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Thread: Dogs and extreemly cold water

  1. #1
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    Default Dogs and extreemly cold water

    Hi all,
    The wife to be and I are making the move in a couple of months and wanted to know if any of you guys/gals have problems with your dogs and the cold water. We have 2 big labs 110# each and I'm getting the itch for some bird hunting this fall. Do you folks use neoprene jackets on your dogs or are they ok with the cold?

    Kindest Regards,

    Mountaintrekker

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountaintrekker View Post
    Hi all,
    The wife to be and I are making the move in a couple of months and wanted to know if any of you guys/gals have problems with your dogs and the cold water. We have 2 big labs 110# each and I'm getting the itch for some bird hunting this fall. Do you folks use neoprene jackets on your dogs or are they ok with the cold?

    Kindest Regards,

    Mountaintrekker
    Hey I hate to burst your bubble but I have two large labs and love to go duck hunting but it's not the same as the lower 48. It really sucks. Yes bring jackets. You may have some luck but don't get your hope up. I don't know where your from but I'm from Montana.

  3. #3
    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
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    Neo dog vests would be a good idea. As for it sucks not sure what ttgirl means. Maybe she should move some place that don't suck.

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    I've a 100# male lab as well along with a 2 female labs and from spring to late fall our waters are not as severe as one might think so long as you don't over work them and towel them down. My labs love the water whether it is in the river channels or in lakes or sloughs - just don't matter. Good companions in my boat and/or at camp-smart dogs. Learn them about porcupine & quills though-had to put down one of the best labs I have ever owned some yrs. back.

    regards,

  5. #5

    Default chessy

    I had a Chessie once that would swim circles around my buddies black labs. You couldn't get him out of the creek and there was ice flowing in it. The black had to be out and warmed up. Chessie's are one tough dog. I have 2 chocolates now, so we will see how they perform in the cold water. I am thinking I may need a vest for my female. She is a dainty dog.

  6. #6

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    The problem is not the breed of the dog rather the drive of the dog to
    get birds regardless of the temp of the water. This is were you need to consider and vest the dog in cold water. ITS NOT MACHO TO RUN A DOG IN COLD WATER! Its call hypothermia .Take care of your pups.

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    My "boys" are like my kids, that's why I'm asking you folks on this. Thanks for your input, I think I'll get them some neoprene and see how they feel when we get up there. I guess it would help with their buoyancy as well.


    Mountaintrekker

  8. #8
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default my weenie girl

    I have a very spoiled 15 month old chocolate lab - she gets cold if she doesn't get to sleep under the covers on the bed

    But when we hunted her for ducks in some pretty cold water here in Colorado this year (ice floating and forming in the water) I think that she would have died had she not had the neoprene on. Literally.

    Being under 2 yo she doesn't/didn't have her full hair yet - but with the vest on her hair was dry after crossing the rivers -

    I wouldn't even consider not using the vest - Plus she looks really cool with it on too!

  9. #9

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    Keep in mind that these dogs will work for you until they drop. They love their job.
    It is our stupidity that puts the dogs life in jeopardy.
    They will overheat and they will become hypothermic(cold).
    I have read numerous articles on such events. As responsible dog owners we need to be aware of our dogs working condition. To know your dogs limits and to quit training or hunting for your dogs sake. For those "tough dogs" or the dainty ones. It doesn't matter..... the temperature is still the same. The tougher dogs are actually worse from my experience. Because they don't give you any visual cues on how they are being affected.

    I too am a strong advocate of the vest. Also remember that there are different thicknesses of vest. Another note: You need to cut the vest to fit your dog. Especially under the front legs. If you don't your poor pooch will rub him/herself raw on it.

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    Wetland this is a question I have struggled with as well. What is the difference between shaking from cold and shaking form restrint excitedness.

  11. #11

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    An excited retriever has its ears forward and is alert.
    If your retriever is cold its ears will be flat on its head and the eyes will appear to stare at no particular object. Teeth chattering is a dead giveaway. But like I mentioned earlier not every dog will give you a visual que. You may have to check the skin color of the inner ear and even the underside of the lips. Pale white or even worse bluish in color. The outer extremities like the ears are the first to get slowed circulation due to the dogs body trying to keep its inner core warm. It is the same reason why our hands and feet get cold first.
    I hunt from boats and blinds. When in the boat I wrap the dog with a wool blanket if it is cool. The places I hunt in a blind I take along a platform or use some natural platform like a drift log. These areas are standing water and the dog is in it all the time up to its chest if I didn't have a place for them to get out of the water. The platform and the logs give the dog a chance to get out and also allows the dog to mark the birds better as they go down. Pay attention to your dog. If they are soaked and cold you might want to bag it for the day. But if they are somewhat dry and cold then you might want to just simply take them for a walk to warm up.

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    Thanks for the insight

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    Good stuff wetland...Thanks!!!!

  14. #14

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    Canine Hypothermia Part II- Signs and Symptoms

    Hypothermia can be divided into 3 categories or stages.

    1) Mild: The dog begins to shiver and cannot control the shivering. Your dog will begin to act lethargic or tired. Typically at this stage the dogís temperature is between 96-99 degrees F.
    2) Moderate: Once a dogís temperature falls into the 90-95 degree F. range it lose itís ability to shiver. The dog will lose coordination and appear clumsy; at this point the dog may lose consciousness. If it gets to this point, your dog lifeís is in serious danger.
    3) Severe: 82-90 degrees F. At this point your dog will have collapsed, it will have trouble breathing, the pupils will be dilated and the dog will be unresponsive. If hypothermia gets to this point it is critical that the dog be warmed quickly and taken to an emergency vet center.
    Like most things, if you pick up on the signs early, it is very treatable and will have no long suffering effects on the dog. Keep and eye on your pup when itís cold out so you can be sure he can share the blind with you again next time.

    I also found this valuable tip:
    The simplest way to determine whether the patient is hypothermic or not, is to assess body temperature by placing a bare hand against the skin (preferably in axilla or groin region) of the patient. If the skin feels warm, hypothermia is unlikely. Patients with cold skin should have rectal temperatures taken with a low reading thermometer

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    Default Dutch Harbor Lab

    I Hunt My Lab Here In Dutch Harbor Till The Season Ends On Jan 21st And The Spring Substance Season Start In April. I Use A Neprone Dog Vest And Watch How She Dose. If She Start Shivering You I Know To Pack It Up. She Is A Go Getter And Will Not Quite On Me. I Have Gone Out Set My Deeks And Get A Couple Of Birds Richt Off And In 20- Thats With Wind Chill And Call It A Day Becasue I Can Tell By The Way She Acts. I Keep A Towle In The Truck To Dry Here Off. The Vet Told Me Keep A Thermas Of Hot Water With You And If You Start To See The Sings Of Hypotherma Give Thems Some Warm Water. He Said Watch You Dog And If The Sings Show Act Fast And Call It Day And Get Your Dog Warm.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Folks another way to help your dog ward off hypothermia is to feed them fat, such as beef suet, on the morning of the hunt and give them fat treats during the day.

    For the very same reasons the Inupiat eat muktuk, giving fat to your dog helps them generate body heat in the cold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    Folks another way to help your dog ward off hypothermia is to feed them fat, such as beef suet, on the morning of the hunt and give them fat treats during the day.

    For the very same reasons the Inupiat eat muktuk, giving fat to your dog helps them generate body heat in the cold.

    I dont even give my dogs food until after the hunt, nothing worse then a sick dog in the blind or boat because you gave him too much food and/or treats.

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    What is normal body temperature for a dog?

  19. #19

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    100-101 degrees
    "It's the journey that's important, with experience and knowledge to be gained along the way, in the company of our faithful dogs and our good friends."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

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