18/7/2018

Gamekeeper's dogs work the camouflage look

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Scottish specialist dog drying coat company unveils new range

Scotland’s stunning hills and moors helped inspire a brand-new range of dog drying coat from award-winning business Dogrobes.

The original dog drying coat company launched its own camouflage inspired range of Dogrobes – unveiling them to the public for the very first time at this summer’s Scottish Game Fair.

Rather than dogs blending in with their surrounds, the stylish khaki collection is something of a head-turning take on the popular Dogrobe, adding a distinctively different look.

Dogrobes are a favourite with pet owners who enjoy outdoors pursuits because of their practicality in offering the complete solution to drying wet dogs, and the new design means there is a greater choice of styles available to the company’s customer base.

Dogrobes managing director Margaret Reynolds said: “Modern camouflage has been used in clothing by some of the most famous designers, but it was feedback from Scottish gamekeepers who already use Dogrobes for their working dogs that got us thinking about introducing a camouflage range.

“They have camouflage print on the outside, with our terry towelling material on the ties and inside, which goes next to the dog’s coat to dry it after working, outdoor swimming, training, bathing or working.”

Margaret And Missie

When Margaret Reynolds took over the business in 2013 she operated Dogrobes from a spare room in her rural home near Keith in Banffshire.

Dogrobes were originally designed by her friend Ann Playle, an experienced working dog trainer. Ann had eight muddy, wet labs sharing her home and came up with the idea of a practical dog drying coat to solve the problem of wet dogs and muddy shake off.

Margaret said: “I knew and loved the product as I had one for my toy poodle Missie and with my daughter Nicola leaving home to embark on her studies, and Ann planning on retiring, the timing was perfect, and it all just seemed to fit into place.

“Coming from a marketing background, I could see a lot of potential in the product, and in developing the online sales side of the business.

“Technology means you can run a business from almost any location as long as you have a phone and broadband access, and so Dogrobes moved to my home, where I operated it for the first three years until I needed to secure larger premises. That’s when we moved into offices at Keith, just a few miles from my home.”

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Margaret says that she had no time to dwell upon becoming an empty nester by taking on the business when her daughter headed to London to study musical theatre.

 “Parents living in rural areas will be able to relate to the fact that we become almost like taxi drivers for our kids. Nicola was involved in a lot of different groups and between my husband Martin and I, we were always on the go taking her here and there, supporting what she was doing, and trying to fit that around our other commitments.

“While Martin had a full-time job, I felt I had the capacity to get my teeth into a completely new project when she left home and that’s why taking on Dogrobes appealed.

“I just didn’t quite realise how all-consuming it would become! But I have no regrets. It has been a fabulous adventure, we’ve met a lot of great people – and wonderful dogs - along the way and things never stand still. We’re in the throes of looking for new premises and taking on a new member of staff to join the team and provide admin support.”

The company introduced a tartan Dogrobes in its own registered check two years ago to reflect the product’s Scottish heritage and last month added a new camouflage version to the range.

Dogrobes have been despatched to every postcode area of the UK and are now being sold internationally to Europe, the USA and Canada, as well as Australia and New Zealand. Dogrobes clinched Moray Business Women’s Most Enterprising Business in 2014 and subsequently a winner at the Association of Scottish Business Women (ASB) Awards 2015.

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