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Discussion Starter #1
My question is, are there any GSD owners here that live in the hotter parts of the southwest?

I don't know if I posted this in the right section. I own a GSD in KY right now and he does fine with the weather here, but I am re-entering the military and have a choice of duty stations and my wife and I have really close friends in Arizona, but my wife is worried that the heat there would be way too much for Bison, my GSD, to handle. I've told her that plenty of people must own shepherds in AZ that do fine with some shade and water (and ours is inside more than outside anyway).

My question is, are there any GSD owners here that live in the hotter parts of the southwest? And if so, did the dog adapt to the summer weather pretty well?
 

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Good question!

I might be moving to AZ in 3 years with my 2 GSD's (at the time I will have 2) I'd like to know how people take care of their GSD's out there.
 

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First off, I'm new to the boards so hello :)

My husband and I live in Arizona and we just got our German Shepherd a little over a week ago (she's only 7 weeks). We planned on keeping her outdoors as that's how the breeder had all of her dogs, however, as soon as we got her home she was strictly indoors. I just couldn't stand leaving a little 6 week old puppy outdoors in the 115 degree weather! I know there are ways to keep them cool like misting systems, lots of shade, and play pools for them to lay in, but if we can train her to be a good, well behaved indoor dog, why put them through standing the heat?

Summers are brutal, but come September/October I'm sure she would be fine outside until summer comes again. But we will probably end up having her inside most of the time.

If you have your dog inside most of the time anyway, I'm sure it would be fine here as you could let it outside when the weather is cooler and keep it indoors when it's unbearably hot. But, as I said, the people we got our GSD from had her adult dogs and puppies outside with enough shade and water to keep them cool enough. Personally, I would feel more comfortable with ours inside.
 

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OMG the baileys, i'm very glad to hear you didnt leave a 7 week old pup outside in 115 degree heat. you would have had a dead puppy :( be careful with it in that heat!

you mentioned good ideas to keep the pup cool, but one so young should not be out there very long at all. 7 weeks is even a little early for the pup to leave the litter
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Without changing my own topic, Bison was 7 weeks when we got him and I wish we had waited 2 or 3 weeks to get him because his socialization SUCKS now! lol! Personally I would let him play with his litter mates as often as possible if your breeder lives nearby...this will pay off in the future with nipping and socializing.
 

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But seriously, will a shepherd in AZ will do pretty well? I plan to put up a small canopy for him, and buy one of those kiddy pools for him to play in (he has one now over at my dad's when we visit....he "attacks" the water, hilarious!)
 

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still plenty of time to socialize him, but it is good to start young...

i think you'll do fine with a GSD in AZ, but remember they get much hotter than we do and will get heat stroke much easier than you. I'd suggest little outdoor time in the heat of the day say 10 am to 4 pm i'd keep him mainly inside. he'll have to be an indoor dog...
 

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I'm currently living in Arizona (in the northern region). In the summer the temperature is still in the 90's to 100's. My dog personally hates the heat, during the afternoon if I want to take him out to go the bathroom I have to leash him as he will not go out willingly.

I do all of the excercising early in the morning and then before I go to bed at night to avoid the heat and humidity.

It works out fine for me and Blitz.
 

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My parents moved from the Blue Ridge Mountains of VA to Phoenix with an OES. In the summer, they took her out on early morning walks and late at night walks and a super quick potty trip or two in between. It really gets HOT there ... even with low humidity it's like walking in an oven.
 

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OMG the baileys, i'm very glad to hear you didnt leave a 7 week old pup outside in 115 degree heat. you would have had a dead puppy :( be careful with it in that heat!

you mentioned good ideas to keep the pup cool, but one so young should not be out there very long at all. 7 weeks is even a little early for the pup to leave the litter
We are very careful with her, especially since she's a white gsd and her pink skin is susceptible to sunburn. We go outside early in the morning before the heat of the day so she can run around and play and again in the evening when its cooling down. Otherwise we are strictly indoors except for quick potty breaks.

I know 7 weeks is early for a puppy to leave the litter but we didn't have much of a choice. We weren't really seeking out a breeder, we got her from a friend who bred her gsd's once and it kind of accidentally happened again :) my brother ended up getting a puppy from the same litter so we often meet for play dates which she loves! She also loves to play with my mom's maltese. We are working hard socialize her as much as possible now so there won't be any issues later. She's a great puppy so far!
 

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It's been in the mid 90s here in michigan for a week with HIGH humidity and my dogs do fine as long as they aren't outside too long.

Arizona should be a piece of cake.
 

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baileys,

good to know you're watching the heat. playdates with a littermate sound awesome!. enjoy your new bundle of joy
 

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Our breeder was in Acton, CA and they have similar climates...though not quite 115. Dogs do acclimate very quickly. I would keep my dogs indoors on hot days.
 

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I live in AZ with a GSD and a Sheltie Mix. When it's the hottest throughout the year (May-September-ish) we don't leave the house during the day, except for quick bathroom breaks in the yard. When it comes to walking them, it has to be done very early in the morning or late at night when the sun is coming up or going down, or you'll burn the pads on their feet. Also, as I'm sure you know if you're not a fool, you do not leave your dogs in the car during the summer months for any reason, they will die. Even if you think you're okay to go outside for a bit during the day (again, only during the summer months), you're wrong. Within ten minutes you'll feel the heat and know it was a bad idea. I don't see why adjusting would be a problem as long as you're smart about it. This place sucks...
 

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But seriously, will a shepherd in AZ will do pretty well? I plan to put up a small canopy for him, and buy one of those kiddy pools for him to play in (he has one now over at my dad's when we visit....he "attacks" the water, hilarious!)
I just read this post and want to add to my above post. Don't leave your dog outside during the summer months at all. Canopy, pool, water, mister, whatever...It will NOT alleviate the heat. It's absolutely ridiculous here. The only way to prevent heat stroke and dehydration is to keep your dog indoors, I'm serious. It's a lot hotter than you think here, leaving your dog out with those things won't be enough. I'm not trying to scare you, just warn you.
 

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We live in Southern Arizona where the temps are usually well above 100 degrees for several months each year. The breeder my dog came from is located here in addition to this being his permanent home. He is thriving in this environment.

I should add that I do keep him indoors most of the time and that I make it a point to be outdoors mostly when the weather is cooler. But we are sometimes out and about during the mid-day sun and he does well as long as there is always lots of shade and water available to him.
 

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Las Vegas here! AZ and NV are Mohave desert and the heat is unlike other parts of the country. Stick your head in an oven to test it out :)

We had and are about to have again a long standard coated GSD (long coat with the undercoat). Temperatures here get to 115-118 in the summer and it has not been a problem. Generally you want to keep them in during the summer heat, plus GSDs are pack oriented anyway. Even with a porch cover and a pool etc, it is stifling in the shade and I dont have to pant to stay cool.

We walked with her early morning and late evening, did car rides with AC. The hard heat is only for 2 months and if you have a pool it is great if you teach them to swim. Then rest of year is wonderful because you can work and go out all winter an both of you will be comfortable. Take water in the car whenever you have the dog as you never know when you need it. When it is really hot they are even major thirsty when leaving a building or vets office.

Watch the pavement and the pads!!! Even if the sun is set the concrete can be killer, as well as the rock yards. Feel it with your hand you will see. In summer we take ours to a park with grass and trees and do NO pavement walking without ensuring the pavement has cooled down sufficiently.

Of course watch out for bark scorpions, prevelent in AZ and NV (the y originate in AZ). Their sting is not good and requires a trip to the vet for a shot and meds. The scorps come out at about dusk till early morning From late March through Early September
 

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Without changing my own topic, Bison was 7 weeks when we got him and I wish we had waited 2 or 3 weeks to get him because his socialization SUCKS now! lol! Personally I would let him play with his litter mates as often as possible if your breeder lives nearby...this will pay off in the future with nipping and socializing.
8 weeks is not a problem if the breeder has worked hard and properly with the litter, which means doing more than leaving them in a pile to do what they want. Ours is out in day yard every day with humans and the older GSDs, toys, baby pools, car rides etc. I have seen 12 week olds that were social train wrecks also. I really think it is breeder dependent
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I just read this post and want to add to my above post. Don't leave your dog outside during the summer months at all. Canopy, pool, water, mister, whatever...It will NOT alleviate the heat. It's absolutely ridiculous here. The only way to prevent heat stroke and dehydration is to keep your dog indoors, I'm serious. It's a lot hotter than you think here, leaving your dog out with those things won't be enough. I'm not trying to scare you, just warn you.
Trust me I know how hot it is there, I was stationed in 29 Palms Ca and made frequent trips to Casa Grande AZ...I know at the hottest time of day a shepherd (in grass mind you) can spend a good 10-15 minutes getting fresh air, as long as it is supervised and with moderate shade and water. I never planned on leaving Bison out by himself in the heat of day, that would be ridiculous
I was just wondering if any other people had any "watch out for this" kind of experiences to pass on. Thanks for all the advice everyone!
 

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Just keep an eye on your dog. I live in a pretty hot place and I've spent a good bit of time in Arizona. Morning and Evenings are of course better times to go outside and you've still got their version of Winter which is filled with plenty of days you can go outside with your dog. There is nothing wrong with short walks or taking breaks inside to get cool. Just be mindful of your dogs limits. Far as things to watch out for.. There are a few deadly creatures you don't want your dog messing with so try to keep a close eye out for them. (Snakes etc.)
 
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