Julius-K9 started as a small, Hungarian family business in 1997, and since then, they sold more than 7 million products - many to police units and for service dogs. They are also one of the few companies that do extensive testing on their products and conduct researches to understand better what works best for the dogs.
The Julius-K9 Color & Gray® Collection consists of different collars and leashes and a matching Norwegian-style harness. All these products come in 4-6 colors (depending on the country), so you can mix and match the different collars and leashes.
Let's start with the collar, which does not have a handle!
This is a simple but well-designed flat collar with a plastic buckle. The collar has a big O-ring which makes it easy to attach the leash when needed quickly.
You have to put the buckle through the ring to close the buckle, which puts most of the pressure on the collar's material instead of the buckle when the leash pulls it for added security.
This collar comes in only two sizes: small (Length: 27-42 cm (10.6-16.5 in) width: 20 mm) and large (Length: 39-65 cm (15.4-25.6 in) width: 25 mm). Mia was on the border of the size ranges, so we tried both.
One difference between the sizes is that the bigger size has a bigger buckle which gets stuck in the ring after opening. This gives an extra step of security and gives you enough time to get a hold of your dog if the buckle would fail. The con of this is that you also have to struggle a bit to put the buckle through the ring when removing it or putting it back on the dog unless you can easily slide it over their head without this.
The buckle's and the ring's sizes are slightly different on the smaller collar: it's much easier to put the buckle through the ring.
I had one problem when using the small collar: on freezing, windy days when the temperature was around -15 Celsius (5 Fahrenheit), I couldn't release the buckle when we got inside after a long walk. After 20 minutes, the material warmed up, and I could open it without issues. I contacted Julius-K9 about this, and apparently, they got this feedback before and fixed it for the products currently in production.
This collar is made of the same material as the previous one but has some added features. It comes in bigger sizes than the previous collar, so it's a better fit for medium-large dogs. In the photos, you see their smallest size, and it was still bulky on Mia.
The sturdy look of this collar comes from the wider design and also from having multiple textile layers over the plastic buckle. These two layers are secured with strong velcro to take pressure off the buckle and provide extra safety if the otherwise strong clip fails.
This adds a little extra thickness to the buckle section of the collar and visually makes it even thicker than it is in real life.
The width combined with the thickness makes the collar stiff and bulkier looking, especially on Mia. If you have a big-headed dog, you could loosen the collar more, and it could slide down more on the neck, but a looser collar on Mia would easily slide over her head while her neck fluff kept pushing the collar up, making it look it is tight on her.
This collar features a smaller ring than the version without the handle and it also doesn't stick out that much. The ring is secured with a strong attachment around the collar.
An extra feature that you probably already noticed is the patch space on the collar. The velcro panel allows you to easily add their Small-sized patches, which provides an easy and visible way to display any text.
And the last new feature to mention is the handle - which is displayed in the product's name. This is the same design as the handle of their Color & Gray Belt Harness that we reviewed before. The inside of the handle has velcro, so when it's not used, you can push it down to make it lay flat. This works reasonably well as long as the velcro is clear from dirt that tends to stick to it. Keeping it clean is essential to avoid the dog getting caught on something if they are off-leash in areas with dense undergrowth.
Altogether this is a durable and sturdy collar that's very easy to clean just by rinsing it since it doesn't soak in water. I also like that it is visible and provides extra space for patches.
The material of the Color & Gray leash is hard to describe, I wish I could put a sample here that you could touch. The leash is made with a durable textile material but also has rubber threads woven into it. The rubber threads ensure that the leash will not slip out of your hands and provides an excellent grip. After using textile leashes, it made such a big difference to use this one during training. It was surprising how big of a difference it makes to have a perfect grip on the leash even when just held with one hand, making giving feedback so much more precise.
I like that the leash feels stiff and firm, so it doesn't get tangled, and it doesn't feel wet even when walking in the rain. It doesn't get muddy either, and after some time of using it, it still looks completely new. The leash has a nice and strong carabiner which doesn't look scratched at all.
It might look like a small detail, but I always appreciate it when there is a ring on the handle of the leash, so if you walk off-leash, you have the option to put it over your shoulder easily.
This leash comes in five beautiful colors, in two widths, in many different lengths, and with or without a ring on the handle. There is even a version without the handle for training purposes and another one where you can adjust the length.
All products in the Color & Gray® Collection are durable and perfect for handling wet, muddy weather. I like how it allows you to mix and match the different collars and leashes with the belt harness while the design and colors will be consistent across the product lines.
You can buy all their products on their website and can probably also find retailers and stores in your country.