News - The Dog Blog
14 November 2011

With the winter in the North amping up and the spring in the south burst out it's time to do the big wardrobe change. It's a good time of year to remember that it's only fur, and just because you are covered in hair doesn't mean you're invincible. If fur was that good, we'd all be wearing it. So, if your out in the cold and the dark, bundle up; if your out in the sun and the water, don't forget your life vest. Get out and play whatever the season.

And, just to make life even easier for you we've got a couple of new developments here at D-fa Dogs:

First, you can now buy our gear at your REI store in the USA, or at their webstore. If you're a member of REI your dog can now earn you more dividend rewards. How nice. Please support this great company if you can - they have great knowledge in store and are always willing to help.

And second, if you join the PACK at D-fa Dogs, we give you special pricing on your dog's gear. If you are not already a member of the pack, or are not sure if you are, then click the PACK tab below and complete our simple tricks to sort out your membership.

Third, we are now teaming up with our litter-mates at Stunt Puppy to offer those living outside North America the great gear made by Stunt Puppy. This great US company shares a similar view to us and we're d-fa-delighted to be able to unleash products such as their Stunt Runner and Kahuna collar to a new set of dogs.

What Season is It?
24 June 2011

As international dogs of mystery and adventure we spend a lot of time at D-fa deciding which season it is. Right now in our hometown of Lake Wanaka NZ we’re crossing our paws in the hope of a giant dumping of snow to start our ski season. Our friends at the
Aspiring Avalanche Dogs are ready and prepped to play ‘find the lost human’ should there be any backcountry dramas. Meanwhile they are twiddling their toes waiting for something exciting to happen ... like dinner.  

Also here in New Zealand we’ve just taken possession of our new stock of the incredibly popular Puff-Doggy jackets. To meet d-fa-demand for smaller sizes, we have added a Petite 1 size to this range so if you’re small and shivery, we have you covered now. We have all except our Medium size Puff-Doggy in stock and ready to ship), so if you want one, be in (sorry Medium size dogs, these got delayed by the Japan Tsunami).  

Of course our North American friends are welcoming summer and for you we have the jacket formerly known as D-FD and now the Float Doggy in stock and ready to ship to you. The Float Doggy is the only dog life jacket available with a fully enclosed design, and articulated foam pieces to give you an ergonomic fit, cradle the heavy chest and shoulders and take pressure off your throat when being lifted.  The Float Doggy promotes a really balanced position in the water and a strong swimming stroke and makes rescues in doggy overboard situations much easier and safer for all.  

Please don’t forget to subscribe to The Pack to get your treats when you make purchases. This involves you doing only a simple trick (even old dogs will be able to do it) and gives you a 15% discount on all the things you buy from our web-store.

To Paris With Love
8 June 2011

We’re blessed with great health here at D-fa Dogs HQ in Wanaka New Zealand. Jack the Ridgeback is still going strong at 11 years and Annie at 8 is a picture of health. We attribute it to the fit-for-a-King-and-Queen care, fresh mountain air and plenty of love, but we all know bad things can happen to good dogs. Such is the case with Paris The Boxer.  

Paris joined the D-fa Development Dogs when we were testing the insulation properties of the new best selling ‘Puff-Doggy’. Described by everyone as ‘negatively thermal’, Paris suffers from extreme cold sensitivity. So much so she doesn’t even like the refrigerator door being opened! Her testing of the Puff-Doggy challenged both its insulation and water-resistance as she shivered and drooled her way through a rigorous development process.   

Paris now has a very serious medical problem (ironically not at all related to cold) so we’d like to help her out.  

At 5 years of age Paris has developed an invasive cyst in her jaw that has eaten away all but 10% of the bone on one side. Fortunately it is not cancerous, but it has severely weakened her jaw and if left without treatment the cyst will take the rest of the bone, and with it Paris’s life.  Massey University’s Veterinary Faculty in New Zealand are able to remove the cyst and graft new bone to recreate her lost jaw. This surgery has a high success rate, but is hugely expensive so we’d like to help out.  

Here’s how we can all help Paris:  

Make a purchase from our web-store before June 20 and use the code helpparistheboxer to get a 20% saving on your purchase.  

We will also donate $10 from every jacket sold and $5 from every Great Leader to Paris’s appeal.  

Please use this as a great time to warm up your dog with one of our jackets if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere or get a Float Doggy Dog Flotation Vest (D-FD) if you’re heading into the Northern summer. Any time is a great time to take a walk, so upgrade your lead to one of our Great Leaders and help us to help our dear dog Paris.  

Thanks for your support and hope that things continue to wag your way.

D-fa’s Great Leaders – Unleashed!
22 December 2010

After much chasing of tails and gnashing of teeth our D-fa-dog leads have finally been unleashed.

It’s not easy being a great leader, and it takes time to develop all the necessary skills required to do the job, but we are now pleased to announce that our new ‘Great Leaders’ Range is available at our web-store and in selected retailers.

In some parts of the world these are known as dog leashes, but here we believe it’s more exciting to be led somewhere than it is to be leashed to something. Our dog leads are inspired by both the people that we saw improvising with climbing ropes, carabiners and other bits and pieces; and by the great leaders of mankind whose love of life and friendship to humanity had us suspecting they were not men at all, but in fact dogs in man-suits. Gandhi, Mandela, Napoleon and the L-fa lead all combine different features including on-board stuff sacks so you never have to tie a poop bag to your lead or have a rattly plastic bone full of bags on your lead ever again. Every D-fa lead uses our own, purpose built swivelling carabiner to make clipping on and off lead easier; and allow for excited turning in circles without getting twisted.

We’re bucking the trend of fancy, studded, decorative collars and have gone back to basics with our Slip Style collar. It’s an understated collar, that doesn’t ruffle your fur and has a handy in-built slip-lead feature so you can remain relaxed but be ready to have a little more control should danger or temptation strike.

The Festive Time of Year
13 December 2010

Wherever you are in the world this season the weather will be doing something spectacular. In New Zealand it’s hot and the rivers, lakes and oceans are the place to be. Meanwhile our friends in the USA and Europe are buried under piles of snow, putting the brisk into a brisk walk and as for going outside to pee, well ....

It’s also a good time to remember that our dogs aren’t invincible and while decorative, and sometimes useful, fur does not make our dogs invincible. The effects of changes in climate can have an impact on your dog’s enjoyment of life and your enjoyment of having them in your house.   

In the cold, dogs can suffer from hypothermia and the effects of this can be fatal. Also, joint stiffness and cold related muscle and joint issues may increase in cold weather, even for dogs living inside. When walking in dark or damp conditions consider a coat with visibility features to keep your dog dry, clean and visible in traffic or wooded areas.  If you dog also feels the cold, consider something with good, lightweight insulation and an athletic design that keeps them warm without cramping their style.  

On the other side of the world we are sweltering in hot summer weather. Please, don’t run your dog in the heat of the day, ensure they have plenty of shade and water and absolutely, under no circumstances and even under the biggest tree in the car-park, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN  A VEHICLE DURING THE SUMMER HEAT!  And please, if you are planning a trip on your boat, raft or SUP, please fit your dog with a quality D-FD (doggy flotation device). Even the strongest swimmers can struggle and this will help them float and help you to retrieve them from the water should there be a doggy overboard situation.  

Whether it’s a walk around the block, a trip in the boat or the car, or a back-country adventure, get out an embrace the weather, but just like you your dog needs to be prepared well for it.

Check out our d-fa store for the latest and greatest in our range. Now stop reading this and go and do something fun with your dog! 

Letter From DOG
10 May 2010

Hi Growl & Woof,

As you know Mum was over the moon when my Ice-barker arrived, especially because we were going hunting that very next weekend.

I asked Mum to take some photos of my seeing as I am such a poster boy for hunting dogs and German Wirehaired Pointers...so that I could send them to you and see just how much I LOVE my Ice-Barker. First a little bit about me:

My name is Blade - The Super Sniffer, a deer-stalking, pheasant-flushing, duck-retrieving German Wirehaired Pointer. I'm a Scorpio and I'm 4 years old. I like fetching ducks, going swimming, long walks on the beach, and sitting in the laz-e-boy arm chair with my human(s)and taking naps.

German Wirehaired Pointers aren't renowned for being nutritional over-achievers (we don't get fat easily). After 3 years hunting with me, making Mum and Dad share their sleeping bags at night, and finding that I shivered all my weight off, plus I work hard all day when we're hunting - I get so focused on the task at hand I sometimes am not interested in food. With up to 6 hours of walking a day, up hill, down dale, stopping and sitting and looking at a promising clearing for deer (I get cold and shiver then) and despite Mum giving me more food every time we come home Mum and Dad couldn't take me out in public because I look like an refugee from an SPCA camp. I'm no light-weight 'sooky' dog though, I swim 365 days of the year, regardless of the temperature so my Icebarker is perfect for warming me up and keeping me toasty warm after all that effort.

When Mum heard about D-Fa she went online and had a look. After a quick surf through the website, a measuring session and consult with me about what color scheme I wanted lo and behold my Ice-Barker was ordered. Here's some photos of me looking quite 'the Dude' in my Ice-Barker. I'm looking forward to my next present from D-fa - I've asked for a Puff Doggy but I haven't made up my mind what color scheme I want yet.

Yours in woofleness, and fuzzie GWP kisses to everyone

Blade - The Super Sniffer

PS -I'm off hunting again tomorrow for a week, so I'll spot ya' in a week or so.
"A very impressive testimonial from a very talented dog – he hunts, he swims, he shivers and he can use a computer! By the look of these images I am picking that Blade will look good in either Puff-Doggy colour-way. Thanks for taking a paws in your busy schedule to write. Couldn't have put it better myself." AJ

D-fa Disaster Dogs
15 March 2010

This year we’re d-fa-delighted to be supporting more Search and Rescue dogs here in New Zealand and across in the USA. These dogs are incredible and along with their mostly civilian handlers (as well as some firefighter and police department members) contribute a huge amount to the communities in which they operate. Thanks to the hard work of some members of the New Zealand SAR group this year the dogs will all have a set of d-fa gear to help protect them from the elements when out searching, and when on long hours during standby.

Our friends at FEMA Search and Rescue in the USA are also having a busy time of it with winter storms and other catastrophes. Canine searchers also play a critical role during structural collapse incidents. The canines help search teams to locate victims, using their incredible sense of smell to detect live human scent, even from a victim buried deep in the rubble.

Handler Bryan and his dog Jack from the Nevada S&R team are fantastic ambassadors for the canine world and Bryan believes that Jack is a four legged athlete and deserves to be afforded all of the same care than a human athlete or rescuer enjoys. As Bryan pointed out to us, people so often neglect their dogs, sometimes without even realizing it. They think their fur makes them invincible and impervious to cold or other conditions. But this is simply not true. Bryan is among many ‘hard men’ (we mean hard in the nicest possible way) who are discovering how good gear for dogs is anything but sissy and stupid.

Below is a photo of the Nevada team (so handsome) including Sydney (front right Yellow Lab) who is now being retired from duty, but taking on another very important role. Sydney suffers from a thyroid problem which has affected her stamina. Her new role will be as a companion to a medically retired Iraqi War veteran. She will now be based in the warmer climate of Tuscon. We wish her all the best in her new life.

D-fa Disaster Dogs

PS. I just love how the Golden in this photo looks a little like he’s trying to be a lab but just not pulling it together. It’s like Sampson is trying hard to be a serious, alert, intelligent lab; but there’s no hiding his goofy Golden-ness! Ah, bless them all. 

Snow Match For Sub-Woofers in Palmrya PA
8 February 2010

While we bask in New Zealand’s best summer stretch for years, topping the 30s (Celsius, which for the old world is into the 90s Farenheit) our four legged friends in the PA area are putting their Sub-Woofers to the test in the greatest snowfall there on record.   

These images of the beautiful Henry family Retrievers have been sent to us from the snowy state of PA. Ryser is handsome at the best of times, but against this picture postcard backdrop he’s even more gorgeous.   

In the great weather irony where DC is recording 2 inches of snow an hour they’re trucking snow into Vancouver for the start of the Winter Olympics. Hopefully the rescue dogs we outfit from the USA who are on duty at the Olympics will get some wear out of their Sub-Woofers like these dogs are getting. Of course, Little D, our own version of ‘Flat Stanley’ will also be at the Olympics wearing his Ice-Barker and trying to get into the Games action.   

Check out these images from Andy and Sally of Plamrya, Pennsylvania. Their lovely dogs are Ryser (the young fella) and Tryp (the elder statesman). 

11 January 2010

Can a dog with buttons for eyes and no opposable thumbs Twitter and Tweet his way around the world through the actions of members of the outdoor community? Will this one little stuffed dog be able to traverse the great continents under the power of human connections? Can little D top his travels of 2009 to Antarctica with a traverse of the great American continent? Will he make it to every state? Can he get on TV? Will he be whispered to by Cesar Milan?

In the spirit of the ‘Small World’ experiments of the 1960s and the slightly less scientific but still endearing Paddington Bear, we’re sending one little vinyl and stuffing dog on a very big adventure. Our point? To prove in the brave new world of Twitter and Facebook and with a bit of good old-fashioned ‘I know a guy who’ know-how, that as long as you have good friends and a great jacket, you don’t need thumbs, a brain, eyes or even a heartbeat to make your way home.

At OR Winter 2010 we will be launching little D on his adventure, passing him on to the first of his contacts in the USA. From there, he is on his own. His mission, to grow and use a network of human friends who can take him to as many events, states and adventures as possible before his return to the OR Summer Market in August.

His new bipedal friends will be asked to:
  • Care for Little-D and take him with them to visit places of interest and events
  • Use their opposable thumbs on their fancy-phones to post pictures and updates of Little D on his adventure
  •  Pass him on each 2 - 3 days to someone who they trust to take him to his next place of interest
  • Not to subject him to postage or couriers, or to use him as a mule for smuggling bad things (bad things can happen to good dogs)
  • To follow him and use their network to keep track of him
  • To return him to D-fa Dogs Booth at OR Summer Market 2010.
Of course, we’d not put him out in the cold world without the best dog jacket of all time on his back. Little D will be wearing D-fa’s Ice Barker 100% Merino Jacket, the ultimate in all-condition wear for his journey. We’ll be mapping his progress on a virtual passport through Twitter and Facebook where curious human-folk will be able to follow his progress through these updates.

Little D on Holiday
10th January 2010

Little D on HolidayDue to quarantine regulations and other unfair prejudices against citizens with 4 legs that mean we can't always take a real D-fa dog into places of interest, we have employed a D-fa Stunt Double named Little D. He's pretty much the perfect travel companion - quiet, will go anywhere, never complains, doesn't make a mes, is a people magnet and fits neatly into a suitcase. It's a glamorous life for Little D, with Antarctica one minute, Mt Aspiring the next. Most recently, Little D has been on holiday with us at Glendhu Bay near Lake Wanaka and he's been enjoying a little wakeboarding, doggy biscuiting (of course wearing his D-FD) and some new year celebrations where he led the camp rendition of Auld Lang Syne at midnight before being showered with kisses by a former Miss Timaru. Little D's next trip is to Salt Lake City in late January where he will be modeling for us at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. He'll be trading his D-FD for his Puff-Doggy as the temperature there today is about -12.

Interestingly also here is that they've introduced some new regulations about wearing life jackets in boats, with everyone in the boat now having to wear a life jacket on boats under 6m long. Seems like a good idea to me. Funnily enough though this doesn't apply to the dogs in the boats and just yesterday we saw a fox terrier get bounced out of a jetboat while crossing a rather rough ski lane. The dog was retrieved from the water quickly by his owner without incident, but we have since given this jet boating terrier a D-FD just in case he goes flying again. Please take care with your dogs on the water this summer.

Hope the new year is wagging your way.


Antarctic D-fa
19th December 2009

There's really nowhere that the D-fa pack won't go to test their products. Dave (product developer and pictured here in full Antarctica gear and in budgie smugglers) has just returned from Antarctica and he took Little Black D along to test the Puff Doggy and the D-FD at the end of the earth.

Pleased to report that no D-fa-Dogs, penguins, seals or sensibilities were harmed in the pursuit of product testing of these products, although there was one American woman who was worried that Dave was not wearing any pants in this photograph.

The D-FD is now on sale in New Zealand and around the world and the Puff Doggy will follow early in 2010.

Merry Xmas.

Welcome to D-fa 2.0
3rd December 2009

Welcome to our new website which we are calling D-fa 2.0.  You'll find loads of information, fun things to read and see, new products, and hopefully a cleaner crisper website experience.