Mark Meyocks didn’t know that when he and his Labrador retriever, Cruiser, headed out into the upland fields that he’d return with no pheasant, a wounded dog ... and an idea born out of necessity. That fateful day, Cruiser went out into the high grass after a rooster, but instead of a pheasant, he returned with a large open gash on his chest. For Meyocks, empathy for his beloved animal hurt the worst, but the vet bill added insult to injury. After stapling poor Cruiser’s wound, the veterinarian advised Meyocks that exercise was fine, as long as he could protect the injury from debris. Meyocks tried a neoprene vest for Cruiser, but it wasn’t suited for upland work and chafed the dog’s legs … and thus it was that the two of them had to sit that season out. Meyocks resolved that it wouldn’t happen again, and that was the genesis for CUGA dog vests.
The first vests were hand-made by Meyocks—hey, if you want something done right, you may as well do it yourself! These days CUGA is crafted by high-quality machine technology and is one of the only brands licensed to use 1000-denier Cordura-brand fabrics. These fabrics are extremely tough, and suitable for all bird-hunting disciplines—upland and waterfowl alike. Made entirely in the U.S., there are now eight different size and variation vests. Whether your pup’s big, small, short, fat, tall or squatty, you’ll find a vest to fit.
Each CUGA vest is adjustable, durable and breathable. The 1000-denier breastplate thoroughly protects your dog’s chest, back, sides and underbelly from even the harshest of elements in any terrain. Lightweight and designed to fit most dogs, the CUGA vest helps prevent cuts, pokes, abrasions and wounds to their most vital areas.
Most importantly, the vest is visible. Hunting over dogs is a delight, but it’s very important to make sure that other hunters can positively identify your dog as a dog ... especially if it is retrieving a bird. Towards that end, the vests come in pink, waterfowl camouflage and traditional upland coyote-and-blaze orange.
“Making the finest quality dog protection out there comes naturally to us because this is our passion. We understand the necessity of the gear doing what we say it will do, and we understand the needs of all hunters at a fundamental level,” said Meyocks. “We remain deeply committed to our consumers and retailers, and we look forward to the equipping our likeminded buyers with the gear they need this year.” MSRP $79 - $86 depending upon model chosen; CUGAVest.com.