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Thread: How cold is too cold - water

  1. #1
    Senior Member Poodlegirl's Avatar
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    Default How cold is too cold - water

    Though I know there is no "definite" answer on this - at what water/air temps should one watch closely for signs of hypothermia or distress while hunting? I am particularly interested in water temps.

    I've searched the site for "cold water" posts where someone may have given advice on how cold is too cold to swim dogs while hunting. But I couldn't find anything. I read Matt's post but note though couple of folks asked, there doesn't seem to be a mention of the air temp or water temps in which he was working his dog.

    Thanks in advance ... and if there is already a post out there please refer me to it...like I said, I searched on a couple of different things but came up with not much

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    Senior Member 1st retriever's Avatar
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    I cannot answer your question as I have no clue but I do have a question for you if you don't mind? I have heard that poodles shed just like every other dog which I believe. I have also heard that they don't shed. Which is true? I would think they do but because it is curly it just hangs on better? Didn't mean to hijack or anything! Thanks!
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    Senior Member Bob Gutermuth's Avatar
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    Depends on what you are doing in the H20. Water under 50f of so is too cold for most drills, and for sure for drudge drills like swim byes. If you are hunting, the water is never too cold in my book so long as the dog is healthy, and you are smart about it, ie dry the dog off and warm it up after a couple of retrieves. Most of my dogs retrieving is done on puddle ducks, in small farm ponds not river ducks in big water.
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    Senior Member Poodlegirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1st retriever View Post
    I have heard that poodles shed just like every other dog which I believe. I have also heard that they don't shed. Which is true? I would think they do but because it is curly it just hangs on better? Didn't mean to hijack or anything! Thanks!
    They do not shed like other dogs - they have hair that has to be cut - not hair that falls out seasonally. It is like human hair in that aspect. It falls out but not in the volumes that other dogs' hair does. You don't really see it on clothes or on the floor etc.

    I have 5 SPs that live in the house full time. Nobody would notice the hair if I didn't vacuum for a month (not that I do that mind you.) But other than that they drag in all the same stuff any other breed does Leaves, dirt, sticks - the shedding only gets you so far.

    Now as far as not being hypoallergenic - the reason they are not hypoallergenic is because they still have dander ... and saliva. And most dog allergies are to one of those two things. I happen to have asthma and do fine with the levels my dogs have.

    Too much information? Sorry if so...

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    Senior Member Poodlegirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Gutermuth View Post
    If you are hunting, the water is never too cold in my book so long as the dog is healthy, and you are smart about it, ie dry the dog off and warm it up after a couple of retrieves. Most of my dogs retrieving is done on puddle ducks, in small farm ponds not river ducks in big water.
    I am hunting. It is supposed to get cold this weekend here on the Coast of NC. This is our first hunt in really cold weather and I think it is in impounds (I have never been to this place) which should not be too deep? My dog lives indoors -- so I know for starters that she is not well acclimated to cold. She can and will wear a 5mm vest. But that post by the fellow who almost lost his dog has me a little nervous about what to watch for and when to call it quits.

    Also, I do recognize from your posts that I should definitely dry her off etc between retrieves. And that she should not be in the water the whole time. I just want to be careful so anything you have to suggest is appreciated.

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    Senior Member Poodlegirl's Avatar
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    So lows are supposed to be in the high teens low 20's and the highs are supposed to be in the high 30's.

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    Senior Member Richard Halstead's Avatar
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    I believe it was the 1942 or 43 National Open where the air temperature was -15 and the water portion was scheduled for a marsh south of Madison, WI. The slough was frozen over so they moved to the open waters of Lake Mendota near the University of Wisconsin. The field Trial Committee due to the weather conditions did three series of water marks and 7 sets of land marks. It was reported that some dogs refused to reenter the water after making the first retrieve.

    I wasn't sure of the temps when I read an old issue of Time had an article "An Old Dog's Day" abot Shed of Arden winning his third national. That said Shed had won his first National when it was -16 degrees. Seaching old news papers had the story. A side note is Shed of Arden finished 1942W, 43W, 45, 46W, 47, was a finalist these years and years with a W we years won. His owner Paul Bakwell III was in the military and couldn't handle him.
    Last edited by Richard Halstead; 01-13-2009 at 11:08 PM.
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    I have hunted where your going when it froze up. Don't worry to much. You will have to make a hole and retrieves should be short and the dog will probably be able to run across the ice if the ducks don't fall in the hole. The water is usually only 1 to 2 ft deep so it's gonna freeze hard. As far as to cold,like Bob said I have never seen it to cold. Make sure they can shake off and don't hunt a real long time. Most impoundments down there have wooden blinds and you can get them in out of the wind and dry them off if need be. Good luck. Hyde County can be awesome sometimes! Reports lately are lots of GWT and Widgeon.

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    Senior Member Bud Bass's Avatar
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    I have hunted in salt water with ice from glaciers floating in it and around 15f air temps, my dog had no problem on water retrieves, but he is a pretty tough lab. Another dog we have got "cold tail" from much less sevear conditions. Look up cold tail, the base of the tail gets sore and swollen, he holds the tail high, it appears to be very painful. Goes away in a few days. Temps y0u are refering to should be no problem for the majority of dogs, even poodles Bud

  10. #10
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    There is an article in the current issue of Retriever Journal on this topic. Check it out.
    Allen Dillard

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