How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?
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Thread: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

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    Junior Member mama2peaches's Avatar
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    How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    I am a newbie to the forum and to dog owning.

    Our rescue dog, Peaches, DOES NOT like to be indoors. I have to almost drag her in every night when it's cold outside.

    Just how cold is too cold to let a dog stay outside?

    We have had some pretty cold nights already this winter and I am afraid to leave Peaches out there. But she seems to fight me every step of the way. One night she hid in the woods behind our house so that I could not bring her in! (No dumb dog here!).
    Or, she will sneak way in the back of her house so far that I can hardly reach her.

    I don't know anything about her life before she came to us but she does not like coming indoors. She hides under the guest room bed and won't come out till morning.

    Any suggestions?

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  3. #2
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    Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    Feed her indoors. Feed her by hand. Give her a crate indoors (one of those plastic Vari kennels) with a bed in it and put her in there.. you probably can leave the door unlatched once she figures out it is home. It sounds like she has never been in a house.

    I have mine out (they are GSD's) in kennels with straw stuffed dog houses when I am at work during the day. They are out of the wind. I do not leave them out when it is less than 20 degrees. I don't think they mind, but I do.

    When I am home they are with me inside or outside (where ever I am).

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    Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    My dog has a doggie door. Last week it was -15 F with a windchill of -40-50F and my dog hangs out in the back yard. He is a aussie/husky mix and has a thick coat. In the summer it will be raining and he will be out back soaking wet. He can come inside whenever he wants, but sometimes he would rather be outside. I let him be where he wants to be.

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    Senior Member Kyllobernese's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    Susie is a Bernese cross so has a really thick coat. She would rather stay outside in her dog house unless it is 15-20 below Celsius. She lets me know if she wants in as she gives her little bark and is waiting at the door. I let her decide but with your dog it sounds like she is just not used to being indoors and is not just staying outside because she is too warm.

    I would give her lots of treats when she comes to you outside. I would do this several times, not just when you want to bring her in. Then put a leash on her and bring her into the house. If she has a crate she might feel more secure inside until she gets used to it.

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    Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    Quote Originally Posted by mama2peaches View Post
    I am a newbie to the forum and to dog owning.

    Our rescue dog, Peaches, DOES NOT like to be indoors. I have to almost drag her in every night when it's cold outside.

    Just how cold is too cold to let a dog stay outside?


    We have had some pretty cold nights already this winter and I am afraid to leave Peaches out there. But she seems to fight me every step of the way. One night she hid in the woods behind our house so that I could not bring her in! (No dumb dog here!).
    Or, she will sneak way in the back of her house so far that I can hardly reach her.

    I don't know anything about her life before she came to us but she does not like coming indoors. She hides under the guest room bed and won't come out till morning.

    Any suggestions?
    Depends on the dog. What kind of dog is she? Dogs that are bred for cold climents can of course be outside when its really cold. Husky's can go down to about -50 to -70ish. Same with Alasken Malamute. Some other dogs like pits, boxers, and labs, you dont want them to be out when its really cold. Mainly because they dont have that extra undercoat.

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    Senior Member hanksimon's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    I agree with Shrekfx, except for Labs. Many retrievers (not all) grow a thick undercoat for the winter, then blow it in the spring.

    I had a Dobie-GSD mix that fell asleep and got snowed on... with no problems - Just a gently moving mound of snow in the yard.
    My current 10 yo Lab-GSD mix is now frisky in out 20 degree weather, and looked like a pup when we had 12 inches of snow last year ... so did his owner :-)

    Your dog may not like the heat in the house or may just be used to outside. Most larger dogs are OK down to 20 degrees, and they'll start to shiver if they're cold. Most that I've seen will welcome the indoors when they shiver!

    In any case, provide some type of bedding, straw, leaves; a roof to keep the rain off; and some type of lean-to or enclosure to get out of the wind, and that should take care of the dog. A dog that likes the cold can handle down near zero degrees on a blanket in the garage. And, I don't believe that a dog will sleep open, in the elements, if she is uncomfortable. ...

  8. #7
    Junior Member mama2peaches's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    Many thanks to Elana55, Nazca in Breck, Kyllobernese, Shrekfx & hanksimon!

    Just to let you know, Peaches is a beagle/fox hound mix and weighs about 35 lbs.

    She does have a dog house outside that I filled with cedar shavings and that's where she goes after I feed her every night. The house is also inside a 10 x 10 pen.

    I do have one of those portable pop-up kennels she used to stay in when she was recuperating. We had to have her right rear leg amputated as when we found her it was just dangling, probably hit by a car or truck. I could probably use that inside again at night since she did get used to going in and out of it before.

    Peaches does shiver when she is out in the cold in her house but still is reluctant to come in. I give her treats to coax her out. Most of the time they work!

    During the day no matter how cold it is outside she's always ready to run and play. So I guess the cold doesn't bother her too much but like you, Elana55, it bothers me.

    I will still bring her in when the temps go below 30 degrees and try the pop-up kennel trick. I do keep the temp in the room where she stays cooler than the rest of the house too.

    Since she was a rescue dog and was apparently abused, I guess Peaches does have her share of issues to work out. Hopefully, we will get used to being indoors during cold weather using the kennel. I will keep my fingers crossed!

    Thanks again to all for replies!

    Jackie

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    Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    how cold does it get there?

    And didnt know that labs had an under coat so thats good to know. Even though I dont have a lab. I got a husky/german shep/beagle mix. And she looooves the cold and the snow.
    Last edited by shrekfx; 01-13-2011 at 07:56 PM.

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    Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    How about feeding her inside so she associates indoors with good things? Set the crate up in your bedroom & when its feeding time instead of feeding her outside & trying to catch her, when she comes to eat then take her in & feed her in her crate.

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    Junior Member mama2peaches's Avatar
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    Smile Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    Hey shrekfx,

    Well, here in southside Virginia (we are south of Lynchburg and about 20 miles from the North Carolina border) the average for January is about 42 degrees. Last night though it got down to 18 degrees!

    So far as in most parts of the US this year, it's been colder and snowier than normal. Sometimes I feel like we never left New Jersey! But, luckily we haven't had the snow they are getting this year!

    Peaches doesn't have a thick coat of hair (she's a beagle mixed with fox hound, I think) but does not seem to mind being in the cold all day, but at night I worry about those really frigid temps.

    Your dog sounds really neat. Do you have pics to show us? Maybe some playing in the snow?

    Jackie

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    Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    Well, she's fine up until the point that she stops moving.. That's what I do with my dogs anyways... lol kidding, kidding

    I mean, if it's too cold for you outside then it's definitely too cold for your dog, if it doesn't have a winter fit coat. As, you've said, she's not suited for very cold temperatures, so I wouldn't keep her outside unless you can provide her with a properly heated dog house.
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    Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?







    The last pic is to show you how much snow we have so far. Its just plane nuts. Gets to about -12 so far this year. Warmed up to 20. woohoo heat wave!! Im in South Dakota though.

  14. #13
    Junior Member mama2peaches's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    Hey shrekfx,

    What a cutie! She looks like she could be a handful though. Do you think she'll be a big dog?

    Hope the weather has gotten better for you this week! I got upset when we had an inch or so and it went down to 18 degrees! Must be hearty souls out there in South Dakota!

    Jackie

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    Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    I think it depends on the breed. I have a Bernese Mountain Dog pup, and he is very resilient! He absolutely loves the snow. When I let him out for a potty break, he ends up staying out for a while and just rolling in it. I finally drag him back in and rub him down. We also just had an ice storm last night. I took him for a walk this morning, and he loved sliding around on the ice. It was a new game for him. I think, as long as he has a shelter, toys, food, and the option to come back in when he wants, he'll be fine.
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    Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    We used to live where you live (Mama2peaches) near Chatham. It does get cold and always windy. How warm do you keep your house? We have to keep ours a little cooler and we have to wear more clothes so the dogs are comfortable (67F). Maybe lower the heat a little, give her a quiet place (away from everyone) to go and hide if she wants too, feed her inside and work on some training inside (lots of praise and treats). When she is outside can you get her a really thick dog blanket, it looks just like a horse blanket and its for outdoors with thick fleece lining. They aren't cheap but very warm.

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    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    I would worry that she's staying out because of a history of bad experiences in a house, rather than because she chooses the cold over the warmth of the house. This of course would be much different from a dog that simply LIKES being outside more. Hounds are really not built for cold, though if they are active they don't seem to mind it. Cracker (foxhound mix) loves being outside in the snow, but if she's not moving (ie walking or running) she will quickly go to shiver mode.

    I would continue to work on making being in the house and coming to you a positive thing with lots of rewards (scent hounds LOVE FOOD) and work to a point where being in the house is not traumatic and is more stimulating than the yard. As Peaches ages she will find it harder and harder to stay active (especially as a tripod dog) and older dogs don't regulate their body temperature well (heat and cold) so getting her positively acclimated to the house will be increasingly more important.

    Good luck!
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


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    Senior Member Charis's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    I don't have a degree mark I avoid but more of the dogs' reactions and personal preferences. My Siberian Husky loves the outdoors, the wind chill was -22 and she was more than happy to go outside. My lab is kinda indifferent he grew up in the outdoors and watching over everything through all seasons outside so he can go either way however he gets tired of being inside after a while. My mini aussie hates the outdoors. She wants to curl up inside no matter what the weather is. Hot, cold, nice fall day - it doesn't matter she wants to be inside. They have blankets and enough shelter to weather anything outdoors (even though they don't - I just like being prepared)
    Generally if it is too cold to maintain a water supply to them, they spend extensive time indoors for a water supply. Otherwise it just depends on how the dogs feel but this cold snap has been extensive time indoors.

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    Senior Member wvasko's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold to keep a dog outside?

    Quote Originally Posted by mama2peaches View Post
    Hey shrekfx,

    What a cutie! She looks like she could be a handful though. Do you think she'll be a big dog?

    Hope the weather has gotten better for you this week! I got upset when we had an inch or so and it went down to 18 degrees! Must be hearty souls out there in South Dakota!

    Jackie
    Truth be told with proper dog house and windbreak and food, dogs can handle cold with few problems. Now that being said is it the best life for them obviously not. The problem is playing ping pong with her, inside/outside/inside/outside routines. Now most of the time when I hear the my dog does not want to come inside it's usually the owners that make an excuse because of sometimes PIB problems having a dog inside. Not saying that this is happening here, just saying it sometimes happens.

    As far as dog hiding under bed, who cares that will slowly work it's way to dog not hiding under bed. Environmental adjustments can and will occur, it just takes time. Obviously dogs are social animals and want to be where the action is, how long it takes is decided by previous life style problems dog has, be patient.
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