Life Jackets

PWCorgi

Priscilla Winifred Corgi
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#1
I'm considering getting a life-jacket for Siri to see if it will make her more confident with swimming. She hasn't been around water yet this summer (other than at the Purina Farms pool, which she wasn't into, literally or figuratively), so I want to see if she will go in a lake before I buy one. I would like experiences with them though.

Previously she would run into the water, and stop when it got high. Or she would stand on her back legs and wade out until that got too high. She's never actually gone past where she can touch.

Did they help? Hinder?
Did you make the dogs go in the water? Did you let them figure it out on their own?


Frodo will swim, but he HATED the lifejacket, and refused to move with it on...
 

teacuptiger

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#2
We got an Outward Hound one at a local store, and while we only used it once I think it really helped Roxie out. She LOVES water, but had been iffy about going into lakes. Plus, I don't swim (I did bring my sister along just in case, though), so I needed to make sure Roxie would be alright.

I think the life jacket really helped her out- it took a few tries, but she ended up having a BLAST! It definately gave me peace of mind, too. It was a pretty cheap jacket, but worked well for the purpose. I think it could help Siri gain confidence in the water, if she's worried about how deep it is.

All I did to make Roxie go into the water was throw a toy (the Kong Bounzer) and she went right after it. In hindsight, I should have chosen a smaller toy... it would float out before Roxie could reach it, and then she learned she had to "herd" it back to shore because it couldn't fit in her mouth.

Anyways... I'd go for it!! The life jacket gave Roxie a lot more confidence about swimming in a large body of water- probably because she didn't have to worry about sinking. Preferably, get a jacket with a float under the neck. I know there are some without floats there, but it will help Siri keep her head up.
 

Zhucca

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#3
Life jackets are awesome for helping dogs feel comfortable in the water. When I worked at the daycare we had a dog pool as well that I would sometimes work. Nervous first timer dogs noticeably grew more confident with a life jacket on. It can be a PITA if the dog hates the jacket, in which case it is a hindrance. However if you spend some time making Siri more comfortable in it before moving on to swimming, then it would have the best results.

Duke wears a life jacket when he's on the boat. Fortunately he doesn't give two hoots about the jacket being on or not, so I don't have much advice on how to break them in it to it. Right now he has a Hurtta life jacket, which is pretty good. Not as good as his Ruffwear one (which got destroyed by a dog I was watching), but I can't find anyone who stocks it. I think it's really important to find one that fits properly; one with a belly band and not just a strap. Otherwise the jacket wants to flail out to the sides and looks awkward and uncomfortable.
 

BostonBanker

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#4
It made a huge difference for Gusto. He was like how Siri is - not scared of the water, but would just go to where he could touch and that was it. I bought him a life jacket (just whatever kind fit him when we tried them on - he's weird to fit) and he used it maybe 5 times total. After that he was throwing himself into the water before I could even get it on him, so we stopped!

I never dragged him in, but I did go in myself and go out past where he could touch the ground, so he had to swim (in the life jacket) to get to me. That's actually what got both of my dogs swimming, although I never used a life jacket for Meg.
 

stardogs

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#5
I make all of my swim lesson dogs wear life jackets because they are generally soooo helpful for increasing confidence.

My favorite brand is Hurtta, Ruffwear is second. Outward Hound is common, and a redesign has made them better, but they def aren't as durable or well tailored ime.
 

MandyPug

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#6
I just got this one for Iz today. We might be spending some time on boats soon so she needed one.



Plus I'd like to get her more comfortable in the water anyway.
 

crazedACD

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#7
Fiona wears a life jacket, she does great with it! I tried to wean her off it though and she wasn't swimming properly, she was trying to swim more "upright" and got a little scared. But I do think it helped her get into the water to the point of swimming.

I second Hurtta, I have two and love them. I will say they made a change to wear the leash hooks on but the old style is still out there. Some you will see, the O ring is on a tab stiched onto the life jacket fabric. If you put the dog on leash (and the dog pulls and tugs occasionally), the tab will start tearing. The newer style life jackets have the o ring on the handle instead, no tab to tear.
 

JacksonsMom

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#8
Jackson's always seemed to enjoy water, but he certainly wouldn't have started doing this:

[YOUTUBE]YMV2VrK2Q7k[/YOUTUBE]

without a lifejacket.

The lifejacket definitely boosted his confidence with jumping in by himself, since he doesn't like when his head goes under, so the jacket prevents that.

The one he's wearing in the video is our favorite, the EzyDog Micro. We tried Outward Hound as our first one, found it too... bulky. Ruffwear I sold, it was too short on him, it just looked awkward. He doesn't like things around his privates or lower belly area, so the EzyDog is perfect because there's no velcro piece, it's just straps. He runs around in the lifejacket like he doesn't even know it's on.
 

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