Life-vest recommendations?
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Thread: Life-vest recommendations?

  1. #1
    Janna and Boomer is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultLife-vest recommendations?

    We take Boomer to the beach a lot, and he is swim-obsessed! In fact, I'm convinced that he would swim until he gets tired and drowns, instead of coming out of the water. I was watching him swim with my husband today, and he was hopping over waves and having a grand time. I know he's got to be getting exhausted, but he does NOT want to come out!

    I think I may get a life vest of some sort for him so that he can swim and float with a little less effort. Maybe he won't tire out as much.

    Any recommendations? He hates wearing things, so the less it "covers" the better.

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  3. #2
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Life-vest recommendations?

    If Boomer is full grown (or close to it) so you wouldn't be needing a replacement for a larger size later on, I can comfortably recommend RuffWear's "Float-Kote". While it's the most expensive that I know of, it's also the best -- easily adjusted to the physique of your Lab, quickly put on and taken off, strong, and should easily last the life of the Lab. The link below has them at a slight discount, perhaps there are other sources with even better prices. We've used a slightly earlier model by RuffWear for 5 years and it is excellent -- easy to put on, take off, strong enough to lift a Lab by the top strap if that's needed to take them out of the water, and it does its job.

    http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...uctId=33548653

    I found this VERY helpful to Puff, a field line Lab with very little buoyancy. My first Lab (Bess) could swim for hours if needed (& she usually desired to); all of the top of her back and tail were visible above water. With Puff, only her head and neck show. The RuffWear FloatKote has been great for use in teaching Puff to swim and also in supporting her for extended swimming.

    "Outward Hound" has a canine life vest somewhat cheaper but I haven't seen it and don't know its quality. There are also several other canine life vests, some as cheap as the $20 range.

    He hates wearing things, so the less it "covers" the better.
    Gosh! I don't know what to suggest. To get buoyancy, one must have volume of air -- the more weight to support in water, the greater the volume of air needed. I think if your Lab loves to swim, a Float-Kote wouldn't be an impediment at all but would quickly be ignored.



    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  4. #3
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    DefaultRe: Life-vest recommendations?

    another vote for RuffWears Float Kote, Teak has a yellow one, for the same reasons as you really, and that he has trouble breathing through his nose once he has his floating kong in his mouth, expensive but brought when they are fully grown - well worth the pennies.

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  6. #4
    Janna and Boomer is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Life-vest recommendations?

    I think that one would be just right. He had a neoprene vest that he wore a few times hunting, but it covered everything...chest, stomach...he HATED it. The problem with that one is that he has such a deep chest that we had to buy an XL, which ended up being too wide between his forearms and causing irritation in his "armpits". And he kept biting at his chest the whole time he would wear it.

    I think the Float Kote would suit him much better as it doesn't appear to cover his chest area as much.

    Thanks for the recommendations guys!!

  7. #5
    eklind51 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Life-vest recommendations?

    i just recently got ginger (thanks mollyrock!!) and phoebe an outward hound life jacket. it has worked great so far.

    where i bought phoebe's from
    http://www.jefferspet.com/ssc/produc...&pf_id=0027829

    ginger


    phoebe...she doesnt like her picture taken




  8. #6
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    DefaultRe: Life-vest recommendations?

    We have the Outward Hound jacket as well. It appears to be very well made. We have only used it when we took Cooper in a boat with us. It was his first voyage and we weren't sure if he'd try to jump in the water (he didn't). We made sure we bought one with a decent sturdy handle on the back, in the event we would have to grab him while in the water - not sure if it would withstand us trying to lift him with the handle but at least it's something to grab onto if need be. Cooper loves the vest but he seems to love having stuff on him - he loves having a towel draped over him.

    Good luck!

    Bev.

  9. #7
    Labs4life is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Life-vest recommendations?

    I've been reading this post and thanks for the info! I think it's time I buy a pair of the vests for my girls. Thanks again everyone!
    The Constitution is suppose to guarantee everyone the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but the Constitution does not guarantee everyone equal outcomes.
    Some people are more talented, educated, thieving and dishonest than others.

  10. #8
    Scout and friends Guest

    DefaultRe: Life-vest recommendations?

    I have the Outward Hound for Scout too. She started slipping under once while swimming at the lake. I think she was out too far in the bay and just ran out of energy. She was about 3 mos post op from knee surgery, that probably explains why. Luckily there were lots of us swimming near her and noticed right away.

    It scared me though, so I got the life vest for the boat. It fits Scout very well, and she doesn't mind it. When I pull the vest out, she knows - YES, boat ride!

  11. #9
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    DefaultRe: Life-vest recommendations?

    I'm putting in my vote for the Ruffwear FloatCoat too... Henery sounds just like Boomer... he'll swim until he's completely exhausted. Even if I make him come out for a mandatory rest, he gives me The Look the entire time. Let me know what you think of it, if you decide to get one!!

  12. #10
    Labs4life is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Life-vest recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by henrysmom
    I'm putting in my vote for the Ruffwear FloatCoat too... Henery sounds just like Boomer... he'll swim until he's completely exhausted. Even if I make him come out for a mandatory rest, he gives me The Look the entire time. Let me know what you think of it, if you decide to get one!!
    Had to laff! I swim my girls 2-3 times a week. It's never enough or never long enough as far as they're concerned! Walking back to the car is like a death march with them.

    I am considering canoeing with them, as it opens up our camping options with island sites. The vest would be of paramount importance,especially the handles.

    The Constitution is suppose to guarantee everyone the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but the Constitution does not guarantee everyone equal outcomes.
    Some people are more talented, educated, thieving and dishonest than others.

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