Hunting Washington Forum

Other Hunting => Waterfowl => Topic started by: Phishead on January 02, 2022, 10:23:54 PM

Title: How cold is too cold for the pup?
Post by: Phishead on January 02, 2022, 10:23:54 PM
I struggled with this decision all last week as temps dropped into the single digits. I cant live with myself hunting her (yellow lab) in these temps with snow and wind, even though shes in prime shape and would retrieve birds all day long regardless of weather conditions. She hunts out of a blind but watching her shiver all morning stresses me out. Shes had swimmers tail at least once a season so I normally bring a portable heater and walk her often to keep the blood flowing.

 When do yall draw the line and leave your pup at home? Any tips to offer? Temp? Wind? Ice?
Title: Re: How cold is too cold for the pup?
Post by: ghosthunter on January 02, 2022, 10:37:26 PM
Well I live in Mount Vernon and have two outside dogs one is my 8 year old lab. She has lived out side after she was 6 months.

I was concerned with the 8 degree temps early last week so I put them in the garage overnight and in there kennel during day. When temps got back to 24 I let them sleep in the kennel.

Now they both have igloo dog houses, bedded with straw. Their kennel is partly covered by carport roof. I also doubled their food during the cold spell.

They seem to be happy as ever. But they do spend more time in the houses in cold temps.

I think dogs with a well developed coat do just fine if they can stay dry and out of wind.
Title: Re: How cold is too cold for the pup?
Post by: dreadi on January 02, 2022, 11:56:36 PM
We have a 3 year old GSD bitch, she weighs 63lbs. Not once in the past week of sub freezing temps did she want to go back inside after our outings because of the cold temps, snow, or ice we were walking on. I never saw her shiver in it. Ive only seen her shiver when soaking wet and the water temp is in the 40-50s.


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Title: Re: How cold is too cold for the pup?
Post by: Smokepole on January 03, 2022, 06:23:53 AM
Some of my dogs would shiver in the blind on a 60 degree day.  They just get too fired up and shake when the ducks are flying.  I'd be most worried about frostbite to the ears, paws, and lips -- but I've never hurt a dog in NW Washington.  -16 over here a couple days ago, and my yellow lab wanted to play fetch.  But I wait until it's above zero for any type of work out. 

I used to cut my blind hunts short in cold weather & just hunt the first part of the morning, just to be safe.  A ground pad is a good idea for the blind, and a small blanket to hold in the heat.  But most of our hunts in cold weather were jump shooting fast moving water, where the birds pile up.
Title: Re: How cold is too cold for the pup?
Post by: Kola16 on January 03, 2022, 03:09:28 PM
It all depends on the specific pup. My pup does not have a very good coat so I have to practice keeping the pup warm every hunt. She is also an inside family dog so that doesn't help her either. One of the best pieces of equipment is one of those rayon "Shamwow" clothes. I dry her off after every retrieve with the Shamwow, and then i ring it out and it is ready for the next retrieve. The Shamwow cloth gets her pretty darn dry. She wears a tightly fitting, custom-sewn neoprene vest.

On really cold days like now. I make sure we hunt out of a fully enclosed blind. I put her on the seat with holes in the bench drilled with a hole saw. The propane heater then goes under the bench, and a wool blanket get wrapped around her to keep the heat in like pictured below.

On the other hand, some labs can swim when its 10 degrees, blowing 15 mph, have icicles hanging from them without even wearing a vest, and not even be shivering. It just depends on your dog's specific coat and what they're used to.
Title: Re: How cold is too cold for the pup?
Post by: huntnfmly on January 03, 2022, 03:16:33 PM
I love that pic 😁
Title: Re: How cold is too cold for the pup?
Post by: Stein on January 03, 2022, 03:22:18 PM
I'm pretty simple, when she shivers and whimpers all day it's too cold.  If it's a field it's pretty much never too cold.

I do have a overcoat I made out of one of my old insulated flannels.  She can sit on the decoy bag with that over the top and endure most things.
Title: Re: How cold is too cold for the pup?
Post by: Cougartail on January 03, 2022, 04:46:24 PM
Bring the dog in, turn the heat to 85 and call Cyder for further instruction.

Title: Re: How cold is too cold for the pup?
Post by: fast60eddie on January 03, 2022, 07:06:17 PM
Bring the dog in, turn the heat to 85 and call Cyder for further instruction.

Best laugh of the day 
Title: Re: How cold is too cold for the pup?
Post by: greenhead_killer on January 03, 2022, 07:33:23 PM
I was thinking about this too as I have a new pup in the house this winter. Not quite ready for this hunt season but good info for the future.

Guy we used to hunt with would bring an old army wool blanket and wrap his very short haired gsp up and that dog was fine and ready to rock no matter what the weather was. Worked out pretty well. Ill probably do something similar when we are more active next season
Title: Re: How cold is too cold for the pup?
Post by: metlhead on January 03, 2022, 07:40:52 PM
Dogs are strange critters. My wirehair, no matter how cold it is, refuses to be wrapped or near the heater. I have seen that dog get an ice coat from swimming in single digit temps, and not leave his post. I figure he will let me know when it is too much. It's surprising how warm it is under those neo vests.
Title: Re: How cold is too cold for the pup?
Post by: RobinHoodlum on January 03, 2022, 09:27:14 PM
My griffon was out a lot during the past snow event and has hunted quite bit in the delta in cold weather. She sits on a Momarsh platform, in the boat, or on the ground in natural cover and wears a neoprene vest. She's usually wet long before we get totally set up.

Generally don't stay out for more than two hours. As long as she's getting some work - retrieve every 20 minutes or less - she's generally warm enough. If we're not in standing water, I let her fart around in the cattails, dig sand, or whatever to stay occupied and warm. A little bit of shiver at times, but the next retrieve warms her back up for a while.

I had a scary experience last season, so we cut out if I see signs of her getting too cold. What I will say is that they can go from seemingly okay to big trouble/need to be carried in a hurry.
Title: Re: How cold is too cold for the pup?
Post by: Phishead on January 07, 2022, 10:39:57 PM
We mostly hunt big water so shes constantly in/out sitting around wet for the next retrieve. The shamwow is a good call cause towels will freeze up at those temps. Oh well, only a few weeks to go so shell have to suck it up like the rest of us.  :dunno:
Title: Re: How cold is too cold for the pup?
Post by: huntnfmly on January 08, 2022, 04:34:42 AM
had a scary experience last season, so we cut out if I see signs of her getting too cold. What I will say is that they can go from seemingly okay to big trouble/need to be carried in a hurry.
 :yeah:
Some dogs will literally freeze to death Pleasing you and doing what they love
You need to be careful and not wait for them to show signs of being too cold.
There are some things you can look up to do for checking.
One I remember seeing is pinching their lip or pressing on their gums and seeing if they pink back up quickly if not its a sign their circulation is getting bad from the cold
Title: Re: How cold is too cold for the pup?
Post by: Guzman on January 16, 2022, 02:58:22 PM
Take them for a walk every half hour or hour and they will warm right back up. I have had GWPs out in much colder weather.
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