To cold to hunt?
At what temperature is it to cold to take a Labrador Retriever hunting? She wont be in the water, I will be chasing grouse?
It depends on how good of gear you have to keep your butt warm. She will do well down to temperatures that will make you think twice. Keep in mind a few things. Is she thinned or thick coated? A thin coated dog may need a light blanket/coat. Has she been recently bred, had a litter, or spayed? If so, her belly needs protecting.
Keep an eye on her as you hunt. Look for ice balls between her pads that could cause sores. Look at her belly and remove ice balls that might rub her inner thighs.
Don't forget to keep her hydrated. Snow doesn't do them much good at all. Hydration should start at least 24 hours prior to going out. Add more water to her food and ensure she can freely drink.
If I know I will be out for long day, or a couple of days in a row, I will up the amount of food a little bit several days prior to the hunt. Be careful you don't change her diet too much and cause loose stools and water loss.
I have hunted at -15 F. The duration is very short though and I am constantly moving. A dog with lots of under fur under the long outer hairs will at last one with out. This is just depending on your dogs breeding. Plus you can equip your dog with booties and a vest to help keep the elements away.
I am probably ramblin here but this info may help others as well.
Keep an eye on the color of the inner ear flap. Check it before you head out so you can compare later on. Light redness is the start then it starts to slowly go opaque as the blood flow to the ear gets less. You can feel the ear as well for how warm they are. Long coated retrievers like goldens start to get ice balls clinging to there feet and underside. They and labs may stop to chew on the underside of there feet. They are trying to pull off those chunks with there teeth.
Snow depth also is a limiting factor and the snow or ice condition. Slick ice and or crusty ice or snow that your dog punches through is very ugly on your dogs feet. They will break a nail or split a pad right now. Deep snow is no more fun for the dog than it is for you without snow shoes.
Go get 'em and stay safe.