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Split custody affect on winter coats
11-16-2016, 02:36 PM,
Split custody affect on winter coats
My ex-wife and I have split custody of 2 golden retrievers. Half a week with her and half of the week with me. She leaves them inside the house most of the day and night since she works during the day. I am retired and work outside most days around my country home and the dogs are normally outside during the day with me. The problem now is that in the winter months averaging 50 degrees as a daytime high and 35 degrees low at night, the dogs were cold last winter when outside and wanted to spend all of their time huddled up in the outside dog house or inside my house. They used to sleep inside my house at night in the past but now I am making them sleep outside at night in hopes that it will build their winter coats. So far the Goldies are sleeping at night on my outside wood deck instead of sleeping in the dog house which has large pillows as well for them to huddle up on. And they do not  huddle up in the outside dog house during the day. Should I continue this tough love? Or just throw in the towel and let them be house dogs day and night as my ex-wife does with them? She was not agreeable to splitting them up one to me and went to her. It took $3,000 in lawyer fees just to reach this shared custody agreement. Ouch
11-17-2016, 12:15 PM,
RE: Split custody affect on winter coats
Personally, I would let them in at night. Not just because it's cold, but because dogs want to be near their owners. The fact they are near the deck to me suggests that they are trying as close as they can to stay nearby you, even if it's colder. In my experience, all the dogs (except the few independent breeds you can count on your hand out there) are not eager to be left alone they always want to stick with their family. During the day though they should be happy to follow you around in the garden.
11-17-2016, 03:54 PM,
RE: Split custody affect on winter coats
So far it would appear that they are becoming acclimatized from sleeping outside 4 nights a week since they prefer sleeping on the big open wood deck and the concrete patio at night instead of on large dog pillow beds I have placed on the wood deck in front of the sliding doors and concrete patio and inside their 4 foot by 6 foot dog house. They also sleep apart instead of huddling up next to each other.

For the record, it was my wife who would punish me by kenneling the dogs when she would travel instead of letting me have the dogs during her travels Smile These doggies are my only children and company and I miss not hearing their snoring next to my bed every night but at least they get to spend the evening indoors with me, as well as outside with me during the day. And so far this winter they are spending their daytime outside with me instead of huddling up in the doghouse during the day. They also are still getting into my swimming pool which is currently about 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The boy lays in the water on the swimming pool steps and the girl swims into the deep water of the pool.

Also for the record these two Goldie's are the fourth set of Golden's we have had over 35 year marriage and these are the first goldens we have allowed to sleep inside at night except for nights when the temperatures were below 32 degrees Fahrenheit freezing. We became as spoiled as our doggies when it comes to sleeping together inside and in retrospect it makes me sad that we missed that extra time that we could have had together with our previous Goldens.

Also for the record my ex-wife and I would leave the Goldens outside at night when we would travel for up to 2 weeks at a time at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The neighbors would feed the Goldies every morning for us. We lived on 20 acres in the country and the doggies were accustomed to being unfenced.

Yes I could let them start sleeping inside with me at night and lose their winter coat. But the trade-off would be that they would not be with me during the day and instead be huddled up in their dog house or inside my house instead of keeping me company outside during the day. They would be like couch potato children. Which goes back to a basic question of what is better for the children? Only us doggy lovers such as on this forum would be asking such a question Smile
11-18-2016, 12:00 PM,
RE: Split custody affect on winter coats
If I were in your shoes, having spent $3,000 for lawyer fees, I would want to spend as much time as possible for my furbabies, and that would include day and night. I don't see letting dogs sleep inside as spoiling, I see it as a normal part of dog ownership. All the dogs we had over the years were always inside with us and so are the dogs of many people I know. Dogs want to be with their families, and that's day and night. I am not sure why if you let them sleep inside they wouldn't want to be outside with you? All dogs I have owned always followed us outside when we were out in the yard, unless they were not feeling well, old or it was extremely cold. Being that retrievers have a heavy coat and after having spent the night inside with you, they should be eager to come out with you and enjoy the yard.

If for some reason they are hesitant, you can always entice them to spend time outdoors by playing with them and patting them and all great things. Most dogs get in the the routine and catch up quickly. So what's better for the doggies? I say listening to them... Do they seem eager to come and spend the evening with you? If so, they enjoy your company as much as you do. When you send them out to sleep outside do they seem reluctant to do so? If so, they rather be with you. Once out, do they stick by the door in hopes of you letting them in? Then they want to be with you.

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