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Outside dog?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Our chihuahua mix Lola is getting big... she's 14 weeks old and already 10 pounds. Anyway, we had made a puppy safe room for her and she had her crate, a pee pad and some stuff to chew on/play with. However, some days DH can't get home on his lunch break to let her out so she's stuck in that room from 6:30am - 4:30pm. Which is way too long to be left in there.

Anyway, she's started enjoying playing in the backyard by herself and my husband suggested that we let her stay in the yard during the day, especially since right now we have cool weather - perfect weather for her actually. The backyard is roomy and secure, we would buy her a little igloo or something so she could have shelter and buy her some more outdoor toys and a sturdy water bowl.

I've never had a dog before so I don't know anything about doing this. Is this okay? What kind of shelter would she most like? And would she want to sleep outside at night or would she still want to sleep in her room? Sorry if these are dumb questions... I'm new to the dog thing.
post #2 of 26
I don't recommend leaving her out all day for a couple of reasons. She's still a very young puppy and while she's enjoying the yard to play in, it's really a very large space to leave her alone all day long. She could get separation anxiety - a kennel is a nice cave like space and brings a lot of comfort to dogs - dogs in the wild find enclosed cave-like locations to raise their young. She could get scared and start digging. You may think your yard is fool proof but I've had dogs dig out of yards and run off.

If you absolutely have to do it, then I suggest a trial run where you move her kennel to the yard to give her someplace to go back to (her kennel is her safe haven), and be home for her the first day to see how she does.
post #3 of 26
With the crazy people these days, its NOT a good thing to let any dog - puppy or adult outside the entire day without supervision. And a puppy won't be trained for potty if left all alone outside.

Unless you want your puppy stolen, or hurt by another animal/person, I'd keep her inside when no one is home.
post #4 of 26
I would just like to add that dogs are social creatures and NEED to be with their people. Please, although it doesn't sound like you are going to, do no relegate your dog to the outside only! It is the cause of soooo many behavior problems and just sad lives. Dogs neeeeeed the interaction.

I would definently not leave the puppy outside unattended during the day.
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
I just don't know what else to do... the fact that she's alone for 10 hours a day seems awful... but that's the reality of our jobs. I thought letting her be outside would be a good idea only because then she's not stuck inside the room, she can run around.

What else can I do? I'm worried that we're neglecting it as it is and that she'd be better off in a home where she'd get more attention or something.
post #6 of 26
Maybe you can find a neighbor who would be willing to come in the middle of the day and walk her or let her outside (supervised) for a while?
When I was a kid I used to do this for one of my neighbors. They were gone all day so when I got home from school I'd go there and walk their Golden mix...

Also you may be able to find a dogwalking service or perhaps a dog daycare in your area?
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
Maybe you can find a neighbor who would be willing to come in the middle of the day and walk her or let her outside (supervised) for a while?
Also you may be able to find a dogwalking service or perhaps a dog daycare in your area?
Hi, I agree with these ideas and think they are really good.

Either I or my husband spend lunch hours at home taking care of dogs, letting them out, and playing with them. For awhile we had to use a doggie daycare until we worked out the logistics of the lunch hour.

That is too long for a puppy to be all alone. The puppy phase is critical and doggie daycare can help with socialization too during this time, as well as wear her out and give her new things to learn. Walks, car rides, trips to fun places, and time with people and other animals are esp. important at this age.

To break up the day it is important someone go play with her for lunch times at least. Maybe work will let one of you take her to work on certain days?

Leaving a dog (esp.a puppy) outside is never recommended in my book. First of all, as someone already stated, people steal dogs out of backyards more often than one might think.
Dogs can get into all sorts of trouble from being bored, chewing, digging, barking, etc. A nice day can turn into a storm later on. You can't always count on the weather to stay nice for long periods of time. Also, other dogs can get into yards, some dogs will find ways out. Some dogs will bother neighbors. Dogs can get into things, like eating mushrooms or small animals like frogs, and that can have bad outcomes.

I would keep her inside, but find a way to break up that long day, that is just way too long. And dogs are really social, I am sure the puppy wouldn't want to sleep outside. And don't think your questions are dumb, I am glad you are wanting to do your best for the puppy. That is a good thing!
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
With the crazy people these days, its NOT a good thing to let any dog - puppy or adult outside the entire day without supervision. And a puppy won't be trained for potty if left all alone outside.

Unless you want your puppy stolen, or hurt by another animal/person, I'd keep her inside when no one is home.
your pup could get diseases and flea infested and get heartworms by living outside. I think she should be inside, IMO. people who have outside dogs that live out there 24/7 shouldn't have a dog! not to be rude or anything but Did you expect her to be small forever? she's a puppy and probably has a lot of growing to do. she will probably be 15-20 lbs considering her breed and that isn't big at all..
I have 3 large dogs and a small dog and wouldn't ever dream of them being outside dogs. of course they are allowed outside to go potty and I supervise them when they go potty and have their playtime. I would hate for her to live outside.
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions guys, I'll see what I can do. It's hard, I'm a teacher and my job is 25 minutes away - and my lunch break is only 30 minutes. On good weeks my husband can get home for lunch every day or maybe 4 out of 5 days... but then sometimes there are not so good weeks.

We'll work something out. It's just exhausting and I'm feeling very drained with her... we'll have to do more thinking.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkdaisy226 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions guys, I'll see what I can do. It's hard, I'm a teacher and my job is 25 minutes away - and my lunch break is only 30 minutes. On good weeks my husband can get home for lunch every day or maybe 4 out of 5 days... but then sometimes there are not so good weeks.

We'll work something out. It's just exhausting and I'm feeling very drained with her... we'll have to do more thinking.
Is there anyone that can watch her during the day or take her on playdates or you can consider doggy daycare. I hope I didn't come off as being too harsh in my previous post, it wasn't my intention at all.
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miagi's_Mommy View Post
not to be rude or anything but Did you expect her to be small forever? she's a puppy and probably has a lot of growing to do. she will probably be 15-20 lbs considering her breed and that isn't big at all.
Um, "not to be rude" but... your post did come across as rude. Did we expect her to be small forever? Certainly not. We met her mother, she was 15 pounds, so we are expecting Lola to get about that size.

As for making her an outdoor dog... if you read my post you will notice that first of all, we aren't making her an outdoor only dog and second of all, I was looking for advice about if this was okay. As in I didn't say I was going to do it. Because I'm trying to get more information. And I appreciate the people that were able to kindly point things out to me so that I have all the facts.
post #12 of 26
well um sorry.. that's how I read your post. anyways.. It's totally up to you then if you want her to be outside during the day, but it is dangerous to leave her outside unattended. She could get into things, get stolen, get under the fence and get hit by a car, get diseases, etc. If you plan on leaving her outside during the day, then please put her on flea and heartworm preventaive. I will try not to be so rude next time, I know I sounded rude, but I am truly sorry. I never meant it in a harmful manner. I am just trying to help you and give you advice. I wish you the best of luck. but right now I wouldn't put her outside, because at 14 weeks she can't control her body temperature and warm herself up like an adult dog can.
again, I am sorry for coming across as rude. I hope you accept my apology.
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
It's fine, I'm just feeling overly sensitive and cranky and plus every time I post a question about my dog (whether it here or else where) I always feel like I'm being attacked. I guess I finally snapped. I understand what you're saying and I will bring this up to hubby and see if we can look into doggie daycare or something.
post #14 of 26
that's okay. It was my fault, though for being so rude and I am sorry.
I wish you the best of luck and please keep us updated.
post #15 of 26
I'm glad to read of all the responses saying it's not ok to leave a dog outside all day. In my job as a dogwalker I see a lot of dogs left to their own devices outside, and it's never a good thing. I can see the logic of thinking "why not let the dog stay in the yard all day instead of being trapped in a cage?" but once you learn about dog behaviour you understand why this is not so.
Once she's crate trained and gets a bit older, you won't have to leave her locked up all day. I see a lot of people just block of sections of the house for the dog if they're not comfortable with letting them have the whole house.
Doggie daycare is great for socializing pups. Where I live, it's a cheaper alternative to having a dogwalker come in once a day too.
If I were in your situation, I would put Lola in daycare for a couple of months, then look at a dogwalking service when she's a bit older.
It sounds like it would relieve a lot of stress if you could work out a daycare schedule so DH doesn't have to come home every lunchtime, maybe just twice a week instead? I know that it's an added expense, but worth it as your investing in your dog's future and you'll have a happier, better behaved dog as a result.
post #16 of 26
I agree that she shouldn't be kept outside all day. Can you invest in a doggie door? This way she can come and go as she pleases.

If you live anywhere that there are raccoons, eagles, or opposums, they can attack your pup. Being there is the best option, but a doggie door will help her go potty if needed.

It this option can't work, putting down potty pads can be the next best thing. I have heard great things about this training aide: http://www.wizdog.com/ It will give her a place to go potty, and she cannot shred the pads.
post #17 of 26
I would never leave a dog, especially a puppy, outside alone. She has an entire room to herself which is plenty of room, actually too much room. I crate my 2 dogs when I'm not home and have a woman come in during the day to walk them. They don't mind being crated and will use their crates even when I'm home as beds. Dogs are den animals and have a sense of security being in small places.

Perhaps a friend, family member, neighbor, or a professional can come and let her out during the day.
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pushylady View Post
Doggie daycare is great for socializing pups. Where I live, it's a cheaper alternative to having a dogwalker come in once a day too.
I was looking online but from what I can tell, it's about $16-$18 per day? Is that about average?

And I wish we could have a dogwalker or a friend, neighbor, etc play with her during the day... but we live on the complete opposite side of town from everyone we know (making it a long drive just to get here) and we don't really know the neighbors well (in fact, they're not that pleasant from what we know).

Thanks guys.
post #19 of 26
Yes, it's around $20 CDN here for doggie daycare, and I believe that's a full 9-5 day.
We charge $16 for a half hour visit, and that's competitve with the other dogwalking companies in our area.
The advantage of having a professional come in to walk the dog is that they should be fully bonded & insured, have lots of experience with dogs, be reliable, and be able to take the dog away for visits with other dogs so they can make friends and get the excitement of going to different places.
post #20 of 26
I also agree, its not a good idea to leave her outside for long periods...I learned that the hard way with my Collie.

At 14 weeks shes still a baby and I think shed feel very overwhelmed in such a huge place alone. I dont think you are being cruel at all, as long as she has a proper place to relieve herself, a place to sleep and lots of toys!

Invest in Kongs, doggie Puzzles, squeekies, ropes etc. Leaving a dog outside alone for a prolonged period of time can cause fence guarding which is truly annoying to you and neighbors.
post #21 of 26
I can understand your frustrations. I would certainly take the time to look into a walker or pet sitter, as pricey as that can be. Leaving her outside, as we've all mentioned, is really not a good option, for several reasons which others have stated. On the other hand, keeping her crated for any more than 4 hours a day indoors is really not a great idea either...she needs to have stimulation, human interaction, and exercise.

I know you love Lola, and have followed your threads about her closely...

You mentioned that your hubby can probably come home 4 out of 5 days to give her some attention. So perhaps, the type of schedule you're looking for will look something like this:

8-noon : Crated with a Kong toy, and other things to do.
12-1 p.m. : Hubby comes home, and plays with Lola, potty break, mid-day meal.
1-2: Lola spends time in the safe room.
2-4 : Dog walker/sitter comes over for playtime, walk, and stimulation, potty break.
4-5 p.m. : Lola in safe room.
5 p.m. - you come home...potty break, Lola's dinner, etc.

Does this sound feasible, or at least something similiar? 10 hours is a lot of time to be spending alone for a dog, and at least this way, she'll have a bit of variety, and human interaction while you're both working.

Good luck, and let us know if you need further help working it out...there are probably a lot of options out there if we put our heads together.
post #22 of 26
I agree with above - not outside (I have 3 GSD and they are indoor dogs, and very lucky as we both work from home so with our dogs 24/7), especially at that young age - she is a baby and as a baby needs feel safe and secure.

Potty pads are not the best thing but if there is no other solution, better potty pads than leaving outside.

When I was a teenager I was walking neighbour dogs and even took them to training so maybe there is a teenager who wants to earn some pocket money after the school? Or a retired lady in your area? With a small dog like your Lola both ways could be used.

I would put an add at local shop or buss station or even church, leave the phone number and I'm sure somebody bearable will respond.

Believe me, people who pointed that it is not good for a puppy to be left for so long alone, are right. Puppy neds a human contact especially at this age. If they are left alone it could create beheivior and mental problems.
post #23 of 26
I think everyone pretty much gave you some great advice about not leaving her outside. With all the crazy people out there and the designer dogs breeds, someone might want to steal her if she really looks like a Chi mix. Plus what if another animal jumped the fence, what if you don't happen to spay her in time and you let her out one day (of course I would hope that wouldn't happen) and a big old male jumps the fence, she could get heartworm, fleas, worms, etc.... Just some other things to think about.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieKit View Post
I also agree, its not a good idea to leave her outside for long periods...I learned that the hard way with my Collie.

At 14 weeks shes still a baby and I think shed feel very overwhelmed in such a huge place alone. I dont think you are being cruel at all, as long as she has a proper place to relieve herself, a place to sleep and lots of toys!

Invest in Kongs, doggie Puzzles, squeekies, ropes etc. Leaving a dog outside alone for a prolonged period of time can cause fence guarding which is truly annoying to you and neighbors.


I think a puppy shouldnt be left alone all day, outside..just my opnion of course.
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to let you all know that, because of some other reasons, we decided to take the dog to a friend's house where she can get more attention. This might be permanent or until we find a more permanent home.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkdaisy226 View Post
Just wanted to let you all know that, because of some other reasons, we decided to take the dog to a friend's house where she can get more attention. This might be permanent or until we find a more permanent home.
Well you did what was best for her then. Thats alright..
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