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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2006
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    USA
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    Default Rhodesian Ridgebacks-or thin coat dogs-in winter

    So, love all the old threads I found doing a search on the breed, but didn't see one concerning Ridgebacks and cold weather.

    I have a young RR who is the bomb. He and my mixed RR/lab are my best hiking/barn buddies and are currently holding down the couch and spare armchair as I write this post.

    I spent a year out west w/ my mix RR/lab (The Rockies) but missed the absolute worst months-Jan.Feb.March. I never really put boots on my mixed breed as he seemed to handle the trails in the snow just fine (tried to put boots on him when it got down to the single digits but he didn't like them at all!) and except for the coldest night walks (late December, 6 degree-ish, etc. not too bad of a snow covering) he didn't care much for his horse-style blanket either.

    Now my purebred RR, he gets cold easily and I was wondering how those of you w/ RRs in the Rockies or other areas with very cold winters kept your dogs comfortable while staying active outdoors?

    Also, how do you keep a Ridgie active in the really bad snow storms, etc? Is there indoor coursing? I haven't done it b/c he's just now a year and four months (I've had him a year) and we've spent this time in the south, with a completely reasonable and easy winter! He gets lots of time on the trails and/or at the barn so it wasn't a problem keeping him content this past winter. Now that I'm starting to look at grad schools-a year or so off, but getting started on research-I'd really like to head back out west for good. But I worry about my youngest child. ha Someone in Colorado has RRs and posts here...if you (sorry, can't recall poster's name!) have info to share, please do!

    Since I missed those really bad months...can someone give me a primer on Ridiculously Cold Winter Weather Dog Care 101? Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
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    10,423

    Default

    Congrats on your new guy!

    We had a whippet for 15 years and while we don't live in the Rockies, eastern Kansas gets it share of cold winter weather with ice and snow. The whippet had jackets from the company Bunnyrun which catered to sighthounds and those were terrific products. Between those and his kid's bed, he wintered as if he was on the beach in Key West.

    As far as activity, maybe we were lucky but our guy was content on the coldest days to go out and do horse chores with me then scamper back inside and burrow. We never messed with booties because he wasnt' interested in staying out any longer than neccesary during the nasty days.

    Good luck!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2004
    Posts
    2,844

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    I live in Massachusetts, it gets pretty cold here too. I've had four RR's over the years. They've all done alright with the snow, but are always pretty happy to get back inside too. They are definitely creatures of comfort. They've been fine naked (lol) during horse chores in pretty much all temps. Trail rides and outside work.. fine as long as it's 30's or above and not windy. Mine used to go to work with my husband every day (he's a contractor), in the winter they would sometimes get cold hanging out on the site or in the truck, so we bought a dog blanket, which did the trick.
    "You can't blame other people. You can't always say what happened wasn't my fault, and you know what? Even if you have an excuse, shut up. "Bruce Davidson Sr.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
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    5,833

    Default

    Well, I don't have RR's but have two dobies and the thinner coated female is miserable in the winter. The male seems indifferent. They both hate rain, btw.

    She has a sweater, that doesn't fit her massive chest and therefore doesn't get used, and a couple coats. Honestly, the times you want to mess with a coat, like going for a walk, she would be fine without, due to movement. Neither has any desire to be outside at all on the nasty days.

    It is during the day when the thermostat goes a bit lower that she shivers. I have to up her food to over 4 cups as she drops weight. I leave her lots of blankets to curl up in (and unfortunately chew).

    She and I both hate winter.
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2006
    Location
    Plainview, MN
    Posts
    3,556

    Default

    RaDon makes beautiful custom dog blankets, they have you take many measurements and each blanket is made invidual for that dog http://www.radoninc.com/apparel9.htm And being horse blanket style I find them a lot easier to put on a dog than dog coats that require you contorting your poor dog to get them on the beastie!

    We had a girl who did chorse who would bring her Great Dane to the barn with her and let him run in the indoor arena while she watered the ring (so no horses in the ring) perhaps you can find someplace to make something like that work?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
    Location
    Center of the Universe
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    no RR, but had a skinny, thin-coated Great Dane. He had an extensive wardrobe since he'd start shivering if it dropped below 60 degrees. The cold weather never stopped us; in snow I'd don snow shoes and off we'd go. I tried a number of different kinds of booties on the Dane and they all sucked and he didn't really seem to get cold feet if he had a good coat on his body, so we gave up on that.
    I know some people who run RR's in agility and there are lots of indoor, heated agility training centers around (at least around here...) that's a good way to exercise and entertain any dog.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2008
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    1,554

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    I have a Dobie too. In cold, wet, windy weather he can get pretty miserable. He has no body fat and the hair of a mole, so he gets cold when he's not moving around. He has a Horsewares Newmarket blanket that fits his deep chest and narrow middle, and he seems to like it. The stripes and bright colors look snazzy against his black shiny coat.

    It does kinda blow his tough Doberman cover, though!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 9, 2009
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    The Frozen Tundra
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    Quote Originally Posted by lesson junkie View Post
    I have a Dobie too. In cold, wet, windy weather he can get pretty miserable. He has no body fat and the hair of a mole, so he gets cold when he's not moving around. He has a Horsewares Newmarket blanket that fits his deep chest and narrow middle, and he seems to like it. The stripes and bright colors look snazzy against his black shiny coat.

    It does kinda blow his tough Doberman cover, though!
    We must have related Dobies

    Mine gets so cold in the winter, he runs and hides when I open the door. He wears a Weatherbeeta dog blanket outside (it is black with gray trim, I figured it was the least offensive option). For indoors he has a purple fleece one, only wearing it when there are no witnesses to his shame.

    We also don't mess around with booties.
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2006
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    USA
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    Thanks for the feedback!

    Indoor lure coursing...exactly what I was wondering about! Excellent!

    My RR is a wimp of capital order. He is a Mama's Boy big time. Yesterday it was raining buckets-warm rain-and he wouldn't go out in it no matter how much his bladder must have been bursting. When it cleared for a fifteen minute break we leapt out and he peed immediately, then ran back inside.

    I will look into all the suggestions and appreciate the feedback!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 20, 2008
    Posts
    642

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    My parents have a RR mix. She lives just outside of Buffalo and seems to do fine with the cold for short periods. (ie, to potty outside)

    Now, Koozie did have a run in with some frostbite. A tale which ended with her being plucked from the ice flow on Lake Erie via the sheriff's helicopter not once, but twice. That said, she recovered just fine.

    http://www.wkbw.com/news/local/87887952.html

    If I were taking their RR out in the could I would for sure start with the boots and the coat. You could always take them off if they were not needed.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2007
    Posts
    347

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    We have a mixed breed dog that our vet feels has RR in her blood. She's very thin, not an ounce of bodyfat for warmth and she has a super thin coat to boot. Our northern NE winters are cold and snowy yet she wants to be outdoors all day long... shivering and shaking but go inside? no way! We've been trying all types of coats but her body type is similar to a sighthound so I may be trying coats for those dogs this winter for a good fit.

    For exercise she loves to play fetch six times a day. Its a good thing we work from home and are able to keep up with her play needs LOL. It keeps her fit and very muscular. During the winter we lose the balls in the snow so we switch to those fabric frisbees called Flying Squirrels (orange and blue thingies). They are great because they skip along the top of snow and ice and she just goes crazy chasing them.

    Last, look into Fly Ball for your dog. Check out youtube videos to see what its all about. We don't do it because the closest one is an hour away but the dogs sure do seem to love it.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2006
    Location
    Port Perry Ontario - formerly Prodomus
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    2,364

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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    no RR, but had a skinny, thin-coated Great Dane. He had an extensive wardrobe since he'd start shivering if it dropped below 60 degrees. The cold weather never stopped us; in snow I'd don snow shoes and off we'd go. I tried a number of different kinds of booties on the Dane and they all sucked and he didn't really seem to get cold feet if he had a good coat on his body, so we gave up on that.
    I know some people who run RR's in agility and there are lots of indoor, heated agility training centers around (at least around here...) that's a good way to exercise and entertain any dog.
    We have a 6 month old gd - he is such a baby - already got two blankets and a sweater for him - my mom is making him a barn blanket - copying the really nice blanket I got him so he can get it dirty. He won't even go outside if it is raining to pee or pooh - i have to take him out to the barn and he will go in the arena or a stall - sometimes he will go pee in the garage -

    Talk about a baby - hates getting wet.

    There are some pics of him if you want to see at www.prospectequinefarms.com/gallery.htm



  13. #13
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    Aug. 3, 2006
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    USA
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    Default

    Unfortunately he's very Rhodesian in that...well, he thinks fetch is quite the bore. He comes, stays, heels, and lays down and that's pretty golden as I understand from other RR owners. But fetch? I can throw something and he will only pick it up if my other dog runs with him to get it.

    However, I hear ya about being able to work w/ your dog's schedule! I laugh out loud at sites that recommend RRs get "three walks a walk at least". Where are those RRs?? Mine spends 2 hours on the trails every day. 1st hour is early in the am b/4 my classes, two potty break 15-20 min walks during the day between classes/lunch time, and the 2nd hour trail is in the evening. And today he was pretty playful despite nearly 3 solid hours on the trails-I told him to get on the couch and get over it!

    However, I can REALLY see him excelling at some kind of lure chasing. He can flat out haul ass and for all his length and leg he handles turns pretty darn well.

    I'll look into the sight hound fitted coats...interesting point.



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