High Tail Hikes founder Liz Williams grew up in the North Bay of California with dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, fish, and hermit crabs. Her heart dog was Scooby, a black and tan corgi mix who could jump several vertical feet in the air. Her first gigs were walking Alfie, the senior German Shepherd across the street, and Brummy, the English Bulldog three doors down. After graduating from college, Liz followed a winding path, working as a field biologist studying birds, mammals, and amphibians, getting a Master's Degree, and working in environmental education. One of her best jobs was working for a dog day care and hiking service in Missoula, Montana, where she took groups of dogs on three hour adventure hikes. For the last mile before reaching the trailhead, the car would be a chorus of excited yips, barks, and howls, and on the way home the car would be silent, the dogs all laying on top of each other and snoring.
After moving back to the Bay Area and getting her teaching credential, Liz realized that classroom teaching was not her jam. She missed outdoor work, and thought back to her Montana dog hiking days. She took a leap of faith and launched High Tail Hikes in the summer of 2015, with a focus on off leash group trail hikes. The learning curve was steep, but Liz found some great mentors, and fell deep into the world of dog behavior and positive reinforcement training. Along the way Liz discovered biothane. The bright colors, soft, grippy feel, and waterproof/odor proof qualities made her job so much easier and more enjoyable. Using lightweight drag lines during her hikes, she could secure the dogs quickly as needed, and work on skills like recall so much more easily. Soon, Liz and her fabricator husband Gregg were making their own biothane leashes and long lines for themselves and for other dog walkers. Jarlaen Munoz joined the team as High Tail Hikes’ first employee in January 2020, and is now our full time Lead Hiker and Dog Photographer.
In the Spring of 2020, when the world shut down, Gregg suggested that Liz make a simple product page on her website so people could buy leashes from her. They invested in some material, hardware, and a simple rivet press, and set it all up in the bedroom of their rental apartment. The High Tail Hikes shop was born! Since then, we’ve moved to a larger space, expanded our product offerings, and built relationships with customers, dog professionals, and independent pet stores all over the country. In late 2020, we brought on Cory Abshear as our Production Manager. We are so fortunate to work with an amazing small team at the intersection of dog care, product design and development, education, and advocacy for a better dog-human relationship. Our goal, today and always, is to make high quality products that help you have more fun with your dog.