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Dogs, will they stay out of the cold?

I have a 6 year old German Shephard. She is generally an outside dog, she does not even like to be inside. She has a dog house, an opening to get under the front porch and on really cold nights we open the garage door a bit, lay blankets out for her with a heat lamp. WIth all that, she lays on thr front porch by the door. My dad and my husband say she won't freeze herself to death, she will use one of the places to sleep if she needs to. I say she is a dog and doesn't know any better. She was on the front porch with snow on her the other night.

What do all of you think, are they smart enough to get to shelter or not?


Asked by Anonymous at 8:55 AM on Jan. 12, 2011 in Pets

This question is closed.
Answers (18)
  • For a dog that is outside most of the time, her coat growth and shedding is probably appropriate for the weather in your area. You are doing a great job providing her everything she needs to keep warm if she gets cold. She should instinctually seek out the items you've provided if she needs them.

    That being said, make sure you are keeping an eye on her activity, appetite, and water intake. If there is a change, there could be an issue that causes her to not follow her instincts to seek out warmth when she needs it and that could lead to hypothermia. If she is an older or senior dog (and at 6 for a large breed, she's getting there), that is reason enough to make her go into warmer places to keep her in good health.

    Answer by Tuzyae at 10:35 PM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • I think that if you let your dog live outside while knowing she is cold and you are worried she'll freeze you are a shittastic pet owner.
    Dogs do not belong outside.

    Answer by Acid at 9:16 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • Dogs shouldn't be kept outside and it is not uncommon here in the UK for dogs to be removed from homes if they are kept outdoors all the time...and our weather is usually milder than parts of the USA. I really struggle with the idea of keeping an animal you love outdoors in the cold no matter to weather. Even if you provide a kennel or a blanket...its not the same as them being a member of your family and indoors. Imagine how lonely that is being cooped up outside? They are pack animals, prefer to be other dogs or with a family. She probably prefers being outside because that's all she knows...did she ever live indoors???

    As for the that where she lies all the time? maybe she's so used to lying there that she doesn't think to lie anywhere else.

    Answer by little.knickers at 9:53 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • I never understand when people say "outside dog". Dogs are NOT outside animals. Bring your dog in the house. It is winter and it is cold.

    Answer by TARARENEE at 10:29 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • Our Beagle/Jack Russel will go and sleep in the COLD garage in a CHAIR instead of in her warm dog house. We have to let her in because she's dumb lol.

    Answer by Misteh at 8:57 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • I think that dogs know what they need to do in order to survive.

    Answer by Scuba at 9:02 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • Dogs do what they have to in order to survive. They are animals and still have a basic instinct. Of course some dogs are just dumb and might not know what to do, but usually those are indoor dogs who have never really had to go outside. I think if you provided your dog with all those things the dog should be ok. Remember they have a fur coat on.

    Answer by gemgem at 9:04 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • I would be worried about hypothermia or frost bite. Even though you are supplying your dog shelter you state the dog is not always using it. Being exposed to long hours of lowering temps. in the winter cannot be a good thing. The risk of this happening is something I would be concerned about, so to prevent this I would most definitely bring the dog inside if the temps. are low.

    Answer by Kellyjude1 at 9:34 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • She isn't cold enough to use it. A shepherd is fine outdoors with shelter and additional food. You also need to provide more water, using a heated bowl so the water does not freeze. Extra straw in the dog house will help insulate. Introduce your dog to the garage area and she will use it if she feels the need for it. The shepherd's double hair coat helps them to withstand extremely cold conditions. Do keep an eye on her paws though, they can get frostbite. You can always bring her in and close the door, if you are worried. She won't use the blankets, but you will feel better.

    Some dogs truly prefer outdoors, if you haven't experienced a dog like that I guess you might not understand it. I adopted a Collie who would pace himself to death until we let him out again. Then he would settle down and nap under "his" tree. He was really more comfortable outdoors even though we kept interrupting his schedule by dragging him inside.

    Answer by spottedpony at 11:24 AM on Jan. 12, 2011

  • spottedpony,

    STOP, STOP trying to make people think that dogs belong outside. They don't. If you truly are an animal advocate and want to help people understand dogs, you have to stop lying.

    Shepherds are not fine outside. NO DOG is fine outside.

    Answer by Acid at 12:47 PM on Jan. 12, 2011