Iron Doggy Running with Dogs

How Two Runners Ended Up Running a Business…

Iron Doggy™ was initially founded in 2010 by two Colorado women who especially love two things - running, and their dog, Zola. That combination began a quest for the perfect running leash.

They would regularly take Zola running on the trails around their suburban Denver home to burn off some of her endless energy. The trouble was while they were focusing on training, being a dog, Zola was focused more on the local population of rabbits and squirrels. The result was that most of their run was spent chasing after their dog. It wasn’t fun, and it wasn’t safe, so they had no choice but to introduce a leash into the equation.

The leash led them to a discovery that many runners before had already made - it’s impossible to run with a leash in your hand and maintain proper running form. Clearly, they had to get themselves a dependable hands-free dog leash.

So they did. In fact, they purchased lots of them. What they discovered was that these other leashes were far from ideal. They seemed to be either too frail to last or over-engineered. Some had big bulky belts, pads, and large funky water bottle attachments.

Some looked like they would offer the kind of shock absorption they needed, but then stretched out flat at the first pull because they were constructed from elastic. It was hard to believe that any of these leashes were designed by people who actually ran with their dogs.

They began to explore leashes that are used in skijoring and canicross. Those were closer to what they wanted, but ultimately they were too long and heavy for runs through parks and mountain trails.

This left just one option. If they wanted to have everything an urban runner needs in a leash, they would have to create their own. How hard could that be? Luckily for them, they didn’t know the answer was actually pretty challenging.

In the end, it was a journey that took one dog and two runners through 15 iterations of the design, complete with a dozen beta-testers, an industrial designer, and a full-blown product manufacturer.

A little over a year and fifteen different leash versions later, they had a design they were delighted with: The Runner’s Choice.

Today, over ten years later, we are still incredibly grateful our original hands-free leashes continue to receive positive feedback from customer reviews and notable press.

We love dogs and believe in helping other pups in need. You can feel good knowing a portion of net proceeds from every Iron Doggy™ leash is donated to help improve the lives of shelter animals. We help support dog rescue through various local and national animal welfare organizations, including the ASPCA.

Buy a leash from us and we’ll do everything we can to make sure you’re thrilled with your purchase. In fact, if you don’t love it, you can send it back and we’ll give you a complete refund.

In 2015, we created the Iron Doggy™ SideKick. The SideKick is streamlined and lighter for dogs who like to train side by side with their human running partner (more on our SideKick journey here).

Our SideKick leash was featured and worn by Adidas Pro Runner Neely Spence Gracey and her vizsla “Strider,” on the cover of Runner’s World Magazine (Strider still uses his SideKick leash). 🙂

With a relentless focus on quality and design, that's the story of how we began our little hands-free leash business. You could say we’re still in this for the long run. We're headquartered in scenic Austin, Texas, dedicated to designing and developing the highest quality hands-free dog leashes on our beautiful planet.

We hope you and your four-legged friend enjoy your next race, hike, or outdoor excursion with the comfort and functionality of our hands-free gear.

-Every Day is an Adventure

🐶 🌲 🙂

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