Transcript from Steve's Video:
This is the Avery boater's vest. It's a neoprene dog vest that's designed to get your dog into a boat. It has handles so that you can reach down and pick him up and pull him over the side of the boat if you are hunting out of a boat. It works great as a neoprene vest just if you're not in a boat. But that's one of the features of it.
Neoprene vests to me are really important for retrievers for a couple of reasons. Originally, they were designed to maintain body heat. And that's a key factor. You want to make sure that you get it fit correctly so that it's snug on the dog. You don't want it to affect his ability to run, but you want it where it's tight enough to his body so that it helps maintain his body heat. That's one of the reasons that I like them.
The main reason that I like them is for protection. A lot of times you are sending a dog into an area, and if you have a hard driving dog and he doesn't know exactly what's in the water in front of him, this is going to help protect him some from sticks and stumps. It's going to keep him from getting abrasions and that type of thing. So I'm a big fan of it from that standpoint, from chest protection. That's one of the reasons that we like to use it.
It's got the handles. It's got some D-rings. The way these D-rings are set up is that they're sewn throughout the body so that you can actually connect a leash to that if you need to.
Opens up. It's got a zipper inside it. Let your dog put his front feet through it. You go over the back of it and then zip it back up. Do not make the mistake of putting this on your dog on opening day. If he hasn't had some time to get used to it and hasn't had a chance to swim in it a little bit, it can be one of those things that throws him just a little bit. A lot of folks like to wait until the last second to do this sort of thing and there's just really no value in that.
So get it on him. Make sure it fits him correctly. On the legs you have what are called bar tacks. You've got your regular seem and then you've got your bar tacks in between. What you can do is you can cut down on these bar tacks to open the vest up some if you need to, to increase his movement.
Very important that you measure your dog before you order a vest. A lot of folks go, "Well, I've got a big dog. I'll order this size vest. Or I think he's this size." Or they'll call us and say, "Hey. I've got a medium sized Lab," which I don't know to this day what that means.
So measure your dog. You've got three different measurements. The most important one is his chest. We need to know a good chest measurement because that's where it's going to fit. The neck measurement is a little different in that, unlike a collar, it doesn't ride up high on the neck. It rides a little bit lower. So you've got to go with a lower neck measurement. But, still, the chest measurement is the one that makes the biggest key. You can trim some on the neck if you need to. As a general rule, if you get the chest right everything else is going to fit good.