I hunt in the panhandle and have used a neopreme vest on my lab for years. The only problem I had one year was that we had several hunters and we where hamering the ducks one after the other and he was in the water to long. He got real stiff and could not move and I had to carry him to the truck and wrap him up and hold him while he warmed up. I thought I was going to loose him. I do think the vest does hold in some warmth,. but not so much when it is really cold and the water is really cold and a dog is in the water a lot like mine was.
Depends on 2 things...where we're hunting and how cold it is. I use the Avery Boat vest because it's thick and has handles to help get her into the boat/blind. If I'm hunting around stumps she's got it on or if its cold. I tried a few different brands first, but didn't care for any until I found the Avery.
I've had my Hodgman for years thru 2 dogs;has good quality heavy-duty zipper.The tighter the fit the more effective,IMO.They are totally dry underneath after removing it
when hunt is over.
Under extremely cold conditions,none will be 100%.Keep them out of the water best you can.
I have run my dog for 4 years, 20 hunts a year (Texas coast) with the original Avery vest I bought her.
Make sure that the vest fits correctly, it does make a difference. The key is not that the area protected by the vest stays dry. The key is that the area under the vest gets wet, then the body warmth of the dog will warm the water and the water creates a barrier between the dog and the enviroment. This is the same principle of a divers' wet suit. If the weather conditions are too bad, keep an eye on your dog. The vest helps the dog stay warm, it is not a 100% solution to the problem.