pocket stores essentials and features a clicker-compatible loop
  • Adjustable belt for customizable fit or belt clip for direct attachment to waist

Huck-a-Cone™. Inspired by rewarding play between avalanche rescue dogs and handlers during training.

  • Knotted rope handle makes it easy to throw and tug
  • Made from natural rubber, a renewable, sustainable resource
  • $14.95

Ruffwear’s goal is to elevate and amplify the needs of people that require well-trained service dogs to move freely about in society and thrive as a result. Working Dogs products are available exclusively through accredited organizations and built to order based on the branding and color requirements of each organization. Individual working dog handlers interested in Ruffwear’s specialty Working Dogs products can contact their training organizations directly for more information.

ABOUT RUFFWEAR
Ruffwear's mission is to build performance dog gear to enhance and inspire exploration for outdoor adventurers and their human companions. For nearly 25 years, Ruffwear Performance Dog Gear™ has combined technology, quality, fit, function, and safety to facilitate its belief that every dog is an explorer.

Ruffwear is committed to enhancing the lives of all dogs and their human companions through relationships with Best Friends Animal Society and The Conservation Alliance. Through its Ruff Adventure Dog Adoption Program with Best Friends, Ruffwear covers the cost of adoption fees and travel expenses for newly adopted dogs from the Kanab, Utah sanctuary, as well as a new Ruffwear collar and leash to go home with. By protecting wild places for their habitat and recreation values through membership in The Conservation Alliance, Ruffwear works to ensure there are plenty of wild, open spaces for dogs and their humans to enjoy together.

Based in Bend, Oregon, Ruffwear sells its products through specialty pet and outdoor retailers as well as at www.ruffwear.com. For more info, please contact Kate Ketschek, kate@revolutionhousemedia.com or 603-828-1050.

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