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Cold weather dogs?

dowlat
December 8th, 2003, 10:56 AM
We are taking care of a german shephard for several months and were told by the owners that she's an "outdoors dog". Although she spends her nights and evenings in the house, I'm a little nervous about letting her out for the day... we live in Ottawa, Canada and our winters can reach minus 20 to minus 30C (minus 4 to minus 22 F) !! I've built her an insulated and raised dog-house, but I'm not sure what length of time or temperature extremes are safe for German Shephards. How much cold weather is safe for this type of dog?

Lucky Rescue
December 8th, 2003, 01:38 PM
Personally, I would not leave any dog outside in minus 30 weather, barring the Northern breeds.

Besides, most dog prefer to be with their people - inside or outside.

dowlat
December 8th, 2003, 07:08 PM
I agree. However, we're away for a few hours during the day, and she would either be alone indoors or alone outdoors. I'm tempted to keep her inside, but her owners say she normally stays outside during the day. I'm trying to get a sense of what a safe cold temperature for a German Shepherd would be, as I don't want to subject her to anything remotely intolerable.

Carina
December 8th, 2003, 08:03 PM
That sounds pretty cold...but if she has a small (like the igloo type) doghouses so her body heat helps keep it warm, she'd be fine for a few hours. What do her owners do about keeping drinking water from freezing? What about those heated blankets, like for horses?

I'd have a real hard time not taking her inside too. But then you don't want her to start getting used to it and then being really sad when she goes back to her people... :(

mona_b
December 8th, 2003, 08:41 PM
Well I have 2 German Shepherds.They do not stay outside all night.Especially in the cold.They have their dog houses.All insulated and lifted.When it get's to the real cold weather,minus 20-30's they go out for only about a half hour to 40 mins to do their buisness and play around.I do that a few times before they are in for the night.Any dog should not be left out all night in that weather.Except for Huskies.My sister has 3 and they love the cold.That is their nature.But I would never leave my dogs out all day let alone a few hours in weather like that.That is just cruel.To me that is.And in Shepherds they get hip problems.The cold is not good for them.How old is this Shepherd?

dowlat
December 8th, 2003, 08:56 PM
She's 1 year old... I don't think I'd let her out too long once the weather hits minus 20. I'm thinking more the minus 10 range. It was around minus 6 today and she went out for about 4 hours and seemed to enjoy herself. As for her water, I'm using a deep plastic dish, which stayed liquid for that length of time.

mona_b
December 8th, 2003, 09:11 PM
Well I would say minus 15 is still a bit too cold.Minus 10 i would only leave her out a couple of hours.Will she be staying in the house at night?If so,what you can do is empyt the water in the night so it doesn't freeze up during the night.Then put fresh water in the morning.

Luba
December 9th, 2003, 12:58 AM
Don't leave the dog out for extended periods of time. It's not necessary and I'd have a talk to her owners about their practice of doing it as well!

Carina
December 9th, 2003, 03:39 AM
Well this being an international board, I'm getting confused about the temps y'all are talking about. :o But if you are referring to minus anything farenheit, my dogs wouldn't be out in that for long.

I sometimes leave my dogs out all day if it gets at or over freezing AND it's sunny, not windy or snowing or wet. They've got lots of shelter and Rottweilers are a pretty cold-hardy breed. They actually have a harder time with hot weather. They REALLY need shade and water (preferably a kiddie wading pool!)

If it's below freezing, they go out to do their business & run a bit, but I let them in when they're ready to come in. The colder it gets, the quicker they want to get back inside! But my long haired male will actually make a little snow nest and nap outside for a while in single digit temps, as long as its sunny.

Lucky Rescue
December 9th, 2003, 09:52 AM
My last dog had a coat that was between collie and chow thickness and density, and he was not really happy when the temp was above zero.
However, I did not even leave HIM out for long periods of time when the temps dipped to minus 25.
A GSD would not have a coat nearly as thick as this.

mona_b
December 9th, 2003, 09:54 AM
Well said Luba.
Sorry for confusing you Carina.:( ....Damn us Canadians eh.Haha...The local Humane Society suggests that we not keep our dogs/cats out for a long period of time in -15 and over temps.They put it in the paper every winter.And that's even if they have shelter.They have a great chance of getting frost bitten.They say that if we have to bundle up like nanook of the north then can you imagine how it feels for them.Both Yukon and Tron love their dog houses.But when it comes time to the rain.And I'm talking a good rain.And when I let the dogs out to play a bit and do their buisness,dippy Yukon sits outside his dog house.Go figure.:rolleyes:

dowlat
December 9th, 2003, 12:03 PM
Sounds fair, though I don't think I'd be comfortable leaving her out at -15 anyway. But it's still cruising around -5 during the day (that's about 23F) so I think she's okay for three or four hours. But I think Ottawa tends to get cold quick around January/February (it's my first winter here... like Mona, I'm originally from Hamilton) so she'll likely need to be full-time indoors at that point.

Interestingly, I've searched the net for some sort of specific temperature tolerance range for a GSD, but keep coming up with vague references to "cold weather dog" and "good cold tolerance" - not very helpfull since extreme temperatures in, say, California would be a bit different than those in Canada. I'm assuming that these references are based on a traditional "working" dog, whose engaging in activity that can keep the core temperature up - not a "housedog" who's more or less lounging around.

mona_b
December 9th, 2003, 12:35 PM
Yes -5 is ok.As long as there is no severe wind chill.But when it does get to the -15 or more,she can be let out to play around and do her buisness.But not long though.And the GSD is classified under the Canadian Kennel Club as a herding dog.Not a working dog.Go figure.Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes love the very cold weather.Just use your better judgement.Does the owner have her staying out all night in the cold weather?

mona_b
December 9th, 2003, 12:55 PM
One more thing that you can look at.Go to the main page.Click on pet tips.There is an article on freezing temps.There is a good write up on it.

Luba
December 9th, 2003, 04:06 PM
LOL

Us CanEHdians lol ;)

Luba
December 9th, 2003, 04:06 PM
LOL

Us CanEHdians lol ;)

Luba
December 9th, 2003, 04:06 PM
LOL

Us CanEHdians lol ;)

mona_b
December 10th, 2003, 08:38 AM
ROTFLMFAO @ luba.

Someone has time on their hands.:p :D

amaruq
December 10th, 2003, 09:32 AM
My Dal can't take the cold. I mean it hits zero and she is upset. So we bought her a quilted coat that is some what like a horse blanket. When we take her to the dog park the men all say she is a wuss... GRRRRRRR! The women think its really cute.
She is having alot of trouble dealing with the cold. Right now it -34 with windchill...BRRR to cold for even me!

mona_b
December 10th, 2003, 03:29 PM
Oh wow.-34 with the windchill.I can understand her not liking it.I hope you don't have her out long even with the coat on.Well the rule of thunb is,if it's too cold for us,then it's to cold for them:)