I'm not sure if any of you hunters carry an extra source of glucose for a quick energy fix. I use pancake syrup and give my oversized boy a shot of it about several times during a long search task. The brain needs glucose to function well and if the glucose is used up trying to keep the body warm, there is less of it for the brain.
If a dog is shivering, it is using glucose. Dogs can stay warmer longer if they have an extra source of it, rather then just what is circulating at the time.
I use syrup rather than a solid food, because he has a tendency to puke when given food while working hard.
For cold weather-water hunting I don't think it's close, use a vest. Just based on the shivering test I am 100% certain my dogs are way more comfortable in a well fitted quality vest. Add in the other arguments, safety from punctures and abrasions, buoyancy and camo, it's a no-brainer.
Now I'm talking about north country cold weather water work, super cold upland or southern state winter hunting might be different, though I know it gets below freezing down there as well.
I thought all dogs shivered while out hunting??? :confused: From opening day to the last call of the season, 80° down 10° or colder. Wait, you're right, that's not shivering but quivering from excitement..... :rolleyes:
I do put a vest on late season. Pup is more comfortable with it and will be quivering vs shivering - all based off of how many screws are loose......
Show dogs suck in cold weather
Only took four pages to get this....
Originally Posted by Gun_Dog2002
You all are falling down on the job :-)
I agree…especially first light before shooting when ducks are landing in your decoys or a bunch of coots swim by the decoys. It’s funny watching them. They will look at you and then look out and then look at you and look out…over and over again. Later the excitement comes down a couple of levels.
Originally Posted by Mallard Mugger
Anyway, I have an old Avery 3mm vest that I don on my dog because of a lot of dead branches around the hole and it does show wear with holes more on the top and sides of the vest then the chest.
But the point is to recognize the symptoms that a dog has had enough and be smart enough to stop right there or you might not have a dog to hunt with anymore. You don’t want your hunt to turn into a nightmare.
All I am saying is try to be diligent. :)
All my dogs wear the Avery Boaters Parka vest's from opening day to freeze up. Without them I would certainly get far less hunting done as the dogs would be hypothermic. Besides the added warmth factor, protects from sticks and reeds that would otherwise cut them up. Cheap insurance in my opinion, I would rather replace a vest that has been sliced or punctured than have to take the dog to the vet. Seen many a vest cut up by barbed wire and sticks and generally the dog is unscathed.
I have hunted many years without the vest and my biggeest reason was safety, I was more worried about them getting hung up and something bad happening. Luckily the one time I did have a dog get caught up the vest was velcro and came off. I was hunting a pond that was pretty safe but it opened my eyes. I really can't honestly say if my dogs are warmer with it. I believe their are water dogs and their are cold water dogs. I have had a few that the cold water never bothered. I have hunted a few rivers back in the day when it was below zero and the ice froze as soon as the dog got out and shook it off. I think this was before vest and the dogs did fine. I am lucky enough to hunt close to my rig and also to have a string of dogs. So now if I think a dog is getting cold I take them to the truck turn it on and let them lay on the floorboard. A few times I have had kids and dogs asleep in the front with the heater rolling when I return. I think Common sense goes a long ways in keeping dogs safe. I do see some lines with smooth coats and I do not think that is a good direction to go. I have friends in the south that love the slick coats. I am thinking about getting the vents like they have in cop cars to direct the heat to the back of my truck to warm them up in the topper.
I believe protection from cypress knees, stumps, snags etc are a much better reason to have your dog in a vest than protection from the cold. Vests can be counter-productive, IMO, for cold protection because they keep a dog wet, unable to shake out the water as they normally do when getting out of the water. I do have my dogs wear a vest most times hunting but for floatation and protection from abrasion not so much the cold. I don't hunt deep water or flowing water too often unless everything is frozen up but my dogs can be maniacs going for a bird in knee deep to waist deep water in flooded timber or fields where there are underwater hazards and they are lunging & swimming. A vest gives the dogs a little better protection from those underwater hazards.
Originally Posted by GulfCoast
It's just a thought?....But if vests are used for protection against underwater hazards?.....Why do they not come with protection for the 'LEGS'? and 'FEET'?
They would surely come in contact with anything underwater 'First'? .....And, if standing on the frozen tundra just waiting, Surely the they are in contact with it from the ground up?:(