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Thread: Neoprene Vest Disagreement

  1. #1
    Senior Member BobOwens's Avatar
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    Default Neoprene Vest Disagreement

    HUGE ISSUE!

    Hey Everyone,

    I have been in the works on redeveloping and innovating the neoprene dog vest and therefore been asking for a lot of opinions on the subject. I just had a conversation with a young guy who has witnessed 2 dogs die from K9 Hypothermia. He didn't give details and I didn't want to ask- so maybe the dogs were standing in cold water etc. But Anyways! He said that he and some people who he trains with refuse to put vests on their dogs in cold weather because of these two deceased dogs (one chessie one lab) he explained they only put the vest on in decent weather when the dog could get injured from underwater hazards. He said the dogs can't shake the water off and therefore the cold water stays in the vest and worsens the exposure for hypothermia.

    I disagreed gently because that's the polite thing to do when a man's dog passes away, but I'm 100% in disagreement. I always thought the water was held inside the vest and warmed up by the dog's core temp and fought hypothermia. If I take my dogs vest off his body is warm...

    Thoughts on the topic?
    Bob Owens
    President- Lone Duck Outfitters
    "Sharing Your Passion For The Unspoken Bond"
    www.loneduckoutfitters.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member BAYDOG's Avatar
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    I agree, I have seen dogs get "wobbly" and disoriented from the cold, and a vest helps immensely!! Where you located in B-Ville?
    "Owned by Three AWS's"


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    There are things you just can't fix. Can't fix stupid, can't fix a neutered dog & you can't fix junk!

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    Robert "BAYDOG" Goodman

  3. #3
    Senior Member BobOwens's Avatar
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    Right by 3 rivers NYS Land. I'm at all the hunt tests and try to get to most of the Finger Lakes Retriever Club and Leather Stocking NAHRA club training days!
    Bob Owens
    President- Lone Duck Outfitters
    "Sharing Your Passion For The Unspoken Bond"
    www.loneduckoutfitters.com

  4. #4
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    I have used vests in the past, I still have 2 of them. I tend not to use them. I'm not confident that they help, and I'm concerned that they may potentially cause problems. As for now I prefer to keep the dog out of the water as much as possible and dry her with a shammy when times are slow.

    I'm not convinced either way yet, so this will be a good thread.

  5. #5
    Senior Member huntinman's Avatar
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    I can't believe anyone who regularly hunts in cold water would even question the effectiveness of a neoprene vest. Never stick your hand down inside the dogs vest? There could be ice on the outside of it, but warm on the inside.

    Granted, if the dog is standing or swimming in the cold water for long periods of time without relief, it could be a problem...

    Had them on all my dogs in Alaska and WA state in very cold water for many years and think it would be a disservice to the dog to not use it. Just my opinion.
    Bill Davis

  6. #6
    Senior Member thelast2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntinman View Post
    I can't believe anyone who regularly hunts in cold water would even question the effectiveness of a neoprene vest. Never stick your hand down inside the dogs vest? There could be ice on the outside of it, but warm on the inside.

    Granted, if the dog is standing or swimming in the cold water for long periods of time without relief, it could be a problem...

    Had them on all my dogs in Alaska and WA state in very cold water for many years and think it would be a disservice to the dog to not use it. Just my opinion.
    Completely agree, A poor fitting vest would lead to problems, if it were too loose. Even with a vest on if the dog is in the water for long lengths of time hypothermia can and will set in if the dog isn't afforded a place up out of the water between retrieves.
    Jesse

    HR SHR JR'S GUNNY DOG "ERMEY"
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  7. #7
    Member Mark AB's Avatar
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    Hi Bob, hope your season is going well and Buck is doing better? There is another thread on this you might want to check out on this topic. I think you recall how cold it was up here the weekend before Thanksgiving? i was hunting Oneida and Reba and I had ice forming on us. At one point my waders satiffened up to where I had to work hard just to stand up!! I put my hands down Reba's vest and she was warm. You cant convince me she would have been that warm without the vest on?? But everything has its limits and even with a vest i have to keep an eye on how my mutts are handling the weather.
    Muck Madness Retrievers
    Mark Berger
    Chittenango, NY

    Emerald City Reba, SH
    Emerald City Rosie SH
    Muck Madness Hurricane SH ... "Cane"
    Muck Madness Bailey's Irish Cream ... Bailey

    www.muckmadnessretrievers.com

    "How you do anything is how you will do everything".

  8. #8
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    After using a RiversWest fleece vest for going on two seasons I'm leaning on saying they are better than neoprene. When I take it off the coat is almost dry. I down time it seams they wick water away from the coat. I take the vest off and her coat is warm and almost dry. Have one fleece and two neoprene on the kids. So far, rotating it between my dogs different coat types, it seems to work better, appears more comfortable and drys out faster than the rubber. Also has a little floatation although I don't think they need it. The RiversWest Definately has a better cut for my chessies than my Cabelas and Avery vest. The Avery is already faded and has nicks and cuts. Plus the zipper sucks

  9. #9
    Senior Member Steve Shaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by counciloak View Post
    I have used vests in the past, I still have 2 of them. I tend not to use them. I'm not confident that they help, and I'm concerned that they may potentially cause problems. As for now I prefer to keep the dog out of the water as much as possible and dry her with a shammy when times are slow.

    I'm not convinced either way yet, so this will be a good thread.

    Me too. I know they stay warmer under the vest but they also stay wet.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    In a lot of the pics folks post up, the dogs are wearing vests that I think are poorly fitted. The dogs look like they are wearing loose t-shirts. Water is gonna seep between the vest and the dog when they fit loose like that. If the vest fits properly, the dog will not be getting wet under the vest. Look at the way the wetsuits fit on humans, they are skin tight. Look at the fit of the vest on John Robinson's dog in his avatar, that is how I think they are supposed to fit.

    P.S. I would not be taking advice about protecting my dog from cold from a guy who lost two of them that way. What a shame.

    Edit: I do realize that stuff happens so my P.S. above should be qualified.
    Last edited by mitty; 12-03-2013 at 12:24 PM.
    Renee P

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