This article has been updated since it's original publish date of 12/16/2016.
When we first started developing Rex Specs, we thought they might be really useful for hunting dogs who often return from a day in the field worn raw around the eyes or are suffering from seeds embedded in the eye, or from brush scratching or damaging the eye. This season, more and more hunters are adding Rex Specs to their gear list.
We've gotten some insightful reviews from avid hunters using Rex Specs to protect their hunting partner in the field. These folks have been great about providing positive feedback but also letting us know what we can improve going forward. We are committed to creating the most durable and dependable canine eye protection - customer critique and comments help make this possible.
I spoke with you last week about my hunting dog Watson. He is an English Springer spaniel who seriously hurt one of his eyes 2 years ago bird hunting. I have been hunting him since the accident but have never been comfortable in the field since the accident. I tried Doggles and they never stayed on his head not to mention the field of vision was not that great. This year while training he came very close to injuring his other eye. Then and there I was ready to retire him from hunting. I did not want to ruin the dog. He is 5 years old and was bred to hunt birds and loves doing it.
I began looking for a product that would protect his vision but felt I would not be successful based on what happened 2 years ago. I did a search on Military grade dog goggles and was lucky enough to find a picture of dogs wearing something I had not seen before. I was able to find that they were Rex Specs. I called you and explained my situation and you believed that this may be helpful. I got the goggles on Saturday and immediately put them on the dog and took him outside to fetch his ball something he loves to do. He froze did not know what to do. I immediately got his training pheasant out and began to throw it. He took off after it and began retrieving. He came back to me and started to paw at the goggles I stopped him and threw the dummy again and he bolted after it. After 5 more retrieves I took them off wanting to keep the training short and positive he did not paw at them for the remainder of the session.
It gets better. My partner called me to hunt that very afternoon, I told him I wanted to work with the dog and the goggles. I decided to take him to state land and bird hunt with him. I put the goggles on him and he started to paw at them for the first 25 yards I corrected him several times and then he started to hunt. Make a long story short he hunted the rest of the day 1.5 hours never pawed the goggles flushed a few birds and more importantly went through very thick cover the goggles protected his eyes and never came off. I have since taken him again and had the same results 2 hours last hunt. I will try and video this for you since, you will love seeing what heavy cover he goes through and how your goggles take it all in stride.
I have a few things I think will wear out on a hunting dog that may not on other dogs. You don't know how happy I am that I can protect my dog and not have to worry about his eyes. I would have been heart broken if he hurt himself again and I could have done something to stop it. Also would have been bad if I had to retire him from something he loves to do because there was not a product on the market to help.
~ F. Sardoni & Watson
I used the Rex Specs on two dogs for 2.5 hours each with very good results. I introduced the Rex Specs for a few minutes before the hunting session and the adapted to them easily - no different than a new leash. Abby and Katina's eyes were well protected and paid not attention to the Rex Specs when hunting. I did have to reseat the lenses once during the hunt in each case although this was very heavy cover and hard running dogs. The lenses show some abrasion and can be used for a few more sessions before having to be replaced.
~ G. Adams, Abby & Katina
"I'm so impressed with your product! Last fall my hunting dog got a stick in his eye. After he healed we got him a set of Rex Specs. As you can see in the picture (below) the amount of brush and debris that this dog runs through is amazing. Without Rex Specs all of those scratches would've been around his eyes! Overall, I am very happy. Thanks!"
-Ben Elfelt & Pup, Hank
NOTE FROM REX SPECS TEAM:
We get many questions about how quickly the lens scratches on our goggles and we want to let all of our customers know that we have tried many solutions to make lenses last longer.
Our initial thought was to use protective lens covers similar to those motocross athletes use. Here is what we found:
- 'tear off' lens protectors as seen on motocross goggles are a flat, planar material that does not work on Rex Specs spherical shaped lens.
- The cost of the lens covers that actually work on spherical lenses are difficult to apply, and do not stay on well in thick cover, or when they get wet.
- These spherical lens covers were also similar in cost to purchasing a new lens
Dogs don't have great vision within 24" of their face. Also, dog's only see 20/60, or 20/80 so their vision is worse, or at least different than ours. They have evolved to see well at dusk/night, and to see small movements at a distance (for hunting food). Dogs rely on other senses more than humans to be aware of their surroundings. So, the scratches don't bother them as much as they would bother us. They can use scratched lenses without it bothering them as much as we think it should. We are always happy to take a look at the current state of your lenses and provide feedback. Please email a photo of your scratched lenses to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in determining if it is time to replace your lens.
Here is our dog Tuckerman in his 'used' lenses - don't be afraid to use them beyond what you use on your sunglasses. We continued using these for a few weeks before replacing them.
Our conclusion and your solution:
The most cost efficient solution we have found is replacing your dogs lenses when they become too scratched and are obstructing their vision. We offer replacement lenses on our website in both single and 3-packs and work to keep the cost as low as possible to make this an easy and accessible solution.
"I bought [Rex Specs] for Tikka because her eyes were getting so cut up from the brush and weeds when we hunted in North Dakota. She works the cover so hard for birds! Before #RexSpecs, after a day or two of hunting her eyelids would be cut up and bleeding and her eyes would be red and swollen."
Do you use your Rex Specs for hunting? Comment below and let us know how they have been working for you and your gun dog.