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Discussion Starter #1
Well the warmer weather is coming and for me that means... going to the lake! I don't fish or anything, but my parents have a boat and we have a slip on the lake. I'll be taking Kobi down there, not sure for how long (haven't quite convinced my parents they need a dog on their boat...) Anyways, at some point, he is probably going to have to swim!

So far he hasn't had a chance to swim. Obviously if he is going to be on the lake the water is deep enough and murky enough I would be concerned for his safety. I was wondering if anyone here had any experiences with a doggy life jacket for their V? I know they may fit differently than other dogs so thought I would ask first.

I might check and see if he would be allowed to ride with me on the jet ski. That way he could go somewhere other than the dock (going slow, of course), without having to be on my parent's boat (which may not be as dog friendly).

Oops, forgot to add: There is a pond near my house and I am planning on getting him in the water there at first, since he'd be able to basically walk in the water from shore and we could go often til he's ready for the lake.
 

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We will be in the same situation come summertime. My parents have a boat in the river. We want to take Holley out to have a good time but are not sure what lifejacket may be best. We are going to start her in my grandmom's pool to learn to swim first.
Any advice/input is much appreciated.
 

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Jill, I did find some threads that suggest the Vizslas will have no trouble swimming initially, and one even liked to dive to retrieve stuff. I think it may happen easily once they are near the water. But there is obviously the concern when they're on the lake/river and it is a bit more dangerous if they fall in.

Hopefully someone has some experience with life jackets here.
 

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We took Kian to the cottage one hot weekend and let him play around like a mad man, he got so hot he went over to the lake and started drinking the water. He stepped in and then we splashed around a little, he loved it. It was very refreshing for him. After he ran around back and forth I picked him up and kneeled down in the water dipping him in slowly as I walked out. I did this for a few minutes at a time.
The next day the same thing. He really enjoyed it and he kept us laughing as he took his first "doggie paddles" on his own....the most ungraceful swimmer ever.
He picked it up pretty quickly the next year and now you cannot get him out of the water on a hot day...or a mild day for that matter. ::)
He's like a fish, he loves the water.

Take it slow and give lots of praise Kobi and Holley will "get it".

Good luck.

Here he is in his not so graceful period ;D


and here he is at the cottage just swimming like the Loch Ness monster.
 

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Great pictures of Kian! I can't wait to get Kobi in the water ;D

I e-mailed the Illinois DNR... they said that the dog would be allowed on the jet ski. There is nothing to prohibit it. So that may be an option if my parents aren't too enthusiastic about him being on the boat. Not that I can imagine Kobi cooperating for a jet ski ride, but we will see haha.
 

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Haha! super cute! Kasey was absolutely horrified of the water until we were in the pool one day and he just had be with us. It started off rocky..huge splasher lol but he's so graceful now! he loves to go in just to do a laps around the pool by himself swimming is definitely right up there with running for him :) He does dive too If a ball goes under or you sit on the bottom of the deep end he'll come looking! :p
 

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lulu loves water. took her about 5 minutes to jump into the creek by our house when i first took her there. fun to watch her swim first time. i kept taking her to the creek all summer. she refined her swimming style significantly. she loves to swim against the current. she keeps swimming and swimming but she would still be at the same spot. i love it because she gets tired doing this very easy.


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Here's a link to a standard doggie life jacket: http://www.dog.com/item/kyjen-pet-saver-life-jacket/330304/ Seems like they have one for most breed sizes.

Btw, I love that second 'Loch Ness' photo of Kian - great shot!

We've been talking about swimming with Osha since before we got her. We have a cottage on a great lake for dogs - it's relatively small, white sand and there's a sand bar that goes out about 100 feet from the shore. Our biggest worry is that O will *not* love to swim. I think we will try the Kian method and make it as fun as possible and not just assume that she will love it (but oh, I hope she does :) )

Can't wait until summer!
 

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Jakes loves to swim!! We have a boat and spend every weekend in the summer on it, he even sleeps on it with us and had adapted very well. I can't wait for this summer because I know he misses it. I bought a life vest from Ruff Wear and it has held up wonderfully http://www.ruffwear.com/Big-Eddy-Float-Coat a little pricey but if you plan on spending a ton of time in the water, this one is great. He can swim fine without it but where we take the boat, he cannot touch so I worry he will get too tired. He likes to jump right off the back of the boat, it did take some coaxing though. Here are some pics of the life vest
 

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That's a nice looking SeaRay you've got there... how big is it? My parents have a Fourwinns Vista 278. I know my mom is kinda worried that he might tear up the boat or something (granted, he's pretty wild). It looks like Jake hasn't harmed your cushions any though. My parents have never had a dog in the time they've been married (25 years), so I'm still trying to get them to warm up to the idea :p I don't spend the night on the lake though, just come down a day at a time... but it'd be nice if I could still be there a lot even with Kobi. My parents are there from Friday to Sunday, every single weekend during the summer!
 

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My parents have a 30ft Searay. They also spend every weekend on it in the summer. It stays at the dock most nights. They only tie up a few times a year overnight. I think Holley will really enjoy it but as jakersmomma stated, I worry about her getting tired and just stopping in the water. Our breeder did say that when a Vizsla is done with something, they just stop. That is why we want the vest for her. We will probably teach her in the pool without it on and we will always be in the water if she is in. I am sure she will love it once she understands it. That is the hard part. Haha. I am sure we will all be posting pics of our puppies' first time in the water soon enough.
 

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Kobi said:
That's a nice looking SeaRay you've got there... how big is it? My parents have a Fourwinns Vista 278. I know my mom is kinda worried that he might tear up the boat or something (granted, he's pretty wild). It looks like Jake hasn't harmed your cushions any though. My parents have never had a dog in the time they've been married (25 years), so I'm still trying to get them to warm up to the idea :p I don't spend the night on the lake though, just come down a day at a time... but it'd be nice if I could still be there a lot even with Kobi. My parents are there from Friday to Sunday, every single weekend during the summer!

Thank you very much! We love it. It's a 2001 Sea Ray 380, we just upgraded from a 27ft Regal last summer (got a dog, needed a bigger boat, lol). The leather seats in our cabin is very soft and we worried about Jake tearing the cushions as well but we've had no problems. I do make sure I take him to get his nails trimmed at least every other Friday and I take him to a place where they grind them, not cut them. The only real problem we've encountered is where does he go to the bathroom? He won't pee in the water unless he can have his feet on the ground, then he will. Luckily, where we take the boat most of the time, there is land but it's a long walk. We bought a little boat raft and we put him in that and walk to land, oddly enough though, he will pee in his little boat!! He has never had a potty accident on our boat. I wish he would just pee on the swim platform or something-we could rinse it right off but he won't. He did make a little doozy on our friends 43ft Viking though (teehee) right on the bow!!! That was good for some laughs.

Also, when I first started taking him on the boat, I always kept a leash on him so I could control where he went (scared of him falling off). Now he pretty much just lays down or sticks his head out the side. We were pretty frightened last year getting a much bigger boat to learn how to handle and having a puppy onboard but all in all, I would say he has been the best little boater dog ever and brings much joy to everyone! I would encourage your parents to allow him onboard and just keep him on a leash close to you the first time. I bought a roll up soft bed for him to lay on too because as you know, Vizslas do not like to sleep or lay on hard surfaces so I roll that out when we are on our friends boat and he lays on that. Good luck. Here's Jake on the last boat ride of the season and a couple other pics!!
 

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clover said:
Here's a link to a standard doggie life jacket: http://www.dog.com/item/kyjen-pet-saver-life-jacket/330304/ Seems like they have one for most breed sizes.

Btw, I love that second 'Loch Ness' photo of Kian - great shot!

We've been talking about swimming with Osha since before we got her. We have a cottage on a great lake for dogs - it's relatively small, white sand and there's a sand bar that goes out about 100 feet from the shore. Our biggest worry is that O will *not* love to swim. I think we will try the Kian method and make it as fun as possible and not just assume that she will love it (but oh, I hope she does :) )

Can't wait until summer!
You have to meet up with the group in the warmer months. We hit one forest that has a pond that all the dogs go into to cool off. She'll learn how to swim there, no problem ;)
 

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I know! We so want to come for one of the walks! Do you guys ever meet up later than 10: AM ? ;)
I work nights so it's hard for me to get up at 8:AM when I've only just gone to sleep a few hours before.

A pond swim with a group of Vs sounds awesome! So far O has not yet met another V so we're totally looking forward to her reaction when she does.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Haha I would totally skip sleep if I were you to meet up with the GTA V group. It looks like so much fun!

I'm jealous of everyone with their 38ft and 30ft SeaRays! Those are really nice boats and super spacious too! My parents might upgrade someday, but for now my dad wanted the widest cruiser he could stick on a trailer. Of course the cruisers with the extra 2' width look humongous in comparison! I noticed that Jake had really short nails in that picture, it would totally be worth getting them trimmed down to have him on the boat. I have a feeling that my parents will eventually give in because they like it when I come and spend time with them on the boat
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey Jakersmomma, could you tell me what size life jacket you have for Jake? I may end up going with the Ruffwear one you linked even though it is pricey.
 

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I bought Pumpkin a life jacket yesterday from Overton's. It has great reviews, not bulky, and it was $24.99; however, I think I saw they have a special for $9.99 online!!!! May want to check it out. I got a size M. Couldn't have gone smaller by size specs, but she defintely has room to grow & fill out. A size M would fit most Vs, the exception being the full grown males (M goes to 50lbs I think).
 

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Thanks for posting up all these pics!! On a very small scale compared to the rest of you, we have a sailing boat but only small Omega and a rowing boat. We have a house on the lakes in the Cotswolds and so spend a lot of time on the water one way or another in the summer. Tigger absolutely loves going out in the boats but we have to be careful that he is not too eager sometimes as last summer he nearly upended my husband in the water in his attempt to be the first dog in the boat !!! I got his life jacket from a pet superstore and he gets soooooo excited when I get it out of the cupboard. The joke of it is, he's really not keen on getting his whole body in the water so won't swim. He loves to paddle but fell in off a small fishermans jetty when he was a puppy and it put him off swimming forever !! :)
 

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Kobi said:
Hey Jakersmomma, could you tell me what size life jacket you have for Jake? I may end up going with the Ruffwear one you linked even though it is pricey.
Jake is now 31" in girth and I have a medium. I think when I bought it he was smaller but I read somewhere that if they fit into two size categories to go with the smaller of the two. Measure the girth and then check out the sizing guide. It really is a well made jacket.. Kobi is so cute!! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hey Jakersmomma, I just went back and looked at your pictures again, and I noticed your boat needs a name ;D Actually, seems like most of those are nameless! Not a common thing where you're from?
 
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