Guide To Buying A Dog Training Vest

German Shepherd Puppy Wearing a Training Vest

The dog training vest has become a symbol of the service animal. Rarely do you see a non-service dog wearing one and that’s unfortunate because they can be an effective way to train your dog and have other benefits as well.

I decided to use a dog in training vest for my Border Collie German because she suffered from muscle weakness and the vet recommended some light weight training to build her muscle up. The dog weight training vest is just one type of dog vest of course; there are training dog vest types that run the gamut from functional to merely aesthetic.

Dog in a Weighted Dog Vest

Because of the research that I was able to do and my familiarity with so many pet brands, I have been able to come up with some factors that you should look at when you are choosing the best dog vest, including the best for your budget and one that will work for your intended purpose.

Not every dog fits every vest, so you definitely want to check the breeds and sizes before you buy. But before we get to the things you should be looking for, let’s talk about the features that any good dog vest should have.

Why Dog Training Vest Features Are So Important

Remember, the task of choosing a dog vest starts with determining how you are going to use it. What that means is that the features that you are looking for may be different than the features that others are trying to get in a vest.

But there are some things that most dog vests have in common. For example, they are usually Velcro for easy fastening, have some sort of a sign and are often made of nylon. The signage on your vest may mean nothing to you as a trainer, but to a person that requires a service dog (one that is marked visibly) it is everything.

Using a vest has a number of advantages, particularly with smaller dogs. Because you are not able to put a collar on them without worrying about damaging the throat area, a vest is a great solution. This is why you see so many people putting vests on smaller dogs.

Little Labrador in a Yellow Training Vest

In addition, vests are great for walking your dog because they allow you to clip the leash on the back of the vest and this makes it unlikely to get tangled up in the dog’s legs. The disadvantage here is that you won’t be able to control the dog as well, which is why a vest isn’t recommended for large dogs, particularly those who have shown aggressive behavior.

5 Things To Look For

  • Features: The first and most important thing that you want to look at when choosing a dog training vest is what kind of features it offers. The features that you need will determine in large part what vest you get. For example, if you need signage that shows your dog is a service animal or you need extra weight added to the vest to build up a dog’s muscle.
  • Comfort: How the vest fits your dog is another important factor. This has nothing to do with choosing the right size of vest. You can get what is supposed to be the right size for your dog and it still not be comfortable for him or her to wear. This is simply because every dog is different.
  • Size: Size is another factor. You want to make sure that you choose the right size vest. This not only looks at the size of your dog but also at the particular breed. Vests will often be made to fit a particular breed because the shape differs so much from one to another on two dogs that are the same size.
  • Quality of Material: You definitely want to look at the material that the vest is made from and determine whether or not you think it is good quality and will hold up against leash pulls and being worn all of the time.
  • Aesthetics: One of the benefits of dog training vests is that they are aesthetically pleasing. You can choose the colors and designs that fit your personality (or your dog’s) and it will make using the vest even more fun.
Little German Shepherd in a K9 Unit Training Vest

My Recommendations

So, to sum up, there are a lot of things that go into choosing a vest. You need to decide what it is you are going to be using the vest for before you can even look at vest products. If the vest is intended for a service animal then you may only want to look for vests that have signage.

On the other hand, if your vet recommended that you get a vest to increase your dog’s weight and muscle definition as mine did, you want to look at weighted vests. This makes it difficult to recommend which ones to buy. However, here are a few that I have looked at carefully and can recommend in good faith.

This seems like one of the more expensive options out there when it comes to training vests, but not after you see just what it comes with. You get saddlebags with this vest, as well as a full service harness and loops for your leash.

Black and Red Service Dog Harness

I really like this dog training vest for people on a budget. Not only is it a top quality vest, but it is less than half the price of the previous one. Of course, you don’t get the features like saddlebags, but you do get a vest in very visible colors which will keep your dog safer in traffic and easier to spot from a distance. This is a really good starter vest if you just want to try your dog out and see how he likes it.

Leave a Comment: