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Discussion Starter #1
We are expecting our puppy in the middle of winter in New England! I'm concerned about a lot of outdoor exercise early on in frigid temperatures: tender paws, etc. I'm considering clearing out my 12 x 22 ft. dining room and making a puppy playroom to serve until the weather warms up. There is a door to the outside potty place there, but there are also stairs to the second floor. Thoughts as to how you would set this up?

We will be going to puppy classes, too.

Many thanks!
 

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I live right in the corner of MD/PA/DE and get cold, snowy winters as well, not as much snow as New England though. I never once think about it. My pups are out in the snow and cold. At 8 weeks they are only out for maybe 10 min or so and they always love playing in the snow. You just have to make sure when they come in you remove any snow packed in between their toes as not to get frostbite.

In the really cold snaps like in the teens and 20's they're only out for the bathroom and back in pretty quickly. But I wouldn't keep them inside all the time. They need to learn the environment and socialize and that needs to start from day 1. Socializing doesn't just mean with people and other dogs. Its sounds, scents, seeing things.

So the idea of the dinning room for a play is a great one, I wouldn't limit them to that though. I think that is great for rainy days, too frigid days. Having a large room like that will be great for doing indoor training since there won't be a lot of things in the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you! I should have said that I plan to have puppy outside for short amounts of time as I know how much our dog loved the snow and that all kinds of exposure is great. I wasn't sure about such small pups, though, as in how long is too long? It's a good thing I love the snow too. :)

I know they need as much environmental/social stimulation as possible. As for walks in town: has any one used booties that actually stay on?

Thanks again - I love this forum!
 

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5 to 10 min if it's snowy and on the ground... Regularly, depends on the temps. 30s or 40s 15 min or so is fine. I think it's better to just have them out for short bursts at a time and take them out more often then 1 big play time.

It will help break up the day for them and once they get mentally stimulated/tired, that usually wears them out faster/better than physical activity and they will take more naps for you.

The booties... I'm not sure you'll find any to stay on well as a puppy. But once they are 6-8 months old I really like the Ruff Wear boots. Price but very durable and they tend to stay in well.
 

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You shouldn't really need boots unless you're walking the puppy on salty sidewalks or roads, or playing for long periods of time in deep snow (which will lead to snowballs between the toes that can be painful for them). Just normal play on a yard with snow, you'll be fine without. But if you do need, I would recommend Pawz balloon boots. They come in sizes from super tiny to XXL, so you would be able to find some to fit your pup (small or medium, I would imagine). They are easy to put on and they stay on. You can look for videos on You Tube to see how to put them on. Will probably be more of a challenge on a baby puppy - but they get used to it.
 

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We brought Molly Home in March where we still had snow on the ground.
She was 10 weeks and LOVED the snow. I let her play and roll and do whatever she wanted until she was done.

Look into Mushers paw wax
 

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It was January in Québec, Canada, when Duster came home. Honestly, the fact that it was winter didn't really change anything for us. He was born in Wisconsin, which is just as cold, and loved the snow. We would often spend as much as half an hour outside, playing and running in the snow. If we went for walks in the forest, I would simply put him in my coat when he got cold. But he was mostly fine. I've never used boots on him (he's 4 years old now). The only thing to be careful of is ice. Don't let your pup run around on icy surfaces because he could hurt himself.
 

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For the most part your pup can handle most cold weather down to about zero degrees F. Snow isn't going to bother them either. In areas where you get layers of snow then ice, then snow again, you'll need to pay closer attention to the pup. Thin layers of ice can be sharp when broken and injuries can occur.

This breed was designed to be outdoors and retrieve game in partially frozen water. They can take a lot of cold before they get uncomfortable. Heat on the other hand is a much larger concern.
 
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