Dogs left out in the winter... - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Dogs left out in the winter...

I saw this cartoon recently and thought I'd share. I'm guessing 99.9% of the GRF folks don't leave their dogs outside in bad weather, but so many people do. When I was growing up, all dogs lived outside, all year long. I'm glad things have changed.

Overboard Comic Strip, January 07, 2012 on
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Kathleen, mom to one human, age 22, two canines, and two cats.

My love bug Bella has cancer
I bought the dogs a ranch, part one
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 01:54 PM
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I love Overboard comics<:

When I was little... our first golden was outside a majority of the time. He came inside during the day (when he could be on leash) but had to go back out at night. We also kept him inside the house (garage or kitchen) when we weren't home.

And we did that because his parents were outside dogs, he was born outside, he was restless and hyper in the house because he just didn't spend enough time indoors. I think as an outside dog he had oddball sleep/rest patterns.

This changed when we had our first winter with him. He became a garage dog. And then we started sneaking him in at night... And now 20 or so years later, I can't imagine going back to leaving dogs outside.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 02:03 PM
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When I was growing up our dog, a Collie, lived outdoors year round.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 02:08 PM
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My childhood dogs were outside only. On the rare occasion when it got below freezing here my parents put them in the garage with the clothes dryer running, they at least has some warmth. But anything above freezing they stayed outside.

I'm glad, to quote Dr. Phil, that "when you learn better you do better." I learned better.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 02:16 PM
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When we had our farm, the dogs stayed out during the day unless the weather was horrendous. At night they slept in the mudroom and sometimes during the day they were allowed into the kitchen, which was right off from the mudroom or into the basement. But the rest of the house was off limits. We also closed the cats up in the barn at night for safety (they were barn cats).

Once I got my own animals, they never stayed outside unless I was out with them. It's been that way from then on.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 02:17 PM
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The rescues up here have done amazing work to help the dogs out on the reserves - who mostly live outside - during this cold snap. The stories are absolutely heartbreaking when you hear about the dogs trying to survive -40 temperatures. Two dogs were living in an abandoned car. Mothers and puppies freezing to's terrible.

And, if Ranger hadn't been rescued, he'd have been that dog tied up outside in the cartoon in these same freezing temperatures. Makes my heart hurt to even think about the life he almost had.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 02:39 PM
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One thing else I forgot to say... and it's probably the good thing I know about Charmy's breeders and our early idea of responsible dog ownership...

There is a huge difference between an outdoor dog who is expected to sleep out in the backyard, without any way of getting warm or cool, whether it's summer or winter....

There's a big difference between that and an outdoor dog who is given adequate shelter and care.

While our Charmy was outside, he was a pretty happy and comfy dog. I think he looked at his night trips out to the backyard the same way your indoor pets look at being locked in their crates. It's what they know and are used to.

His parents either slept in the family's barn or under the front porch. Charmy's first 12 weeks were spent under that front porch. The next 3 or 4 months he spent in our backyard, he never was allowed to suffer.

I remembered crying about him having to be out in the rain, but we had a pretty wide overhang (his entire doghouse was built into the side of the house and completely under that overhang). And he also dug a little doggy den under the deck. Probably because he was used to sleeping under porch stairs when he was a baby.

And while he was outside for long stretches of the day, we were always out there with him throughout the day. We loved that dog.

When I read about dogs who are left outside with poorly constructed dog houses (right in the middle of the yards, flimsy, drafty)... or are given no shelter at all. I feel pretty sick about that.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 03:21 PM
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Last May we experienced our first tornado evacuation since moving to the midwest.

At work, we evacuated to the stairwell.

My kids at school, had to evacuate to the their safespots for over 2 hours. Kids were crying like crazy. I was talking about this the other day to my 8 year old daughter. She was telling me most of the kids were crying because they knew their dogs were outside during all of this. I was nervous enough knowing my dogs were in the house with the storm and the loud sirens. I cannot imagine what those poor dogs who were outside during all of this were doing. I imagine these were all indoor/outdoor dogs whose owners let them stay outside while they went to work.

We also think about the harsh winter or summer weather, but we should also think of the surprises as a sudden hailstorm or tornado activity. ( After witnessing my first REAL hailstorm, that hail could kill a dog or a human that was outside ).

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