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Outdoor Retailer Show Goes to the Dogs

One warm-and-fuzzy part of the Outdoor Retailer show that took place last week in Salt Lake City: dogs! 

Outdoor Retailer, or OR as it's referred to in the outdoor industry, is the largest trade show in the U.S. devoted to outdoor gear and apparel. The summer version of the twice-annual show ended Sunday.

Outdoor Retailer: Dog in backpackA little-known fact outside the OR walls is that in addition to the nearly 25,000 people who attend the show, there are numerous dogs who are credentialed to roam the show halls. They have badges, just like the rest of us, and they have a job to do. 

Whether working booths, working in a service-animal capacity, carrying fliers or just providing comic relief in the very busy halls of the show, dogs are a part of the outdoor industry family just like they're a part of many of our families at home.  Booths incorporate dog beds and water bowls for canine company, and many of the booth displays feature dogs—whether the company makes dog product or not.


We pulled together this video to share a little bit of OR's dog culture with you, as well as give a peek at a few cool dog products from Ollydog and Alite, some of which are available right now. There's an audio glitch at the end, and we apologize for that issue... we've still got some kinks to work out of our as-it-happens video process, so we wanted to share the video with you even if it's not quite perfect.

Just one of the many awesome dogs we met, Jack Payne (the black-and-white cutie shown at the bottom of this post) was hard at work representing FiveTen networking with friends and posing for pictures. While we're hard pressed to hand out superlatives, since all of the dogs we met were cute and friendly, Jack definitely knew how to work the camera.

Cannon, at the Zuke's boothWe met Cannon, the hard-working Gym Dog at the Front Climbing Club in Ogden, UT practicing some tricks at the Zuke's booth (left). Zuke's is looking forward to the upcoming launch of a new treat called Zbones, which comes in 3 flavors and is an edible, potato-based, grain-free chew bone. Made without wheat, corn or soy, with whole food ingredients, Zbones are a great choice for dogs who are avoiding grain, and those trying to maintain their figures.

Ibex, makers of active and casual merino wool and organic cotton clothing, featured their office dogs prominently in their booth design.  They also sum up the dog-friendly segment of the outdoor industry's feelings about dogs quite well on this page of their Ibex website.

Ibex says: "We're dog people. Dogs are to Ibex as Yoko was to John, as Zelda was to Fitzgerald. They are our muses. They inspire us, and ever so skillfully guilt us in to playing when we verge on taking ourselves too seriously. Our dogs serve as the official greeters here at the White River Junction, Vermont, HQ. They accompany us on most of our R&D outings (a.k.a. product tests) and remind us to take a breather in intense times. Above all else, we just plain love 'em."

Outdoor Retailer: Dogs of Ibex

And many of us at REI do, too.  I, for one, am looking forward to getting home from the show and getting a snuggle from my roommate-dog, Maile … and to a few wet noses and wagging tails in Doggy Row—the play area that REI's hard-working dogs spend their days in.


Posted on at 4:42 PM

Tagged: Alite, FiveTen, Ibex, OllyDog, Outdoor Retailer, Zukes and dogs

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Did I read that last bit right? Employees at REI corporate can bring their dogs to work?

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Sara Plays Outside Staff Member

That's true! We have a "doggy run" for the pups to play in during the day, with crates and toys and a fenced play area. There's a waiting list, so not all REI dogs come to work, but many do!


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