“It’s cruel to walk your dog in [this -20°C windchill]!”

@papajoefreeman I have two husky mixes. It hit -49 with the windchill here this week. About 10 minutes outside was the max before my girl's feet got cold. But then they wanted back outside like 20 minutes later. I, on the other hand had pretty much just finished taking off my layers, so they had to wait. People don't understand that northern breeds are bred for this weather, as long as you keep an eye on their foot pads, nose and ears, they can spend more time outside than most.
@monroe27 Right. Mine decided to take a knee-deep dip in the nearby river (although it was warmer then, albeit still below freezing), and he was still rearing to go walk the rest of the park, and argued with me when we got back to the car.
@papajoefreeman Hah. Yeah. I have had to carry both of them into the house this week. One is 50lbs the other 65lbs. Their feet start to get cold, but they still want to party. Pick up the little one first, if the big one doesn't follow, go pick her up too.
@monroe27 I have a black lab/GSD/husky mix and he also loves the cold! This is his first winter. How can I tell if his feet get too cold? Discoloration? Or will he seem like he's trying to get his feet off the ground? Just trying to figure out what the signs are for too much cold exposure.
@dubs2010 Mine start to lift their paws ever so slightly. As soon as I see the first paw start to lift, I bring them inside, then check all of the paws. I also use paw balm, so it protects them a little bit. We tried boots, but it only gets cold enough for them to need them for about a week or two, and they both hate them.
It can take a while for their undercoat to fully come in, so they might get colder faster. Best bet is to keep it to quick 5-10 minutes outside. Training a "potty" cue was the best thing we did. When it's super cold we take them out and ask them to "potty" then we're back inside. Lots of extra enrichment on those days.
@grimsun We have Musher's Secret and also the Fou Fou protect stick. The Musher's Secret lasts a little longer, but the stick is easier to apply - at least that's what I think.
@monroe27 What kind of enrichment do you use? We are in a negative temperature pattern that is seemingly never-ending and my poor puppy is so bored without our daily walks and weekends in the woods.
@robertlewis We do tons of enrichment around their meals. We use slow feeders, treat puzzles, food dispensing toys, we hand feed (and use that as a training session), we scatter feed, and also freeze their food with a little water in the slow feeders (that occupies them for almost an hour). We also stuff kongs and likimats with peanut butter, unsweetened apple sauce, mashed banana and plain yogurt. We fold the ends over empty toilet rolls and stuff treats inside. If you do a lot of food enrichment just make sure they are not getting too many calories. Treats and whatnot should only be about 10% of their daily calories. That said, I feel like our girls are almost always consuming something and they are both at the ideal weight and body condition. We have water buffalo and sheep horns, gorilla chews, and rubber chews (we call all of those "bones"). We give them junk mail and cardboard to shred (just make sure there's nothing dangerous in/on it). They have rope toys, balls and stuffies as well, and we have trained them each with a word (rope, ball and toy - keeps it easy for us to remember lol), we ask them what they want to play with. We are also working on scent training (I'm using some of my old cat treats for that - will move over to birch oil when I can find some). We found recall training was great on cold days too. My husband would be in one room, and I would be at the opposite end of the house, we both had treats and would call them over one at a time - it was much easier with one dog - so we crate and rotate them for that now. Anything that gets the brain going works well. 10 minutes of mental stimulation equals about 45 minutes of exercise. You can also work on training a "relax" cue. We give them things to chew when we need them to relax.
@dubs2010 I imagine that it varies from dog to dog, but our jack Russell Cross will try to jump up to ask to be picked up if she gets too cold. Although I generally like to get her back inside before this point as normally her entire leg will be cold to the touch by this point (she loves the snow!). I imagine for a larger dog they would seem like they are trying to keep their feet off the ground. Shivering would also be a good indicator unless looking at a reactive trigger.
@papajoefreeman Oh lord that dog was bred specifically for that type of weather. It's everything in his DNA makeup to love the cold and not be bothered by it. Cold is his reason for living!! Gorgeous pup by the way. Love the markings!
@papajoefreeman People have been telling me this as I run my Labrador in the rain. A woman getting out of her car said I'm just plain cruel. I wanted to tell her I can't get the dang dog to come back inside when it's raining fucking thing loves water more than food.
@kampioen Thats ridiculous! First off labs are water doggos anyway lol

I live in Wales where it pretty much rains constantly. If I dont walk my german shepard in the rain then she would never be walked
@kampioen Haha, I live in the land of rain! If I didn't walk my dog in rain, he wouldn't get many walks between October and May!

I also don't feel sorry for using the hose on his legs when we get home, if needed. If the mud puddle water isn't too cold to lay down in, then the hose water shouldn't be too cold for a fast rinse.
@eront Quite! Before him, I could just...not go outside at this temperature, but I know he needs his exercise still, so I had to go out and buy some better gloves and a warmer hat and stuff so I could be comfortable. He’s thrilled with this.

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