Wooly Dogs and Heat

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Wooly Dogs and Heat

Postby TX_UplandHunter » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:15 pm

Hello Everyone,

I am new to the forum, have been lurking for a couple of weeks. I have a question for those of you familiar with the wooly breeds. I currently reside in TX, may be relocating to GA in the next year and am interested in WPGs DDs and GWPs. How well do they fair in the heat? September and October in my region of TX the temps are still up there. I know a few guides that run EPs around here won't hunt them in the first week or so of quail season due to the excessive heat. My GSPs back in the day didn't particularly care for the heat either.

Although I've had a couple of GSPs in my past, they are just a bit too intense for my current lifestyle and living conditions. Therefore I am really leaning toward WPGs. I am not looking for a puffball version of the breed, much more interested in a slicker more aerodynamic version.

Any input is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,

MH
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Re: Wooly Dogs and Heat

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:22 pm

Speaking to the general case, EPs and GSPs will both handle heat better than the GWPs I have had or been around. Conversely the GWPs handled cold better. I will dove hunt my GWPs around a waterhole in any heat we have encountered in the Midwest, but will not run them on upland birds above 75 degrees and not for long at that temp. Colder it is the better they like it has been my experience.
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Re: Wooly Dogs and Heat

Postby orhunter » Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:42 pm

My Griff operates best at 20 or below. I wouldn't attempt to hunt her if over 55 or so. We'd be taking a lot of breaks for a cool down. I really prefer it if its below 40. Farther below the better.
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Re: Wooly Dogs and Heat

Postby twistedoak » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:08 pm

what orhunter said
WPG's melt in the heat
and not just ambient temp but sun exposure also.
they have a low operating temp.in fact I've never seen it too cold to hunt.
the best temps for both of us is 35-40 degrees,she stays cool and I can feel my fingers
on the other hand I also shut down in the 60 degree range depending on cloud cover and water access.

just around the house once the temps hit the upper 80s I turn the AC on just for the dog
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Re: Wooly Dogs and Heat

Postby Tom in WI » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:44 pm

Maybe some of the breeders in OK and TX will chime in on their ability to acclimate, but I won't run my griff above 50 degrees. In the early season we may run for an hour or so in the early morning while it's still cool and there is dew. I'd say 20-30 is ideal but we don't have a problem going down to zero. Usually by then the snow gets too deep to get around.
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Re: Wooly Dogs and Heat

Postby TX_UplandHunter » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:06 pm

Thank you all for your responses.
Thanks,

MH
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Re: Wooly Dogs and Heat

Postby Houghtonic » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:22 pm

I live in Central Texas and have a PP and a GSP. I wouldn't do an early season dove hunt unless there was a stock tank for the dogs to get watered down in. That has nothing to do with wirehair vs. shorthair...just too hot in general. I just got into quail with the youngsters toward the end of last season. I would alternate the two dogs and I could tell when they were getting a little warmed up so I'd put one up (in the shade, even in the winter) and get the other out. I'd also get them watered down as often as I could. Having stock tanks at the hunting lease and streams really helps. That's just the nature of a dog working in Texas. I do feel like the PP warms up faster than the GSP. It is noticeable, but not night and day during a normal hunt. The PP is my duck dog because even in Texas, those are some cold mornings with very little motion to keep the dog warm and I'm not sure how the GSP would handle it, although I plan on finding out next season. As far as living around the house during the summer, I have a swimming pool, so both dogs are able to be as active as they want outside and not have any worries about overheating, even in the dead of summer. If I didn't have the pool, then training sessions would have to be more carefully planned around the heat. As it is, a quick retrieve out of the pool or two and the dogs are able to keep going. When I was doing my research, I felt that there enough PP owners in places like Florida, Louisiana, and Texas to feel comfortable having a PP down here. I also felt like the PP was more heat adaptable than a WPG just from seeing both breeds work at our local NAVHDA club.
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Re: Wooly Dogs and Heat

Postby orhunter » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:04 pm

I always refer folks who want to discuss Griffs and heat to Jay Hoth. Switchgrass Griffons.
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Re: Wooly Dogs and Heat

Postby SwitchGrassWPG » Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:29 am

All of mine, with a variety of coats from slick to fuller, don't do well in the heat. I'll take them for runs early in the morning if the temps are above 60 only if there's good dew on the grass or a lot of water is available. Even then, the runs are kept fairly short...30 mins. or so. If you are concerned about heat, look at something other than a Griff.

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Re: Wooly Dogs and Heat

Postby TX_UplandHunter » Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:57 pm

Thanks again everyone for your responses.
Thanks,

MH
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Re: Wooly Dogs and Heat

Postby seank » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:21 pm

I'm in Lubbock and have 2 wirehairs, one 4 years old and one 3 months old. My four year old is a hard, charging, big-running beast of a dog that just happens to be about solid black on top, with dark gray roan below. He seems to notice the heat about 70-72 degrees when he's hunting. That can be an issue in the parts of SE New Mexico that I normally hunt. I carry plenty of water and dunk him in every stock tank or tinaja we come on and he does fine. Thye need that anyway, because a dehydrated dog cant smell birds. He is also smart enough to shade up when he gets too hot and that generally tells me it's time to quit. Dogs seem to acclimate to warmer weather like we do. This morning, I roaded him about 6 miles and it was about 75 when we quit. This afternoon, I let him out to run about a mile and a half on the road with an outside temp of 99. I've had him log 30-35 miles in a day on his GPS collar while quail hunting. He's the kind of dog that you can stand on the rim of a canyon and wait for him to tell you if it's worth walking down in there.

So my 3 month old wirehair is a bit of an experiment. He has the same short, tight coat that my older dog does, but he is liver with a lot more roan and is on the light side for color. We'll see if it helps. So far he looks like he will make a good bird dog, but may not have the motor that the black dog has. But the take home on that one is that if you pick a breed with a broad enough gene pool, you can generally find the dog that suits your needs within it.

Good luck.
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Re: Wooly Dogs and Heat

Postby Texasphez » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:52 am

I'm with seank on this one. I live in the northwest panhandle, and while I will admit that's a far cry from Dallas, a lot of days we are out hunting in 70+ degree weather. If I waited till it was less than that there would be a lot of days I couldn't hunt. I have had big thick coated labs all my life and currently a pudelpointer. I think dogs can adapt to the heat just like the cold. Plenty of water and places to take a dip are key!
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Re: Wooly Dogs and Heat

Postby bhennessy » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:16 am

I live in New Orleans and hunt in Southern Louisiana with my WPG ( Switchgrass pup). From late May through mid October its usually at or over 85 by mid morning and generally over 60% humidity all the time. My pup does fine and has adapted well to the heat, but my general rules of thumb are as follows:
- I keep our exercise and training sessions to about 30 minutes per session when its hot and often less if there's no water for him to cool off in. Luckily there's generally water everywhere down here and most of it is muddy and smell like swamp, which Bear particularly appreciates.
- I try to work or exercise him where there is water for him to get into at some point, e.g. on our normal jogging loop there's a fountain at the halfway point, or today we went to the levee to work on woah and keep hammering home basic obedience so he was in and out of the river when he felt like it.
- Unless we are just going for an on leash walk, I work him before mid morning, or in the early evening or just after a line of showers has gone through (its cooler with water on the ground).
- I rake his coat with a Furminator weekly to keep it thinner, otherwise it builds up and gets dense and curly.
- When we train outside I carry a squirt water bottle filled with ice water for him. He checks in with me when he's ready for a drink.
- If there's no water or I'm worried about gators in said water then I keep our sessions to 20 min or so. Basically I plant the pigeons while he's freaking out in the jeep with AC, let him out to train, water him when we finish our work and then back in the AC.

I've got to think that like people, the dry heat would be easier on a dog too. Although since they don't sweat like us, perhaps it doesn't really matter?

At any rate, Bear is doing fine and we make it work. As far as fall hunting, many guys wont take their dogs out down here anyway until its consistently 60 degrees or less due to the gators and snakes. Not as big a worry when we go upland hunting but definitely an issue for Teal season.
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Re: Wooly Dogs and Heat

Postby TobyTx » Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:09 pm

I have a DD and live in houston and hunt quail in South texas. I would say get a short hair dog. I agree with others that say their wire dogs melt above 55. Mine doesn't last long say 60 to 65 degrees and sunny which to me is a very pleasant day. Mine is about 60 65 pounds and is not in bad shape either. I have hunted with other DD in South tx and notice the others are affected the same to the warm weather. He is almost 10 and I have not noticed any acclimation to the climate. My next dog with be a short hair. It's just too hot in Texas to have a wire coat on.
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