Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I measure for a custom collar?

Refer to our complete measuring instructions

Please keep the following considerations in mind to help you decide which size will work best for your dog:
Age - If you are choose a collar for a dog who is younger than one and a half years old, chances are he will gain some size in the neck circumference.
Type of coat - Thick or longer coated dogs may need extra room for their fur to assure a comfortable fit for your dog's new collar.
Purpose of the item - A tighter fitting collar will assure a secure fit of the item for training and working with your dog, while a looser fit is appropriate for using the item around the house of for extended wear.

2. Is kangaroo leather better than regular leather?

If you have never used a kangaroo braided leash, you are definitely missing something wonderful. These leashes become buttery soft with use, without losing their strength or structure. They are also much lighter than traditional leather leashes and much more flexible.

Kangaroo leather fibers run horizontally with the skin, as opposed to randomly as in cow hide. This creates the great tensile strength of kangaroo leather. It is said to be 4 times stronger than cow skin. It is also extremely abrasion resistant and has a superior finish. It is simple superior to any other leather available.

3. How many strands of kangaroo leather do I need?

This answer depends solely on the type of dog you own. The majority of show collars and leads are made with 4 strands of kangaroo lace. Most exhibitors use these because they are thin, lightweight and unobtrusive in the ring. However, many of these same exhibitors will train with 6 or 8 strand equipment, especially if they have a mid to large size dog. While these items are slightly thicker than the 4 strand leads (see a comparison
here), they are still extremely soft and flexible. They also allow a stronger correction because of the strength and thickness of the lead. Strength and reliability is also very important when choosing hardware (if any) for your item. For example, I could easily use a 4 strand lead on my German Shepherd, but if I use a tiny snap, the snap WILL break.

Regardless of the number of strands we use, we don't want to take chances with your pet's safety. This is why we braid all of our kangaroo products over a strong sinew core. These cores are strong, flexible, kink-resistant and practically indestructible.

Even if you plan to show off your custom braided collar or leash during your daily walks around the neighborhood, please keep your type and size of dog in mind when ordering products. Small dogs may only require 4 strands (approximately 1/8 inch wide), while larger dogs (or dogs that pull) would benefit from the thickness and strength of a larger diameter product. I guarantee that the extra width will not diminish the beauty of the item.

However, realize that there is a direct relationship between the width of the lead and the size/strength of the dog. If you try to show a 100 pound dog on a leash that is too thin, you will hurt your hand and the dog before the lead breaks. Leashes by Design is not responsible for injury to, or loss of your dog as a result of using our products. Please exercise caution with using any dog-related item. Each consumer is responsible for determining the suitability of these products for their individual situation. Consumer accepts all responsibility by purchasing and using these products.

4. Can I leave my Leashes by Design collar on my dog all the time?
The only type of collar we recommend for all day wear is a standard (non-tightening) buckle collar. You can also use a slip-snap collar, but only if the snap is hooked to the dead ring (not the sliding ring). Any collar can be potentially unsafe, however martingale and slip collars pose a slightly greater risk of injury if left on your dog while they are unsupervised, as they can become caught and tighten around your dog's neck. If you decide to leave a martingale collar on your dog, the collar should be fitted so that it cannot choke the dog if the loop is tightened all of way. Collars should NEVER be left on a crated dog, not even a standard buckle collar.

Prong collars are considered training collars and should NEVER be used outside of supervised training activities. They should also never be used if the dog is playing with another dog.

Leashes by Design cannot be held responsible for accidents or injuries to humans and/or animals.

5. How do I care for my new lead and collar?

Leather care:
Keeping your new collar or lead well cared for will greatly extend its life and help keep it looking great. It is recommended that all leather items be kept clean by wiping them with a soft, dry cloth after use. This helps to get rid of any dirt or sweat from your hands that may have gotten on your product during use. With regular use and maintenance, your lead will become soft and supple. As with any leather item, an occasional application of your favorite leather conditioner will help keep your item in good condition. Lexol is a good cleaner and conditioner and can be easily found at your local tack or hardware store. After cleaning, let your item dry naturally, out of direct sunlight and away from a heat source.

As with any leather item, water can cause damage, such as mildew or mold if it is not properly dried. Avoid getting your item repeatedly or extremely wet - especially braided kangaroo buttons. Please do not allow your dogs to swim or get extremely wet (i.e. baths) while wearing our items!

Paracord care:
These items can be easily washed in a sink of warm water with a little dish soap. They can also be placed in a lingerie bag in the washing machine and washed on a delicate cycle in cold water. Wring any excess water from the item and lay it flat to dry, out of direct sunlight.

Bead care:
All natural metal beads, including silver, copper and brass, will tarnish over time, although this will vary with frequency and conditions of use. You can easily clean your metal beads by wiping them with a soft, gentle silver polishing cloth. Glass and plastic beads require little maintenance and can be easily cleaned by wiping them down with a soft cloth. Keeping anti-tanish paper or cloth (available from jewelers and home supply stores) in the same bag with beaded leads will prevent tarnish once that are polished.

The best product we have found to clean your metal beads is called Radiance 2000. This can be purchased on various Internet sites (i.e. Amazon) or their company's site at This cleaner does not harm your leather and has been used for many years on horse equipment. To clean beads, put a small amount of cleaner on your finger and dab the product onto the bead. Let the product dry for several minutes and then rub it off with a soft cloth. This cleaner works wonderfully on your personal jewelry as well. Use an old toothbrush to clean between the beads if needed.

Prong collars:
Keep your collar clean and dry, occasionally wiping it off with a soft, clean rag. All metal is susceptible to rust, tarnish and oxidation, though there are many variables with affect the speed at which this happens. Herm Sprenger states that their stainless prong collars will not rust, however, I do not guarantee ANY product against rust, tarnish or oxidation.

6. Do you provide kangaroo samples for color selection?

We understand how difficult it can be to purchase custom equipment on-line. Colors are skewed slightly on monitors and many people want colors to match their dog's coat color. We do provide kangaroo samples upon request. Lace samples are approximately 2" long. Due to the labeling and shipping of these samples, it is necessary to charge for the samples.

Price indicated includes First Class USPS shipping (Florida residents must add 6% tax):
1-4 samples - $4.00
5-10 samples - $5.00
11- 15 samples - $6.00
16-23 samples - $8.00

7. Can I return my order?

We strive to satisfy each and every customer. However, due to the custom nature of a lot of our items, all custom braided orders are nonrefundable. If you are not happy with your purchase at any time, please feel free to email us explaining the situation. We will do everything we can to rectify our error or make the product work better for you and your dog. Any repairs or changes to your item may require an additional charge, including return shipping.

If you order a prong collar and it is not the correct size, these may be returned or exchanged. If you wish to return or exchange the collar, you must contact me within 2 days of receipt and the collar must be in new condition. Return shipping is the responsibility of the customer and I do not refund any of the shipping costs. If the collar is damaged upon return receipt (including bent prongs), I will not refund 100% of the purchase price of the collar, charging any necessary repair costs.

8. How long will it take to get my order?

All orders are made in the order they are received (with the only exception being prong collars, with are normally made once per week). Due to the intricate nature of some designs, orders may take approximately 2-4 weeks to complete. If there is a delay in your order, we will notify you via email. If you are in immediate need of your items, please contact us via e-mail or phone and other arrangements may be able to be made. Any extra shipping costs due to rush orders will be borne by the purchaser.

9. Do you guarantee or warranty your products?

All issues are handled on a case by case basis. Please contact us with any issues and we will work with you to get them resolved.

Broken snaps on leads or broken buckles on collars happen occasionally and can be easily replaced (although sometimes the length of the item must be shortened to repair the item). Broken beads happen once and awhile and these can often be replaced with a braided button.

Chewed items can not be repaired, unless the damage is isolated to a braided button. Water damage can not be repaired. Loss and/or theft is not covered (yes, we've been asked). I do not guarantee against rust, tarnish or oxidation on any item, including prong collars.

Charges, including shipping, may apply.

Prong collars - The buckles on my prong collars have proven to be very reliable; however, they are still buckles and have the ability to break. If you purchase a complete, buckled prong collar from me (not through a secondary source), I will repair any broken buckle, free of charge, during the first 6 months. The collar must be returned to me for repair and return shipping ($8.00) is charged. If you incur a broken buckle after the first six months, you may purchase a replacement buckle kit for $10.00, plus shipping. With the exception of the micro prongs, the only brand of prong collar I use is Herm Sprenger. This is the best brand available for purchase. Individual links can be bent, either by misuse or by using smaller linked collars on larger (or stronger) dogs. We are not responsible for bent links. These links can be replaced and links may either be purchased from me or other Herm Sprenger vendors.

10. What are the shipping costs?

** Effective January 17, 2016, USPS is implementing a huge price increase to Priority mail shipments. I ship almost every order in a small flat rate box. These changes resulted in my shipping costs increasing 30%.

While I have not increased my shipping charge for the last four years, I am now forced to increase my base shipping cost to $8.00. Orders which require larger boxes will have a higher shipping charge. New shipping charges will go into effect on January 17, 2016.
USPS is still the most cost effective method of sending orders with tracking, so I will be continuing to use this service for the current time. My goal is not to “make” money on shipping, but I do need to cover my shipping costs and materials.

I very rarely have issues with shipping via USPS Priority mail, however errors do happen. Please be aware that shipping time is not guaranteed from USPS for Priority mail service. So, while the shipping estimate may state 1-3 business days when you receive your tracking information, many things can impact delivery (i.e. weather). If you have not received your package as anticipated, please check the tracking number online. If you have not received your item after 7 business days or if the package appears to be lost in the system (for example, the tracking location has not changed for several days), please contact me right away. If you are in need of your item by a specific date, please contact me prior to purchase and we can arrange alternate shipping methods (cost borne by customer). I do not refund shipping charges for delayed delivery via USPS Priority mail. I do, however, work with all customers if a package appears lost in the mail, etc. If you have ANY questions, please feel free to contact me.

If you prefer items to be shipped USPS Express Mail or UPS, we will try to accommodate your request; however, you will be responsible for any additional charges. FedEx does not have a shipping location in our area, so we will not ship via FedEx.

11. I live in the state of Florida, do I need to pay sales tax?

Yes, if you live in the state of Florida, I am required by law to collect sales tax on all orders. According to Rule 12A-1.045(3)(a) of the Florida Administrative Code, I am also required to collect tax on shipping charges. Sales tax rate is 6.5% (effective 1/1/16).

12. Do you ship products out of the country?

At this time, I am NOT shipping products out of the United States. If you are a past customer, please contact me.

13. What if I need to change or cancel my order?

If you have placed an order and need to make any changes or cancel the order, you must do so within 24 hours of placing your order. In this case, please email us immediately with your change or cancellation. Contact us

14. How can I pay for my order?

All orders are handled via e-mail or telephone. For telephone orders, please call (904) 210-4227, Monday thru Friday, between 9:00am and 5:00pm (Eastern Standard Time).

Payments are normally handled one of three ways - credit card (via PayPal only), money order or personal check. Leashes by Design has the right to require payment by money order only.

All payments are required in advance (in full), prior to any work being started.