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Thread: Question for hard core hunters

  1. #11
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    Use of a vest has nothing to do with proper coat, it has to do with keeping you dog comfortable in a harsh conditions, doesn't really have to do with water temp either. More like a wet dog is more comfortable sitting around in freezing temps. with wind-chill etc. for hours on end, with a vest keeping their body heat trapped to their body. A wet dog, even a dog with the best longest thickest coat whatever; will get cold if he has to sit unmoving for hours on end in freezing temps. Now if I had my dog out retrieving birds, and then moving around generating heat, she probably would die of heat stroke in a vest. But most duck dogs just sit after a cold weather retrieve, waiting for the next. They don't move around and generate heat, and they start to lose core temp. lose too much core temp. and you get hypothermia. It's not the coat, water or retrieving, it's the Sitting that will Kill Yah.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Jennifer Henion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinRetriever View Post
    My own observation is that they work better with dogs that have high body mass to begin with. Put one on a Shorthair and it does help but in a relative sense it is still not that valuable. I have found those ShamWow towels are the best at drying them off when they get out of the water. The vest isn't gonna help much when the dog is dripping wet out of the water. The idea behind the neoprene is that it traps water between the vest and dogs body to create a layer of warmer water but eventually it drains out or the dog can't keep the water layer warm any longer. That is why the biggest benefit is with dogs that have high body mass. The other thing is that a thick double coat is both a blessing and a curse because the undercoat stays very wet so the dog needs the opportunity to shake. The vests prevents that to some degree.
    The vest is valuable because it adds 2 to 4 hours to your hunting outing.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Erik Nilsson's Avatar
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    I will run one in a cut cornfield as well, late season stalks can be rough on a dog
    HRC- Our season never ends

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  4. #14
    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    Neoprene vest are another invention that look functional,look cool, and are marketed as a cant live without item...actually own 3 of them, I think I have used them a total of three times...Mirk was too big for them and he never liked them, Nola hated them too...Kate liked them because she knew when I put one on her it meant we were going hunting...But I went many years without one and will probably continue to do so, mainly because it keeps the dog from doing what a dog's coat and body were made to do and thats shed water, and shake it off...If our dogs were constantly submerged in water like we were when we body surfed in the ocean then I could see the merits,but a dog's natural physiology is not like a human's..after a lengthy water retrieve I will try and let the dog shake out as much water from its coat as possible before getting back in the blind..I also worry about my dog getting hung up by their vests in deeper water and not being able to extricate themselves..to each their own
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  5. #15
    Senior Member polmaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suepuff View Post
    I'm curious, the Vest thread got me wondering, for those dogs that do have a good double coat (regardless of breed) do you find you definitely need a neoprene vest for the dog? Is it something you only use late in the season? Or on long day hunts? Or in certain areas of the US?
    Sue Puff
    Sue,
    I've never hunted in the states,so I personally wouldn't know! I've hunted much with retrievers in Scotland,and found that there are many retriever lines that don't have the coat' that some ice breakers have and just shake that cold out!. It's more the 'wind' than the temperature that get's them (imo) They can shiver on a mild day if the coat don't shed the cold water!. I've never had to use a vest on a dog of mine. But maybe that restricts the dog from shedding that cold water?
    One Shooter One Spaniel One Retriever

  6. #16
    Senior Member Bubba's Avatar
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    I worry about getting hung up in places that I can't get to- seen it happen enough to justify the worry. Doesn't take much either- you can land a REALLY big fish on really tiny line. I also think that the dogs stay warm by trapping layers of air between layers of hair and the vest prevents them from shaking off the excess water. Sure would be interesting to see one of the major dog companies do a full fledged study to determine the benefits. For the time being- if it's too cold for the dog to go without a vest it's also too cold for this fat boy to be out.
    Weighing the risks and benefits regards

    Bubba
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  7. #17
    Senior Member Jennifer Henion's Avatar
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    I guess it depends on the dog and the coat, which is Sue's original question. The vest definitely buys time for my thinner coated female. I didn't want to buy a vest, but did because she would start shivering after 45 minutes of being wet while duck hunting. Now we can go a good 4 to 6 hours. And that's more about me being done, than her.

  8. #18
    Senior Member BJGatley's Avatar
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    I find that a dog scratches the ground around then and decides to lay down has had enough...vest or not.
    Last edited by BJGatley; 10-15-2013 at 09:26 PM.

  9. #19
    Member DucksDogsDownriggers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    I worry about getting hung up in places that I can't get to- seen it happen enough to justify the worry. Doesn't take much either- you can land a REALLY big fish on really tiny line. I also think that the dogs stay warm by trapping layers of air between layers of hair and the vest prevents them from shaking off the excess water. Sure would be interesting to see one of the major dog companies do a full fledged study to determine the benefits. For the time being- if it's too cold for the dog to go without a vest it's also too cold for this fat boy to be out.
    Weighing the risks and benefits regards

    Bubba
    Completely agree-would love to see a good scientific study. I hunt my dog with a vest when the water temps get down in the low 50's, but my buddy, who has been guiding for 20+ years, and my trainer, both hunt their dogs without vests and the water we hunt gets down to the mid 30's by season's end. I think the use of a well enclosed mutt hut can really help preserve body heat.

  10. #20
    Senior Member shawninthesticks's Avatar
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    I also carry the Sham-wow in by bag to dry the dogs off, my vest is a Avery boat vest and it fits snug enough on my dog that she does not get wet past a couple inches in side the edges of the vest,I dont recall ever seeing her rib cage area(vitals) wet after a hunt.I got very lucky with the fitting sizes as I did not need to trim it at all. I cut the D rings off the vest ,as I seen them as a potential snag area. The plus's out way the negatives IMO , added warmth, extra camo, ,added bouncy to help keep her a little higher in the water and protection from unforeseen obstacles. When your breaking ice in waders ,your dog needs any extra support she can get.
    I watched her hit a log last year on a water entry ,that I'm sure without the vest she would have took some kinda cut to the chest (it left a slice in the vest about half way through and 2" long)
    Shawn White

    HR Big Creek Retrievers Independence Day JH QAA "Indy "

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