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rlma 12-06-2012 02:45 PM

GS Day Housing- new member coming from Africa
Hey everybody!
My husband and I may have the opportunity to add a 10 month old GS to our lives.
We currently have two dogs who roam freely in our tiny house during the day.
I had a GS growing up, and given the fact that she ate everything in sight when she was younger, I seriously doubt that it would ever be a good idea to leave our potential new puppy alone in the house.
We have a lot of space in our garage since we never actually park our cars in there, so I was thinking that we could put up a kennel for this guy to stay in during the day while we're gone. He'd have potty breaks and play breaks at lunch so I'm really not worried about him being in a kennel in general, but I'm concerned with him being cold during the day. We live in NC and at the coldest it is about 25 degrees outside during the day. If we set up a dog house with blankets and good insulation, would this be too cold for him? Does anybody have suggestions for dog houses? He would sleep inside with us at night.

I'm also concerned that he won't have developed a thick enough coat. He'd be coming from Africa (don't worry, it isn't a scam!) and it never gets as cold in Ethiopia as it does here. Is he going to freeze this winter? What could we do for him?


Nigel 12-06-2012 11:06 PM

Until he can adjust to his new climate, can you add a heat source to the garage? If he will be in a kennel, maybe you can use a stand alone or wall mounted heater elsewhere in the garage. Just something to keep it a little warmer when the temps drop.

selzer 12-06-2012 11:14 PM

Put a dog house in the kennel. He will be fine. 25 degrees is not very cold, and he will be inside at night when you reach the lows. Most GSDs prefer things to be a little cooler. If you put straw or blankets in the house, he will probably drag it out.

NancyJ 12-06-2012 11:19 PM

I imagine that with some extra fat in his diet, an insulate dog house and some cedar shavings or straw to bed down in he could be just fine..I think for a dog house you want something the dog will curl up in - does not need to be as big as a crate because he can get out and stretch. Can you start getting a little extra fat on him now? Are you in the NC mountains? Most of NC is pretty temperate.

My working dog is outside in upstate SC (NW corner) during the day and does quite fine -- figure we have had a hot summer here so they dont have much time to build a nice thick winter coat either ..... just don't keep the house overly warm so he has to go back and forth too much from one temp extreme to the other (I keep mine in the mid to upper 60s in the winter). The concrete floor is cold though so some places not in the dog house for him to lay would be good. Always plenty of water. In summer the set up may be way too hot. Heat is more an issue in the carolinas than cold.

rlma 12-07-2012 07:55 AM

Thanks for the answers!
I do think we could put a small heater with him- but it kinda worries me to leave them unattended. Maybe that is just me being paranoid?
I was definitely thinking that the house needed to be a smaller size to use his body heat efficiently. So IF he gets here, the first goal will be to figure out a warm doghouse.
I'm not sure about adding extra fat to his diet; it's a real struggle to get him food period, so he's surviving on whatever my dad's cook can whip up for him. That was a major concern when my dad first got him, but he seems to have done great on whatever it is that he's been feeding him.
Finally, we live in piedmont NC! It really isn't that cold during the winter, and the garage stays much cooler than outside during the summer. We're going to have to reevaluate his living situation at that point to make sure he's still comfortable.
And to anybody who is curious about how we're getting a dog from Africa: my dad is an expat and has been reassigned to Afghanistan. He doesn't feel that it would be safe to take his dog with him.

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