Wirehairs and Neoprene Vests

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Wirehairs and Neoprene Vests

Postby aaronk » Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:03 pm

How tolerable to cold water are wirehairs (WPG if it makes a difference)? It's usually around low to mid 40's around here during waterfowl season. Do you guys put them in neoprene vests or not needed at those temps? If for nothing else, I'm thinking the extra floatation couldn't hurt. Dog is 14 months old, very lean, with a coat that I'm assuming isn't fully developed yet. We were out on her first duck hunt last weekend and she was shivering pretty good at times, showed no other signs of hypothermia, but it got me thinking about buying a vest for her.

Thanks!
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Re: Wirehairs and Neoprene Vests

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:32 pm

I have used neoprene vests on my GWPs in those temps and below for a long while. Currently using an Avery vest and like it. My current pup is 10 months old and the same body type as yours. He has a nice coat but he will shiver after making retrieves and having to sit with wind blowing on him. My Wife has made alterations to the Avery vest in the neck area and he will be wearing it from here on unless it is too hot and he does not need it. The wind is as big part to the need as the temps. Most of my duck hunting involves wearing full camo and using makeshift natural cover blinds so we are usually in the wind vs out of the wind in a blind.
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Re: Wirehairs and Neoprene Vests

Postby Chadwick » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:58 pm

It is worth it to use a vest. If the dog is constantly wet due to make retrieves and there is a decent wind, hypothermia risk is high. My buddy and I almost lost a GWP in conditions that were not that bad: the air temperature was just under freezing, there was no ice on the water, the wind was blowing around 20 mph.

It is so warm under the vests, it can be nice to stick your own hands in there if they get cold.
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Re: Wirehairs and Neoprene Vests

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:46 pm

Another vote for vests; I use them on my DDs.


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Re: Wirehairs and Neoprene Vests

Postby jarbo03 » Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:02 am

Definitely sounds like you need a vest, better to be safe. Taz rarely uses a vest til there is ice to deal with, where they help protect from cuts answer scrapes. I will use it if we are in a situation without his dog blind to keep him out of the wind. He is fine with any temp of water, but extreme cold and wind once they get out is the problem.
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Re: Wirehairs and Neoprene Vests

Postby woodboro » Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:01 pm

I am in the north country , and years ago broke ice on opening day of duck hunting , with a shorthair... no vest.

Fast forward 15 years and had a light weight DD that had a good coat , but put it on him , because he never bulked up..
He did well with vest, but was seldom worn , because temps were 38 or higher.

If I was bluebill hunting I would probably have it on what ever dog.
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Re: Wirehairs and Neoprene Vests

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:56 pm

My now retired GWP wearing the Avery vest that I am now using on my pup. We broke ice when we setup at that spot and the ice was reforming all around us and on the dog platform. Would have been wrong to not have a vest on any dog in that setup.

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Re: Wirehairs and Neoprene Vests

Postby Duckdon » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:08 pm

A lot depends on the dogs natural coat and if it's a dense, tight, type coat with good under coat. Mid 40's is warm but I would opt for a vest until I could see it's a disadvantage. Keeping them out of the wind and on dry land between retrieves goes far.
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Re: Wirehairs and Neoprene Vests

Postby Densa44 » Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:03 pm

If he is cold he needs the vest. As others have said it is the air not the water that is making him cold. Water only gets to 0 centigrade but air can get as cold as it wants. The less wind the dog is exposed to the better.
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Re: Wirehairs and Neoprene Vests

Postby gwp4me2 » Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:23 pm

I had a GWP that pushed 80lbs. He still wore a vest. Of course we hunted into the single digit temps. It really did turn into a very good hand warmer. IMHO body mass is a huge factor in retaining body heat. It doesn't matter how good of a coat a skinny dog has. The other benefit of the vest is that I believe it tells the dog 'we are duck hunting'. We hunt pheasants a lot in the river bottoms, often in the very area where we hunt ducks. The vest helps keep the dog focused on the task at hand.
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Re: Wirehairs and Neoprene Vests

Postby aaronk » Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:35 pm

Thanks for feedback folks! Looks like vest it is, now to find one that fits halfway decent...
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Re: Wirehairs and Neoprene Vests

Postby jarbo03 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:41 pm

aaronk wrote:Thanks for feedback folks! Looks like vest it is, now to find one that fits halfway decent...



Great explanation of making a vest fit properly.

Getting an off-the-shelf vest that actually fits your dog correctly (snug everywhere, but not tight anywhere) would be a remarkable fluke. Even with a design like Cabela's wide Velcro fastener that affords an inch or two of adjustability zippers don't, the vest won't be fully functional without tailoring.<br /><br />The drill is to buy the correct chest size and break out a marking pen, straight edge, scissors and a can of "neoprene cement," like Block Surf (not Aquaseal or Goop or any other substitute), and go to work. <br /><br />With the vest on the dog, pinch out the excess material and mark both sides where the pinched material meets and the tip of the triangle the pinch creates. <br /><br />Take the vest off the dog, and using the straightedge, draw lines from each "pinch" mark to the "tip" mark, which will create the triangular "dart" that needs removed with your scissors. <br /><br />Having removed the darts of excess material, you're ready to close the gaps they created. This is where using neoprene cement, which melts the neoprene edges and essentially welds them together quickly enough that it's no strain to hold them together while it works pays off. Other types of adhesives will require stitching to hold the new seam edges together while they dry and perhaps even for support. I have never had an unstitched neoprene cement seam separate.<br /><br />You'll also likely need to remove some material that will otherwise chaff Pup's arm pits and an opening around a male dog's penis. Don't worry about cutting beyond the bar tacking on a vest's stitched seams, as on a properly made vest the stitching is really just eyewash for buyers, rather than necessary.<br /><br />May sound complicated, but it took me longer to type that than it would have to properly tailor a vest.<br />
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Re: Wirehairs and Neoprene Vests

Postby hicntry » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:19 pm

Feed the dog raw chicken when hunting in cold weather. They assimilate it fast and convert it to heat because that is what their system is built for. Feed it for the dogs well being and use the vest to boot if it makes you feel better.
Last edited by hicntry on Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wirehairs and Neoprene Vests

Postby Deacon » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:29 pm

I have found the Browning vest to fit the best. It has three Velcro attachments across the back and one on either shoulder.
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