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Author Topic: Where does your dog stay during the winter?  (Read 3168 times)

Offline nutntoit

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Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« on: November 17, 2017, 10:26:17 AM »
I now have two dogs, a 9 month old Lab and a 9 wk old Vizsla. Now that it is getting colder I am concerned about them staying outside while I am at work. Where I live it can get into the single digits at times with outside temps staying below freezing for most of the winter. Currently I have a 5x15 fenced dog run with a concrete floor and a roof. I put up weather paneling tarp around the exterior to keep most of the wind out. I also have a 4f tx 3ft dog house constructed much like an actual house with wood siding and a shingle roof that is inside the dog run. I am wondering if I should just insulate the house and add a dog door, or get something different to keep the dogs warm. I am especially concerned about the Vizsla. I don't want to keep him locked in a kennel all day The dogs get along well and will both fit and lay in the dog house together. The dogs are inside while I am home and sleep inside. This is just a place to keep them during the day while I am at work. Does anyone else have a similar set up, and how do you keep the pups warm as the temperature falls?

Offline vandeman17

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2017, 10:35:11 AM »
You can put straw in the kennel and they will nest in that. Another option is a heat lamp, especially since you have it enclosed. I have two black labs and a dog run like yours, but they stay inside during the winter. Luckily I work about 5 minutes from my house and since they sleep inside at night year around, they already have their designated pillows that they stay on.
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Offline Naches Sportsman

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2017, 10:37:30 AM »
Mine stays in the house year round. One of us brought fleas into the house last year, but no problems this year

Offline bigdave

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2017, 10:38:45 AM »
I ran into this same problem when i bought a lab cross thinking it would have the hair and coat of a lab. Turns out he had the hair of the cross which never thickened up enough for him to stay warm outside in winter. I leave the house at 7 and come back from work at 4:30. I (out of no other option) started leaving him in his crate at home during the day. I would get home and then take him outside for an hour working in the yard or going for a walk. After a couple of accidents, he adapted to crate life and peed in the mornings and Pooped in the afternoons when we go out for our walk. He is free in the house to socialize with the family when I am home. When he was about two years old he let me know that the crate thing was getting old so , I tried just leaving him free in the house during the day. He has been the perfect gentleman and I'm convinced spends the whole day either staring out the slider window or sleeping on my daughters bed.


Offline Special T

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2017, 10:56:53 AM »
I think you would be fine just insulating the dog house. 2 dogs with shelter snuggled up to one another will keep warm enough. Some kind of clear dog door/flap would work great to really dampen the air flow.

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Offline nutntoit

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2017, 11:02:40 AM »
My biggest problem, is I don't trust either dog in the house unattended and I work 20-25 minutes from home. The Vizsla has spent days in the crate since we picked him up and he HATES it. I have been able to let him out on my lunch break this far but as the snow comes and the roads get worse I wont have time to do that. I really don't want to turn him off to the crate. My lab is pretty good with confinement and would rather sleep in his crate than in the bed. Outside is sort of my only option other than the garage possibly, but that has its own set of problems.

Offline nutntoit

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2017, 11:04:13 AM »
I think you would be fine just insulating the dog house. 2 dogs with shelter snuggled up to one another will keep warm enough. Some kind of clear dog door/flap would work great to really dampen the air flow.
That's what I was thinking, but I need something semi chew proof that the dogs can't eat and choke on while I'm at work. I have found a few options but they are $100 each just for the door.

Offline Special T

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2017, 11:20:44 AM »
For mine I just used a piece of black rubber conveyor belting. It don't let light through but was tough enough a little chewing didn't get too far. If your going to try and insulate perhaps a small window of some sort would let a little light in. A small hole and some pecan glued to the plywood. Straw and dampening the air flow& a little insulation would likely do what's necessary.

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Offline Knocker of rocks

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2017, 11:29:56 AM »
Mine stays in the house year round

Ditto.  I'm pretty sure he thinks he's a person

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2017, 11:32:13 AM »
Yea both of mine stay in their house I just sleep there and pay the mortgage.

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2017, 11:32:53 AM »
My lab lives out side 24/7 and is bedded in straw, in a igloo dog house like your set up. 
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Offline nutntoit

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2017, 11:37:46 AM »
My lab lives out side 24/7 and is bedded in straw, in a igloo dog house like your set up.
Do you have any kind of door in the igloo?

Offline kselkhunter

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2017, 11:39:01 AM »
My two dogs are spoiled and stay inside year round.   

Years ago, I had a lab that would tear the house up if I left her inside alone.   So for the winter months, I bought a taller size exercise pen from Petco and set it up in the garage when I left for work (https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/dog/dog-gates-doors-and-pens/midwest-black-e-coat-exercise-pens).    Only for the few months of really cold, and for warmer months she was in the backyard when I was at work, but always slept in her crate in the house at night.  It worked for me.   My current dogs are safe to leave in the house all day, so don't need to do that anymore.   

Offline GBoyd

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2017, 08:17:01 PM »
I've got a WPG that I fight with the girlfriend to keep him living outside. I want him acclimated so I don't have to worry about him sleeping in the cold on hunting season camping trips.

He's sheltered from the wind and the rain, outside down to about 25 degrees. Colder than that, I let him inside.

Offline Knocker of rocks

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2017, 08:49:17 PM »
Yea both of mine stay in their house I just sleep there and pay the mortgage.

You're not their servant?  Buy their food and feed them, and act as their doorman?  Mine acts like he's at a Manhattan hotel.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 09:27:21 PM by Knocker of rocks »

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2017, 09:22:03 PM »
Mine stays in a fenced electrified yard and insulated dog house stuffed with hay.   I don't like hunting indoor dogs, they're either too cold or too hot with soft feet.

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2017, 05:53:16 AM »
Mine stays in a fenced electrified yard and insulated dog house stuffed with hay.   I don't like hunting indoor dogs, they're either too cold or too hot with soft feet.

Good topic.  KFH, when it gets below zero, does your dog do o.k. or do you let him in at night?  What kind of dog do you have?  I'm asking because our labs always sleep by the wood stove at night, and they are big babies when the weather gets cold.  Maybe I should build an insulated house.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2017, 10:59:44 AM »
I have a female Brittany, and unless it's -15 or 20 below she stays outside.  I feed her more in the winter and check her weight frequently, if it's a super cold snap she comes in at night but then she's panting from the heat.  Another thing I'll do is put her in the shop where it's warmer (insulated shop, stays above freezing)  but not tongue hanging out panting warm. 

I do not use a heating pad or dog house heater just keep it full of hay.  I did build a custom dog house that's well insulated top, bottom and all sides with a small entry hole and it's stuffed with hay.  She's warm in there, I never see shivering when she comes out to greet me.


Had lot's of labs growing up and none of them ever came inside the house ever, labs are even more tolerant of cold than Brittany's are with their hollow haired fur but whoa in the spring holy shed monsters.  We always had hay barns and they nested in the warm hay when it got down really cold.

Offline Special T

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2017, 11:00:16 AM »
I've kept my hunting dogs outside at night in a fenced yard. Now that my dog is older I bring him in on exceptionally rainy nights since he will no longer go in his dog house and just lays at the back door. I also have a heating pad in his out door bed to supplement some heat. I don't bath him during duck season the wife hates the Skagit mud so I take him for a swim in clean fresh water before bringing him home. 

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Offline JDHasty

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2017, 11:19:02 AM »
You can put straw in the kennel and they will nest in that. Another option is a heat lamp, especially since you have it enclosed. I have two black labs and a dog run like yours, but they stay inside during the winter. Luckily I work about 5 minutes from my house and since they sleep inside at night year around, they already have their designated pillows that they stay on.

I prefer alfalfa hay to wheat straw.  Heat lamps are good.  Our doghouse has 2x6 insulated walls and thermopane windows.  It is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. 
« Last Edit: November 20, 2017, 11:31:47 AM by JDHasty »

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2017, 11:29:23 AM »
Both cool and warm in the winter huh?

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2017, 11:35:12 AM »
I've kept my hunting dogs outside at night in a fenced yard. Now that my dog is older I bring him in on exceptionally rainy nights since he will no longer go in his dog house and just lays at the back door. I also have a heating pad in his out door bed to supplement some heat. I don't bath him during duck season the wife hates the Skagit mud so I take him for a swim in clean fresh water before bringing him home. 

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When she's old I'll bring her in too, nothing wrong with giving a retired old dog an extra winter or two inside  :tup:

Offline gaddy

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2017, 11:46:05 AM »
Mine stay outside all the time. I have two large dog houses on the deck butted against the house and next to the privacy wall on the deck. An 8' picnic table lengthwise in front of the houses. The whole works is wrapped with a tarp that used to cover train cars (really thick and heavy) with an opening at the end just big enough for them to go through. The houses are stuffed with straw.
When it snows it turns into a giant snow cave. Very warm and protected from the wind, yet cool in high temps. I went in last year when it got to freezing thinking about a heat lamp but with both dogs in there it is plenty warm.

Offline Smokepole

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2017, 04:51:26 PM »
I've kept my hunting dogs outside at night in a fenced yard. Now that my dog is older I bring him in on exceptionally rainy nights since he will no longer go in his dog house and just lays at the back door. I also have a heating pad in his out door bed to supplement some heat. I don't bath him during duck season the wife hates the Skagit mud so I take him for a swim in clean fresh water before bringing him home. 

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When she's old I'll bring her in too, nothing wrong with giving a retired old dog an extra winter or two inside  :tup:

Thanks for the info KFH.  Got a lab pup now.  Might make her an insulated house for the porch. 

BTW... I had an 8 year old retired lab.  Brought her in by the wood stove and she didn't die until she was 17.  There was so much shed hair you could have knitted a sweater.   :chuckle:

Offline Stein

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2017, 05:00:57 PM »
Our lab sleeps on my son's bed.  It isn't the best way to get a winter coat on her, but she's actually a pet before a waterfowl dog.  I would rather have to fetch a few myself than tell my son the dog has to sleep outside.

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2017, 07:10:02 PM »
My female brit sleeps under the covers and steals the couch.  She has extremely tough feet and can run in the cold or the heat, just like her owners who sleep in the bed with her. 

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2017, 07:34:37 PM »
My female brit sleeps under the covers and steals the couch.  She has extremely tough feet and can run in the cold or the heat, just like her owners who sleep in the bed with her.


 :tup:



Offline fish vacuum

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2017, 12:38:40 AM »


how do you keep the pups warm as the temperature falls?

Easy. I just put more wood in the stove.

Offline AWS

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2017, 08:54:47 PM »
When I lived up in northern MN, my pointers lived in insulated dog houses filled with marsh hay, they'd just burrow into it.  Here in the NW they come in the house, just too damp and wet.  He won't sleep in the bedrooms, seems like he wants to be able to see outside all the time.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 09:00:09 PM by AWS »
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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2017, 09:00:05 PM »
Well.......he's a bit spoiled I spose.
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Offline buglebuster

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2017, 09:46:54 PM »
Apparently the pup thinks he needs to sleep in the bed tonight

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #31 on: November 26, 2017, 08:01:15 PM »
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Offline vandeman17

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2017, 09:51:44 AM »
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Offline stillhunter

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Re: Where does your dog stay during the winter?
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2017, 01:41:48 PM »
My GSP sleeps everywhere but on the furniture, Mama has her limits. :chuckle:  we play fetch in hard gravel and on the pavement all fall and she has super tuff feet never had any issues.  she will hunt all day in any temps, wet and brushy she uses a ripstop vest, really cold she has an insulated vest.
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