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Thread: Dog Vest!!

  1. #11
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    Default test-drive your dog vest

    Quote Originally Posted by Beau M. View Post
    Looking to purchase a dog vest and was wondering the best vest out there?
    thanks in advance!!...

    Beau
    I have 3 vests and all have lasted years with four labs.

    However, I put one on my 11-year old lab that I had not used on her before, in the early morning dark,
    and at the end of the day she was not happy...I thought it was the cold,
    and ten long retrieves for an old timer...turned out the vest front foot holes were not
    large enough and her arm pits were rubbed sore...took about a month to heal.

  2. #12
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    MissSkeeter what brand is the vest??

  3. #13
    Senior Member Keith Stroyan's Avatar
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    Make sure you trim out the arm holes on ANY brand. I did the same thing to one of my dogs years ago.

  4. #14
    Member DucksDogsDownriggers's Avatar
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    Are you looking for warmth, protection from scrapes/abrasions, or both?? I hunt big, cold water, from a boat/blind with a ladder, so I don't need to lift the dog with a handle. Warmth is very important to me as water temps are usually in the mid 30's and air temps in the mid 20's and often much lower. There is not an overabundance of options: Banded, Hardcore, Avery, Cabelas... that I'm aware of. I have used both Avery's and Cabelas and prefer the 5mm neoprene Cabelas because the Velcro allows a better custom fit-if I get a season out of a vest I'm happy. My advice would be to buy one and if you don't like the fit try another brand... we spend thousands and thousands of dollars on our dogs-$50 for the right fit, even it it takes trying a few vests, is well worth it.

  5. #15
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    Thanks duckdogs that's good advise and I agree on the money thing!!!

  6. #16
    Senior Member HuntinDawg's Avatar
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    The last several years EVERYTHING I buy that has any rubber content and is made in China has the most horrific noxious smell I just cannot describe it. You can smell this stuff all the way across the room and it gives me a headache to be in the same room with the stuff. This includes the last dog vest I bought (Avery), the last knee high rubber Irish Setter boots I bought (great boots otherwise but they stink to high heaven). I've had them for 2 years now and have yet to take them deer hunting because they smell so awful.

    Anyway, the last dog vest I bought (Avery) I had to soak it in this stuff they sell to take the stink out of wetsuits. It didn't get rid of the stink but it knocked it down considerably.

    It is all torn up now but I dread buying another one because of this problem. I was in Academy the other day and looked at their dog vests and they had the same smell, but not as strong. I don't like the Academy vests due to the black chest on the 5mm vests. I definitely prefer 5mm over 3mm. I've had zippers and Velcro. I prefer the zippers but the Velcro is OK too.
    ---------------------------------------------
    HRCH "Boomer" MH
    UH HR "Hunter" SH (RIP)

    "When you go to a test or a trial, your dog should be underwhelmed." ~ Evan Graham

    "It is unreasonable to expect a dog to be more precise than you are." ~ Rex Carr

    "You own what you condone." ~ Mike Lardy

  7. #17
    Senior Member Keith S.'s Avatar
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    I had an Avery vest that fit my old dog great, almost like a custom made vest. It didn't fit my new pup quite as good however. I bought a banded vest for my pup, fits ok, it does seam to be fairly well made, so far I'm pleased with it.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Rick Hall's Avatar
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    I've only had Avery and Cabela's vests, and while both have held up well, I much prefer the Cabela's for its wide velcro fastener and lack of "handles".

    We work out of a rampless boat a lot, and unless he's small enough to hoist like a 12pk, reaching back to a vest only complicates helping them back in the boat. Much easier to lift by the scruff of the neck until Pup's front feet are over the side, then let him use that hand as a brace to push against while pulling himself in. But beyond being useless to me, I see those handle holes as two liabilities expediting the passage of water under the vest, which a properly fitted vest should be slowing, instead, and two more openings that overhanging limbs might catch on to hang Pup up.

    Which brings us to the safety side of velcro fastened vest. While I've read complaints of velcro fastened vests pulling off, I see that possibility as a dang good thing in the event Pup does get his vest hung up on something. Would be a whole lot harder, if not impossible, for Pup to tear free of a zippered vest. And that wide velcro fastener affords a good bit of adjustability for proper fit that enhances both warm and safety a zipper doesn't.

    Which, in turn, brings us to that "proper fit" thing. No off the shelf vest I've seen has been cut to fit a gun dog that's in field ready shape. All require some tailoring. But that's an easy DIY project readily accomplished with a marking pen, straight edge, scissors and neoprene cement, not Aqua Seal or Goop, that will essentially weld the new seams so quickly you can hold them together while it works without need of stitching.
    If you think I'm wrong, you might be right.

    (And to see just how confused I really am, join us in my online blind at: Rick's 2012-2013 season log)

  9. #19
    Junior Member campbell18's Avatar
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    I recently bought a RedHead vest for my lab. It is a zip up with a velcro overlay 5mm. It seems to work pretty well in the 4-5 times it has been worn during training. However, I did have a little problem with the sizing of the vest. It seems that the sizing chart runs very small. i bought the size that best fit my measurments (XL) but had to return for a XXL. After some tailoring, it seems to fit her well and seems comfortable on her.

  10. #20
    Senior Member HuntinDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hall View Post
    neoprene cement that will essentially weld the new seams so quickly you can hold them together while it works without need of stitching.
    Darn good tip there Rick. I've gotta remember that one. Local dive shop probably carries that.
    ---------------------------------------------
    HRCH "Boomer" MH
    UH HR "Hunter" SH (RIP)

    "When you go to a test or a trial, your dog should be underwhelmed." ~ Evan Graham

    "It is unreasonable to expect a dog to be more precise than you are." ~ Rex Carr

    "You own what you condone." ~ Mike Lardy

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