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 Winter Coat

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Vetsky
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PostSubject: Winter Coat   Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:01 am

Warning. Newbie husky questions.

When I woke up this morning and took Riley out for a walk it was hot and humid. It got me thinking about how miserable it will be to walk her during the cold winter months here in Montreal. It also got me thinking that I should start getting some warm weather gear for my self.

Riley is about 12 weeks old and has her puppy coat. Will her coat thicken drink the winter months? Do huskies get a winter and summer coat? I have read that some dogs "blow" their coat twice a year usually around spring and fall. What does this mean? Do puppies do this was well? She would be about 5 months old when it starts getting cold here.

I'm wondering if I would need to get Riley some cold weather gear as well.

Thanks!
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MiyasMomma
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Location : west Texas

PostSubject: Re: Winter Coat   Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:33 am

They blow coat twice a year, Miya is a sleeker coat than many, so her blow coat in the fall is minimal. Miya had a blow coat last fall, she was about 9 months, it came in thicker to protect her from the colder elements. I would guess that Riley wll blow coat and expect her to resemble a more adult final version of Riley, she may look totally different. Miya's blow coat in the spring is way worse, and her first one at about 5 months changed her completely, to what she looks like now.

Since I live in Texas I can't help you with snow gear for pups.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Coat   Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:34 am

Hi Jeff!  
I'm sorry, your last comment kinda made me chuckle - it's assumed that since they come from Siberia and have such thick coats that they're "prepared" for all the cold that mother nature wants to throw at them. In the case of a working dog, where they're outside most of the time I'd have to say that the assumption is a good one, however when our dogs stay inside most of the day and get out for a few hours during the day, it's good to be prepared for cold weather.  To seriously answer the question, no, she probably doesn't need anything more than what nature provides.  I would just suggest that you be aware that any extended changes may require acclimatization.

What about your, roughly, 30c temp this morning promoted you to think about the cold weather to come?  I'd be thinking about her and all that hair at the high temps you've been having.

Many (most?) of our dogs seem to blow twice a year but when is anyone's guess.  While I live in the US desert south-west where temp approaching 40c are common during the summer months Sasha is just now finishing the blow she started about a month ago - in the middle of the summer!  I'd look for responses from someone who's in the colder climates to give you a response that has more meaning to your climate.

<< laughing >> two responses from Texas and neither of them seem to be a lot of help, eh??
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Vetsky
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Coat   Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:46 am

Responses are always helpful! Thanks Al and Renee.

Actually, what confuses me is why "blow" your coat during fall if you need the extra warmth?

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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Coat   Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:58 am

The fall coat blow for Kenzi is blowing out the coarser guard hairs that allow her coat to breath during the summer so that she can put on a tighter weave down-like undercoat. Kenzi bulks up more with a lot of fluff in winter and in spring when she blows coat the undercoat goes away to leave mostly the coarser guard hairs that breath but protect her skin from the sun during the summer. Visually she gets darker in summer and a little sleeker and in winter she gets lighter colored and more puffy. Same as your jackets change from a light jacket in spring to the giant parka in winter.

_________________
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Coat   Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:32 am

RE: winter gear for yourself - absolutely. If you ski, you probably already have the stuff.

For me this past year it was: Expedition weight long underwear (base layer in today's parlance, usually my next layer was simple sweats top and bottom for most days. Really cold - lite, mid or heavy weight polar fleece on top. Outer layer of waterproof, breathable, windproof (insulated, for our climate - fingerlakes of ny) snow pants and jacket. I use a knit neckwarmer (I really like the wigwam but fleece neckwarmers - gaiters, work as well) and knit hat (my parka has a hood, I pull it up as needed over the knit hat). Gloves - for really cold I use thinsulate lined split leather work gloves - really, really cold, add a thermax glove liner. Wet weather - a pair of rain gaiters if snow pants are not needed. And sorel pack boots rated to -40°. Yaktrax winter traverse for ice (not very durable but cheap on sierra trading post - jbealer has some more expensive ones that look very durable.)

With this get up, I missed only 1 night walk this winter due to heavy fog AND ice storm - I was worried about poor visibility and a car sliding into me! I was able to walk in blizzard conditions with temps as minus teens F (i don't remember the lowest temp last winter...but the sustained single digits were remarkable for us this past year.) One night was so bad, I could not see 2 ft in front of me and ended up trusting that Ami would take me home. Worked though I do not know why!
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Kellyb
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Coat   Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:36 am

Jeff, take my word for it. BUY A GOOD COAT. those days when it's -40 with the wind? she's going to want to play while you want to die. Also invest in decent boots.

As for her, she'll grow in the winter coat in about October, and then the real coat blow will come in the spring. Either way, if you keep up the routine every day it will make it a little easier when the temps drop. We skip very few days of walking during the week unless its Snowmaggedon or raining buckets. Generally rain or shine, we're walking them. Maybe look into crampons too. I've fallen a lot with the girls when the ice kicks in.

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Kellyb
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Coat   Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:37 am

also, layers are the best. lots and lots of layers.
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Vetsky
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Coat   Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:55 am

Jenn that makes it much clearer.  Thanks.

Kelly and Amy, thanks for the tips.  The plan is to try and never miss a walk all winter.  I do have ski gear, but I don't think it is warm enough.  It is basically a shell that I wear a warm under layer with.  It works well for cross country skiing, but I'm not sure it will work for walking Riley out in the open.  Once We start jogging together I think it will work.

I have the layers, gloves, headwear and boots, just looking for a decent jacket.  The crampons are a good idea, I will look into those.

One activity that the girls (wife and daughters) and I are planning on trying this year is snowshoeing.  Aside from the morning walks @ 5:00 AM, I'm actually looking forward to the winter season.

Thanks again for all the tips!
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Toadzca
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Coat   Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:53 pm

Jeff I am north of Toronto near Barrie and our guy on his first winter got a thicker puppy coat but nothing like the true double coat he had last winter (his second). He was born in July so a little younger than your Riley but I imagine she will be much the same. He didn't do his first blow until almost his first birthday whereas our other one was long done by that point (July) however this spring he wasn't as far behind her with his big blow and yes the spring one is much more intense and lasts longer than the fall one. Actually my guys don't do their "fall" blow until well into November. They are outside about 15-17 hours a day year round so always get a big full coat in the winter and it's their beautiful mane I always miss the most in the warmer months.
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FirstAscent
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Coat   Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:24 pm

I'm glad you asked this because I was just thinking about this as well. I'm in Fairbanks, AK and we can easily see some cold temps (-40 to -60 is standard). However, we don't really get wind which makes it much better =)

In the evenings we are starting to see 20-30°F already so winter is definitely on it's way. Aurora is 10 weeks old so just a couple weeks younger than Riley and I was wondering how she would hold up to the cold temps as a puppy. Usually we don't see -40 until January or so so she'll still have a few months to develop a thicker coat, hopefully haha.

I'll have to keep her acclimatization in mind since she is mostly indoors and doesn't sleep outside but I definitely do a lot of outdoor activities (hiking, snowboarding, mountaineering) even at -40.

Sorry, I have no advice for you since I'm in the same boat as you. But I'm excited for Aurora to see snow for the first time!
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Vetsky
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Coat   Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:59 am

@Toadzca wrote:
Jeff I am north of Toronto near Barrie and our guy on his first winter got a thicker puppy coat but nothing like the true double coat he had last winter (his second).  He was born in July so a little younger than your Riley but I imagine she will be much the same.  He didn't do his first blow until almost his first birthday whereas our other one was long done by that point (July) however this spring he wasn't as far behind her with his big blow and yes the spring one is much more intense and lasts longer than the fall one.  Actually my guys don't do their "fall" blow until well into November.  They are outside about 15-17 hours a day year round so always get a big full coat in the winter and it's their beautiful mane I always miss the most in the warmer months.  

Thanks Cindy. So just to confirm. She was fine with the thicker puppy coat and her being outside most of the day.
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Vetsky
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Coat   Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:14 am

@FirstAscent wrote:
I'm glad you asked this because I was just thinking about this as well. I'm in Fairbanks, AK and we can easily see some cold temps (-40 to -60 is standard). However, we don't really get wind which makes it much better =)

In the evenings we are starting to see 20-30°F already so winter is definitely on it's way. Aurora is 10 weeks old so just a couple weeks younger than Riley and I was wondering how she would hold up to the cold temps as a puppy. Usually we don't see -40 until January or so so she'll still have a few months to develop a thicker coat, hopefully haha.

I'll have to keep her acclimatization in mind since she is mostly indoors and doesn't sleep outside but I definitely do a lot of outdoor activities (hiking, snowboarding, mountaineering) even at -40.

Sorry, I have no advice for you since I'm in the same boat as you. But I'm excited for Aurora to see snow for the first time!

Jaime,
As cold as it get's in Montreal, I don't think it will ever match the temps in Alaska. Having just viewed some of Aurora's images in your other thread. I'm extremely jealous
of the beautiful landscapes. Although not of the temps. Smile

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Toadzca
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Coat   Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:02 am

[quote="Vetsky"?


Thanks Cindy.  So just to confirm.  She was fine with the thicker puppy coat and her being outside most of the day.[/quote]

His first winter he was still too young to be outside all day like he is now.  We crated him for the first little while without much success (even though his crate was beside our other husky) as he has anxiety issues so the crate only made that worse.  Finally we confined him to one room with our other husky and that worked  better.  For his first winter as a young pup we did not leave him out all day and slowly increased his time as he got older.  Now he never wants in, either of them especially in the middle of sub zero weather.  Nature is amazing and they are well taken care of for the elements.  I love when they grow their own winter "boots" - when the fur in the pads of their feet grows out long and splays out protecting their pads from ice and snow.  I always know when this has happened because I no longer hear them "tapping" across the hardwood floors.
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Vetsky
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PostSubject: Re: Winter Coat   Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:06 am

@Toadzca wrote:
[quote="Vetsky"?


Thanks Cindy.  So just to confirm.  She was fine with the thicker puppy coat and her being outside most of the day.


His first winter he was still too young to be outside all day like he is now.  We crated him for the first little while without much success (even though his crate was beside our other husky) as he has anxiety issues so the crate only made that worse.  Finally we confined him to one room with our other husky and that worked  better.  For his first winter as a young pup we did not leave him out all day and slowly increased his time as he got older.  Now he never wants in, either of them especially in the middle of sub zero weather.  Nature is amazing and they are well taken care of for the elements.  I love when they grow their own winter "boots" - when the fur in the pads of their feet grows out long and splays out protecting their pads from ice and snow.  I always know when this has happened because I no longer hear them "tapping" across the hardwood floors.[/quote]

Perfect. Thanks Cindy!
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