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Thread: Vest or no vest for your water dog

  1. #1
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    Default Vest or no vest for your water dog

    As the air temps cool and our time on the water remains the same; I see our CBR shiver a bit more. When active- fetching bumpers etc all is fine, but wet and less active she does not look very comfortable. So, do you provide your dog w/ a vest or something else? Any recommendations ? I sure would like to cast and blast this fall- duck by dawn and rainbows all day, but would like to make sure my dog is safe.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    I bought my lab an avery sport dog vest. It works great, and he seems comfortable in it. I would reccommend it if you are looking for a good one. It has a couple flotation pods on the top, to help him swim, and it has a handle cut into it so you can pick him up if you need to help him into a boat, blind, ect.
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
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    Depending on where I am hunting, and how long I'll be out, is if I put a vest on the dog or not. When hunting the Tanana for geese, I always have them wear a vest. Retrieves can be a long way down river as the current moves along, the water is cold, and the birds are heavy. I'll give them every advantage.
    Especially later season they almost always go out w/ the vest on. Early, when still warm, if I know I'll be back in the morning they may not wear it. I have a couple of spots we hunt that are very brushy, both getting to and hunting. Likely I'll not put the vest on them then either. The days they are not protected I watch them even more. At any time, if they look cold, I'll go for a quick walk on land to warm them up, and give them a small snack.
    The vest I have must be close to 15 years old. It is an old Cabela's vest, looks very "retro" compared to what you see now, but it still works. Have had to re-glue the seams a few times, and repaired a few holes, but it has not failed yet.
    ARR

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    Great thanks for the replies. After reading some reviews of the product and your responses, I'm shopping for an Avery dog parka, but can't seem to find one in town. Guess its time for some internet shopping.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    I saw the Avery vests DS56 mentioned at Sportsmans and liked their construction, especially the integral hauling handle but wanted to play the wait and see with my pup's growth and now they're gone. Mountain View has neoprene vests which are a different brand (i forget), also well made but lack the handle.

    I'm holding out for the Avery if I can find one locally, otherwise the ebandit strikes again!
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    If you use the vest make sure you check the dogs "pits" often. My pup was chaffed badly by an ill fitting vest one year.

  7. #7

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    Good point. These vest need to be trimmed to fit each individual dog. You don't want the vest to rub on the inside of the front legs. Put the vest on the dog and use a marker and mark about an inch away from the legs. Remove and trim with a good pair of scissors. Then fit again on the dog and make sure there is no binding when the dogs moves about. For males you want to make sure there is clearance from around their parts. You may need to cut out a u shape around it.
    Personally I like vest with just the velcro. Zippers fail and freeze. Plus with Velcro if the dog gets bound up in sticks or a sweeper while swimming the vest will come off freeing the dog as it struggles to free itself. I've had this happen a d I was very glad it was just Velcro. The vest can be replaced.

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    Heck Baron, I had one get stuck on some beaver limbs and the vest came off and she swam in with the duck. I sent her back for the vest. She looked at me kinda funny when I kept saying, "Fetch," when she was around that vest. Finally when she decided there wasn't a bird around and the vest was the only thing available she grabbed it, got it off the branches, and brought it back. It did need a repair job and was never the same again.

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    I've never needed a handle to haul a mature hunting dog into a boat or blind. A little help behind the neck, front legs up, then just push on the back of the head or neck. That gives them plenty of purchase. I just can't see hauling a 75lb lab in the boat from their middle. It's not quite like lifting a Pug.
    ARR

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