Here’s something for the very good puppers of the world and the humans who love them: Fable, a new pet gear line, is as gorgeous as it is effective — and it’s got humaneness at its heart. Founded by Sophie Bakalar and Jeremy Canade, Fable produces beautiful, well-made items that eschew aversion training-based design in favor of pain-free, practical design aimed at ensuring and improving both your pet’s well-being and your own.
When it comes to training dogs, there are generally two popularly used methods when it comes: Aversion training and reward-based training. Aversion training uses negative consequences or punishments to stave off bad behavior, while reward-based training uses positive consequences, like praise or treats, to encourage good behavior. But research shows that aversion training is both no more effective than reward-based training, and more harmful for dogs’ overall health and well-being.
For example, a 2014 study published the journal PLOS ONE that examined how e-collars — a commonly used tool in aversion training that delivers a small shock to dogs in order to deter them from bad behavior — affect both the efficacy of training and the welfare of dogs found that that there was no difference in how well the dogs took to the training in groups both using e-collars and not; however, dogs which were subjected to e-collar training “spent significantly more time tense, yawned more often, and engaged in less environmental interaction” than dogs trained with reward-based methods.
Aversion training isn’t limited to e-collars; it can also encompass punishments like scolding, slapping, and jerking a dog’s leash. But you won’t find any of that in Fable’s pet gear, which is designed first by considering what’s best for dogs' health and wellness based on up-to-date research. The company’s “no pain” philosophy is the guiding principle here; the goal for the items is to help “restrain and modify behavior, without causing pain.” Next, the designers consider what’s practical for humans; and lastly, an effort is made to make the gear feel special — for you and your furry pal.
Accordingly, Fable’s initial launch comprises five products: A collar, a leash, a harness, a waste bag holder, and a carrier. They can all be purchased separately, with prices ranging from $35 for the waste bag holder to $185 for the carrier; or, you can buy the collar, leash, harness, and waste bag together as a set — the Walking Set — for $165 (which, honestly, is a steal; if you bought all four items individually, you’d be spending $220 total). Each item is made of leather — Italian in the case of the Walking Set items and Spanish from the leatherworking town of Ubrique for the carrier — and comes in four color options: Dark green, light blue, blush, and light grey.
Choosing gear in the correct size for your pet is, of course, of the utmost importance for comfort and safety, so the collar, harness, and leash are all available in multiple sizes. The range runs from XS for tiny dogs like Pomeranians, Yorkies, Papillons to XL for large breeds like Bernese Mountain Dogs and Great Danes. There are even size-finding tools on the website to help you figure out exactly which size is best for your pupper; you can either consult a general size chart for each item, or input your dog’s breed and weight for a more precise recommendation. The carrier, however, only comes in one size; it’s limited to smaller dogs of 13 pounds or less.
Fable’s gear is available to order online now; shipping and returns are free on all orders. Check out more on the Fable website — and look for new items, like a pet bed, bowl, and toy, soon.