I started Backcountry K-9 in 2005. My wife and I along with our Black Lab, Huron, spent our Springs, Summers and Falls tent camping across Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Ontario. I envisioned starting a small company offering a collection of the best gear for dogs with customer service to rival companies like REI.
It didn’t take long for Backcountry K-9 to grow. By 2010 I could no longer keep up on my own and my wife and I had a baby on the way. A couple weeks before our first son was born, Backcountry K-9’s first employee was hired. She came by everyday after her college classes ended shipped all the orders out of my basement.
By 2016 we were in a 2,000 square foot warehouse and shipping 500 or 600 orders a month. We were relied on for our expertise in technical dog gear. We had a brand ambassador team to help test the gear we carried, we outfitted Appalachian trail through hikers and donated thousands of dollars to shelters and search and rescue teams.
During those years our competition grew as well, including the big guys like Amazon who were able to stock all the gear we did. Amazon could also get customers yoga pants and a new water bottle in the same shipment, sometimes arriving the same day.
Our sales were as strong as ever but we were forced into spending a relative fortune competing with Amazon and other smaller competitors. In September of 2016 we stopped retails sales; online selling had changed a lot in 11 years and that piece of our business was no longer viable.
We weren’t giving up though. We had developed strong relationships with gear makers and had solid, hands-on knowledge of dog gear. We decided to move forward and continue offering our expertise. On our site you’ll still find a catalog of exceptional outdoor gear for dogs with links to buy directly from the makers as well as other quality retailers we’ve gotten to know. We keep the lights on by earning small commissions (at no additional cost to you) if you use the links to purchase from the sites we link to. Some links we don’t earn commissions on but we really believe in the gear and want to make sure you’re aware of it.
We’re constantly expanding our blog, creating how-to guides for adventuring with your dogs, offering pack lists and sharing our adventures.
As we moved into this new chapter of Backcountry K-9, I was extremely excited to have Devin Walker, one of our former ambassadors join us to share her expertise with you as well. Devin, along with her husband, Pat, and their dog, Bella, live in Colorado and take advantage of everything the Rocky Mountain state has to offer - horseback riding in the foothills, fly fishing in Clear Creek Canyon, training for ultra marathons in Boulder County Open Space, or backpacking in Indian Peaks Wilderness. If it’s outside and can be done with Bella, they’re doing it!
Will you join us for our journey? We’d love to hear from you - where are you adventuring? Do you know a great piece of gear we’re not talking about? Follow the blog or talk to us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
We look forward to it!