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Thread: Life Jackets

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Question Life Jackets

    Hello everybody I have a 16 week old male yellow lab and would like to know your experiences and opinions on life jackets for dogs. The reason I am considering one is that he enjoys swimming with us at the lake and I am worried about him getting tired. This won't be for retrieves but rather just swimming for extended periods with us. I want something that will work well and be comfortable but would rather not spend an excessive amount as he is of course still growing quickly.
    Last edited by NTX78; 07-13-2009 at 12:34 PM.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Shelburn, In


    Id say if your worried about him getting tired then maybe your best bet would be to limit his time in the water, rater than put him in a life jacket but you may be able to get a life jacket at a pet store that is made for a small breed.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Mike Tome's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
    Brunswick, MD


    I have to agree... if he's swimming to the point of exhaustion he's probably in the water too long
    Mike Tome
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  6. #4
    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    South of Charlotte, NC


    I got one of those for Indy when he was a pup. I was always afraid he would jump out of the boat and that it would be a good thing to use to haul him back on board with. All that happened was when he wore it he got caught on every thing he touched on the boat and got hot. We soon found out he could climb the swim ladder so the life jacket ended up molding away in the garage after 1 use!
    Carol Howey
    Owned and handled by Cruisin' with Indiana Jones, JH
    Alternate Handler: Westwind Buffalo Soldier
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  7. #5
    Senior Member Ken Newcomb's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
    Norfolk, Nebraska


    If my lab can't swim its time to get a new lab.

    You would have to be a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGG way from shore for a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGG time before you would swim to the point of drowning.
    Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work hard for it.

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  8. #6
    Senior Member FOM's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Falcon, CO


    Well long ago my wonderful knucklehead took off across a pond (my niece faked him out and pretended to throw a happy bumper and he wasn't coming back without one). We had to go get a boat to haul him in, as soon as we grabbed him he went limp and almost sank, he was that tierd. I learned a lesson from that experience.

    Now we just drop Flash off at the pond on our property and head up to the barn, he will swim until he can't swim anymore and will return home....when we "loose" him i always check the pond(s) first - he loves to just swim and swim. He is 10.5 years old now, but when he was younger I probably wouldn't of let him do that on his own....but I do know he will get out when tierd....I also figured if he drowns then he will be doing what he loves so much! Sounds cruel, but it is true....he loves to swim!

    But for a young pup I would say you need to supervise them....

    Also note that my boy loves to swim, will for hours (yes hours) but he will cheat water anytime he can when birds are invovled, water slows him down!

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  9. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    North Carolina


    Don't take them to the lake, they will be to stressed out like mine. Seriously i think i'd drown before the dogs do. At least one of mine goes to the lake with us every weekend.

  10. #8
    Senior Member Steve Amrein's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    St. Peters, MO


    To me there is a big difference between a retrieve which they are or should be in a hurry to do and get back and recreational swimming. Our friends have a cement pond and let the dogs come over. They will swim for hours. Its actually pretty cool to be able to see them swim in clear water and see how little effort they have to keep a float. Our 1st golden we would take to the party cove and stay all day and we put a ski vest on her backwards and she sometimes would not even paddle. As long as the water is not to hot or cold I think they could swim for the same amount of time as walking.
    "Communism only works in Heaven, where they don't need it, and in Hell, where they already have it" Ronald Reagan

  11. #9
    Senior Member TexGold's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Wichita Falls, Texas


    If I am out on a big lake far from shore, I usually put one on the dog in case of an accident. Of course when it is cold I put neoprene vests on them and it does provide extra flotation for the dog.
    "When a man is proud of his dog and shows it, I like him. When his dog is proud of him and shows it, I deeply respect him. Gene Hill

  12. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009


    Thanks for the responses. I went ahead and orded one of these in camo.

    If I don't need/use it, oh well. I will feel better having it available.
    If anyone is interested I will let you know how it works once it gets here.

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