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CJH

Neoprene Vests

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Anybody have any experience with these? I was thinking of picking one up for my Black Lab for long, cold weather pheasant hunting.

I never thought I would need to, always worry about him overheating if anything, but when I had him out a few weeks ago after the big snow/slush storm we had, he came down with mild hypothermia after about 3.5 hours. It was 35 degrees, so it wasn't crazy cold, but very wet. Plus it had been warm up until that point, so he didn't have his winter coat yet. We got him dried off and warmed up and he is doing fine.

Anyway, any thought on them? I thought I read the fitting can be tricky and you have to watch for rubbing?

Thanks!!

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He came down with hyperthermia while hunting pheasants in 35* weather? Or was it after the hunt and he was not working...and still outside and wet?

To me it seems kind of strange that he could get hypothermia in those conditions if he is running around, even if he was wet the whole time.

That being said, I have used a vest on a dog a couple times when pheasant hunting in 0* temps with wind chills......but not very often. Even on December SD trips over the past few year, all day hunts in single digit wheather I have not had a problem without a vest. And my dogs are indoor dogs year round.

What symptoms was he showing, did you take his temp?

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Didn't take his temp, as I didn't have a thermometer (one will be in the first aid kit next time!!). We were working the last section back to the truck, and he started shaking/shivering pretty violently and didn't want to walk anymore. So I basically carried him to the truck and put some layers on him until we could get him inside and dried off/warmed up. He gradually came back to normal. He's been fine since.

I think it was because it was so wet and his pads were basically in water the entire time, that's the only thing I can think of besides him not having his winter coat yet. He's a healthy dog (5 years old) with no serious problems. We keep him lean, so he doesn't have much fat on him for extra insulation. That's why I was thinking the vest might be a good idea.

I have hunted him in the cold before, but never for that long. Never worried about it. We were out probably 3.5 hours or so. He hunted awesome that day too!! smile

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The neoprene vests can help for sure. I have one for both of my springers but you also have to watch them as snow has a way of getting into the vest through the collar area and packing their chest full of snow or slush which can actually make the problem worse. If they are wet and soaked they can certainly get hypothermic on you so it is good you caught it.

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what about for duck hunting in the water? sorry to hijack the thread CJH. I just got my pup a few weeks back and next season will be my first season duck hunting. do you recommend them for water work? just curious? thanks. Sorry to hear about the scare. Glad your dog is doing fine.

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I like to use a neoprene vest when hunting ducks and geese with my Brittany at temperatures of 45 or below. First two weeks of the season my Brittanys do not need vests in the field or over decoys in the water. A lab should definitely not need a vest either.

I have found that while pheasant hunting that no clothing protection is necessary even to temperatures around zero. Below zero I just dont like to hunt the dogs. Cold air on exposed parts, nose, paws and cold air in the lungs.

My one Britt always loved to hunt when temps dropped below 30F. She loved cold weather.

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My dog is doing fine and we are going hunting this weekend. I haven't purchased a vest, but am just going to monitor him closely. I have also kept him outside more to get him acclimated to the cold (he's an indoor dog).

I did find this informative tidbit and just wanted to share it with everybody:

In fact, studies have shown that 55-degree water, with 40-degree air temperature and 10 mph winds are prime conditions for hypothermia in dogs.

Hope your season is going well and you don't run into this!!

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If you do end up looking for a vest I would not look at any other models than the "Avery Boaters Parka." Do a google search and you will find great prices on them. I have owned several different models and this out performs all of them in my opinion. They should fit very snug, but the sizing on these run on the small size. I had to get a XXL for my 82# lab.

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Thanks Morneau for the suggestion/reccomendation. Had my lab out last weekend in the 15 degree weather and he did fine. I am assuming the first time out it was the combination of him not having his winter coat, he was drenched head to foot, in 30 degree weather with wind. Can't explain it otherwise. I may still pick one up, just to be on the safe side.

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