For anyone who is interested, acclimating your dog should start now. As the weather on the northeast starts to cool at nite in August/September, the dogs' fur starts shedding and then thickening with their dense winter fur. To acclimate, they do need to be outside the majority of the time, especially night when the weather is the coldest in these months. The dogs are also fed more than usual to give them that extra energy that keeps them warm during the dead of winter. Mine have wooden houses with straw, and all kennels are wrapped in tarp specifically ordered for their exact measurements. They do come in the house for lovin' and kickin' back with the family, but they don't stay in very long, as they do seem to overheat and are uncomfortable. Years ago, I never really knew how thick their winter fur was until spring when they started shedding it. OMG. "Blowing coat" Though their hair never got longer, brushing them out, you would think I was brushing a GSD with all that fur blowing around on the grass. And it took weeks to get it all out. If you must kennel your dog during the winter, the key to a warm dog is "acclimation" and upping their food intake, among the obvious kennel prep. Would a chained dog have as much warmeth as mine? I have no idea, (but I doubt it). But I would at least suggest a door guard or something to prevent the elements getting inside the box.
Winter will be here soon! UGH