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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so we have been out on a mission, the water is really cold in the mississippi and alabama sound. Neko got so cold and wet that all she could do is curl up in a tight ball and try to keep warm. We ended up putting a waterproof jacked over her harness to keep the waves, water and wind off her. So we were thinking as we were completely covered in our water proof gear, I wonder if they could make "frog togs" for the working SAR k9's. The dogs were all so cold after getting soaked that it was hard to keep them working. I really think that waterproof covering would be a good thing. They are quite thin so the harnesses (everyone here does boat work in harnesses for safety) would fit over just fine. They do just fine on shore searches as they are moving and their temps stay up but on a boat it was crazy. Most of our water searches are during much warmer months so I realise that these "dog frog togs" would not be used often but after going through the last few days with my girl and seeing what she has been working through I would gladly invest in them even if we only used them once or twice in a career.
Anyone else ever had this thought? Maybe there is a decent product out there for us, and I have just never seen it.
 

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OK this is the site that has what I was thinking of ...
http://www.k9topcoat.com/
dah...I just scrolled through about 15 pages on google and gave up, came back here and the ad is on the top of page!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the input. I have a life jacket for Neko but it is not nearly as good as the float coat suggested. Infact many of us have life jackets like the one I have but we don't use them as they are not as tough as our harnesses and the harder to pull them out of the water in the event they go in. I need max body coverage and insulation. dog 27...question, How does the float coat fasten under the chest? The life vest I have has velcro under there that gives when you lift a large wet dog with it. My search harness has a heavy duty clasp under the chest which makes it more secure. Also how much do they move on the dog when secured? What I really need to do is prevent her undercoat from getting saturated. She was fine when only her top coat was wet, it was once she was wet to the skin and not moving around combined with 40 degrees and strong wind that she just got so cold. If nothing is found tomorrow we are back out Saturday and it is 50 percent chance of rain and high only in the low 50's which will mean even colder on the water. Surely some of you guys further north have had to deal with this and have some more product ideas. I may try that float boat anyway if under the chest is secure and it fits well as it looks better than the life jacket I have now.
 

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I have one of these / hardly used -- it is too big for any of my current dogs but it is strong enough for deployment from a helicopter - it also floats the dog high. The 2" nylon belly straps are held together with a handler but if you hook/hold through the handle there is nothing to break. It also has a reflective search panel on it.

PM me if you are interested - it is gathering dust in my closet. Mine work nekkid on the boat. (And I have a lot of towels in the truck) - - -[ we don't do a lot of open water ]

http://www.teeft.com/pfd.htm
Guy who makes it is in Novia Scotia - he sells direct too
 

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The coat fastens using two side-release buckles under the body and one side-release buckle in front. They appear to be heavy duty and lifting a GSD should be no problem (I have not tried it). If you watch the video on the page you'll see details of the buckles and the lifting of a good size dog.

How much it moves on the dog depends on how good it fits and how tight it is adjusted. I don't like to cinch too tightly so it won't constrict movement, and it still stays on well. My guess is that it would provide enough protection and insulation to keep the dog from getting chilled in bad weather, but I have not used it under those conditions.

Here is another option that looks nice; I don't have experience with it though:

http://www.teeft.com/pfd.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nancy you are over your pm limit....you are so popular! I like the teeft product best of all so far. Thinking of putting current pfd under her harness if I can move her harness out enough so it won't be constricting. It should keep her warmer. Will try it today as the weather is too bad for the search. Tomorrow should be better so if nothing changes today will head out then. Sun should shine but will be 28 degrees in am....brrr. Nancy, you said you have one of these. What size did you order. Neko is approx 65lbs short and compact I ask because often these products do not run true to stated weights. You can order one large and its huge on the dogs and another is not big enough.
 

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I will check, get back, and clean out my PM - just got back from training all day and I am tired and cold

Not popular, just lazy
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK I found a neopreme hunting vest and the new outward hound pfd....which I must say is much better than their last model with a heavy duty belly wrap with velcro and buckle snaps on it. I hope that is going to keep her warmer tomorrow. I am going to layer them on her. Will let you guys know how it works as it may be someting to keep in reserve in case you get a similar weather search. I really appreciate the input.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank god yesterday was the last day of the mission. Last child found, mission complete. The combination of neopreme vest and outward hound pfd worked fantastic. Neko only got cold after we had worked on land and she got wet and muddy on her legs. When we got back on the boat she shivered a little but nothing like before and it never got above 45 degrees and windy on the water. She never go so cold that she shut down. I am definately going to keep that combination for any other cold weather searches we have.
 
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