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Discussion Starter #1
First time posting here, though I've found many valuable tidbits in these forums over the past few months! Many thanks, all.

Bogey (now 6m) is my second V, though he's the first I'll have had since he was a pup. We've gone through all kinds of highs and lows--as you all can imagine!!--but sometimes I lack the understanding, creativity, or web/forum searching ability to work out a given challenge. Currently I'm stumped on how to help Bogey stay warm between rounds of swimming.

He loves to swim, and swims pretty well (not too much splashing or upright "tree-stumping"!), both with and without his float vest. We use a vest so we can more easily help him get up out of the water, and just as peace of mind since he--like most Vs!--will happily wear himself ragged and then some. We're in warm bay waters and currently have air temps 65-75F, but Bogey always shivers between each retrieve, no matter how long he's out of the water and regardless of his vest. Most of the time we're on a paddle board or small boat between retrieves, so both breeze and water on board are factors (can't, eg, keep things on board dry, block breeze, or "keep him moving" between retrieves). These are short ball/Frisbee retrieves in calm water.

I've ordered a wool dog sweater (used, via Amazon), thinking to try putting it on over his vest or around/under his legs (most exposed area aside from head...and he's usually seated against or on someone so no chilly bum/tail is likely!) during longer breaks, but I don't have high hopes. I haven't seen any neoprene suits that seem to have good reviews (and be worth the high prices, plus fit a V), and frankly that seems excessive given the warm temps.

Has anyone else run into this, found any good solutions I should try? I'm wondering whether the salt water may be dehydrating him (we offer fresh water often but he isn't interested frequently interested) and I'm considering buying either reusable "click" heat packs and/or an emergency foil-type blanket to try to attach around him, but neither is very readily managed on small, open vessels, and I'm hoping to learn from others before getting any more supplies.

Any tried/true suggestions are very welcome, and thanks in advance!!
 

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I've duck hunted with some of mine. I've found just throwing a coat over them helps. Really you could use anything that's warm, and blocks the breeze.
Once he is fully grown you can get him a a neoprene vest.
 

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the air temps seem warm (compared to here in the UK), could the shivering just be excitement?
 
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My rule is, if i were to shiver they probbaly will too. And at 65 i definitely do! So on those cases I rub mine with a towel, helps with the circulation and gets rid of the cold water. They love it, as u can imagine.
At 6 months the body is still adjusting, so does the circulation, Bende at that age would always sleep under warm blanket, while Miksa on the cold floor as he was always hot as a puppy.
 

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I don't know where you're located in the US, but I know that in my area, Connecticut, the water is still too cold for a Vizlsa.
Finn is about the same age as your pup, Finn is 7 1/2m. He's been in water for the past few months, but only up to his chest. He doesn't have enough body mass yet, and the water is to cold still. Hopefully I can have him in the LI Sound in a month or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the replies! Gives me (Ash) and Z some things to think about. Right now, I'm thinking I'm thinking we should: (1) test whether it's just excitation/anticipation (to the suggestion made by @harrigab), maybe by seeing whether he shivers when dry out on the water // when wet near shore (we tested this 2d ago, actually, but "results were inconclusive"); (2) keep searching for ways to keep him warm (maybe e.g., invest in dry bag backpack to keep a coat/towel dry for his use, to points by @Gabica and @gunnr); otherwise (3) wait until he's fully grown to get a neoprene vest (@texasred, any suggestions there? Also, what did your Vs make of the duck hunting experience?).

In case it helps stir any other thoughts, I did some digging and here are some additional details:
  • Bogey loves to swim and retrieves essentially without shivering near shore. That may be because he's more likely to remain "on the go" (constant retrieves or else running/swimming on/near shore) in that situation vs out on the open water, though.
  • He's currently 40lbs of pretty solid muscle right now, and far outlasts any other dog we encounter (no surprise!).
  • The bay water temps have been holding steady at 67F for some time now, and the air temps are typically +70F, with the occasional lowest being near 65F when we're leaving the water (none of us want to be out there, wet, when it's getting that "chilly!").
I suppose the conundrum comes down to the facts that: (a) he never shivers in other situations, combined with my prior experiences being with an adult V that wasn't stopped by any temps in any scenario; (b) I certainly feel chilled at times (to the point raised by @Gabica)--although Z notes that he always feels fine and that I seem to suffer from some abnormally high osmotic action in salt water (so my experience may not be relevant in trying to understand and address Bogey's experience); and that (c) nothing onboard can be kept dry (or eveny "kept" at all, without being lashed down)--makes it tough to find ways to warm a (seemingly?) chilly boy!

Many thanks, again, all!!
 

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I'll have to pull out the vest, to look and see what brands I used. Keep in mind, I've always had to make adjustments to their vests.
I've had two that loved duck hunting.
One would even do it, when ice was on the pond.
 

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My dog also shivers from repeated retrieves around those temps or when we're kayaking.

On land, I'll just have her fetch on shore until she warms up. On the boat, she has a foam pad to give her some insulation from below and separation from water that inevitably ends up inside. She'll also wear a PFD which must provide some warmth, but not as much as a fitted neoprene vest would. Speaking of vests, I was considering picking one up for a cooler temp backpacking trip with lots of water crossings and found a scuba shop that makes custom dog vests which is nice if you want better visibility than the commercial camo ones offer. http://doggiewetsuits.com/

Until he's fully grown I'd probably go for a polyester fleece jacket or some kind of windbreaker material. Either of those would dry faster than the wool sweater if they accidentally get soaked.
 
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