This interview was conducted in April 2016 by Evan Harbalis - Von Ultimate Kennels (VUK)
VUK: Tell us about yourself.
CARIZ: My name is Jaromir Zdrazil and I am 65 years old and I am the founder and owner of Cariz. I am married and I have 5 children (3 girls and 2 boys) and have 4 grand children. I live with my wife in a town called HORNÍ ŽIVOTICE, in Czech Republic where we manufacture and sell dog training equipment.
VUK: When was the Cariz company founded?
CARIZ: The Cariz company was founded on 29th April 1991, and we engage in the manufacturing and selling of dog training equipment. The products we make are made from high quality materials and are hand crafted individually. We are a small company that produces one sleeve at a time. I am the most experienced in this trade as I am the original and the first company to manufacture sleeves in the Czech Republic.
VUK: When did you first start manufacturing sleeves?
CARIZ: I first started repairing sleeves before I manufactured my first sleeve. I owned dogs all my life and always wanted to make my own sleeve. I first started manufacturing sleeves when Czechoslovakia became Czech Republic (end of communism). I actually started making sleeves with Dr Jiri Tichy. We worked together and put our ideas together to make the ideal sleeve at that time. We had family members working closely with us such as Jiri’s mum who use to make and sew the sleeve covers.
VUK: Tell me about the first sleeve you made?
CARIZ: The first sleeve I made was in 1994 which was the year of the WUSV was held in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. Between myself, Lubos Jansky and Dr Jiri Tichy we worked together making our first sleeve which was made from leather. We tested the sleeve over many weekends and making amendments where required. We finally finished the sleeve and that is when I made and completed my first sleeve and my passion for making sleeves grew.
VUK: When you first released the white line products, how did people react to the new material?
CARIZ: It took time for dog sport people in the Czech Republic to accept the white line material and to have faith in the material because the army use to make sleeves from nylon/plastic (which wore out the dogs teeth). The white line material looked similar to the plastic material used by the army which caused confusion as they believed the white line material was plastic, a few years past then they realised the white line is actual material (synthetic and not plastic) now there is a high demand for white line. Some of the best helpers around the globe are using the white line material.
VUK: Tell us more about the white line material where does it come from and how did you first start using it?
CARIZ: The white line material was first made in Czech Republic. After 1994 builders who built bridges used this material to carry rocks from one side of the dam to the other side. That is when I first saw the white line material being used and realised its potential as it is very durable and does not wear. I have been working with the white line material for many years now where I have re designed the texture of the white line by creating a unique weave style. The white line material is made in Europe and is very costly to ship to Czech.
VUK: Tell me how you came up with the idea for the V, C4 and C7 Sleeves
CARIZ: A trend had started where helpers started to move the sleeve to one side and with a full sleeve this was difficult. Some helpers tried to trim the sleeve but had no success and some even caused damage to themselves by bites and scratches etc. I thought long and hard how to design a more practical sleeve for the trend that was evolving for dogs to come in faster on the bites. My main objective was to think of how the hand should enter the sleeve and how it should be balanced. There were many prototypes before I was successful, then finally I had a breakthrough and came up with the idea for the V, C4, and C7 which are still some of my most popular sleeves today. We were the first company to succeed in this new breakthrough design and I started the trend where others have followed.
VUK: How do you test your new products before they are released?
CARIZ: Before any sleeves are sent out for testing, it goes through my own testing. The testing method I have is a skull of a German Shepherd so I can observe and take note where and how the molars and the rest of the teeth come in contact with the size and shape of the sleeve. After this process I test the sleeve on my own dogs and when I am happy with this I give it to some of the best helpers in Czech for their feedback. After this lengthy process the sleeves are then released for sale to the public.
VUK: Tell us about the rights you have for the white line material.
CARIZ: I worked closely with a firm in Czech Republic that made the white line material and the firm was going into receivership. We came to an agreement where I paid them a substantial amount of money to ensure that the white line material and the weave design was only sold to me exclusively. Unfortunately the company eventually shut down and moved outside of Czech Republic.
VUK: What are the benefits of the white line material?
CARIZ: The white line material holds for a long period of time and does not suffer like jute because jute after a while of being wet, rots. The white line material can be washed with a gurney and can handle high pressure water but the jute material cannot. The white line material lasts tenfold and today the white line material is so far advanced and that is why we use white line material. The white line material is made from many strands but each strand is made from 5 threads and not 3 threads as other companies use, we want to make our sleeves as strong as possible. The reason why there are 5 threads per strand is if one breaks there are 4 left, this makes the sleeve stronger and longer lasting. The white line material is the new jute.
VUK: Tell us about the other materials used to make a white line product, example bite bar etc
CARIZ: We have a unique weave which allows the dog’s teeth to penetrate the sleeve without making holes in the material - that’s our new weave design exclusive to Cariz.
The unique bite bar we use made from rubber material, is used exclusively by Cariz is very unique so when the dog bites it does not collapse, the bite bar springs back to formation. The bite bars are covered with a waterproof white line material like.
VUK: What makes your Cariz products so light?
CARIZ: The Cariz products are light due to the bite bar and the white line material. On top of the bite bar I cover it with waterproof material. In combining the above the end result is a light and durable sleeve.
VUK: Are you in the process of developing a new sleeve?
CARIZ: The new sleeve I have developed and released is the Pulak and is available in soft and standard. About 5 weeks ago I designed the Pulak sleeve and I showed the sleeve to a handful of people at one of the dog events. I later found out that the sleeve I designed was copied and made by another company. This has not affected me as I will still continue to manufacture and develop the idea of the new sleeve Pulak. I wanted to release this sleeve earlier but the other company hurried to make the product and released it before I could. The first two Cariz Pulak sleeves I made have gone to yourself and the other to Vit Glisnik.
VUK: Who are your exclusive agents?
CARIZ: I have no other exclusive agents other than Cariz Australasia, this makes you the sole Cariz agent outside of Czech Republic. I have told Evan Harbalis things that have never been said before about manufacturing sleeves and white line material, if anyone is interested in purchasing my products please contact Evan at Cariz Australasia.
VUK: What do you suggest to readers before they purchase a new sleeve?
CARIZ: I suggest to the readers before purchasing a sleeve consider: the dog type, how old the dog is, goals you intend to achieve with the dog, what IPO level you want to reach and if you work left or right handed.
VUK: Thank you for your time
CARIZ: It was my pleasure