I have a 7 month old GSD that is dealing with the first winter in the midwest. How cold is unsafe for GSD's? I mean not for the short potty walks around the block but the trips to the dog park. What are your experiences?
All is good but having a lot of snow in NY versus deep freeze temperatures in the midwest is a totally different story. We tend to get at least a solid three weeks of around or below zero temperatures here in the Chicago area between december and early February.
It really depends on the dog. My dog loves the sub-zero Chicago weather. I'll be wearing multiple layers and freezing and the dog doesn't even care. We'll be out for an hour at a time and she has an absolute blast. But I have seen owners carry their dogs back home because of too much winter fun. Keep an eye on your dog and he'll let you know if its too cold. Maybe he will stop, start walking strange, whine...its usually the paws that get cold.
My experience is that the cold normally runs me into the house before either of my dogs do. Especially when it's snowing! While we don't really get snow here, when we lived where we did I couldn't get them out of it. They would roll in it, run around, eat it, jump into piles of it, ect. They were like a kid in a candy store. xD
Remember, our Shepherds are MADE for this type of weather. I wouldn't FORCE the dog to be out, if they seem "done" or cold then leave. But if they're playing and having fun I wouldn't worry about it.
My old GSD Mikey loved the cold. The colder the better.
Sub zero? No problem. Minus 40 wind chill? Good time to
I swear that dog was impervious to weather. Or he just had no
sense at all. We would be outside for what was supposed to
be a short pee run in frigid sub zero temperatures and somewhere
in all the snow and ice he would find a stick and want me to play.
Ony time the cold got to him was a couple years ago when it got
-27F here. That night was the coldest I can remember. Mikey made
a run out for a quick pee and ran back to the house. Once inside
he started to shake like he was wet.
We've already had a week of -20F before windchill (and it was windy!) this winter and the dogs were outside for hours a day! I didn't last nearly as long! When it gets that low I make sure I stick fairly close to the door so that when they finally decide they are cold they can come in right away. Some dogs hate it, but mine are happier at -30C than they are at +30C. When it's cold I let the dogs decide how much is enough. When Kokoda was a puppy she would sleep outside at -40 in a sheltered spot by the door - she would NOT come in, and would give me a foul look if I woke her up to see if she was too cold, and then go back to sleep!
Seems very unnecessary for a GSD. Cedar loves the cold. In fact, just a week ago she found some open water that she decided to go in. She wasn't swimming, but she was up to her belly. And for those wondering, I'm in Canada, so yes, it's **** cold, yet she didn't seem to mind one bit. I take her out hiking for at least an hour a day and she loves it. Plus she spends quite a bit of time in the backyard.
She's only 4 months and never once has she appeared cold, despite temperatures being well below zero in the past week.
We don't get much really cold weather here but it can happen. I'm a little worried about Shasta in the cold because she doesn't have an undercoat down the middle of her back. I'm thinking about some kind of light weight covering for her. What do you think?