What makes Auburn Leathercrafters special?

October 1, 2021

Auburn Leathercrafters is best know for the wide range of dog collars and leashes that we offer – from plain to fancy and from formal to every day, but all as sturdy as they are beautiful. Since 1950, we have been best known for our leatherworking. But, today, not all of our products are made of leather. 

One of our newest lines, a tail we could wag , is a collection of bright, colorful fashion accessories for dogs and their humans made in partnership with the Mayan people of Guatemala. Mayan weaver creating a tail we could wag handmade dog collarWe’re proud of our partnership with these Mayan weavers, many of whom are women who were left to raise their families alone after losing loved ones during a recent Civil War. Our partnership with them gives them a chance to earn an income from their weaving, build community, and bring a unique and beautiful fashion option to our customers here in the United States.

We work hard to source American-made materials to work with including genuine US BioThane®, fabric, and rope, not to mention our leathers. But, Auburn Leathercrafters is best known for our top-quality leatherwork, which distinguishes us from mass-produced collars and leashes available in big box stores. Our collars and leashes are handmade by skilled artisans using US hides that are tanned in the US, and that makes a difference in quality.

Why are handmade leather collars and leashes better?

When a leathercrafter is working with leather, they are using their experience to craft the best product. As a natural product, leather can sometimes have imperfections and subtle variations. A skilled leathercrafter can both see and feel the leather and use their experience to get the best cuts from the best leather.

Leathercrafting requires a good eye for detail. The leathercrafter uses their eyes to see the grain of the leather and make sure only the best parts of the hide are used for the leash and collar. They also have to use their hands to select parts of the leather that are best for the collar or leash they are making.

The experience they’ve gained as leathercrafters is invaluable. Selecting, cutting, and forming the leather requires attention to detail, a steady hand, and sensitive fingers. The right leathercrafter can create leashes and collars that will function well, last for years, and, with the right care,  will look and feel even better with use.

leathercrafting tools

What about leather collars and leashes from big box pet stores?

Most leashes and collars that you find in big box pet stores are mass-produced, and they’re designed for profit, not for dogs. The materials selected are often chosen for price rather than strength or comfort. The leathers used may be dry and stiff. In some cases, they might not even be made with real leather at all, and the user will quickly learn that synthetic leathers wear differently or need replacing faster than real leather.

What about other leather leashes and collars? What do you do differently?

We carefully select our leather suppliers, and we pay close attention to where we source component parts, including buckles, rivets, and other supplies. We always try to source products from American suppliers whenever possible, but if we have to source products from international suppliers, we’re careful to do our due diligence and make sure we’re sourcing from world-class suppliers.

We’re dog lovers, too. We craft collars and leashes that we would want for our own dogs. Comfort and strength are a must, and we pay attention to every detail, from the stitching to the rivets we use. We know that dogs can be rough on a leash and collar. They’re going to put it in their mouths and chew on it. They’re going to roll around in the mud and traipse through the thorny brush, and their collars and leashes will take a lot of wear and tear. We want to make sure that every one of our collars and leashes is designed with the dog and its handler in mind.

What makes Auburn Leathercrafters special?

Auburn Leathercrafters is in its 71st year, and we still believe in the same principles that built our business back in 1950: 

  • Quality craftsmanship
    “It’s better to explain why an item costs what it costs than to apologize for why the item failed.” This philosophy has been passed down from Everett Dungey from when Auburn Leathercrafters first began.
  • American made
    Our business has enabled us to employ hundreds of people over the past 71 years. Our staff is like family.
  • Living our values
    We believe that God has directed our path into this business. We believe in loving our family, our employees, our suppliers, and our customers – whether they have two legs or four.

It hasn’t always been easy. In 71 years, we’ve had our ups and downs. “Everett (my grandfather), Gordon (my father), myself, and now my son, Chris, along with our highly skilled staff of leathercrafters still come to work every day to make only the best leashes and collars,” said Al Dungey, co-owner of Auburn Leathercrafters.

For four generations, Auburn Leathercrafters has made high-quality leather leashes and collars right here in America. “God willing, we’ll be here for another 71 years and beyond.”



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