Julius-K9 started as a small, Hungarian family business in 1997, and since then, they sold more than 7 million products - many to police units and for service dogs. They are also one of the few companies that do extensive testing on their products and conduct researches to understand better what works best for the dogs.
The Julius-K9 Neoprene Dog Jacket is the first neoprene coat that Dog Gear Review tested, and we were impressed with the material. It is lightweight, soft, but durable. Elastic but not floppy. You can adjust the neck and chest parts with velcro to fit your dog - it fits tight while it does not restrict the shoulders/front legs at all due to the wide cutouts around the legs.
The velcros of this jacket are the strongest I saw so far: at the beginning, it wasn't easy to separate the two sides. By now, there is a fair amount of mud and dirt stuck in it, and they still hold strong.
The quality of the materials seems to be durable, well-designed, and strong, as we expected from Julius-K9.
Of course, the changeable patches associated with the products of Julius-K9 cannot be missed from this product. It's nice of them that they made the patches the same size that would be on their same size harnesses so you can use that you had, e.g., on the IDC harness.
When we got this coat, our first thought was that it's so light, it probably cannot be used on cold days. The truth is that the thermal insulation is guaranteed by thousands of tiny air bubbles embedded in the neoprene material that you cannot see or feel. This still doesn't make it a winter coat - at least not for the freezing winters around here - but it's warm enough for the mild winter days. We don't think it would protect against strong winds due to the big cutouts around the shoulders and leaving the stomach and chest uncovered.
On the other hand, the same reasoning makes it great for a quick agility training on cold days or while the dog is waiting in the car: it's light, comfortable but still helps to stay warm.
While having the patches on the coat is a great idea, it can cause the jacket to crease: the neoprene parts are flexible while the velcro and the patches naturally aren't. This is not going to cause any issues only looks weird as you see it on some of the pictures. I think it would crease less and would be a little more visible if the patches would be positioned more on the side instead of on the back part, but knowing the team at Julius-K9, I'm sure they did extensive testing to figure out the best placement for the patches.
My biggest concern with the patches is that the leash regularly gets stuck on the back corners of the patches and I see how it could separate the velcro from the coat in the long term or maybe detach the patch if the velcro already has a lot of dirt in it and doesn't hold as strong. I have to say that I used the coat for the colder days for two months, and the velcro and the patches are still there, so it might not be an actual issue. Another note is that since the velcro is precisely the same size as the patch, it can be a little hard to align all corners perfectly.
I only experienced a quality-related problem in the first week when the sewing got loose on some parts. Since it hasn't caused any issues after cutting it off, it was probably just some extra thread left there. None of the seams got weaker or apart as the result of removing those threads, but I still wanted to mention it.
This neoprene coat is impressive regarding elasticity, durability, color, and design. I like that it fits the dog body tight, and it's lightweight - it will not get stuck on something during a forest walk, and it does not restrict the movement at all. The tradeoff for the previous ones is that it covers less from the dog's body than other coats and provides less protection from wind. As all neoprene materials: this coat is not waterproof at all - it will just soak in the water if you use it on a rainy day. The visibility of this coat is also fantastic, the color is bright, and it also has reflective sewing around the edges.
The coat comes in seven (!) sizes and four colors. The smaller sizes also have a D-ring on the back of the jacket.
You can buy all Julius-K9 products on their website and can probably also find retailers and stores in your country.
Many of you asked Mia's measurements to better understand the different products’ fit. Your best chance of finding a good fitting gear is always to measure (and remeasure) your dog. Even we grab the measuring tape before getting a new product - even though we tested a lot of them, and have a good feeling of her size by now.
I share her measurements below, but don't go ahead and order the same size just because your dog is similar to Mia ;)
• Shoulder height: 19.5 inches (50 cm)
• Weight: 37-44 pounds (17-20 kg)
• Widest chest circumference (where the most harness would have the chest strap): 25-26 inches (63-65 cm)
• Neck circumference for collars: 15-16 inches (38-40 cm)
• Back lengths: 22 inches (56 cm)