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Old 11-20-2008, 05:10 PM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 15,740
How long should short hair dogs stay outside in Winter?

Maya, my boxer pitball mix (and thus, a pretty short haired dog) turned one year old a few weeks ago, so this is her first winter with us.

She loves the outdoors, but with it dropping into the 30s recently I wonder just how long she can stay out there and be warm. Google searches don't turn up anything specific and I'd really like to know. Yesterday she was outside for like an hour and I had to drag her back inside.

What says the Dope?
Old 11-20-2008, 05:32 PM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
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Location: michigan
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My beagles are at the door when they have enough.
Old 11-20-2008, 07:17 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 24,534
In my experience she'll let you know as long as you give her the opportunity to come in. My Westie is double-coated, but he's also 16 years old - he has no problem with the cold. He seems extremely chipper and happy now that it's getting cold, actually. If I try to get him in during the day he won't come - only when it gets dark and colder. Even then he isn't scratching at the door.
Old 11-21-2008, 10:59 AM
Misnomer Misnomer is offline
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Location: Northern Virginia
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A few weeks ago my Beagle mix puppy was just 3 months old, weighed all of 9 pounds, and had a cold. I asked the vet if I should restrict the doggy's outside time due to the low temps, and she said not to worry about it (but wet and cold is another story). I figure that if I didn't have to worry about the temps when she was a tiny puppy with a cold, I'll never have to worry about it.
Old 11-21-2008, 11:09 AM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 15,740
Thanks for the replies, they're encouraging.

Nearly every article I found through Google basically said my dog would have hypothermia if I left her out there any longer than a few minutes.
Old 11-21-2008, 11:18 AM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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Location: Garden Spot of the South
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My short-haired Feist is an outside dog year-round. In the winter we put hay in the kennel for her. She does have a companion to snuggle with, but many times they sleep apart. I think with proper acclimation your Boxer should be fine.

One caveat: If the temperature drops below, say, 20 degrees F, I will bring them inside for the night. I've only done that perhaps twice in the last 5 or 6 years however.

Obligatory pic.
Old 11-21-2008, 11:29 AM
Captain Carrot Captain Carrot is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Sophomore at VTech
Posts: 6,039
In this respect, dogs aren't stupid. If they're uncomfortable, they'll let you know. After they're finished rolling in and eating the snow, of course.
Old 11-21-2008, 11:32 AM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 24,218
My brother has a boxer mix. She definitely lets us know when she's too cold.

I think, like people, if a dog is exercising outside it will be able to stand the cold longer. But otherwise, a short-haired dog is going to want to go out, go pee, and come back in.
Old 11-21-2008, 12:09 PM
cowgirl cowgirl is offline
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: East York
Posts: 3,530
It totally depends on the dog. When I first got my pit bull I took him for a walk with a group of other pit bulls. It was freezing cold (Toronto lakeshore in November) and all the other pit bull people had sweaters for their dogs. Some of the other dogs were shivering and obviously uncomfortable without the sweater (and very happy once it was put on). I didn't have a sweater and I was worried that my poor dog would freeze. So I asked all those other, more experienced pit bull owners and they told me that my dog didn't appear to mind the cold at all. (He's very tough.) I am sure that I actually saw him steaming.

I've had him through two winters now and never got him a sweater, and he doesn't mind the cold much. Even tho he has almost no fur on his belly/chest, he loves to run around in the snow and attack snowballs that are thrown at him. (He never stays alone outside but that's not because of the weather.)

When he does feel cold, I can tell. For instance, if it's really cold while I'm walking him and I stop for any reason, he'll shiver until I get moving again. If the weather is crappy when I take him out (freezing cold, or snowy/rainy plus wind), he will do his business VERY quickly and all in one go (instead of distributing it in small squirts to each tree on the block) so he can get inside again.


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