How it all began ..... a dog called, Roxy.
Friendly Dog Collarswas started by Jonathon Saville in the UK in 2007.
As the owner of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Roxy, Jon found a lot of people were crossing the street to avoid them. Jon was a 107kg bodybuilder with a shaved head and tattoos, so he was no stranger to being judged on sight.
What people didn’t know was that Roxy was a very friendly dog who wouldn’t hurt a fly. And Jon was a pretty nice guy too!
It became clear that it was Roxy that people were afraid of when Jon’s mother took her for a walk and people still avoided them.
One day, as a joke, Jon’s sister dressed Roxy up in a little pink dress and took her for a walk … and people loved it! Suddenly, people who had been crossing the street to avoid Roxy, now crossed the street to meether. And it was all because of a little pink dress!
An idea was born and Jon developed the first green FRIENDLY dog collar.
It wasn’t long before people were asking for a collar for dogs that were great with people, but not so good with other dogs, and the orange NO DOGS collar was made. This was soon followed by the red CAUTION collar which warned people of reactive, dangerous or unpredictable dogs.
These three collars made up the ‘traffic light system’ for dogs, but it wasn’t long before people started requesting other categories be added to the range:
- Deaf Dog
- Blind Dog
- Assistance Dog
- Service Dog
- Therapy Dog
- Do Not Feed
- Do Not Pet
- Adopt Me
Friendly Dog Collarsdon’t just make great products, they save lives.
There are over 7 million dog bites recorded worldwide each year, and the number of avoidable dog-on-dog attacks are beyond counting.
Friendly Dog Collars’colour-coded system allows people to understand an unfamiliar dog’s temperament or special needs beforethey get too close. We believe that if this system saves just one child from a dog bite, the whole thing has been worth it.
Friendly Dog Collars Moves to Australia
In 2011, Jacki Kelly, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breeder, discovered Friendly Dog Collars online. Recognising the benefits of the colour-code system, she quickly ordered her own FRIENDLY lead and collar as a way of showing others that her fur-babies weren’t dangerous.
On the streets she was inundated with questions about where she got her FRIENDLY products from.
Jacki saw an opportunity to help thousands of Australian dog owners protect their pups, and contacted Jon to secure the sole distribution rights for Friendly Dog Collarsin Australia.
The product took Australia by storm and within three years it had won the Master Breeders ‘Canine of the Year’Award; and was featured on both ‘The Project’and ‘The Living Room’.
The business was just starting to find its stride, but with a young family, Jacki wasn’t in a position to give the business the attention it needed to continue growing.
Enter Jenny, Mick, and Malibu
In 2011, Jenny was also just starting out in the pet industry as a Pet Photographer at ‘Shoot-Ya-Pooch Pet Photography’based in Newcastle with a second studio in Sydney. In 2014 she was commissioned by Friendly Dog Collars to photograph their entire range of products. During the course of their time working together, Jenny and Jacki became friends.
When the time came for Jacki to say goodbye to the business she’d worked so hard to develop in Australia, Jenny was ready to take the lead … so to speak.
Jenny officially took over as the sole Australian distributor on the 1st of January, 2015.
For a time, Jenny juggled her two businesses until it became clear that she was going to have to make a decision. She decided to close her photography studios so that she could focus all of her attention on the expansion of Friendly Dog Collars.
In her dedicated hands, the Friendly Dog Collarsrange moved into physical stores for the first time, with products being sold in pet stores and veterinary clinics across Australia.
Her partner of 21 years, Mick, officially joined Friendly Dog Collarsin mid-2016 to help share the load of running such a rapidly growing business.
Now, with Mick and her beloved Aussie bulldog, Malibu, at her side, Jenny had the perfect partnership to grow the business even further. Malibu (begrudgingly) became the face of Friendly Dog Collarsin Australia,and can regularly be seen around town in her Friendly Dog CollarsApparel (most often her favourite candy pink getup).
By 2018, Friendly Dog Collarswas available in over 100 pet stores and vet clinics across Australia, including one of Australia’s biggest chain stores, Best Friends Supacentre.
But with over 240 items available, it was impossible for retailers to stock the entire Friendly Dog Collarsrange, so they chose to focus on the FRIENDLY, NERVOUS and CAUTION products. Unfortunately, these often got lost in the sea of other products that line the walls of pet stores.
There had to be another way.
How could they make all 240 items available in person?
How could they provide the ‘five star’ level of customer service in person that they were so well-known for online?
How could they educate the public about the traffic light system for dogs, and show people how it could save lives?
In 2019, an idea was born …
Now living on the Sunshine Coast, QLD, Mick and Jenny decided to take Friendly Dog Collarsto the local market to educate people about responsible dog ownership and their colour-coded system.
It was a great success and they were bowled over by the positive response from the public.
Today, it’s hard to visit this Queensland holiday destination without coming across at least one pooch proudly sporting their Friendly Dog Collarsapparel.
In just a few short years, the Sunshine Coast has become a much safer place for humans and dogs alike, thanks to the Friendly Dog Collarsteam.
The Future of Friendly Dog Collars
Over the past 12 months, it’s become clear that dog owners prefer the more personalised experience of meeting the Friendly Dog Collarsfamily and discussing their pups’ needs. This offers a perfect opportunity to educate the public about responsible dog ownership and respect for dogs of all temperaments.
Mick and Jenny intend to pursue this successful new direction and are looking to expand their branded market stalls across Australia.
If you are interested in becoming a part of the Friendly Dog Collarsfamily, please click here for more information.
Written by Kirsty Ventura for Friendly Dog Collars
Copywriter, Editor and SEO Specialist
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