Keeping warm in winter? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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Keeping warm in winter?

Hi there,

Thinking of buying a goldie pup soon, however s/he will be staying outside for up to 9 hours a day, and I'm concerned about how to keep him/her warm in winter. Our winters get down to around 5 degrees C at worst, but it never snows, and the day can get up to 20 degrees and very sunny. Wondering how I could keep him/her warm during that time outside. Our backyard is of a medium size, no shelter but a couple of large trees and we will be getting the pup a nice kennel. Thanks all for your help

Note: I appreciate your concern but please do not comment anything about keeping the pup at home for extended periods of time. We have sorted that out, and he or she will be in the best and most loving of homes

Thanks!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 03:41 AM
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Welcome to the forum! If you do insist on your dog being outside, the main thing is to have a weather-proof kennel, kept off the ground so the cold of the dirt or concrete does not make the kennel colder. A washable blanket or dog bed that fits inside is good, as long as you don't have one of those puppies who chew everything. The door of the kennel should face the sun in winter and be away from any cold winds. Of course, have water available.
Now, having said all that, golden retrievers really, really like being with their humans. They're also smart and need something to do, or they'll find something for themselves like digging holes. Maybe a very good walk before you put them in the yard will help.
Good luck with your new family member!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 09:00 AM
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Why you would choose to get a puppy and risk having it stolen or exposed to the weather and be unsupervised confuses me but certainly your choice. Have you considered getting an older pup? Say about a year old? An older pup would be better equipped to handle being left on it's own for extended periods, less likely to get into harms way and have a better ability to handle the weather. Without supervision puppies will dig and tear things up out of boredom. They put everything in their mouths and can choke or poison themselves. If they turn over their water 9 hrs without water can cause kidney problems. Many golden pups or adults will sit by the back door vs. getting into their dog house... they will want their people. Just a thought.

The 1st year of a puppies life is when they learn how to be around people and handle noises and situations... they need their people to help them grow without fear of the world. I hope you will reconsider and certainly hope you plan on some obedience & socialization classes.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by grachelf View Post

Note: I appreciate your concern but please do not comment anything about keeping the pup at home for extended periods of time. We have sorted that out, and he or she will be in the best and most loving of homes

Thanks!

Except for the 9 hours he or she will be alone outside. Sorry, but you don't get to come and tell us what to say and not say. The very fact that you even wrote that tells me you know this is not the right thing to do. It's dangerous to the dog's health and safety. And it's just cruel to do to a social animal.

That may not be what YOU want to hear - but hopefully if someone else comes to this thread, it will make them think twice about doing something like this. I'm not going to condone leaving a dog outside alone all day. Don't get a dog if this is your best plan.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 09:41 AM
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May I ask why you are choosing to keep your pup outside for 9 hours a day?

Are you saying that you are going to keep him or her in a crate outside for that time?



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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grachelf View Post
Hi there,

Thinking of buying a goldie pup soon, however s/he will be staying outside for up to 9 hours a day, and I'm concerned about how to keep him/her warm in winter. Our winters get down to around 5 degrees C at worst, but it never snows, and the day can get up to 20 degrees and very sunny. Wondering how I could keep him/her warm during that time outside. Our backyard is of a medium size, no shelter but a couple of large trees and we will be getting the pup a nice kennel. Thanks all for your help

Note: I appreciate your concern but please do not comment anything about keeping the pup at home for extended periods of time. We have sorted that out, and he or she will be in the best and most loving of homes

Thanks!
I do not have experience with outdoor living for dogs and quite frankly, you will be hard pressed to find someone on this forum with that kind of personal experience because pretty much everyone I have come across here would opt to keep their dog indoors. Perhaps there are other resources online that could guide you.

This is a forum for people who love their golden retrievers to the extent that they are willing to share stories about them, post pictures and updates of them growing up, and yes, even seek solace from others when their beloved goldens pass. And anything and everything in between, from what toys to buy to health issues. You name it you will find it here. So to expect people not to comment on your decision to leave your puppy outdoors for extended periods of time, regardless of the weather, is a tad naive IMO.

Obviously the choice is yours. But there are numerous negatives associated with leaving a young pup, especially a breed like a golden, unattended and unsupervised for an extended period of time. You may provide boundless love and care when you are home, but that adds up to only half the time. I could go into several cons of proceeding this way, but that will make this post unnecessarily long(er). Good luck to you, and hope you re-assess.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:01 AM
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If you've chosen this as your pup's lifestyle - and it's certainly your right to do so - then you should perhaps also think about choosing a breed of dog that will adapt reasonably well to that type of lifestyle. IMHO Goldens are unsuited to this type of arrangement.

Goldens are people dogs. They do best when they live with, and in the same space as, their people. The many Goldens I've known in my life would have been sad at best and miserable at worst if kept outside alone for long periods. Take my current Golden, for example. We have a back yard to die for: 40,000 square feet, fully fenced, half of which is woodland with squirrels and birds to chase. You would think there's lots to keep a dog occupied. Well, when I send my Golden outside, he runs to do his business, then runs straight back to the door and asks to be let inside. He just wants to be with us. If I go outside with him, he's happy to play and explore. But not on his own. My last Golden was the same. They are a breed that just prefers to live indoors with their people. We have another dog of a different breed, and he will spend longer periods outside alone (up to 10 minutes sometimes, before he asks to come back inside). But not the Golden.

Since you're set on keeping the dog outside, I would suggest a more independent breed, one that will adapt more easily to the outdoor lifestyle you wish to offer it. I urge you to think carefully about this. There are breeds that adapt to this. Goldens aren't one of them.

My brother lives in Europe and is a sheep farmer. He has several working border collies. He keeps them in a barn, in kennels that are cleaned several times a day. The dogs are warm and well-fed. However, they also spend several hours a day, every day, working with the sheep. They're taken for long walks every day, off-leash so they can run, and they're trained regularly. They ride on tractors. They compete in sheep-herding trials. They're living the life they were bred for, and they're happy. He also has a Cocker spaniel, and this dog lives in the house. It goes for rides in the car with my brother, and sleeps on a rug in the kitchen. It would be miserable outside with the other dogs. It's a pet. It doesn't work and it wasn't bred to live outside.

I respect the fact that you've "sorted this out", but there are a few things that you may not have thought of, regardless of the breed of dog you get.

The first is barking. A dog left outside alone is going to bark. It's what they do. Our neighbour, for example, has a Pyrenees mountain dog that used to live outside during the day. This is a breed that adapts well to living outside - it's what they are made for. However, that dog barked at every noise, every car in the street, every time someone in the surrounding houses went outside. It was a real pain. People complained to the city. The dog is now kept in the house.

The second is the bad habits (other than barking) that the dog is going to develop, especially if you start out with a puppy. A bored Golden (and any dog who spends long periods outside alone is going to be bored) is going to dig holes, chew fences, eat stuff off the ground, etc. Then, when it sees its people, it's going to jump on them, bark at them, etc. It's what they do. Goldens are energetic, intelligent, exuberant dogs. It's important not to underestimate their need for mental stimulation, and their need to feel like they're part of the family.

The third is safety. My back yard is fully fenced and we live in a very safe neighbourhood, but I wouldn't dream of leaving my dog outside when I'm not at home. He may be stolen. The yard gate may be left open. He may get his leg stuck in the fence. He may chew a stick and choke. There are too many things that could go wrong: I just wouldn't feel comfortable, knowing he was out there, unsupervised.

To address your specific concern about the cold weather, your dog will develop a thicker coat during winter. The temperatures you describe aren't overly cold (I live in Canada, where it gets down to minus 20 or more in winter), so the thicker coat, combined with a well-insulated shelter, should do. However, the thicker coat also means more grooming, several times weekly, to avoid matting, and it means a lot more shedding. You will also need to keep your dog well-protected from parasites (fleas, etc.).

I wish you good luck, and hope things work out for you and your future dog.

Christine

Ruby 13-01-2007 to 18-03-2015.
My dog of a lifetime. I'll miss you forever.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:24 AM
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CeeGee that is really good advice. I have a friend with a german shorthair pointer (and golden) that lives to be outside. Their golden loves to romp with him but then lays by the back door waiting to be let in. If it rains she just lays in the rain waiting for the door to open. The GSP prefers to run and chase anything that moves vs. being in the house. I had an English setter that was the same way, both beautiful and loving dogs but happier to be in the element.

There are too many articles in the news and post on this forum about puppies being stolen to ever leave a golden alone in the yard. But then I sort of enjoy a co-dependant dog :-) It's nice to be needed.

Although I wouldn't mind knowing what part of the world he lives, sounds like some really mild temps!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:37 AM
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Thank you to everyone who took time to think this through and post here in an educational manner. Understanding why any dog, much less a Golden Retriever will be poorly suited to a solitary lifestyle outside the family home is important.

Something else to consider for the original poster: If your dog spends 9 hours outdoors every day, alone: He is going to be dirty. Really dirty and chances are good he will smell. What tends to happen then is that the person responsible for keeping the house clean is extremely reluctant to have the dog come indoors on a regular basis. The less time the dog spends indoors the less time you have to teach him proper indoor manners and behaviors. This becomes a vicious cycle because no one really wants to hang out in the evenings with a smelly, dirty, ill mannered dog. The dog becomes more rambunctious when he sees his family because he is so excited to have human contact. You're tired after getting home from work, you prefer to put your feet up and regroup or make dinner rather than deal with a dirty, wild puppy. It is not a cycle for success for you as a pet owner and for the dog as a happy pet.

I hope you will reconsider your plans after reading through and thinking about our input. Goldens are simply not meant to live apart from people unless they have a very busy, active, working life where they have training time working with people.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:56 AM
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I have a golden that is just about two years old. He is a Velcro dog and wants to be with us 24/7. I can not imagine how upset he would be if we left him outside for 9 hours a day and he is past the puppy stage. When we are gone we put him in his crate which he loves. But he is never alone for more than 4 hours. He loves being with us to much. These breeds are people dogs and are terrible being left alone. They can get very depressed and destructive. If we put him outside to "do his business" he immediately wants to come right back in. Have you thought about maybe daycare or a dog walker who could help during the day to give him/her some social time. Ours goes to daycare two days a week so he can play with other dogs. He loves it. Something to think about...
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