The Benefits of Weighted Vests
One of the best things you can do for a dog that you are training to be a working dog is to use a weighted vest. There are countless benefits to the use of a weighted vest, and when used correctly, these products can effectively speed up the training process while helping your dog to be the best that he or she can be. Of course, it is important to understand the various benefits that you can enjoy from this kind of training, so consider the points listed below.
Help the Dog to Be Calm
As you already know, one of the big challenges when trying to train a dog comes in the way of having to calm them down during training. Some dogs are naturally more excited and anxious than others, which is something you will need to overcome at some point along the way. By having your dog wear a weighted vest, you can help to calm the dog through the feeling they get by wearing the vest.
In much the same way that humans use weights to get in shape, so too can weights work for dogs. Obviously your dog isn’t going to be able to lift weights in a gym, but he or she can use the weight that comes with one of these vests to burn calories and build muscle. Working dogs need to be strong and fit in order to do their duty all day long, and wearing a weighted vest is a great start toward that goal.
Vests have long been known for their ability to calm the nerves of an anxious dog, and weighted vests seem to be especially well-suited for that task. By putting a weighted vest onto your dog during training, they will feel comforted and they may have their aggressive tendencies calmed in the process. While a weighted vest isn’t likely to totally change the behavior of your dog instantly, it can help you take a step in the right direction.
Things to Consider When Putting Weight on a Dog
Of course, the first thing to consider when putting weight on a dog is making sure that the dog can handle the weight properly. The last thing you want to do is to harm the dog by adding too much weight to their body, so make sure the vest you choose includes an appropriate amount of weight for the dog to handle. On the other end of the spectrum, you need to make sure that you are using enough weight to make a difference, as a vest that is too light will have no effect in the end.
Another point to consider is ensuring that the dog is old enough to handle weight before you start in with this kind of program. Dogs, much like humans, are not ready for weight training in their early years, so hold off on using a weighted vest until the dog has reached an appropriate level of maturity. To make sure you are doing the right thing, at the right time, check with your vet before getting started.
If you believe that you have a dog which is ready for weight training through the use of a vest, consider the three products below.
The first product on our list is a basic Weighted Dog Vest from Leerburg. This vest comes in three different sizes – small, medium, and large – so you can select the model that is going to be the right fit for the needs of your specific dog. The small version of this vest offers dimensions which run from a girth of 22’’ – 24’’, the medium size fits girth of 27’’ – 31’’, and the large vest suits dogs from 34’’ – 36’’.
It is the quality of this product that allows it to stand out from many of the other vests on the market. The vest is constructed using heavy cordura denier-backed fabric, and it is double stitched for durability. Meant to train the dog successfully while also keeping the dog safe and secure, this is a product that most owners love to use with their animals. Also, the total amount of weight that the vest offers is adjustable, so you are simply able to remove some weights when you would like to lighten the load.
Moving to the next product on our list, we find a vest that comes in at a slightly lower price point, yet still offers many benefits and advantages to both the dog and the owner. This weighted vest can be used for a variety of functions, from working on fitness to helping the dog remain calm in stressful situations. Also, there are reflective strips so this vest can be used as a safety product, and you can even purchase cooling packs separately for helping the dog deal with warm temperatures.
To make sure the vest works for the specific dog you have in mind, there are two ‘levels’ offered with this vest – Level I, and Level II. If you need to start out with a light overall weight, Level I is perfect. When you need to increase the load, Level II will suit your needs. With the ability to customize the experience to your needs and to your dog’s capabilities, this product is flexible and useful in a number of settings.
The last vest on our list comes in the greatest number of different sizes – five in total – so it gives you the opportunity to perfectly select the model that fits with your requirements. The five sizes offered are XX-Small, X-Small, Small, Medium, and Large/X-Large. As long as you select the size which is right for your dog, you should be able to get plenty of reliable use from this quality vest.
One of the nice features that you will enjoy on this product is the padded handle that rests on top of the dog once the vest is in place. You may need to help your dog up and over some obstacles during your training, and this handle will allow you to safely do just that. With the included pouches on this pack, it is possible to store small items that the dog can carry as you hike. For a vest that is versatile and can be selected in the size that is perfect for your dog, this product is one to carefully consider.