Jump to content
BC Boards

Heat Sensitivity: Smooth Black Dogs?


Recommended Posts

We've had a few warm and sunny days lately - no heat waves by any means. My tiny, smooth-coat black girl seems to mind the heat more than my old rough coat Buddy ever did: she'll just walk to the shade and lie down on her belly, panting, if she's been out walking with me for 20 minutes of half hour.

 

(Mind you, the 20 minutes is made up of her running FULL BLAST in the underbrush as she chases chipmunks and other rodenty creatures - this girl is like a coiled spring.)

 

I'm thinking that wearing her coat feels like having a thick piece of black wool pressed up against her skin, absorbing the heat of the sun with no way for air to circulate. She's virtually water-repellant, so I don't think her fur lets the air through either.

 

Do others have the experience that smooth coats mind the heat more than rough coats?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it depends on the dog, really. My Nick and Gael are brother and sister, both smooth. Nick gets hot while Gael never feels it. I think sometimes it has more to do with their excitement levels and what their brains are doing while they go Mach 3. :P

~ Gloria

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it depends on the dog, really. My Nick and Gael are brother and sister, both smooth. Nick gets hot while Gael never feels it. I think sometimes it has more to do with their excitement levels and what their brains are doing while they go Mach 3. :P

 

~ Gloria

 

My (very rough coated) current dog is teh most heat sensitive dog I have ever had, almost to the point of me wondering if he has BCC. I don't think he does, based on the fact it truly has to be warm to hot for him to get overheated.

 

But he does overheat far more easily when very aroused (not thinking just reacting) or learning new things (thinking very hard), so I agree with Gloria that whats happening (or not) in their brains contributes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Doggers,

 

Australians I talked to many years ago preferred bareskinned dogs for heat tolerance I suspect theyre right. I am very cautious about overheatig which can happen chasing rodents as easily as working sheep. Young dogs ain't got good sense!

 

Donald McCaig

Link to post
Share on other sites

My 2 b/w collies and b/w terrier are all short coated and don't mind the heat.

 

My ginger furball collie mix minded the heat least of all.

 

My two short coated ginger mixes don't tolerate heat well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure where in England your are, Mum, but I'm guessing from what I know of Wales your definition of "heat" and ours in the US may be quite different.

 

My Welsh friend considers 22C to be "boiling hot." That's about 71F, which most Americans would consider pretty comfortable. For me, it's ideal.

 

The recent weather I'm guessing Mbc1963 is referring to was last weekend thru early last week, when temps in much of the Northeast where she and I live ranged from 85F (24.44C) to 89F (31.67C).

 

My dogs don't mind it in the low 70sF at all, but over about 85F I notice them slowing down.

 

But I may be wrong. Not sure how hot it gets in your neck of the woods. ;)

 

ETA: As for smooth vs. rough and heat tolerance, it was always my understanding that the Australians and the American Southwest looked for smooth coated dogs because they're more heat resistant than rough coats.

 

But I do believe as for people it can vary among individuals. I know I'm not nearly as heat tolerant as many of my friends and family are.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My most heat tolerant dog was black and rough coated. My half white smooth dog had the most heat issues but he also got mentally wound up the most.

 

FWIW, there are several mostly black smooth coated dogs that I see at SAR trainings and none seem to have issues with heat as long as they're conditioned to it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My two are smooth coat and tolerate heat really well. Like others have said I think how well a dog does in the heat has a lot to do with excitement level. I like to take my collies to the park a couple of times a week. I take the chuck-it and they have a great game of fetch getting to run full speed without fences getting in the way. Now that it is warmer (I am in the southwest) I watch the temps. and make sure we are not out at the park if it is above 75.

 

However, tonight as the sun was going down and my backyard was shaded I took them out for a couple of hours. They have a plastic child's pool to cool off in and I don't play with them, I let them decide how much they want to play. It was 100 when we went out and they chased each other all over the yard only taking break ever once in a while to get a drink and cool off in the pool.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We live in GA where it is 80-90 degrees at the moment. Our smooth coat doesn't seem to notice the weather got hotter at all and still has a spring in his butt, however our rough coated dog is done after about 15 min tops. It's kind of nice though! Only have to tired one of the rascals out

Link to post
Share on other sites

Weather report here in NW England says it feels like 26°C (78.8F). It was hotter at the weekend.

 

The thing is that because we don't usually get the extremes of temperature you get in the US our dogs don't get acclimatised. Moderately hot is very hot to a dog (or human) used to lower temperatures.

 

I left home on Saturday at 5.45am in shirt sleeve temperatures, arrived south of Glasgow at 8am and immediately put on my coat, which stayed on with another layer until noon. Arrived back home at 4-30pm to sweltering heat.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Doggers,

 

Ms. Mum is right. In the 1980's handlers imported dogs from cool Britain and ran them right away in our south. Once overheated, twice sensitive: ruined some pretty good dogs.

 

At Belle Grove 2, October temps were in the 90's during qualifying and only one old dog who probably shouldn't have been entered suffered apparent distress. Thankfully it was cooler for the finals. But that was in October after dogs had acclimatized to heat. And, it's worth noting, were allowed to go to a water tub on the course without point penalty.

 

It's something that concerns every summer/fall trial host. What do you do when it's so unexpectedly hot dogs may suffer heat stroke. The only fair answer I could think of (never implemented) was to eliminate tasks (shed, pen, single) as well as points for those tasks earned by dogs that ran when it was cooler. Heat's a problem bound to get worse.

 

Donald McCaig

Link to post
Share on other sites

" Once overheated, twice sensitive: ruined some pretty good dogs"

 

FWIW, this doesn't have to be the case with all dogs. If the dog is brought back up to the proper condition and acclimated well the next time around they should be able to handle the heat like another dog. Unless of course there is an underlying issue.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not only is it an individual thing how sensitive a dog is to heat, but I think it makes a difference where in the world that dog is from, and where its direct ancestors are from.

 

Here it is 112 today and it has been over 110 all week. Any dogs that are outdoor-living dogs are simply adjusted to that kind of heat here. Of course, they need shade, and water in abundance and they do not move around a whole lot. But, like the coyotes who live here, they are acclimated. I have known dogs who came here from other parts of the country less warm, or whose dam and sire were from a cooler place, who had a lot more trouble adjusting to the heat.

 

Of course, I don't think it is nice to leave a dog outside when it is so warm, and I don't do it. But a lot of people do, and for that matter a lot of people don't have air conditioning in their homes for themselves, so everyone has to adapt.

Link to post
Share on other sites

...The thing is that because we don't usually get the extremes of temperature you get in the US our dogs don't get acclimatised. Moderately hot is very hot to a dog (or human) used to lower temperatures...

 

I'm told that where I live, Western WA has similar weather to Great Britain. And I've also noticed the same effect on the people here who complain regularly when the thermometer surpasses 75 degrees! It doesn't help that most residents don't have AC or swimming pools.

 

As for the dogs, both my roughies prefer cooler temps and don't tolerate heat too well. Definitely notice them slowing down as the temps rise. I don't think we could/would survive triple digit weather.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I arrived in Seattle the temperature was in the 90s but I was told it was a heatwave so you're probably right, although from my limited experience you get more rain.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gideon is one of those rough coats with next to no undercoat so his coat lays down flat against his skin and he is very intolerant to heat. I do live in FL where it's currently about 90 degrees and 100% humidity, so I'm not surprised at all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rough vs. smooth, calmness vs. excitement, physical exertion, undercoat - are all factors. Another factor to consider is coat density (i.e. # of hair follicles per square centimeter/inch). In general (other factors being equal), a densely coated animal is less heat tolerant than one with a sparse coat.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I arrived in Seattle the temperature was in the 90s but I was told it was a heatwave so you're probably right, although from my limited experience you get more rain.

 

It was 93 degrees here just yesterday, lol! (but that's the exception, not the rule). Still, took the BC out for a fetch. I called it sooner than the usual (he'll go until he collapses if I allow it) and Sammy was panting hard when I put the ball away, eyes shut panting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My smoothie girl used to love sun tanning. Her fur would be absolutely hot to the touch. She wasn't a herding dog, but she did do agility, and the heat affected her not a jot. She also would play fetch until all the other dogs were lying in the shade, gasping.

 

My current smoothie boy likes to sleep in the sun too, but he will come in eventually. It was 96 degrees (or thereabouts - I'm Canadian, and it was 38 C) yesterday when we worked sheep. After a 15 minute session of some driving and some international shedding, he had a quick sip of water, refused to get in the cooling tub, and was keen to go again. He is super chill on sheep.

 

My fluffy worked for 6 minutes yesterday on small flanks and stopping, and he went straight to the tub and stayed in it for at least a minute. He has a lot of tension on sheep and will seek solace in the cooling tub even on a cold winter's day. Having said that, I've worked him as long as 45 minutes in the heat and he was fine. He did go to the tub after, but he wasn't wobbly or anything (and this was on flighty range ewes in New Mexico). As an agility dog, he couldn't care less about the heat. He has run in summer agility trials with temps over 35 and he seems no hotter than after an indoor trial in the winter.

 

My big fluffy, Lou, is the most camel-like collie I've ever met. :P He has run at trials when it was over 38 degrees (and this is a trial with a 600 yard outrun) and then didn't want even a sip of water after. He is the reason I started using an energy supplement for post-run hydration, not because I thought he needed it, but he liked the flavour and therefore would drink. Again, he is super chill on sheep. Just lying around the yard, however, he chooses to lie in the shade (or go inside if it's crazy hot).

 

We're in the Pacific North West too, so my dogs don't get exposed to prolonged runs of extreme heat (or cold). They seem to adapt just fine, though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My Grace seems as if she is overheating whenever she is outside, I've never known a dog to pant like she does! Winter, hot, summer....super hot, let her chase the Frisbee and she is done, she has to go to the shade tree after 3 runs and catches and in for a drink of water. I have to be very mindful that she would continue to chase it as long as I would throw it so I let her rest before going at it again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the input! I guess I'll just attribute it to my dog's individual self. She does get overstimulated when chasing chipmunks OR playing chase with another dog: goes full-blast until she just says, "That's it! I'm lying in the shade!"

 

She also, peculiarly, loves to lie in the sun in my yard, even on warm days. When she hasn't been running like a crazy thing, the heat doesn't seem to bother her much. Some days I think she must be dying to come in, but she's smiling there, lying in the grass, content.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...