Blue climbing rope dog leash on ice

Nifty Dogs Recycled Climbing Rope Leash: Why We Made It

We make dog leashes, collars and gear out of upcycled climbing rope and we think we have some of the best there is on the market. But why? 

In our pursuit to provide environmentally just, socially conscious and thoughtfully made treats & gear for your dog, leashes were the clear next step in our journey. 

Aren't there enough rope leashes and other recycled climbing rope leashes available already?

Yes! There are lots of options. And we will always advocate for you to do all of your own research before buying anything so that you feel good about where your money is going. Based on our own extensive research, however, we knew there was opportunity to innovate and improve! So here are all of the requirements our leashes had to meet:

  • Versatile set ups beyond the basic leash
  • Inclusive sizing for waist-style leashes
  • Transparent and fair pricing based on actual costs
  • Light-weight and minimalist designs
  • Eco-friendly and upcycled materials

And we're going to dive into how we made each one of those things possible :).

Versatile set ups beyond the basic leash

Our basic leash is the Cheddar Leash. It features an extra large handle to fit over mittens, a welded o-ring on the handle for accessories and to make it extremely versatile, and a carabiner clip. It's a super solid basic leash but we wanted to create options for hands-free walking, tethering at a patio/park, and so much more! This is why all of our leashes can be mixed and matched to create your ideal setup.

The Gouda Convertible Leash has a clip on either end with a sliding o-ring in the middle. This is our take on the 'hands-free' leash. However, what makes ours different is the adjustability: rather than having a fixed, one-size "fits all" waist leash, ours can be used by lots of different people or in a variety of ways. Slide the o-ring down even further to convert it into a cross-body leash. Slide it all the way up to tether your dog to a table leg on a patio. Keep the leash open and connect it to another leash for a DIY long line. Fold the leash in half and attach both clips to your dog for a short basic leash. The options are truly endless!

Combining our leashes with our favourite product in the shop - the Feta Loop - is how you really up your game. The Feta Loop is our very own Swiss army knife. With an o-ring on one end and a carabiner on the other, it's primary function is a waist belt that you can attach any leash to. What makes this so different from what's on the market, however, is that it is fully adjustable to fit all bodies.

Inclusive sizing for waist-style leashes

We never charge for customizations that accommodate different bodies. If you need less or more around the waist for either our Gouda Convertible Leash or the Feta Loop, just reach out and let us know. Most companies price their waist leashes and belts based on the length of rope required to make it which often means that larger people pay more for the same functionality of a product. At Nifty Dogs, we do not penalize folks for the way that they are.

Transparent and fair pricing based on actual costs

When leashes are priced based solely on length, we found that the customer pays an unfair markup on the extra material used. While other rope leashes go up at least $5 with each additional foot of length, we kept that increment as close to at-cost as possible: an additional $3 per foot (or completely free if required to accommodate your body size). 

Even though the rope is upcycled (i.e. used or otherwise unwanted and being re-sold), we still do pay for our materials and need to cover those costs, of course. There is also a significant amount of work that goes into sourcing used ropes. Each leash is also very carefully handcrafted with a lotta love, so the price has to reflect the value of that work. We're quite happy with where we landed, and hope you think so too!

Light-weight and minimalist designs

The way that the rope is joined together varies from company to company. Some companies use metal hardware, some use metal hardware with a plastic or rubber shrink wrap on top of it, and some use cord like we do. We knew we didn't want to use the metal clamps for two reasons. Firstly, they are quite heavy and add bulk to the leash. Secondly, the plastic wrap is exactly that - new plastic - which is something we try to avoid as much as possible. So, we opted for the cord wrap!

We take the same minimalist approach to the design of our Gouda Convertible Leash and the Feta Loop. On the convertible leash, the sliding o-ring is secured with the same cord and has no other dangling or swinging pieces. The Feta Loop uses an o-ring on one end instead of a carabiner on each end for added comfort, less weight and a more streamlined look.

Eco-friendly and upcycled materials

Last but absolutely not least, the choice of materials was super important to us. Climbing rope that is used, unwanted, and would otherwise end up in a landfill is what all of our leashes are made of. It means that some products might look a little pre-loved, but know that we inspect all of the ropes before using them for our leashes and that they are extremely safe. The cord that wraps around the junction points on the leash is also made from 100% recycled PET (plastic water bottles). 

A warranty that can't be beat

This leash is yours for life, because it will live on this earth for hundreds of years after you do. Let's make sure we make the most of that time!

We aim to be near-zero waste and minimize the plastic we use from start to finish. Even though our ropes are already getting a second life, climbing rope is made out of nylon - a.k.a. plastic. That's why we aim to make these products last a lifetime and we are proud to offer repairs for life.

We guarantee that your leash will be free of defects or faulty hardware for the first 100 days. If you find something wrong in those first 100 days, we will repair it or replace it at no cost (just pay shipping). After that, if any part of your leash breaks, fails or gets chewed apart, reach out to us at to start the repair process! A small fee applies to repairs.

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