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The serious dog trainerís toolbox often contains an extensive collection of training bucks, dead fowl dummies, the shotgun and shells, a starting pistol with caps, dummy launcher and assorted dummies, whistles, live birds, a check cord, leads or leashes and for many, an e-collar. These are the tools of the trade.

In order to work efficiently, a trainer needs to keep his gear handy. A dog trainerís vest is the answer.

The Red Head dog trainer vest from Bass Pro Shop sports an innovative design, versatility and durability.

This bright orange, shoulder strap style vest is jam-packed with useful features. It offers four fully ventilated mesh bird pockets with flap and Velcro closures. These are quite suitable for even large pigeons. The bird pockets are cleverly piggy-backed over two flap covered, roomy cargo pockets - containing six elastic shotgun shell loops, each.

The generously sized, rear game bag is easy to access from either side and zips open at the upper back for cleaning. Above the game bag, Red Head incorporated a pouch which secures a one-liter hydration bladder. The water tube clips to the right front of the vest. Water is released from the valve if you gently bite it - or it can be squeezed to direct a stream of water into your dogís mouth.

Conveniently located just above the left cargo pocket, is an e-collar transmitter holster with an adjustable Velcro antenna holder. Two ample pockets keep full-sized training bucks within reach on either side of the rear game bag. One metal D-ring and a metal snap hook are securely stitched in place - plus a Buddy-Lok modular twist and lock receptacle completes this highly useful dog training vest.

Red Headís dog training vest is all-weather and designed with wide, simple to adjust straps that fit comfortably over a t-shirt, a winter coat - and everything in between. It is also a great choice for training groups as it is billed as "one size fits most".

Although the ventilated mesh fabric is sturdier than what IĎve seen on other training or hunting vests, snagging could be an issue in gnarly cover. However, for field training or hunting in light cover, this is ideal.

Order your Red Head dog training vest from Bass Pro Shop - online, by visiting Product catalogs can be ordered at Bass Pro Shop Catalogs.

This oil finish, Shelter Cloth dog training and hunting vest serves the purpose extremely well - and does so with the classic styling, functionality and high-quality one would expect from Filson.

With company roots reaching back to 1897, Filson began as an outfitter for gold miners in the brutal wilderness of the Alaskan Klondike. Their products have been favoured by lumberjacks, cattlemen, hunters, fishermen and other hardy outdoors enthusiasts for generations since. Company founder, Clinton Filsonís, philosophy of using nothing but "quality materials and workmanship" is still the standard today.

This rugged, American made vest is no exception.

Filsonís unique Shelter Cloth is made from a 2-ply 100% cotton that is tightly woven and then soaked in a special, paraffin-based oil finish. The end results are dependable outdoor wear that are well-made, water-repellant, wind-resistant and very comfortable to wear - right from the start. All stress seams are double-stitched for added strength. Care requirements of the vest are very simple - don't wash or dry clean - just wipe or brush it clean. Over the years, the vest gains character as it ages.

The thought process that went into the design of this vest is evident. A blaze orange overlay covers the top half of this vest - front and back. It's a vital safety feature especially when working your dog in heavy cover. Both of the front shoulders are padded and quilt stitched for a comfortable gun mount. Back bellows tailoring allows free shoulder movement for a smooth shotgun swing and follow-through.

Two layered cargo pockets with metal snaps and flaps keep contents dry and in place while protecting your gun against scratches. The finger loop style snap fasteners are designed to be easily opened or closed with just one hand. Six elastic shell holders per side are stitched into the inner cargo pockets and the large overlaid pockets have pleated expansion bellows. These are a good place to stow gloves and a lead or tote along a pair of training birds... quail or small pigeons. Large, horn-style buttons secure the front closure - adding a classic touch.

Collar transmitter holders are designed into both sides of the front - able to secure a variety of large or small models. Likewise, the vest is designed with a right and left front-loading game bag which is fully lined with a blood-proof, coated nylon fabric. Inside the back of the vest, a button allows for easy access and cleaning of the game bag. Additional features include an interior pocket which is secured with a metal zipper and a spare button.

Although offering less gear carrying capacity than some trainers may need, this is a vest that can be expected to hold up well to many years of use. In addition, Filson backs their products with a satisfaction guarantee is second to none.

We tested this vest in field and in tough northwoods training and woodcock hunting conditions. (Steve shot a limit of timberdoodles... a first!) We were satisfied that it performed exceptionally well.

Visit the company website at where you can purchase the Shelter Cloth dog training and hunting vest... and order the Filson Catalog.

Loretta Baughan

Loretta Baughan is the Founder, Editor and Publisher of Spaniel Journal. As owner of the Autumnskye kennel, she raises, trains and hunts her English springer spaniels. She is a member of the Northeast Wisconsin Spaniel Club. Loretta resides near Merrill, Wisconsin, with her husband, Steve, and their three children.

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