My Favorite Things: Four Black Paws

I have a problem. A big problem.

I am addicted to collars.

I was recently able to purge my collar collection, and I donated some to a local rescue, and I donated some to my dog club’s raffle in December. Of course, this means that I had to replenish my collection.

I have leather collars from Ella’s Lead (which has been mentioned on our blog several times, but our review of the collars is here), I have PetCo collars and collars from Target. If I like, I buy it and add it to my dogs’ collection. One of my favorites, though, and where I tend to dump a lot of my hard-earned money, are small businesses like Four Black Paws.

Four Black Paws is a Michigan-based small business run by Sarah, whose day job is as an elementary school teacher. She is a dog-mom to German Shorthaired Pointers, and just about one of the nicest people you could hope to meet. She truly is one of the small business types you want to support.

The first collar I got from her was your basic quick-release tag collar. I won it in a raffle and got it in anticipation of my new girly puppy, since all my dog collars were boy stuff. It was of good quality, and adorable, and the fabric was thick and durable – which is needed when you have pit bulls!


For the sake of this review, I ordered two martingale collars and 4BP’s signature items: a collar bow for girly dogs and a bow tie for boy dogs. Jax is a 4BP size large, and I got a large bowtie to go with his collar; Poppy is a 4PB size medium, and I got a medium flower to go with her collar. I placed the order the evening of Jan 23rd, and was thrilled to receive a shipped notice on Jan 29th. I received my package a few days later. It was that quick!

As with the first collar I purchased, these martingales are of great quality. The collars are thick and sturdy – and machine washable! – and the stitching is strong. 4BP uses quality hardware, and the whole collar is made to last. Which is a must for me and my rowdy pit bulls.

And the fabrics are just darn cute!

Handsome with his bow tie.

Jax’s collar is from the 4BP Celebrity Collection, in the color of “Grassy Meadow.” I upgraded to a martingale, because I prefer that style for my dogs, and added a large bow tie to make it fashionable. The bow itself is a easy take-off with velcro, and the collar is equally as handsome without the bow tie.


Very pretty with her bow!

Poppy’s was also a martingale, and in 4BP’s Sweet Summertime pattern – which is both girly and my longing t be done with this horrible Michigan winter we are having this year. I ordered a matching bow, which is super cute. Like the bow tie, it is also easily attached to the collar with velcro for simple dress-up-to-casual collar modes.

If you’re in the market for well-made, super cute collars, please go check out Four Black Paws. Owner Sarah has been kind enough to offer our readers a special 10% discount if you order by February 28th! Just use discount code TEAMUNRULY at check out!

It’s the Team Unruly Holiday Gift Guide!

If you’ve got dogs yourself, we’re just gonna guess that you know some other people with dogs.  We’re also going to guess that some of those dog people may have made it onto your holiday shopping list.  And sure, nobody’s going to turn down a new Kong and a bag of treats, but what if you want to branch out past that? Below the cut, the members of TU have compiled some of the things we love for our own dogs: there are some great, time-tested standbys, as well as a few more unusual things for the dog/dog person who has everything.  Many of these things can be picked up at your local slightly-fancy pet store, but we’ve also included links for buying stuff online. We hope our list sparks some ideas!

[*sponsorship note: no promotional consideration was made for these items, blah blah blah. If they're up here, it's 100% just because we like them, not because we got them for free!]

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Our Favorite Useful Everyday Cues

Patricia McConnell recently did a short series on her blog where she talked about some of her/her readers’ favorite “non-traditional” cues (which is to say cues that fall outside of the standard litany of sit-down-stay-come.) Her post started a conversation within the Team about the cues we’ve taught that have been the most useful for us in our everyday life-with-dogs. Here are some of our favorites!

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