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Discussion Starter #1
Dan and I were looking at life jackets at Petsmart last night while Holley was getting her nails done. The only brand they had was Outward Hound. The medium seems a bit short on her in my opinion. It did not go back to almost her tail as the picture showed. Any recommendations on size/brand? Boating season is here and we want her to be safe. Thank you as always.
 

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Kobi has the Big Eddy in Medium, and I know there is another V on here (Jake) that has the same life jacket (I bought it on that recommendation):

http://www.google.com/search?q=big+eddy+float+coat&tbm=shop&hl=en&aq=f

It's expensive, definitely, but I think it's a good choice if you're going to be leaving it on the dog for several hours. The construction is high quality and it does not bother Kobi at all. Kobi actually got a lot of compliments on how good he looked in his life jacket.

I like the fact that it has a small plastic d-ring to attach a leash (and it makes a great harness once leashed), and the handle is VERY strong. I can easily pick up Kobi (48.5 lbs) with the handle whether he is in the water or on land. The handle does not strain at all under his weight.

Kobi is on the small side of a medium, but he doesn't have an ounce of fat. Once I got it all snugged up it's actually a perfect fit, and he has plenty of room to grow. I don't think he'll EVER outgrow it. $65 well spent in my opinion, since it'll serve us for many boating seasons to come.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It looks like that one does not go back that far either. I wonder if the picture on the ad was just a wrong size for the dog shown. Holley is currently 44lbs. @ 11months old (I don't think she will get much bigger). My other concern was that the weight rating was for dogs up to 50lbs for the medium and then the large was for dogs 40-90lbs so something like that for the Outward Hound one. I am not sure what is safest for her. Not sure if it is even a good brand.
 

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How far are you wanting it to go back? I don't think it has to go back very far in order to provide sufficient flotation. The dog does not necessarily need to be held in a horizontal position, although the description does say that it puts the dog in a natural swimming position. Remember, she will have to be able to sit with the jacket on.

Take a look at Kobi's album if you want to see some pictures with him with his Medium on. They are in the last row of pictures:

https://picasaweb.google.com/TrumpDaBeast/Kobi?authkey=Gv1sRgCLuW1sXBvK3OnAE&feat=directlink
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did happen to look at your pics and that is what made me think the Outward Hound didn't have the proper size on the dog in the picture. They show it going back to almost the tail. When we tried it on Holley, it came to almost her back legs. After finding reviews on that brand, I don't think we will be purchasing it. The top strap is not strong and keeps breaking for people. That's not good if we need to pull her out by that.
 

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I know some ppl w/ dogs (V's and Weimeraner's) and they've got the Big Eddy from Ruff Wear as well....they fit as per Kobi and are really well made....seem to suit the sporting dogs (skim build w/ big chest) very well.


Good luck in your search
 

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JillandDan said:
I did happen to look at your pics and that is what made me think the Outward Hound didn't have the proper size on the dog in the picture. They show it going back to almost the tail. When we tried it on Holley, it came to almost her back legs. After finding reviews on that brand, I don't think we will be purchasing it. The top strap is not strong and keeps breaking for people. That's not good if we need to pull her out by that.
Yes, the durability of the strap is important. The Big Eddy's strap shows no signs of weakness. I actually used the strap to dip Kobi in the water. I would pick him up by the strap, put him out over the water, and dip his legs slightly in the water so he could swim in the air. The strap was not strained at all, and it didn't seem to be uncomfortable to Kobi that he was basically being held in the air by the life jacket that was wrapped around his chest.

After using it a few days, I'm VERY glad I got one with a strap that is usable either in the water or out of it!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you Macaroni. I think we will probably end up with the Ruff Wear. We will have to order though as all the stores that carry it near us are out of stock. No shocker with it being late in the season. Dan wasn't sure what he wanted to do whenever we saw them so now we are out of luck. Guys are so indecisive. Haha. Oh well.
Kobi,
You are right. The top strap is a vital piece of the jacket and we want to make sure she is safe if we lift her by it so that was the deciding factor for me to not go with the Outward Hound
 

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We purchased a life jacket from Overton's. It's the Overtons brand. It had great reviews, and it was inexpensive compared to many. If feels sturdy & well-made with a handle. It is a size M. We have not used it yet, but I feel comfortable it will suit our needs. I also have not tried it on her since late February, but there was plenty of room for growth when I did.
 

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Please spend the time required to teach the dog to swim and that water is a fun place to be. :) If there is a concern with white water rafting or something similar; then yes get a jacket or leave the dog home. I'll get off my soapbox now. :-X
 

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Discussion Starter #11
We fully plan to teach her to swim first. My grandmom has an inground pool and we are going to introduce her to that first so she knows it is a good, fun thing. The boat/river will come once she gets the hang of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just wanted to thank everyone for their help. I just ordered the Big Eddy Float Coat in a Medium for Holley. Now we just need to teach her to like the water. :)
 

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Read up on the best way to introduce a dog to water First! I would pick her up in my arms and walk her into the water while in my arms. Slowly go down on your knees and get her back wet while she is looking up at your face. Use nice words and go very slowly. Do not wet her face or ears the first time unless she shows you she wants to swim. Do this a few times for at most 5 minutes each. If she is comfortable, turn her over (paws down) and support her belly while she floats. This should be done with no other people in the area. The next step would be for her to walk slowly into a lake (following you of course) where there are ducks or Geese. ;) Most people don't realize; if you don't go into the water, the dog will not go into the water! You would be surprised what a V will do to get a duck! ;D Good Luck! :) Have your camera ready!
 

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about V's not liking water- ours HATES the water....any tips ? he's 5.5 yrs old and has never gone swimming, in his life. we have a cottage and he's been exposed to water since a pup, but the closest I've gotten him to "swimming" is wading through knee-deep water. If it hits his chest he starts to panic. Nothing has happened to him, he's never been tossed off a dock and told to swim [ack could you imagine?! ] and he even freaks if the kids get a few drops of water on him while playing out back.

he has a lot of anxieties though, this is just one- of ....thousands. anyone else?
 

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Most dogs will go in if you go in. It helps to do it on a warm day and have something in your hand they Really want. ;) Once they swim with you keep them going on a regular basis until they are comfortable.
 

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http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2009/09/do-vizslas-like-water.html

he's 5.5 yrs old and has never gone swimming,
Moose,

You have an adult dog. Think like the dog. Why should I swim? No need at this point. Nothing in it for the dog.

Like a 40-year-old person who never has gone swimming, it won't be as easy as when they are 1 year old.

There is no bottom when swimming and fear takes over. Whatever you can use where the reward is greater than the risk.

Chloe is a ball addict so it was easy.

Bailey started early. He was retarded at first. The dog had to LEARN how to use his back legs to move through the water. Until then it is just the front paws keeping hid head above water in panic mode.

If you could take him out and hold his mid-section while he learns to use his back legs then he might get the idea.

Not too late, but someone who has a young pup and you want to teach it to swim, do it early. Get them to learn to use their back legs and go swimming with them. Make it fun.

Rod a.ka. redbirddog
 
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