Why do dogs love the snow so damn much? | The Canadian Guitar Forum

Why do dogs love the snow so damn much?

Discussion in 'The Open Mic (Non Music Related)' started by mhammer, Feb 14, 2020 at 10:09 AM.

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  1. mhammer

    mhammer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    We have a schoolyard behind us, which is regularly used by neighbourhood residents taking their dog for a walk, when not occupied by school-kids. I get to see all sorts of dogs, large and small, out with their owners. I can see one as I type this right now. I don't know what it is, but all the dogs seem absolutely thrilled to be out in the snow. They happily chase frisbees and sticks in the non-snowy months, but there is an extra spring in their step and zeal in their chase when there is snow. I watch them run at top speed from one end of the schoolyard to the other, even when there is nothing to chase.

    So....are the only dogs I'm seeing those that really DO like to be out in the white stuff, and the scaredy-cats take a dump/whiz on their front lawn and go back inside? Am I being misled by superficial indicators of excitement? For instance, maybe they scamper around fast and wag their tails so much because it helps to maintain body temperature and not because they're happy? Do they run faster because it doesn't keep their paws on the ground quite as long?

    The thing is, that from the owner's perspective, if the dog looks happier to be running around like crazy in the snow, the owner is going to stay out there longer with the dog. So if the dog was only doing what they do to manage their body temperature, wouldn't they attempt to persuade the owner that they'd rather be somewhere warmer?

    The punch line is this: I'm asking dog owners here if their own pooch really does get an extra zing when they get to run around in the snow.
     
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  2. Hamstrung

    Hamstrung Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Location:
    Waterloo, Ontario
    We have one of each. The new pup loves bounding around in the snow and seems to love it. Our older (and less fluffy) dog can't stand it and will hold all bodily functions until it's absolutely necessary to go out and even then it's dropped on the deck and back in she comes.
     
  3. Mooh

    Mooh Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Southwestern Ontario
    Currently:
    The Lab/Golden cross has little undercoat so as much as he loves playing in the snow he can't take the cold for long. Likes to roll in it. Right now he's crying to go back outside but will only stay out a few minutes given that it's -13C.
    The Bassett/Rottweiler cross has more undercoat but is very low to the ground, lasts a little longer than the Lab/Golden, but is still limited. She barks at everything, including snow if it tumbles off the roof, and will chase snowballs.

    Past:
    A Springer/Collie/Coyote cross that looked a lot like a Border would even sleep in a snow bank happily. Her paws would plug up with snow sometimes, which frustrated her to no end, but she would even plough/herd snow with her nose, and skate on ice. Retrieved well as she would sniff out and unbury anything that lodged deep in the snow.
    A Corgi/Lab also loved the snow, was short haired but had a thick undercoat. He would retrieve all day long, ignoring the temperature as long as there was something to fetch. His huge feet worked like snowshoes and though he was low to the ground he could still push through deep snow. A very muscular dog and a great climber so huge snow banks were a favourite because he could run along the top.
    These two dogs were magic together.

    Truly, I think it's mostly about something new with which to have fun. Snow conditions change every day and dogs love the small changes within their habitat. You can't beat fun for a good time.

    Here are the past two on Georgian Bay ice with me.

    16806987_10154884427011291_4396097561860101589_n.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020 at 11:12 AM
  4. mhammer

    mhammer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    So at least in some cases, I am not being misled; they really DO love it.
     
  5. knight_yyz

    knight_yyz Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2015
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Mine goes nuts in the snow. My last one was part husky so he loved it as well
     
  6. colchar

    colchar Gold Member

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    May 22, 2010
    Location:
    GTA
    My Riley loves the snow. He doesn't like the heat nearly as much.
     
  7. knight_yyz

    knight_yyz Gold Member

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    Mar 14, 2015
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
  8. JBFairthorne

    JBFairthorne Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Location:
    Hawkestone, Ontario
    ...because they’re frikken stoopid!!!
     
  9. knight_yyz

    knight_yyz Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2015
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    My cat on the other hand

    FB_IMG_1581700783266.jpg FB_IMG_1581700749657.jpg
     

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  10. jimsz

    jimsz

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    Our dog loves to run around and play in the snow, but for some reason hates water.
     
  11. Budda

    Budda Gold Member

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    May 29, 2007
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    Ours too. She's part husky - probably doesn't need the quote when it actually dips to -15, but I feel better about it. I have taken to saying the world is her snowcone - she doesn't play in the snow, she just loves to eat it. Worth noting that the only time she's allowed off-leash is at my grandparents' house with a tall fence.
     
  12. mhammer

    mhammer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    So for those who do love it, just what do they get out of it? Does winter tap into instinct a little more deeply than "regular life" does?

    Dogs clearly have an approach to play that is not too far removed from our own, in that they aim for "accomplishment". I don't think it is comparative, like us, in the sense that they aren't thrilled by getting "the high score" or achieving more than a peer (though perhaps racing greyhounds might contradict that inference). But they do get a charge out of getting something done, and their play actions illustrate that, even if as mundane as "I sure killed you good, eh?", or "D'ja see how fast I brought that back?". Is their play for social approval ("GOOD girl!"), or simply a sense of personal achievement?

    So I'm curious about what it is they're getting from playing in the snow.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020 at 12:55 PM
  13. Budda

    Budda Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    I don't even know. Just seems to be more fun for them I guess? I like being able to see the tracks of what mine is sniffing at in the winter time, versus just "randomly" stopping.
     
  14. oldjoat

    oldjoat

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Location:
    lost in time and lost in space RHPS
    this kinda reminds me of :
    a lot of those dogs are having "blond" moments ( think gold fish memory) and live "in the moment".
    the ones that stop and hesitate are the ones with a bit more brain cells ( this could be cold and unpleasant as I remember)

    it may be fun for some (those equipped with thick fur coat and fur padded feet )
    and downright miserable for those that have short hair for sunnier climes.

    now the cat has the right idea for winter ... lay back and cozy up to a good fire till spring .
     
  15. GuitarsCanada

    GuitarsCanada Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    Thorold, ON
    It's an interesting question. Every dog I have ever owned loved the snow. The deeper it was the more they dug it.

    Kingstonpup (2014_08_26 12_38_58 UTC)-2.jpg
     
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