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Desert Dog Tires

• CATEGORIES: Tires and Rims This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.


UPDATE: This thread is being kept for discussion and information purposes. See the updated post here.

Oldies but goodies…

“Hey you jeep racers I have 6 dogs 4 with tubes in great shape, and 2 in fair condition, 6 lug chrome spokes, mounted ready to go! only used on the weekends! with only 4 weeks till racing starts you need tires! or if your a jeeper who needs a good set of old school tires please write!”

Formula Desert Dog History

Anyone know the history of Desert Dog tires?  Apparently, according to the CJ3B Page Website (See comment at the bottom of CJ3B Page), “Louie says his Desert Dogs were the first out of the mold, given to him for testing and photographed for advertising in the 1970’s.”.   “Louie” is Louie Larson, aka Gopher 4×4.



20 Comments on “Desert Dog Tires

  1. Jeepermc

    Man I wish they made these bigger than what they are… I’d run a set of 35’s in a heartbeat…Still have a few sets laying around in the garage. Seems like the racers still like em…Haven’t seen any on the trails in ages….

  2. muddobber

    Cool ! I wish they were closer to the east coast My dad used to run them on his 78 dodge warlock still have 2 or 3 bald sets in the barn loft. their not even dry rotted yet I wish they still made them.

  3. deilers

    No doubt there’s still a market for them. They were noisy on the road, but I sure liked them for racing and the trails …. I’ve got 7 of them, but there in varying conditions. They are in good enough condition to race, but that’s about all.

    – Dave

  4. Mitch

    I’ve got 2 sets of 4… One set in way better shape than the others. Dad has 2 that are like new.

  5. Terry

    I’m trying to find a decent set at a reasonable price. I race EC4WDA obstacles and mine are just about spent. Any help would be great.

  6. Luis

    Hi. I’m looking for few of this desert dog tires. If any can help me to found it. Will thank any help. Bye

  7. deilers

    It is hard, but still possible, to find them. If you live in the Washington State area, your best chance is the fall swamp meet in Enumclaw. There were a number of sets for sale at the spring swap meet at the puyallup fair grounds.

    Best of Luck,

    – Dave

  8. Travis brautigam

    I agree these tires are awesome in all kinds of conditions now I haven’t found originals but what I have found are recaps that are identicle and I swear by them I have them on my 87 blazer and my 93 grand cherokee and u can’t beat them ….the recap I’ve never had a problem and u can get all 4 for about $250.00 and I live in south eastern ohio

  9. deilers

    They make recapped Desert Dogs? Please email me and tell me where (


    – Dave

  10. terry

    I raced Terra tires for one season on my first racer (46 CJ2A). They are ok but the only problem is they are directional. I like having a spare and the Terra’s make it mandatory that you have two spares. Still lookin for Dogs, if anybody has a good set let me know. I’m at Thanks.

  11. deilers

    Hi Geoff,

    The desert dogs in this ad are long gone, but I’ve kept this thread alive for discussion purposes.


    – Dave

  12. David Maxwell

    I use to be a salesman for Formula Tires aka Desert Dogs. We sold lot of retreads and henc the Firestone sidewall. Armstrong made the tires for the company. My long time friend was the President of Formula Tires. They sold the company to Armstrong back in the 80’s and went into the fruit ice cream bussness named Sanitoff which was sold in the big food stores till they sold that company also. Paul Resnick was the owner of the whole thing, and he is retired by now in Beverly Hills and is mid 70’s i guess. Very fun time in my life and learned alot from working there and still to this day am friends with some of the guys & gals. Dave Maxwell

  13. deilers

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for sharing that story! Those tires are still popular among jeep racers in the northwest. I even have 7 of them, mostly poor quality (only good for short track dirt racing) in my garage. For reasons I’m not sure I understand, they will always represent the offroad jeep to me.

    You wouldn’t happen to have any scans of old desert dog sales literature around do you?

    Again, thanks for the comment!

    – Dave

  14. Joe1148

    The Formula Desert Dogs were sold for as long as they were made by Les Schwab Tires out of Prineville, OR. Their chain now runs throughout OR, WA, ID, MT and Northern CA. Les for years ran a set on his CJ and had a company poster spouting their ability to grab hold in the shale rock hills found thru central Oregon. I lived at the time in Milton-Freewater, OR (hometown) and ran with a now gone 4WD Club called the Mud Flingers. We held many a run up into the Blue Mountains here and into nearby neighboring WA state where I now live. The more mud, snow and trails, the better! Many comments have been made about the noise these made on the highway. Did they ever. I ran a built 72 Ford Bronco that was outfitted with all the trick toys from Duffy’s Bronco Service in Anaheim, CA. I was discharged from the Navy in CA and spent a year working in Ventura. I traveled down to Jim Duffy’s place in Anaheim and we built my Bronco there. Double shocks F&R, Duffy Flares on the rear and the front were custom flared by James, full cage and Duffy Custom Hurst shifters on the Trans and Transfer case. Was then painted at a nice shop there. Back to the Desert Dogs. I also found a feature I’m sure unintended by Formula when they were designed. If you were on pavement at 35-40 mph, then down-shifted to 2nd and let the clutch out quickly, they literally “barked” like a Dog! I kid you not! The tread and pavement made a unique “bark” I could never create with any other design. I ran 31s, originally on white spokes and later on oval slot Mags. Down to the other real reason for them! NOTHING grabbed and held like a set of Dogs, most everybody around here ran them off-road, and much of the time on! At any given time we were only 20 minutes from some great 4-Wheelin’! When the snow got deep we’d drop the tire pressure for a little added flotation/bite. Very deep snow 24″+ I’d change to Terras on a set of 13″ steel wheels. But I’d buy a set of Dogs in a heartbeat if I could find them!

  15. deilers

    Thanks for that note! I didn’t know Les had a CJ and ran them on it. The only set I bought new I got from a Big O Tire in South Seattle in 1985. I don’t think they were advertised for sale, but a friend of a friend said they still had some for sale.

    They do pop up for sale every so often. A set of four was available for sale with some pretty decent tread in Kennewick for $100. There is also a set I plan to purchase from a friend in North Bend when I get back up there that I’ll save for offroad use. And, there always seems to be a set or two each year at the Moonshiners 4×4 swap meet in Puyallup. However, it would be nice to be able to purchase a NEW set.

    I can’t remember ever experiencing the “bark”, but I know too well the Humming they made on the freeway. I put a lot of highway miles on my tires before I sold my Jeep.

    – Dave

  16. capalzo

    Glad to have found this page. Just purchased (7/2/10) a used set of Desert Dogs, from a tire shop in Graham Wa. call Dinosaur Tires. I have never heard of this brand, so I’m doing some research. I know it’s weird to be doing research after the fact, but it is what it is.

    I have a Dodge Durango and I run 31 10.50 R15’s. This is a very expensive tire and I could afford to buy brand new, so I looked for used ones. Used were also very hard to find, until I found the Desert Dogs. I don’t race, nor do I off road. Is this tire practical for city driving? Do these tires have a rep for being long lasting? The tires are in above average condition, with over 60% thread. What are the pros and con’s, for my situation? With the increased road noise, I might be in the market to sell these! I live in the Seattle area.

  17. deilers

    The Desert Dogs are best for offroad. They are a soft tire with wide lugs, which makes them grab sand, dirt, shale, and mud really well. About the only thing they really aren’t good for is the road. They wear very quickly .. I was told a new set is worth maybe 10,000 miles on the road.

    So, the pros are, they are great offroad tires. The cons are they are aren’t the best road tires due to increased noise and quick wearage. Also, because your set is likely over a decade old, they might not be the safest tire to be driving on the highway.

    There are a number of jeepers and/or racers in the Seattle area who might be interested in these (in fact, it’s the most active desert dog market in the nation as best as I can tell) — if you are interested in selling them, you can drop me an email with pics at and I’ll post them.

    Best of luck,

    – Dave

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