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Thread: The 20 best cold-weather dogs

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ed'n Lauky's Avatar
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    The 20 best cold-weather dogs

    If you like to enjoy winter hiking with your dog it's important that your dog enjoy it also. While the list of Canine NH Winter 48 Finishers is mostly made up of dogs not on this list:

    Brutus Jan. 18, 2004
    Atticus Feb. 22(?), 2007
    Marley March 16, 2009
    Pepper Jan. 29, 2011
    Romeo March 15, 2011
    Izzy-Israel March 16, 2011
    Lauky February 16, 2012
    Cinilla March 7, 2012
    Quinn March 10, 2012
    Kali Feb. 16, 2013
    Tobi March 10, 2013

    the list itself as published by Outside Magazine contains no real surprises. http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor...allery-photo-1
    I used to look at my dog and think 'If you were a little smarter you could tell me what your were thinking', and he'd look at me like he was saying 'If you were a little smarter I wouldn't have to'. Fred Jungclaus

    Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures we place with curators in museums; others we take for walks. Roger Caras

    100/100 NEHH with Duffy
    48/48 NH 4000 Winter Ed with Duffy and Lauky
    48 X 4 including 1 winter Lauky
    48 X 6 Ed
    12 X 12 Belknaps with Lauky

  2. #2
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    I don't have the heart to tell Gryffin that the Golden Retriever did not make the list He seems to really enjoy the snow so far... but hasn't been out in it for 6-10 hours either.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ed'n Lauky's Avatar
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    I doubt there would be too much debate on the dogs listed. It might be interesting to see what dogs might be added. I can say from personal experience that the Airedale with his bulk and when his thick double coat has been allowed to grow out seems impervious to cold temperatures. I've had my Airedale Duffy out in temperatures well below zero and I never saw him shiver.
    I used to look at my dog and think 'If you were a little smarter you could tell me what your were thinking', and he'd look at me like he was saying 'If you were a little smarter I wouldn't have to'. Fred Jungclaus

    Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures we place with curators in museums; others we take for walks. Roger Caras

    100/100 NEHH with Duffy
    48/48 NH 4000 Winter Ed with Duffy and Lauky
    48 X 4 including 1 winter Lauky
    48 X 6 Ed
    12 X 12 Belknaps with Lauky

  4. #4
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Cinilla certainly supports the Airedale theory.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  5. #5
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting that, Ed. It's the double-coat which makes some breeds especially cold-tolerant. That Tibetan Mastiff is impressive - I understand that most (all?) of the giant breeds may have decended from it. Am most familar with the Newf - based upon DNA and old records/legends it's thought that the Newfie is a product of the now extinct black wolf which lived in eastern Canada/Maritimes and Tibetan Mastiffs who were left behind by early explorers & fisherman. Compared to most breeds, the "evolution" or development of the Newf is much murkier than most breeds.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    My Australian Shepard so far has done very well. Last winter we had many hikes at 6 or 7 hours and he never seemed bothered at all. His feet are big, he does very well in deep snow. His claws are like crampons and he can climb ice very well. a few times this year I aborted hikes when wind chills were sub-zero, Im not going to chance that, I refuse to push to injury or frostbite just for a summit.

  7. #7
    Senior Member IQuest's Avatar
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    It's no surprise that a Boxer did not make the list. Marlie's excitement to be outdoors out weighs her ability to withstand cold temps. While out on our nightly stroll through the woods she seems fine while chasing smells and bounding through the trees. However, when we stopped for a few minutes she began to lift her paws and lick at them. (It was 1 degree and there is a couple inches of snow on the ground.) Once moving again she seemed to go back to being fine. I can always sense her heartbreak when she is forced to miss a hike due to unfavorable conditions.
    Ian

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    Senior Member iagreewithjamie's Avatar
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    I have an Akita. She's good for 3 or 4 miles in the summer, but will hike all day long with me in the winter. I've never seen a dog get so excited over snow.
    She's the best dog I've ever had... even though most people I've met on the trail are terrified of her. She's really dangerous: she will lick you to death.
    Nothin' on the top but a bucket and a mop
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    You see alot up there, but don't be scared:
    who needs actions when you got words?

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    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    One of the best avalanche and SAR dogs I've known was a Golden. The breed's coat sometimes has a fine texture that attracts snow clumps, so some judicious trimming on paws and belly is needed, especially in wet snow climates.
    sardog1

    "Å! kjære Bymann gakk ei stjur og stiv,
    men kom her up og kjenn eit annat Liv!
    kom hit, kom hit, og ver ei daud og lat!
    kom kjenn, hot d'er, som heiter Svevn og Mat,
    og Drykk og Tørste og det heile, som
    er Liv og Helse i ein Hovedsum."

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    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    OK, this seems like as good a place as any... Gryffin will occasionally stop and lick his paws when it is as cold out as it was today. However, I never see ice on them. We walked on the street today and he occasionally picks up one or the other of his back paws as if they are bothered. I can't tell if it is cold, road salt or both - it seems less likely to happen in just pure snow, but it happens there too. His tail is still straight out / slightly up where it normally is so I don't think he is cold, and we are in motion the whole time as well. I tried those paws booties today and got further than last week - maybe 3/4 to 1 mile before he'd had enough - we went the remaining 3 miles w/o booties. Plus on pavement they don't seem to last. I have Musher's Secret for tomorrow's deeper snow... will try that out and see. His fur is pretty short (paw fur) but could probably be further trimmed up.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

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    Senior Member Ed'n Lauky's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like his pads are cold. The street is probably colder than the snow. He's still a pup and his pads haven't really had a chance to toughen up yet. You're wise not to push him too much until he feels more comfortable. I wouldn't get too far out for a while. Make sure when you go you have the booties with you so you can get him back if you start to have a problem. A bit of duct tape could be useful if you have a problem keeping the booties on in the snow.

    I'll add to that thought that I think it was Tom Ryan who said that Atticus didn't like the booties until his pads got cold then he didn't object.
    Last edited by Ed'n Lauky; 12-14-2013 at 08:50 PM.
    I used to look at my dog and think 'If you were a little smarter you could tell me what your were thinking', and he'd look at me like he was saying 'If you were a little smarter I wouldn't have to'. Fred Jungclaus

    Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures we place with curators in museums; others we take for walks. Roger Caras

    100/100 NEHH with Duffy
    48/48 NH 4000 Winter Ed with Duffy and Lauky
    48 X 4 including 1 winter Lauky
    48 X 6 Ed
    12 X 12 Belknaps with Lauky

  12. #12
    Member Hikes with Hannah's Avatar
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    Hannah will hopefully finish this year (43/48 so far) and she loves snow but isn't exactly built for very cold weather - lean but muscular with a short dense coat. She wears two coats in winter and I check her feet several times during hikes. I feel a lot of dogs can be good winter hikers and have fun as long as the same common sense rules for humans are applied - if it's too cold for me to be comfortable, she would be cold too. If I wouldn't feel comfortable with large stretches of ice on a slope in the Presi's even with crampons, I wouldn't go and I would definitely not bring Hannah. This has worked very well for us so far and hopefully there will be more great winter hikes this year!
    Trail adopter: Webster Cliff Trail from junction with Webster branch of WJT to Mt. Jackson

  13. #13
    Senior Member griffin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    We walked on the street today and he occasionally picks up one or the other of his back paws as if they are bothered. I can't tell if it is cold, road salt or both -
    All of our dogs - our first two, who were Keeshonds, and the Cattle Dog mix and the Lab we have now - have always had a much harder time with all the road salt here in Somerville than with snow and even ice out in the woods. I think the salt itself is an irritant, and since it lowers the melting point of the snow/slush, I think it winds up making their feet even colder than plain snow. His paws will toughen up as he gets older, but the musher's secret might help, too (it did for us).

    IMnshO, this is s less ridiculous list than some of the "best dogs for XYZ" I've seen, but I may be biased because they recognized the Keeshond
    Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    My dog was almost jumping up with his hind legs the other day and I noticed the rock salt on the road was big, I think it was hurting his pads. When my dog stops and licks his feet, it means there are ice balls imbedded in between his pads. My dogs pads are quite deep. I have to stick my finger way in to get them all, then he is good to go.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Ed'n Lauky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikes with Hannah View Post
    Hannah will hopefully finish this year (43/48 so far) and she loves snow but isn't exactly built for very cold weather - lean but muscular with a short dense coat. She wears two coats in winter and I check her feet several times during hikes. I feel a lot of dogs can be good winter hikers and have fun as long as the same common sense rules for humans are applied - if it's too cold for me to be comfortable, she would be cold too. If I wouldn't feel comfortable with large stretches of ice on a slope in the Presi's even with crampons, I wouldn't go and I would definitely not bring Hannah. This has worked very well for us so far and hopefully there will be more great winter hikes this year!
    When Hannah finishes post it here with the date: http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthrea...nter+finishers or PM me and I'll make sure she gets added to the list. Thanks
    I used to look at my dog and think 'If you were a little smarter you could tell me what your were thinking', and he'd look at me like he was saying 'If you were a little smarter I wouldn't have to'. Fred Jungclaus

    Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures we place with curators in museums; others we take for walks. Roger Caras

    100/100 NEHH with Duffy
    48/48 NH 4000 Winter Ed with Duffy and Lauky
    48 X 4 including 1 winter Lauky
    48 X 6 Ed
    12 X 12 Belknaps with Lauky

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