A special thanks to Jenna and Atlas for writing this review of our product. To see more reviews, or to follow their adventures check them out here: www.atlasdogblog.com or on Instagram @atlastheadventuredog
Our eyes are the windows to our world. They let us view the beauty of our diverse planet and help to keep us safe. That is why it is so important to protect this fabulous sense that we rely on so heavily to find our way. We often don’t think about protecting our dog’s eyes as readily as we do about protecting the other parts of their bodies. Take their feet for example - there are hundreds of dog booties on the market that are readily available. What about eye protection? There are few brands available, many with large setbacks such as poor fit or poor range of vision. I often worry about Atlas’s eyes when he runs through the forest like a maniac with his eyes open and I’m so grateful to have stumbled upon Rex Specs dog goggles to try on the trail. Rex Specs provided us with their red, large size goggles and a selection of lenses to try out in the woods, at the pond and in the majestic Alberta Rocky Mountains for a period of about a month.
Rex Specs are designed to protect canine eyes in a number of scenarios. From daily trips to the dog park, to jumping out of an airplane, Rex Specs has your dogs eyes covered (literally). They are tested to be impact resistant which is perfect for dogs who like to ride in the sidecars of motorcycles and who like to stick their heads out of the window of moving vehicles. They can protect your pup’s eyes from punctures from sticks in the woods or from rotor wash (the air forced down) from helicopters. Additionally, these goggles also protect your dog’s eyes in another important way. They help to protect your dogs eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. All Rex Specs lenses block out 99.9 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays and are great for dogs with eye conditions such as Pannus (aka chronic superficial keratitis) or those who have sunburn sensitivity around their eyes. These goggles would be useful for weekend warrior canines to the most adventurous working dogs.
Rex Specs have several advantages over other brands. They are made with a soft 3D printed, flexible plastic and bendable but strong foam that allows for additional comfort. There are two nylon straps that wrap below your dogs bottom jaw. These straps attached to a strap that wraps around your pups head and connects at the back with a durable plastic clip. These nylon straps are adjustable but are made of typical rough nylon material. (it is important to make sure you get a correct fit to reduce the risk of chaffing.) They also feature breathable areas which help the goggles to not fog up during use. I have not seen Atlas’s goggles fog up even once so these materials work well. The goggles protect from some splashing in the water however they are not entirely waterproof due to the breathable mesh that is used. This is something to be aware of if your dog is a frequent diver into ponds. (I find the materials to be quick drying so I don’t find it to be a huge issue.) Rex Specs allow for a full range of view and seem to not disrupt Atlas’s vision one bit. These goggles are designed so that you can use interchangeable lenses. (which is very useful for training purposes.) The lenses are easy to change for human hands but are unable to be knocked loose from dogs pawing at them. This user friendly design makes them a breeze to change quickly between lenses and makes it much less frustrating to get your dog geared up for the trail.
Throughout our month of testing Atlas smushed his face into rough ice and snow, went galloping through the woods like a crazy dog, and swam in the pond and splashed around like a maniac in the water. We also brought these goggles with us camping and hiking on a recent trip to Nordegg AB to keep branches out of his eyes. Atlas put these goggles through the wringer and despite them getting soaking wet a few times, they have held up beautifully with no damages done to the frames. The lenses did get a bit scratched with heavy testing but that is to be expected with any wearable dog product. Replacement lenses can be purchased, so I don’t feel like that is a real setback.
During our testing of this unique product, they have been admired by several of my human friends. I was actually lucky to be able to test the fit of these goggles on several different breeds to investigate how they fit different dog faces. In additional to fitting well on Atlas, these “large size fit most” goggles also fit comfortably on several other medium/large breeds: a Pitbull mix, a Lurcher (greyhound mix) and a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. It can be plainly seen that these large sized goggles are made to fit a wide arrange of dog breeds from 30 -100lbs+. Rex Specs recently wanted to branch out even further with their fit and began offering a smaller sized goggle for dogs between 10-30lbs as well. The small sized is recommended for dogs with a flatter face. (Please note that the small size appears to be designed a bit differently than the large size.)
Getting the goggles to fit the first time will take a little time and patience. It is important that you adjust the straps correctly to allow your dog to retain its full range of movement of his mouth. With the goggles on correctly, Atlas can pant, bark and eat while wearing the goggles and they seem to fit comfortably on his face. To aid in getting a correct fit, Rex Specs has a helpful diagram on their website. If your dog has a particularly large head, a strap extender is also available to purchase. Does your dog require a muzzle? Don’t worry, Rex Specs are designed to allow you to use those in combination with their products.
Let’s face it, besides the awesome functionality these things look super cool. Want your canine to look like the interesting dog on the block? Want to be the talk of the dog park? Look no further, Rex Specs has you covered. These goggles are a major fashion statement and turn heads everywhere we go. Suiting every taste, they currently are available in 8 colors ranging from neutral black to neon pink. There are various lenses available as well. You can customize your Rex Specs with clear lenses for those pups who prefer to see the world like nature intended, blue/red mirror (which look just like human ski goggles) Smoke, (which look almost black) and even a lens with a mirror like finish. Lenses are available as a 3 pack and individually.
Just like people, not all dogs like having things attached to their face. Some dogs take to Rex Specs really easily and some dogs require a little more care when it comes to training to use them properly. Like most training, it is important to go slow to not overwhelm your dog and have them shut down completely. Patience and positive reinforcement is crucial when it comes to Rex Specs. As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, so you cannot expect your dog to be perfectly ready and willing to wear the goggles right off the bat. With (rather stubborn) Atlas we spent about 3 weeks working on clicker training and only then would he wear the goggles without trying to paw them off. Below I have outlined the steps that I used:
Step One: Kneel down by your dog with the goggles in your hand. If your pooch gives them a sniff, click and reward with a high value treat
Step Two: Hold the goggles at the height of their face. If they sniff the goggles or touch their nose to them, click and reward. (You basically want them to think “WOW GOGGLES – YAY I GET TREAT NOW!”)
Step Three: Place the goggles with the lenses removed on the dogs face (without attaching them) for about 5 seconds. (Did your dog freak out? Go back to step one and repeat.) If your dog stays calm, click and reward with a high value treat.
Step Four: Attach the goggles to your dogs face with the lenses removed. Keep them on your dogs face and reward generously for 20 seconds. Remove the goggles and take a break.
Step Five: Leave the goggles on and feed your dog or give him a chew to munch on for a few minutes.
Step Six: Progress with a short on leash walk with the goggles on and the lenses removed (reward your dog heavily) Keeping your dog on leash allows you to keep your eye on what your dog is doing and how they are reacting.
Step Seven: Progress with clear lenses (reward heavily)
Step Eight: Progress with coloured lenses if desired (reward heavily)
If on any step of the way your dog reacts fearfully to the goggles, go back through the first steps again. You don’t want to overwhelm your dog. Rex Specs should be associated with FUN and TREATS and GOOD VIBES. Never yell at your dog or use negative reinforcement when training. The trick is to go slow, be positive, be patient and make sure your dog is having fun along the way.
Rex Specs are now one of our most used items and will be coming with us on many more adventures. They truly are a really well built dog goggle and are designed with active dogs in mind. I would happily recommend these goggles to anyone that has a dog that likes to run full bore through the forest, or that live in snowy or dusty/dirty areas. They would work great for weekend warrior types and dogs with extreme jobs.