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Thread: Safe for a dog?

  1. #1
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    Default Safe for a dog?

    Would you hunt your dog in 38 degree water and if so how long/what would you do or need to do to keep the dog comfortable.

    What kind of dog and any experience would really be helpfull thanks.

    I am considering getting a lab and am wondering if this situation would be something I could use the dog for specifically sea ducks ( I know it is not typically done). Any thoughts? thanks

  2. #2
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    Default no thermometer

    I have never used a thermometer for hunting. What I do know is that the coldest I have hunted ducks was this year at -3. The air temp in the sun got above freezing later in the day, but not by much.
    I own Labradors and find them pretty hardy. Early in the year on the Tanana (read dangerous water) and late in the year in cold temps and ice, they wear a neoprene vest for both flotation and warmth.
    I try to find a dry place for them to sit, and when cold, make sure we take time to go for at least short walks on dry ground. I also take a towel to dry off the head and ears, and if possible any exposed wet areas. We take dog bones or their normal dog food and snack them during a long day of being wet and cold.
    Whatever the breed, keep them in good shape, both physically and weight wise. Don't ask more of them than you would ask of yourself being in the same condition, i.e. if you are out of shape, would you go run a 10k at full bore?

  3. #3

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    Retrievers are pretty hardy. But you as a handler will have to determine when your dog has had enough. Long swims and standing motionless in water for any length of time will take away needed body warmth.

    When I'm hunting during late season I'll decoy for a while. Then if I still need a few more I'll go jump shooting. This gets my labs moving and warmed up again.

    As mentioned before. There are vest available and helping to dry off helps as well. I would add that I drape a wool blanket around my labs to keep the winds off and hold in some more warmth while they are in the boat or blind.

    For sea duck hunting I'd make sure you have a dog you can call off a bird. A wounded bird out swimming or diving out in the open surf can be a harrowing experience for dog and hunter. Especially if you are in high current areas.

    If your teeth chatter and your body shakes you are going to start moving about to warm up. Do the same for your dog.

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    Sounds like you need a Chessie. Seems like they handle the cold water better than most Labs. They have a protective streak that can be a challange to contain but usually not a problem if your consistant from the start. KK

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kandiyohi Kid View Post
    Sounds like you need a Chessie. Seems like they handle the cold water better than most Labs. They have a protective streak that can be a challange to contain but usually not a problem if your consistant from the start. KK
    I've hunted my chessie at -35 with no problems, harder on me than him I think

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    Default Mcat?

    -35 and water? Saltwater? Coastal? You be one tough dude.
    Eat W G, I would look first at my lifestyle, personality, and expectations before choosing a specific breed. You will spend more time with the dog at home than in the field. Sorry, wish it weren't so.
    Personally I am not a Chessie kind of guy. Now wait a minute friends. I did not say I did not like them and they don't have their place. In fact, and I know 3CBR's is gonna never let me live this down, I have seen some real sweetheart Chessies that almost could have made it in my house.
    For pure toughness day in and day out, I would hand it to the brown dog. Not by much, but he still gets that nod. But then you have to live with that disposition every day. So the black dog gets my overall vote as my day in and day out buddie.
    With that said, any of you brown dog fanatics want to go hunt I'll be proud to shoot over your dog. Yeah Karen, that means you and your gang too.

  7. #7

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    Uh oh.
    There is going to be flying bumpers on that one.
    I'm going to grab some popcorn and watch this.

  8. #8
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    Default WL

    Save some for me. And a cold one if you got it.

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    Default Vests

    I personally have hunted to -10 with my Chessie in the Interior. She had on a 5mm vest and her core was a nice place to warm up my fingers. Most of her was covered in ice though. AK River Rat....I'm hoping that your not including River as one of the Chessies that you would let in you house .

    I almost lost my Chocolate in Minto 2 years ago when she cramped up on the final retrieve. That trip the temps outside were slightly below zero and ice was forming fast. She had retrieved 30 birds that day and was tuckered out...plus I had forgotten her vest. My fault totally..now she hunts in the vest from the middle of September on.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak River Rat View Post
    -35 and water? Saltwater? Coastal? You be one tough dude.
    Eat W G, I would look first at my lifestyle, personality, and expectations before choosing a specific breed. You will spend more time with the dog at home than in the field. Sorry, wish it weren't so.
    Personally I am not a Chessie kind of guy. Now wait a minute friends. I did not say I did not like them and they don't have their place. In fact, and I know 3CBR's is gonna never let me live this down, I have seen some real sweetheart Chessies that almost could have made it in my house.
    For pure toughness day in and day out, I would hand it to the brown dog. Not by much, but he still gets that nod. But then you have to live with that disposition every day. So the black dog gets my overall vote as my day in and day out buddie.
    With that said, any of you brown dog fanatics want to go hunt I'll be proud to shoot over your dog. Yeah Karen, that means you and your gang too.
    No fresh water, right here in Delta off the Rivers. Wont get a rise out of me I have been hunting waterfowl all over this country for 30 years and I have seen so many rotten labs, and chessies that to stick up for one breed over another is crazy.
    The reason I like chessies is because their disposition and mine are about the same.

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    Default taiga

    If it is River with the short ear she has already been here. Too bad she is going deaf. Just goes to show we need to get out at every opportunity with both dogs so they get to live their life fully.
    MCAT, you told me all I need to know. I missed last weekend and and will miss next weekend, but got the 2 previous. Wasn't -35, and I am happy about that.
    Having spent time in clubs, running training session, working for pros, and training dogs for a living, I "GENERALLY" find labs more to my liking. Not to say, as I said earlier, that there aren't at least a few special brown dogs that could get to hang around. OUCH, I can feel 3CBRS poking me in the ribs now.

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    Default River rat

    Yep thats the one!!! lol !! She's a good dog. I still have the pumpkin pick from a couple of years ago when you guys were on the Clearwater. Are we doing another wood run next spring?

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    Okay Ak River Rat -- I'll bite You better watch out or you'll end up wth a brown dog. Chesapeakes aren't for everyone, and if asked, I'll more often than not say "get a Lab". Have had a couple flat out mean Chessies (big & a bad attitude even as pups), but not for the past 15 years. Been there done that, and it's no fun. Are they tougher in cold water? I don't know, but that's what they were originally bred for & a lot depends on the individual dog's conditioning. Have hunted at -20, but only for pheasant & chukar, and in November with short daylight hours.

    Karen

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    Here is a picture of my Chessie at about 1 1/2 yrs on a 10 or so degree day. She did fine but I had her conditioned. Now she spends most of here days indoors (at the foot of my bed and on the couch) so I vest her up when it gets cold.


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    Default found one

    Thanks for all the replies. I found a yellow one that seems like a sweetheart and is well trained at that. She may get some sea time but mostly will be used for puddlers and with four little ones anxious for a dog she will be pampered you can be sure.

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    Default Price of admission

    Hey there EWG, the price of admission and expert advice are photos of your new family member and the kids!
    It sounds like she is not a little leather belly? Congrats on the new addition!

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    Default When she gets here

    I will post some pics. No dog pics but the rest are at, blessedinalaska.com

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    EWG, nice pics!

  19. #19
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    even when they are pups, hunting in calif i kept a vest on my lab sarah. she never has liked the vests but i use them on every hunt day when the air temps are 50 or lower. But boy does she hate them. if i grab that vest, she will run and hide. it's funny! And when it's on her, she'll just stand there motionless as i'm walking to the blind. lol...then finally she will bolt and catch up. it's so funny. here in alaska, the weather is always a good duck day for calif. I always have a vest on her no matter what. we hunted in -20 at skilak my first year here. An Eagle swooped down to steal her goldeneyes twice just as she was about 10 feet away so she just made the u turn and came back. We then moved. It was a slow day but we got 4 Golden eyes and she had a blast.

    this was when she was 9 and the next morning she was running up the stairs after i gave her rimadyle the night after our hunt. Also, lightly squeezing the tips of your dogs ears with your hands warms them up to. i do this ever so often even if she's not shiverin. Just a way to communicate is all. My dog has a way of thanking me by just looking up at me after i warm them. sometimes she just winks at me. how mellodramatic!! It makes them more comfortable.
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