Dog Hypothermia Info

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Postby MacMan » Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:24 pm

I'm with ya. . . I'd start with a normal vest that you already have and a tailor or seamstress will be able to afix the flotation to the top of the vest (when the dog is sitting the orange would not show outwardly to the birds, when swimming you'd see the orange on the back, then sew you a handle or d ring for whatever you might need. It really doesn't take a lot of flotation to keep a dog up - you might even purchase a small children size lifevest and cut the sealed flotation out of it and use it. What conditions do you hunt in? Big water? River?
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Postby peteyg » Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:47 pm

It kind of varies. I travel a lot between northern VA, where I live, and NY where my parents are. Down here I go along the Potomac, or in WMAs where I walk to the ponds / streams. Up in NY I'm in the saltwater bay and channels on Long Island. That's more where I'm concerned. The currents get rough.
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Postby 3LABS » Fri May 09, 2008 8:08 am

Vest will help hold body heat in for sure but I had a bad experience with one. Mandy was returning with a bird and had to cross a fallen tree when a limb run into one of the openings in the vest, either neck or leg opening. She was stuck fighting as hard as she could to get off and she was wearing down fast. lucky for me she was only 20 yrds form the blind and I had on chest waders, off into the water I went and got her free. I don't know how long she could have made it without my help. I'll never put it on her again in timber. Fields and open water fine never in the timber esp. if I can't wade it ! and yes it fit right
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Postby peteyg » Wed May 28, 2008 7:48 am

Good point. Timber is tricky.

Open water and marsh is perfect. Timber, use best judgment. I'm thinking of no vest this year and trying to figure out a warming tent kind of setup up. I have the small kennel size tent blind, maybe I can raise off the ground or something.
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Postby TopGunMich » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:25 pm

Dogs should be weathered for severals weeks to acclaimate to the colder temps. They need that heavier coat to deal with the late seasons in the northern states. Collars and vest will and do snag branches, keep it in mind. Rubber mats or wood will insulate your dog from the frozen metal boat floor. High protein and high carb treats (in small amounts) will help your dog deal with the cold. Set up for short retrieves and watch the dog. River hunting is the most dangerous, dogs getting swept under the ice.


btw, I cannot believe some guy would shoot his dog and leave it in the ice! I would be going after my dog, especially if I was stupid enough to send him in!!!
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Postby big37dog » Fri Nov 28, 2008 7:34 am

This where a dog like a Drahthhaar really shines.
Immediately upon finding an open hole of water surrounded by ice and too deep for me to wade.

I will about face and go hunt something else, maybe a grouse or rabbit.

These places are not meant for dogs.
If you have to hunt them to feed your family or some other truly honorable reason.

PUT A ROPE ON YOUR DOG
as least then you can recover the body to bury ..!!!
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Postby Chesapeake Boy » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:33 pm

Not flaming anyone...JMO. If you have a water dog, and they are acclimated, and spot to get out of the water, I have a hard time believing the dog needs the vest. I have hunted my CBR's and with labs is sub freezing weather.. always... (not the ones that have zero belly hair cuz they sleep under the covers with their owners... know a few of those as well ! :rolleyes: ) Kodi is dry as a bone when he comes out of the water and shakes off. MNot a macho thing... just don't get it...

My concern is what someone else talked about... getting hung up on branches or something under the water. I guess my thought on the dog impailing themselves on underwater sticks.... I guess I check out what the dogs entry conditions are...

I am also confused about the neoprene vest. They are supposed to work like a wetsuit. Water gets in, then gets warmed up... well, if Kodi has ice on his guard hairs... or if the snow isn't melting...that tells me that there isn't heat coming out.. so what is the vest doing?

I have heard on good reason though... One of my friends lab (no belly hair) doesn't bring 2 gallons of water into the boat each time she comes in.
Nothing like a bird in the hand and Chesapeake beside you with ice on his coat while the snow blows in from the north!
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Re: Dog Hypothermia Info

Postby Honker75 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:10 pm

Being from Minn. we get pretty cold temps. I use a dog vest but even with that are sometimes worried about my dog. We pretty much hunt whatever the temp is until the end of season. I check her quite often to see how she doin, I cant really go by her shivering because she's always so excited that she shivers from 40 degrees to 10 degrees, never really noticed her to stager or not respond. I think those vest are the best, I prefer a tighter one and notch it out for the legs. I stick my hand up in her vest and she's dry and warm. Also saved me VET bill when she ran into barbed wire fence and just tore up the chest on the vest. Not sure of name brand but has handle on top witch works awsome for pulling her in boat.
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Re: Dog Hypothermia Info

Postby aunt betty » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:58 pm

Dog vest, heater, hot/warm food, towels and blankets are in my "dog pack" I have a blind bag for me and a backpack for keeping the dog's stuff in. It gets really cold here in central Illinois and I learned real quick about keeping my dogs dry, warm, and out of the howling wind.

Since I'm mostly hunting in Arkansas this season it's not such an issue and I worry about snakes now. Snake-bite kit is in the backpack already.
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Re: Dog Hypothermia Info

Postby goldrush2 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:53 am

I OWN A CHESSIE AND HUNT IN THE OPEN BAY IN JERSEY AND USE A AVERY VEST HAD TO TRIM THE FRONT LEG OPENINGS BUT THAT WAS IT .I HAVE HUNTED IN SUB 20 DEGREES WITH WIND CHILL WITH SPRAY MAKEING ICE CHESSIE OR NOT I RECOMMEND A VEST IN THOSE CONDITIONS.eARLY SEASON IS FINE WITHOUT THE VEST.
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Re: Dog Hypothermia Info

Postby Duckdon » Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:06 am

Good Post: Not meaning to jack your thread but there is a couple things I would like to add so you don't get to a critical point.
1. Watch his ears. Are up and alert or clamped tight to his head?
2. Is he still in the hunt or does he seem to be in his own little trance? Glassed eyed look......
3. Is his tail clamped down or up and excited?
4. Get some of the retrieves yourself, give the poch a break.
5. Don't let them play in the water anymore than possible.
6. Call it a early day when it's cold. Don't let the last bird of the limit be the only factor on when a day is a day.

I do give a few dog treats through out the day but I know that is controversical, but I feel that if the boiler is on they are making heat.

Huntin cold water every day,,,,,in Alaska. Duckdon
Forgive me for being arrogant. I own 2 Drahthaar's.
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Re: Dog Hypothermia Info

Postby 9JAYDUB » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:10 pm

Just wanted to say thanks for posting this. I am brand new to owning a retriever for duck hunting (I've owned a few mutts, but never a trained hunting dog) and this was very informative about how to protect my new best friend while out on those cold mornings.
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Re: WHAT DOG FIELD JACKET DO YOU USE?

Postby 76FJ40 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:16 am

I train dogs and have two labs of my own that i hunt alot. I use an Avery vest on both dogs and love them. besides have extra hand holds to move your dog around i feel that the added protections from th cold and sharp sumerged objects is well worth the cost. beyond the attachment i have with my dogs the amount of time and money i have invested in training and titleing them is on the order of thousands of dollars. I train 5-6 days a week off season. the investment in time and money is huge. a vest is less then $50 if memory serves.

Well worth the investment. besides my family would disown me if i let anything happen to our dogs.

on the ice story, wow that is a terrable situation. on a recent trip to Oregon we changed our whold hunting strategy becouse of a simlar ice situation.

I always scout a new spot. my first thought after (are there going to be ducks here) is how will the dog do here. I look for any hazard submerged or otherwise. and have a plan to deal with them or I dont hunt there.

PADuckhunter wrote:
MacMan wrote:I have a Hodgman neoprene - it's been used 3 weekends and is tearing at several seams - it's the right size; however, Jaz movement is quite impeded. I need something else that will fit and protect without chaffing her. I heard there is one on the market with a handle on top for lifting the dog.

Any suggestions?


Here is one that has handles cut into it available from Mack Prairie Wings http://www.mackspw.com/Item--i-AVE031S

# The Boater's Dog Parka Features 5mm neoprene
# Sewn-in webbing harness
# Exclusive grab handles
# D-rings eliminate the need for a collar
# 16 cubic inches of closed cell foam floatation
# DuraStretchTM is the toughest outer fabric available
# #10 molded zipper & cold- weather pull tab
# 1" Velcro for torso adjustability
# Neoprene zipper protector
# Tapered cut for maximum body coverage
# Double bar tacked seams
# Glued & stitched just like waders
# 5 sizes to fit any dog
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Re: Dog Hypothermia Info

Postby FOWLER2671 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:02 am

I do everything possibly to make my dogs comfortable as well as myself. I found out along time ago that if I'm warm I dont' need all those clothes which impede my shooting so I invested in a propane heater. I normally hunt out of a boat blind so the dog is right next to me on a foam padded mat with a vest on. I also cook on the heater and the dog gets her share. Guns even work better when they are warm.

Ive had good luck out of a cabelas vest and I did cut it to fit around the front legs.
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Re: Dog Hypothermia Info

Postby BassNut » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:11 am

I use vests for warmth on my 2 labs but not on my Chessie's. CBR's have a water proof coat and can almost completely dry themselves with a shake or two. A vest would just keep them wet. It's been in the mid to upper 20's the last few weeks. Made me think about this thread.
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Re:

Postby KaceyDucks » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:23 pm

HNTFSH wrote:A poster that responded to the Hypothermia post had this to share which quite frankly - about made me sick as well (putting myself in the situation he describes). While most would have figured out the danger before the deed - it's possible to get caught up in the excitement sometimes:


I almost lost my dog last year to Ice! I found a pocket of open water that was holding some birds. When we rounded the corner, the sky went black from the amount of birds using this hole. I got two, and my buddy got one. The dogs immediately went to work to retreive the ducks.
One duck that I shot landed back in the hole, my dog went in to get it, but then could not get back out of the hole onto the ice. The ice kept breaking. I knew she was in trouble when she dropped the duck and was only concerned with getting out of the hole she was in. She could not get out, and I could not go get her. She eventually stopped trying, and just lay with her head on the ice whinning.
I wanted to throw up!
I asked my buddy if I should shoot her. That's when he stood up and said lets go. We started to walk away as if we were just going to leave her there. She got so upset that we were leaving her that she somehow summoned the strength to get herself up onto the ice.
When she reached shore, we dried her off with our extra clothes, and got her running around. She was fine after that. Ducks were circling overhead trying to get back into this hole, but we wouldn't take anymore shots. We went home!
If it hadn't been for my buddies quick thinking, I would have shot her. It was that gut wrenching!


I know this is a really old post. Having lost a dog to tragic sudden circumstances, this is quite possibly the hardest thing I have had to stomach in a while. I probably would have attempted a rescue as well. Walking away from an opposite shore on a river was how I have always taught my dogs to swim and I am glad it worked in this instance to save the dogs life too.

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Re: Dog Hypothermia Info

Postby aunt betty » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:19 pm

Cold? Naw
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Re: Dog Hypothermia Info

Postby xtrema13 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:30 am

I'd have to say short hairs wouldn't be the best on cold days.


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