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Snow Country Airing Options

3389 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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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.

Then, it's off to the utility room outside door and out they go with my encouraging,"Go dump." or "Go dump in the woods." They'll cross the 40-50' of lawn area and usually step into the edge of the cover. (I'm not about to say there aren't some random piles left in the grass, however.) I usually don't leave a young one unattended and generally watch until they're done. Then a call or 3-tweet on the whistle and back they come and on back inside. Like Jim B. there is a runner in the utility room that they spend some time on to let the snow thaw and any mud to get tracked off. If it is particularly messy, old terry cloth towels do just fine before they can come back into the "people" part of the house.

As long as the snow's there, clean-up is not an issue but if there's a thaw, I just walk around with a bucket and one of those PetSmart pick-um-up gizmo's. I take the bucket deeper into the woods and just dump it.


We are not much different! We have 3 acres fenced for the dogs, and 10 out back mostly fenced for the dogs...

They get let out.. and generally go to the back of the horse barn and poop as far away as possible.. generally on TOP of a snow drift! Clean up does not generally happen until we get a good thaw, and can find the little land mines.

Then they come running like the heathen they are, into the house...

Right now we have had warm afternoons, and they have been bringing their fair share of muddy paws in ( they go out with us during Ranch chores, feeding livestock, and Play/run, etc) and we sweep mop daily to keep up with it, thankfully we have hard floors thru the house.
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