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Discussion Starter #1
I got this thought while I was taking Titon out to pee tonight. It is high single digits here in Colorado Springs and snowing tonight which got me thinking about my little guy's paws.

I'm going to be starting on hikes and trailblazing with Titon in a few weeks and was wondering if those of you hiking in 8 foot snow packs ever worry about frostbit paws and if so, do you use booties or anything similar?

Just curious if I should invest in some to put in his pack.
 

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I have never worried about it so long as the dog is still able to keep moving. I worry more about the dog getting too cold than just the feet. So long as the dog isn't shivering, his feet should be just fine.
 

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You may want to search for picture threads started by http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/members/steffanie.htmlSteffanie.
I see you've posted in a couple of them. PM her- she can probably give you some ideas and suggestions since she's does a lot of hiking with her dogs in some of the mountains of Colorado.

And don't forget the camera. We'll want pictures!
 

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Isn't your puppy a little young to go on hikes?
Not if you're Glory's owner... But that's beside the point.

I'm not planning to take my pup through the snow this year. I wanted to be prepared for next winter when he'll be 1 year of age.

When you're standing out in the cold for 10 minutes with a puppy that decides snow is better to play with than the poop they really have to get rid of, your mind starts to wander. In this case, it got me thinking about paws and frostbite.

Titon and I already do hikes at an off leash dog park that has flat land, elevations up and down, and a small creek to play in. He does VERY well for his age. I do this mainly for socialization with both people and other dogs and mainly to test his territory ring (which happens to be 5 feet from family members). However, he does NOT get dog or people aggressive if they enter that 5 foot ring. It just means that he won't venture off past 5 feet from us without a leash. :D
 

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Not if you're Glory's owner... But that's beside the point.
HEY, is that me? I'm Glory's owner!

If your puppy is fit and used to going out in the cold, I'd still hike but make sure I was paying attention and with my common sense working.:wub:

I personally haven't ever had issue with my pups/dogs feet and frostbite issues.

I HAVE had problems with the higher up pad on the back of their front legs and with their dewclaws. Seems like if there's a thick icy layer on top of the snow, and IF the dogs are crushing thru it, then those may get cut or pulled on.

Any packed snow on a trail. Or soft snow (no matter how deep) has never caused a problem. Neither has going whatever their normal distance is. Temperature itself, and snow itself, seem to be handled with no problem.
 

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I think it does depend on the dog. We went snowshoeing a few weeks ago when the temperature was about -5F. Elsa was totally fine...in fact was a bit of a wild woman...it was almost like "FINALLY! It's a great temperature for me!"

But the same day we saw our friend's Golden and about 5 minutes she was holding her paws up with a really pitiful look on her face and didn't want to move.

Some dogs are wimps. Some dogs thrive in the snow and cold. I'd test it out next winter and just see how he does.
 

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Since very cold winters are the norm here, I expect my dogs to acclimatate and deal with it. I agree that some breeds might be more sensitive to the cold, and will need protection from frostbite, but a young healthy GSD should be fine.

Neither Gryff, still a pup, nor Keeta, unknown mixed breed have had issues with the cold. It has to be like minus 25 or minus 30 Celsius or colder before Keeta starts picking up her feet, or stopping to lick them because they are too cold. That's like -13F to -22 F and colder. I do restrict outdoor time when it is that cold, though I've never had a dog that got frostbite.

When the temperature "warmed up" to -20C (about 0F), we went for an hour walk on the roads - neither dogs was bothered by it at all. I've been on the trails for longer walks with Keeta in that cold, no issues.

I think you and Titon will be just fine.
 
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