+1 Vote for the Underdog. The float is under the belly to support the dog in a more natural swimming position. It is also nice having two grab handles (one on the back, one on the collar) to pull the dog in with. Our 80ish lbs lab/chow has taken a few swims and hardly gets his head wet.
That's really odd. None of our ruff wear have much float under the belly, I have a feeling that dog's jacket was too big. They are designed specifically not to do this.I did not like the ones with under the belly floatation. I saw a couple of dog swims with the ruff wear and the dogs tended to float on their sides. The NRS one we have only has flotation on the back. This lets the dog float well and still be able to swim. (your millage may vary...)
I've seen a LOT of poorly sized/tightened rough wear jackets, and another brand I don't recall. I never know what the deal is, as we don't have a problem. As I said in the earlier post, they are likely too large of a size. The original design was the worst, and we have 3 of those old styles still around the house for spares. The 2nd generation design was a vast improvement, and we just picked up a new one for Pearl and it seems even better. Puppy pfd! She's so cute! Here's a photo, she was still in the Outward Hound brand that we returned yesterday.Whichever brand you get, make sure it fits well, and keep it snug in whitewater. A friend's dog swam Black Creek rapid on the Main Salmon and the CFD was coming off after a couple seconds and submersions. After about 15 -20 seconds the CFD was completely off. At one point the CFD was doing more harm than good. This was a Ruff Wear that this dog has had for several years and swam rapids in before. We figured it was just a little loose that day for some reason. The owner usually keeps it snug on the dog in whitewater. So make sure you check the fit everyday when you launch to make sure it's ok. The dog was ok, and actually seemed relieved (?) when the CFD came off so it could swim easier without the loose jacket around it's neck. The dog climbed onto shore, raced back to the eddy where it's mortified owner was, and jumped right back in the boat like it never happened. We caught the CFD, and believe me it was checked & double checked for snugness everyday after that. There did not appear to be any defective parts on the jacket. Just in case though, the owner bought a new jacket after that trip.