Winter outdoor playtime

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juno2011's picture
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Hi everyone, I have a question about playtime in the winter in northern Michigan, it gets very cold up here. I was wondering what the length of time outside would be without my doby freezing, just an in and out thing? Can i still take him for walks? Should i get him a sweater? This is our first doby, we got him in July, so this is his first winter. Any suggestions?

Young_Titus's picture
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I am in Virginia and even concerned about the winter myself because I know dobe's don't have a coat that is made for that. So I want to know as well. 

juno I was definitely considering a sweater, but then my Titus is still only 9 weeks old. He may chew right through it lol!

Lady Kate's picture
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Absolutely get a coat. Dobes are susceptable to cold weather and they feel the chill much more than other  breeds. You can find a HUGE selection of 'outer-wear' at PetSmart, or even on line. Sofia has a pretty all weather jacket with a flannel lining that she can wear in the rain and or cold.. ( and even though it rarey drops below 60 here in Baja... she does get chilled.)

Here's a picture of the Diva in her 'everyday' sweater'.

P.S. Don't forget a snuggly blanket at night..

 

" Hey Mom, does this dress make my butt look big?"

Sir-Phin's picture
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I plan on getting Phin a coat and booties (if he'll keep those on) for days that walks are possible in our Northwestern Ontario winter weather, however I have gotten him trained to use our treadmill for days that are too cold to even consider doing anything more than a quick potty outside.

Here's a link to an excellent video on how to get your dog on a treadmill, we had Phin going very quickly.

http://youtu.be/W1AIdeSEo5w

HarleyBear's picture
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It doesn't get too too cold out here in Northern California, but it does rain.  It rained for the last week or so, so I went out and bought a little jacket for Harley.  I am a big fan of the ruffwear stuff, so I bought him the jacket (see below link).  They have great stuff for snowy areas too.

http://www.ruffwear.com/K9?sc=2&category=12

I also tried to get him to wrap up in a blanket at night, but he won't do it.  I wake up in the morning and he is in a little ball shivering on his bed.    The coldest it gets here is maybe 35-45 degrees at night in the middle of winter.  I may have to get him a sweater just so he can sleep in it like PJ's... oh boy I can hear the mocking now coming from my friends and family.  They already tell me that in their next life they want to come back as one of my dogs....LOL.

HarleyBear's picture
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Also Juno2011, like SirPhin said, I would consider getting botties if you plan on being outside in the snow for a walk.  Don't want those little feet getting frostbite!

DobieWanKenobi's picture
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My dog's a dog. She has a ready made coat. When she's in the back yard, she won't be there for long, and when we're walking, she'll be keeping warm naturally. Even in very cold temperatures, I don't think a dog with fur needs a coat. Mine won't run while wearing one, so it was a waste of £15 UKP (The equivalent of $30 USD I think).

 

But I've never had a very young puppy when it's winter, so they've never worn a coat apart from when they're older, and never used to it. The same as my JRT's. Clothes are for people.

 

Mine have never been phased by the weather, anyway...

jeshykai's picture
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Bundle him up and if you think it's too cold for you - your face is frozen, your hands are numb - it's too cold for the dog to be outside.  I think that's a good rule of thumb.  I took Steve to the snow only once, but I had the jacket ready.  It ended up being a sunny day (I live in California too) and I ended up being comfortable in just jeans and a long sleeve so he was fine without his jacket and really loved to bounce through the snow.  But had it been subzero temperatures my butt wouldn't have been outside so neither would his.

I'd just be prepared to find some indoor stuff to do with him on the really bad winter days.  And a coat for pottying outside.  I think Phin's treadmill is a wonderful idea.

And Lilian - Steve never liked the blanket either.  He insists on sleeping naked.  His choice, I guess!

juno2011's picture
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Thank you all for your replies, looks like i will be getting him a sweater :) I just hope he don't chew it to shreds. I just didn't wanna take him for a walk, and get halfway there and him shivering so bad that he wounln't continue, cause he's getting too heavy to carry.

Lady Kate's picture
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Touch his ears... see if they're cold. That's the barometer I use with Sofia.. her coat is quite thin ( it's a fawn thing) and I've asked her " Are you cold?" and she will shiver.. that's when I:

rgreen4's picture
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I live in S. Georgia, so my hot house lillies are more concerned with the A/C in the summer than the cold outside in late fall. (We typically only have 2 days of winter).

Several of our members have posted pictures of their Dobes with jackets on. 

KevinK's picture
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Get a sweater or jacket, and see how it goes.  Trust me, if your dobe is cold, you will know!  Be careful with the walks, especially if they spread gravel or salt on the road, they don't feel good on a cold paw.  We don't do too many long walks in winter, but Dakota loves the snow.

HarleyBear's picture
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Okay, this video will be your "aawwww" moment for the day!

http://teddyhilton.com/2011-10-07-worlds-cutest-dog-gets-cozy

sweetpea's picture
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I just play it by ear depending on the temperature, wind, and whether or not the sun is shining.  How old is Juno?  For puppies especially it's good to have a sweater or coat on hand.  Don't buy an expensive one because a) he will grow out of it and b) it will probably be semi or fully destroyed by April.  Just sayin! ;) 

If it's fairly mild out, say between 0 and -10 celcius,  You probably won't need the sweater for pee trips or for playing outside.  All the moving keeps them warm.  Walks are a bit slower pace usually, so I would put it on if you think he is getting cold.  Just use your best judgement. 

If it's between -10 and -20, definitely put on the sweater or coat and keep the walks a bit shorter.  Anything colder than -20 and I usually skip the walks all together.  That's too cold for me, let alone Dakota!

One thing to keep in mind is that Dobermans don't have a thick undercoat or winter coat like other breeds do.  What fur they have is the equivilant of a t shirt and cotton pants, to us.  So if the weather is such that you could run around outside and stay warm in that outfit, so can he.  If you would be freezing your @$$ off in 5 minutes, chances are he would too.

And just had to add a few photos from last year - this coat was demoed by the end of winter: 

So Stylish!  lol

 

sweetpea's picture
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I forgot to mention, I live in South-western Ontario.  Our winters are very similar to Michigan's. 

juno2011's picture
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He will be 6 months old next sunday, my how time flies! We have a fenced in backyard that he loves to play in, and he insists we go out with him everytime, even just to go potty.

DobieWanKenobi's picture
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sweatpea, the floppy ears had me thinking you were an Englander.

sweetpea's picture
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Nope, Canadian :) 

Dabbles's picture
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Like Katie, I check Brinks & MiLady's ears.  Living in N Georgia we have a bit more winter than Rgreen (thankfully he hasn't "totally" broken his promise to Princess!).  But not as much as you northerners!

If I'm taking them out to play in the snow, I don't usually have them wear a jacket or sweater because they're running around & enjoying themselves.  Plus, I'll break it up into 15-20 minute sessions, coming inside to check paws & legs in the warmth.

 

When walking, if it's going to be a long one, I might put a turtleneck on them...  depends on the weather since neither of them like to stay under an umbrella  :-)

I found out before & after Brinks' surgery that if you go buy a couple of men's turtlenecks at the thrift store, cut off some of the arms & bunch the excess (I usually knot it like a t-shirt or use a rubber band if they're really rambunctious) it's a really cheap way to keep them warm in the winter.

This was spring/summer (April) so the arms were cut shorter than I would in winter...  Pic was taken after his surgery & I had to keep both areas covered so Lady wouldn't keep licking them.

Both of mine are burrowers - if the temp is lower than 60, they start looking for their blankets!

I guess the determining factor will be your pups attitude toward cold weather & what you want to do...

Good luck! 

rgreen4's picture
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Juno2011 - the reference to my "promise" was when I picked Princess up in SE Michigan in Jan, 2009 as a 9 week old, I promised to take her away from the ice and snow. In Feb, 2010, we had about 1.2" of snow for the first time in almost 20 years. Princess had to go outside or we would not have known, as it was slushy rather than crisp.

Q Tip's picture
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Great pics...my dog would rather hold on all night than go out for his last pee if its cold. He also burrows deep under the blankets, we rarely get a frost but he still feels the cold. Yay for summer

Lady Kate's picture
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HarleyBear ( Is it Lillian??) Love the vid of the lab and his blankie.. how adorable, thanks for posting.

Marts.. Brinks looked so dapper in his t-neck.. that's really a good idea< I'm goign to dig out one of Mike's..

Wonderful picture of Thing 1 and Thing 2 in the snow. It's like Brinks is running for a touchdown.They do have fun don't they! Is that Lady or Brinks burrowed under the blanket? Not sure who it is .. Looks like Brinks' Doberpaws, but Milady's sweet look.

And S'pea.. Look at Dakota in her hot pink argyle. wow.. what a fashion statement. I can see how she outgrew that red jacket pretty quickly. She is gorgeous!

Love all the pictures of our kids.. there's never enough...

smooches to the pooches

HarleyBear's picture
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Yup, it's Lilian!

I am loving these pictures!  What a cozy snowy blanket La Diva gets to cozy up in!  And I love the T-shirt idea.  Kevin has some old t's that I am sure he won't notice go missing... hehe...

I would love to take Harley to see the snow.  I have rarely seen it myself.  It can be a new experience for the both of us. I can see it now, both of us making snow/dober angels.....

Lady Kate's picture
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 Yeah Lilian, Sofia does love that afghan!!

Now what a co-incindence.. Our 'other' Kevin has a Dakota too..

Can't wait to hear about the play date Dakota and Steve will have soon... don't forget your camera!! THAT will be amazing! 

blue4's picture
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Great pictures!  I've been shopping for Reesie some winter wear...got some great ideas!!

Dobermans are a single coated breed and do not do well in extreme temperatures - hot or cold.  If they are going to be out in very cold temps for longer than just a few minutes, they should have a coat on.  I like Fido fleece as it covers their very thinly coated chest and partial belly. 

Here are my guys in fido fleeces. Size 26 fits a normal sized girl and smallish boy - a big boy will need a 28. 

 

 

 

Happydance's picture
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Great fleeces and they look very cute! (But none of them look too happy LOL). 

Dabbles's picture
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Fitzmar, I love those fleeces!!!!  Where do you get them?  Do they have larger that a 28?  Brinks is a VERY big boy (30.5" at the withers & a 39" girth) and since he "grew into his feet" I haven't found anything commercially made that will fit him.

(For those who are looking at this site but don't know Brinks - NO he is NOT a "warlock" or "king" doberman!  He is a doberman who is totally out of standard & I watch him very carefully for joint problems, spinal problems, etc.)

MiLady, however, should fit very nicely into a size 26

KT - It's MiLady under the blanket.  She is usually the first to want one.

jeshykai's picture
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Lilian it is worth the drive to Tahoe in winter to take the dogs.. trust me, Harley will love the adventure!!

But he much prefers sunny summer..

Sir-Phin's picture
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I found the fleece on here http://store.kooldawgtees.com/fifldogco.html

I really want the Inkheart one for Phin!

talisin's picture
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Any dog that is low on body fat - whippets, greyhounds, dobermans, weimeraners, etc. or the little dogs - chihuahuas, min pins, poodles, chinese cresteds etc.  need to be kept warm with a jacket of some sort. Body fat helps to keep all of us warm and dogs that don't have much body fat to displace the cold really do need us to fill that void with something warm; and ice forms between the toes and makes the feet ache and can cause frost bite quickly since the ice just sits there freezing the toes. I know when my hip broke and I was living with parents for 24/7 care it came a horrible snow storm and nothing was moving it was almost blizzard like, my parents home was 2 1/2 miles from mine and my husband and collie were at our home and I was at parents and it was obviously going to be weeks before we got free of the snow so hubby began walking to my parents with the collie and he noticed Levi slowing down looked at his feet and saw all the ice packed in his fuzzy feet and ended up draping him over his shoulders like a lamb and walked the other 2 miles that way to me. I swore then that I would never believe that dogs were tough and could do anything, even though that collie would have walked until his feet froze off to get to me, he should not be expected to.  Anyway, don't make your dog shiver just so you don't have to buy "clothes" for them. My whippet loved his sweaters and would actually pick what he wanted to wear, he had 3 sweaters and 2 fleece jackets and I would hold them up one at a time and he would wait until the one he wanted to wear was held out and then he would nudge it and try to slip his head into it and I knew that was the one for that day. Some dogs just won't wear them though - the chihuahua would rather shiver and shake than wear a jacket I even tried a simple design that was just a back protector with the neck and belly strap - nope he just gets stiff and refuses to walk anywhere, he truly considers it a punishment. Hypothermia can happen to all animals be safe when its really cold, dogs don't always tell us when they need things, they will tough it out for us so just be aware of what your dog needs.

KevinK's picture
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Here's Dakota running in the snow, her favorite winter activity!  She won't really go out without her jacket for too long, but with it she'll stay a while.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZuSrP9cHhs

there are several places that carry Fido fleece and if you really shop you can find some good deals. 

I know for Dobermans that a smallish girl will wear a 24. I bigger girl or smaller boy will wear a 26, a big boy will wear a 28.... and the 30 is for huge dogs!

 

Harvard is not a tall boy as he is only about 27" at the withers, but he is pretty buff with large bone and weighs about 88 lbs - the 28" is almost large on him. My girls could probably both fit in a 24" if needed and they are both about 25 1/2" at the withers about close to 70 pounds - Louise is about 68 lbs. 

They actually love their fido fleeces because it means they get to go outside to play for awhile and not just a quick potty break!

Lady Kate's picture
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These are wonderful pictures

Mary, your kids are wonderful; albeit not too proud of their new ensembles..but they'll be happy to have them outside. Is that Velma in the snow.?. I love Velma.. she is absolutely the best ambassador to the breed.

Jess. Just look at that Steve.. what a great guy he has grown up to be.. I love his gangly  pupper look... he's filled out now.. and it awesome!

OOOOooo Dakota you have so much fun..Now you see her, now you don't.. Whoops there she is snowplowing on the other side of the house.. Wow Kevin, she is sooo fast!! love your vids!

Thanks all for posting.. Just can't get enough pictures!

DJ&#039;s Dad's picture
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I have jackets and coats for Ziva that we use in the winter.  We live in central Indiana, and we get more than our share of temps in the teens and below, and up to two feet of snow between December and February.  Ziva's fur is extremely short, and she has little body fat, so she chills easily when it gets that cold out. She loves playing in the snow, but it leaves her wet and cold if she doesnt have something to hold in her body heat.  She doesnt care for sweaters---wants to chew them off, but she's ok with dog coats.  I also dont keep her out in the cold for more than 15 minutes at a time.  Their feet can get frostbitten in extreme temps, and we usually have a coating of ice on the ground under the snow.  She wont allow booties on her feet---so we just go outside, run around and I throw snowballs for her to catch, she tracks any kind of squirrel or rabbit that has left footprints in the snow for a short time, then we come back inside and dry off and she gets really snuggly under a big thick comforter.

Lady Kate's picture
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Paul... Do her jackets match her collars?? LOL

Lady Kate - that is Harvard in the snow - He was only Just 1 year old in that picture  :)

Lady Kate's picture
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He is stunning.. I've seen his pictures on DT, but couldn't tell which one he was in his fleece.. Shudda known.. it's BLUE!! LOL

.. All your dogs are spectacular.. !!

Sir-Phin's picture
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I just picked up a pattern to make Sherpa dog jackets for Phin, should be super easy to make.

dukey_bear's picture
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I Live in Northern Canada.... gets to be about -14 to -40 C down here and winter tends to last about 6 months. Duke LOVES the snow!! can't get him inside the house half the time. I would suggest if your walking only about ten mins, but if they are running there bodies keep them warm. when they start to slow down or stop take them inside. Usually for duke if it only -18 or higher then he outside for a good 45 mins to 1 1/2 hours. -20 to -40 usually about 10-30 mins. Make sure you wash the salt off the paws afterwards so they dont split thou.... I never had any issues. Guess it depends what they are used to as well....

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wow great coats!! i know my dogs...two chihuahuas and my doberman all get freezing cold outside!! we live in the britsh columbia interior:)  my chis have perfect little coats that keep them cozy and warm! and funny thing i found a horse blanket from when i worked on a breeding farm that we had specialy made for a premature foal that i think will fit my dobe when hes all grown up:D i cannot wait to find out if itll fit lol! anyway for now hes been wearing the chi coats but hes double their size now soooooooo ive been putting on my kids long sleeved shirts with the knot or elastic to keep them on:D 

thanks for sharing your pics everyone! 

 

mel