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Let’s Talk: Do Your Dogs Like Cold Weather? Canine Behavior Explained

Written by: Dogster Team

Last Updated on February 9, 2024 by Nicole Cosgrove

schnauzer dog standing in winter snowy forest

Let’s Talk: Do Your Dogs Like Cold Weather? Canine Behavior Explained

It’s that time of year to bring the sweatshirts, jeans, jackets, gloves, and hats to the front of the closet. Even here in the South, the temperatures have dipped down to where my thin, acclimatized blood feels the chill. The autumn leaves have almost all fallen from the trees, and the grass has gone dormant. The squirrels scurry around collecting the last of the acorns from the trees. Every living creature seems to know that winter is around the corner, and they don’t want any part of the cold weather. Well, every living creature except our two Schnauzers. Dusty and Kramer love the colder weather.

Morning arrives way too early for my wife Kim and me. Our 7:30 a.m. wake-up call, better known as our Schnauzer Dusty, has already tapped on the front of her crate. After a couple of shimmy shakes of her body to get our attention, she is ready to go. Kim and I are definitely not morning people, especially when it’s still dark outside in the winter months. As we slowly adjust our bodies and make our way out of bed, we head for the closet. Instead of the t-shirt and shorts that we wear on most mornings, we now have to layer ourselves with clothes. We know what awaits us when we walk out the back door and into our backyard with our dogs. Cold wind and colder temperatures are waiting to greet us, and we are not happy about it.

As we make our way outside, our dogs seem more anxious than ever. Yes, they had to wait a little longer while we got dressed. But that’s not the reason they’re more anxious. They’re more anxious because of the wind and colder weather. They can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the cold. Their need to explore every corner of their big backyard is intensified this time of year. Perhaps it’s from all the changes in the grass and trees. Perhaps the smells are more intriguing. The extra number of squirrels in the trees and yard are definitely an added perk. However, their all-time favorite is the cold wind blowing. As Kim and I tuck our heads deeply into our jackets, the dogs lift their heads high. The combination of howling wind and crisp cold air seems to make them that much happier. They can’t get enough of it. No matter how many times we ask them to do their business so we can get back inside, our requests are useless. We try to entice them by letting them know that their breakfast awaits them inside the house. Our attempts are a complete failure because nothing can beat being outside on a cold and windy day for them.

You would think they’d avoid the outside when it’s colder. They really don’t have a thick coat to keep them warm. We keep them groomed in a traditional Schnauzer cut year round. Their fur is shaved close on their heads, back, and rear. They do have a long skirt but it is kept thin. Their long hair on their muzzles is long but thin. On windy days, the hair around their nose and face flies up like a man’s mustache being blown by a high-velocity fan. Yet they stay outside in the cold as long as possible. Of course we know not to let them stay out too long because they, like us, can’t stay outside in below-freezing temperatures too long without their coats on.

Don’t get me wrong, they love being outdoors, period. Because it’s warm in the South most of the year, they often will sunbathe in their big backyard. They love to explore and smell the new flowers and plants in the warmer months as well. However, nothing seems to beat the colder weather for them. At least it lasts only a few months in this region. I hope I didn’t jinx anything by making that statement. Where are my long johns and wooly mittens?

Do your dogs like colder weather? If so, how do they show it? If not, where do they prefer to be? Share your stories and pictures in the comments.

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Featured Image Credit: Glikiri, Shutterstock


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