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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you may know, my poodle when I get him or her is going to be trained for retrieving game birds. Here in Utah the hunting season starts in September and ends in January, snow falls around the end of October and waterfowl will sometimes fall into water into November until it freezer over.

It'll still be hot during the day in September and into the first couple of Oct until it cools off. I'll probably have him or her short for that month but begin to grow his or her hair out for the later months.

What length is appropriate for outdoor work in the snow? And how should I clip (I'm just going to say him) him? Should I keep a clean face/feet/tail? Or leave him the same length all over. How long should I keep him without worrying about snowballs attaching to his fur or if he retrieves a bird in the water in the cooler months how quickly should I expect him to dry off? Should I bring a towel?

Most of the dogs around here that are retrievers are fat labs, so they don't really react to the cold, but poodles are much thinner and I don't know how well they'll react to it. I know the continental cut was suppose to be appropriate for dogs hunting in the cold in germany way back when, but I don't know how well it worked..
 

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first, feed accordingly, don't make them hog fat, but don't make them too thin.

for land retrieval in snow, I would get boots, hairy feet will collect snow, naked feet would get cold and injured( scraped by snow or ice, frostbite, sticks ect) on the body I would leave about 3/4"- 2 inches, and probally give them a coat. you dont want the hair on the legs much longer or you will need to defrost the iceballs from their legs and bellies.

water retrieval... im at a loss there, I guess get a wetsuit? lol. All joking aside I would go with the same length, but bring towels and maybe a blanket. or a portable heater. feed more calories when doing water retrievial

I cant spell retrieval but I think you catch the meaning
 

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My poodle, Inca, is a toy and does agility and dancing but from my experience, if you take a dog out in snow (with hairy legs) they get snow balls caught up in the hair and before about 5 minutes, they have difficulty in walking. Like another contributor to the forum, I would recommend boots.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the helpful advice guys! All the dogs I've owned have had very short, fine coats (doxi's, boxers) and with a jacket they were just fine in the snow.

How do you get a dog used to wearing boots? I know that huskies wear them on long dog sledding races, but obviously the dog has to be past the whole 'lift foot really high in the air and gnaw this irritating thing off' phase.
 

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You can get a foot balm for their feet so the snow cannot/will not ball up, they use it for sled dogs too... just a thought :)
 
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