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Sun Dec 21, 2014, 04:30 PM

A question for dog owners. UPDATED.

My wife and I have just moved into our New home and we have a large fenced in yard for our three dogs. Previously we did not have a fenced in yard and whenever we took the dogs out one of us just had to stay out with them to watch because we are rather close to the road. My question is, how long is it okay to leave your dog outside in the winter? We live in upstate New York, and I'm not talking about leaving them out for hours at a time. We love our dogs with us and they stay inside for a lot of the time except when they get exercise. But I'm just worried that if my dogs are hanging outside for little too long they'll get cold. They love playing outside and will stay as long as I let them, sounds silly but I'm generally curious what do you all think. For the last couple days I've been letting them out for about 30 to 45 minutes at a time, it hasn't been particularly cold and there isn't really any snow on the ground. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated thanks a lot!

Here's a link showing a picture of my puppies! http://www.democraticunderground.com/116114587

Thanks for the advice, folks! It seems I may have been premature in my concern. These dogs are in heaven, lol. They're very happy outside and it's been very relaxing playing fetch with them and not having to keep a sharp eye out for the occasional biker or runner we used to get.

And frankly the weather has been awesome! No white Christmas this year, we're looking at 40 degrees! Yay!!! Thanks again for offering up advice!

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Reply A question for dog owners. UPDATED. (Original post)
Inkfreak Dec 2014 OP
shenmue Dec 2014 #1
elleng Dec 2014 #2
BainsBane Dec 2014 #3
Grey Dec 2014 #4
mahina Dec 2014 #5
grntuscarora Dec 2014 #6
mnhtnbb Dec 2014 #7
williesgirl Dec 2014 #8
TorchTheWitch Dec 2014 #9

Response to Inkfreak (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 04:34 PM

1. Squee!

Good luck.

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Response to Inkfreak (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 04:43 PM

2. I don't know from personal experience;

had a Bedlington terrier in DC, she LOVED to play in our backyard in the snow, but we didn't let her stay out very long. Here's this, fwiw:

https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Cold-weather-pet-safety.aspx

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Response to Inkfreak (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 05:12 PM

3. Depends on the type of dog and how cold it is

If they are long haired dogs, they do better in the cold. Some breeds, like pugs, have very poor temperature control. I would say if they are playing and having fun, then they are fine. Running around keeps them warmer. You should be able to tell by their behavior when they want to come in. They know when they are too cold, and they should let you know.

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Response to Inkfreak (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 05:31 PM

4. I think the best idea is to ask the dogs.....

Put in a doggie door and let them come and go as needed.
Dogs are smart enough to come in out of the rain.

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Response to Inkfreak (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 05:38 PM

5. As long as they want. But I live in the tropics.

Cute pups!

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Response to Inkfreak (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 06:02 PM

6. Do they have shelters outside?

Do you have outside shelters for them?
I volunteer at a rescue shelter, and our critters are out whenever the weather permits, often for several hours at a time. But they have covered areas in case of rain/drizzle, and doghouses full of straw if the temp takes a sudden, unexepected drop. They are moved inside when conditions take a turn for the worse, but they do seem to enjoy their time in the yard--even in winter.
Your pets look so happy and cared for--the picture in the link made me smile!

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Response to Inkfreak (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 06:24 PM

7. According to this pet site info

German Shepherds handle cold weather very well due to the nature of their coats.
But I've seen several places that GS's like to be with their family, so leaving them out
beyond their enjoyment of playing together outside could lead them to start digging
or other destructive behavior from boredom/loneliness.


The German shepherd dog is medium to large size with erect pointed ears, a long body, and a weather resistant coat. A thick stiff outer coat covered by a softer inner one makes the German shepherd readily able to withstand extreme climates.

http://www.petplace.com/dog-breeds/german-shepherd-dog.aspx

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Response to Inkfreak (Original post)

Mon Dec 22, 2014, 12:08 AM

8. My Pug does his business, then comes to the door, whether its cold or

hot. My Pit inspects every inch of the 3 acres I have fenced in. But even she comes in quickly their first out in the morning when its cold.

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Response to Inkfreak (Original post)

Wed Dec 24, 2014, 04:29 AM

9. What they're doing out there has a lot to do with it

If they're running around they won't be cold. Looks like you're doggies (two of them anyway... what's the third one's coat like?) have good thick coats. If they have double coats (an undercoat that sheds out in big clumps in the spring) winter is their season, and they can be outside for quite awhile just fine.

It depends how cold it is though and just how your dogs feel about being out in a yard. I'd say checking on them every 30 or 45 minutes and seeing if they want to come in or not is a good plan. If they want to come in it doesn't often mean it's because they're cold but just not outdoor kind of guys. The dog I have now LOVES to be outside whatever the weather. The one I had before him though wasn't much into being in the yard unless there was something interesting to look at or play with. In the summer he didn't even want to go out to go to the bathroom until after the sun went down or just as it was coming up. He hated summer and always wanted to be inside in the air conditioning though he still wanted to do his walks late at night.

Since they've never had a yard before they might just not really know what to do with one on their own. Have some good outdoor sort of toys out there all the time for them to play with if they want... various sized balls are always good. Make sure they always have a giant bowl of clean water in a container they can't tip over or wedged somewhere so they can't tip it over, and when it gets really cold keep breaking any ice that forms or replace frozen water in their bowl... as long as they're outside they always have to have water to drink.

Have some good solid shelters for them to get out of wind or snow or rain. My dog doesn't like his, so if it rains he lays down on the top step that has the awning overhead. He doesn't care about wind or rain and loves snow anyway though since he's just an outdoor kinda dude.

If they want to come inside they'll be close to the door or bark or scratch on it to come in when they want. I always have to check on my dog periodically to see if he wants to come in because he never does anything to let me know... he'll just doze on the top step until I show up.

Check the whole fence line to make sure they can't get over or under it, and if you have a gate keep an inside latch or lock on it that they can't figure out how to work and no jack ass thinks it would be funny to let them out.

I think it's a pretty good idea to check on what they're doing out there whatever the weather every hour or half hour just to make sure they're ok... and haven't disappeared or gotten into mischief or whether or not they want to come inside.

If your third dog is short haired they can't take the cold anywhere near as long as your hairy guys can especially if it's windy or rainy or snowing. A short haired doggie should have a coat in the winter. A short haired dog can get cold pretty quickly if they aren't running around.

I'm so accustomed to my dog being in the yard a lot that I'm not even really conscious of checking on him to see how he's doing, but I know I do it and more often in icky weather (although he doesn't consider snow icky). Even in icky weather most of the time he still wants to stay outside.

Just observing them periodically like you've been doing will teach you everything about how long they like to be out, what they do out there, which one wants to be outside more than the other and under what circumstances, what weather they like and what they don't, how or if they let you know when they want to come in, etc.

I also put a rug on the top step for Yoshi in the winter since it's stone and gets much colder than dirt but since it's under the awning it doesn't get wet. They need something warm and dry like that to lay down on in the winter though if you get them shelters that would take care of that.

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