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How cold is too cold for a hunting dog?

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team_starcraft
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11/4/12 7:27 PM CST
with water temps in the low 40's I have to ask some opinions on how cold is too cold. of course a 5mm neoprene vest is used. all dogs shiver in this weather. but how do we know when cold is too cold ?

Shad
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12/6/12 7:55 AM CST
I agree about having them keep a place where they can sit and not be in water or wind. But my girl, full of ice charges into the water. I too, do not like the vests either, but rather when its cold, say below 35, ice and snow, I take treats along for the dog. What they are is a biscuit sandwich which I spread a layer of lard on the biscuits and press them together. Since they are expending lots of energy on staying warm, this gives them lots of calories that they burn off quickly.

I have found that shivering does not mean they are cold, some shiver from excitement and hunters do too!!!

Baggs
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11/13/12 1:57 PM CST
Just be smart. Hypothermia in retrievers is not a good thing.

http://www.goosehuntingchat.com/forum/recognizing-canine-hypothermia-and-treating-hypothermic-dog-10120.html

The dog needs a place to be up out of the water so it's not sitting in it and preferably out of the wind.

[This post was last edited on 11/13/12 at 1:59 PM]
fishdaily
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11/13/12 11:07 AM CST
I never let the dog break ice, or go one iffy ice. He fell though when he was younger and couldnt get back onto the ice. I had to go get him and i didnt care for it. He has hunted in 10 degree weather on bago and had icicles hanging from him before we could dry him off a bit, but he would of gone right back in.

I agree with others. Dont bathe the dog during hunting season no matter what he rolled in. they are bred to repel water and most will if we dont screw it up.

Always use your head and you know your dog better than anyone else!!

Rob92761
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11/10/12 6:27 AM CST
don't give you dog a bath and don't even use dog shampoo. IMO when you give them a bath with dog shampoo it take some of the oil out of their skin that helps them repel water and stay warm. i have accidently frozen one of my dogs to the boat. Most labs are a tough breed. Witch the Chesapeake is a cousin of, and they are a cold water dog.

slimyfish
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11/8/12 7:04 PM CST
As long as the water hasn't froze it doesn't seem to bother my dog. I do use a neoprene mat in the bottom of the canoe. I found a closed cell foam cammo goose hunting mat seems to work well. When it gets really cold I carry a super shammy and dry the dog. I draw the line at letting my dog brake ice especially if there is a danger of him not being able to get out or being pulled under it by current. In these situations you have to use your brains to protect the dog.

Horble
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11/6/12 10:09 AM CST
Yep... depends on the dog. I had a male golden that could shake off and be almost dry. He could go in and out all day in 20 degree weather (and wanted to). Now have a female that has a good water shedding coat but she is not as tough as the male was. A chesapeake was built for nasty weather. Some labs are bred for cold water and some just don't have the coat. Again- depends on the dog.

Foundry Rat
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11/6/12 8:29 AM CST
The water is not as much an issue as the wind and the cold after they get out. I keep an area of cushions and burlap so they can be off the cold boat floor. I keep them out of the wind. My yellow female has downy fur that soaks up the water. She does not do well in the cold. My black male has an oily coat that soaks up very little water and if it's sunny he often has steam rolling off him and he is content. A little shiver if he is watching the skies and hunting is no problem but if your dog is watching you, looks sad and is shivering and shaking non stop call it a day. Every dog has his own threshold.

Prop
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11/5/12 10:32 AM CST
Water temps and weather has never bothered my dogs. They break ice and then stand next to me in 15-20 deg windy day. They have always been willing to jump right back in. I don't like those vests no matter how tight and they are or how cold it is. I almost lost my dog 6-7 years ago. Vest got stuck on a stick that was coming off a stump and took my dog under. I had to jump in to get him as he wasn't going to come up on his own. I can't stand the cold water as I went home right after but my dog never minds it.

[This post was last edited on 11/5/12 at 10:35 AM]
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