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Snow Country Airing Options

3390 Views 20 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Moose Mtn
For those who are living in snow country, especially those with house dogs, do you use tie outs for airing or do you have fenced yards? And how do you keep the area clear of snow and deal with cleanup? When the snow gets deep, do you snow blow, or shovel the area for them? I know it’s a daily chore for me. Just wondering what everyone else does?

When I moved back to Northern MI three years ago into a new house, instead of fencing the yard, I built a small 30ft x 20ft pea-gravel area, along the back of the garage, where I use a tie-out setup for airing. It’s convenient out the attached garage door, and simple, especially since our two dogs live in the house and are outside only for training and airing.

But now, I’m adding a third dog to the family and wondering if there might be better options for airing instead of a tie-out.

The only problem I’m having is in the winter and snow removal and preventing snow drifting into the airing area. Each day we get system or lake effect snows. I put up a snow fence this year and it helps a little, but I still get significant snow in the airing area from it blowing off the eaves of the roof leaving sizeable drifts to clear. Other than covering a large outdoor area, not sure their are many options.

For those living in snow country with house dogs, do you tie them out, or do you let them out into a fenced area? And what do you do for clearing snow and cleanup? Is it a daily challenge for you as well? Thanks.
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You must be up north Mi UP or near Grand Rapids where there has been the lake effect.

It is has blown elsewhere this year.:)

Good luck
Thanks Mary Lynn. I'm actually north of Grand Rapids 75 miles. Lots of lake effect and wind.

With four dogs it can be quite a chore. Many years ago, the problem was solved by putting a small,fenced in area directly out of what became the mud room. With three well placed spotlights on the second story, it's like daytime.

The only snow removal I do is near the entrance. When the dogs air, they are not left alone and I "pickup" right after every matter how late, cold or inconvenient the weather may be.
Thanks Jim. My back door goes out the mud room into the attached garage, then out to the tie-out pea gravel area. I usually just stand in the garage while they're out or leave them a few minutes to get some things done in the house. But they're never out more than 5 minutes alone if that. Then it's inside to dry their paws when it's wet, then back into the house. I haven't been picking up after each event but might switch to that. Otherwise, I'm getting a frozen poop/gravel clump in the morning. Just came in from snow blowing the driveway and thought of something...I might try building up a snow base over the pea gravel area, sort of what's going on right now with my gravel driveway.
A "snow base" is very effective. Between the dogs' movements (and mine), a layer of packed snow is easy to establish and works really well.....except when there is ice.

I'm positive the key to an effective, winter airing routine is the "quick clean-up" habit.
Jim - earlier you said you let them out into a small fenced area from your mud room. How large of area is fenced for your dogs and is it chain link, wood privacy, other? How high of fence? Wouldn't think a 4 ft fence would be an option, unless you watch them constantly.
I wouldnt do snow removal just for the dogs but once the area gets some snow and starts getting a lttle stool build up I would get the snow blower out and blow the snow stools and all over the fence into the neighbors yard:p.
Now that wouldn't be neighborly:p. Besides, my nearest neighbor is a 1/4 mile away. My Ariens is good but not that good!
I live Southwest of Grand Rapids. We get more than our fair share of snow, and I'm convinced that there aren't any obsticales from our place to Chicago for snow to stop drifting.
I know what you mean about the drifting....never ending wind around here.
I used inexpensive 48" green garden wire attached to metal stakes (driven into the ground). It is an oval which makes it easy for dogs to run a long way (35X40 feet with no corners) . When it was installed the fencing enclosed a much smaller fenced in asparagus patch. Later, I realized this tended to make the airing yard appear more like a never ending race track as they moved about.

There's only one reason for them to be in there and I DO watch them constantly. In ten years, I've had just one dog "go over". She only did that twice and the second time was very, very brief.
Thanks Jim
Oh boy! I am sure some of you will think I am lazy...

For the past 30+ years, I have trained the dogs to ring a small bell hanging on the door of the utility room to tell me they want to go out. If I don't hear it, it's funny to see the dirty looks I get when they come and find me and stare... ("I rang my bell!") The new pup sometimes adds her own soft "Rowyow," editorial comment. Mike
That's hilarious and something I've actually considered since our "out" door is on the far end of the house. You must be a student of Pavlov:)
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