If you adopt a dog from an animal shelter, chances are they will have been housed in an outdoor kennel. You might also find yourself providing a new home for a dog whose previous owners kept him outside. But you want your dog to be an integral part of the family, which means keeping him indoors where he can interact with you on a daily basis. So, how do you get a dog who is accustomed to being able to go potty wherever he wants and who is not used to furniture and house rules, transitioned into an indoor dog?
Hopefully your outdoor dog knows some basic commands such as sit, stay, no and down. These are basic training words that all dogs should know. Even if he hasn’t been trained, you can still work with him and turn him into an indoor dog. The key thing to remember is that your dog is not a human. No matter how smart he is, he can’t know what is and is not allowed until you teach him.
Begin by bringing the dog inside on a leash several times a day. This allows you to let him explore the place while you are in control. He can sniff and check things out while you walk him through the house. When he gets near things that you don’t want him to become overly friendly with, a quick tug on the leash and saying the word NO in a firm voice will help with the indoor training. This can be used to train him away from furniture, wiring, the kids’ toys and other things he might love to chew on and is unfamiliar with.
Some dogs just aren’t able to be kept indoors. You can set up your yard in a way that you think is wonderful for your outdoor dog but there are dangers that even fenced and penned outdoor dogs face. You can’t simply put a dog out in the yard and assume he is safe. Some things you need to monitor and check are listed below, along with the reasons why these things are a danger to your dog.
Broken Fencing – No matter how much your dog loves his yard, if he sees a way to escape he will do so. There are so many intriguing smells coming from the other side of the fence that he will want to explore. The first danger in this is if the broken fencing creates a small hole, your dog will try to squeeze through and may injure himself on the broken edges. This can lead to tetanus, infection and possible life threatening injuries if the dog becomes stuck or pierced by the fence pieces. Once your dog is out in the world he faces the dangers of being hit by cars, attacked by other animals, and becoming lost. Even a short time out can cause serious damage to your outdoor dog. Check your fencing and any areas that the dog seems to be attracted to regularly, so you can repair any breaks before they cause a problem.
Disease – Outdoor dogs can be exposed to many kinds of disease in the back yard. These diseases can be spread through nature in the form of animal feces, dead rodents and even the occasional break-in by other neighborhood animals. When you have food and water out, stray and wild animals will attempt to get to it. Squirrels, rats and even birds can carry diseases that can pass to your dog. Some of the diseases that your dog can face are parvovirus, rabies, and even food contamination illnesses.
Exposure – Placing a dog house with a solid floor and a good roof is one step that you can take to protect your outdoor dog from exposure to the elements, but in extreme heat or cold your dog may still face the risk of exposure. In cases of extreme weather, moving an outdoor dog temporarily to a basement or garage is a better option than an outdoor doghouse.
Alienation – An outdoor dog is not included in the central family unit and may become somewhat unfriendly and territorial of his yard. It is important to make sure that you spend time paying with and grooming your outdoor dog to help him feel like part of a family.
All outdoor dogs not being professionally bred should be spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted puppies, which can happen if your dog goes into season and either gets out or other dogs get in. Besides the dangers listed above, there is also the chance of dehydration if the outdoor dogs water supply gets spilled or drank on a hot day and no one notices or refills until the next morning. Outdoor dogs should be checked on several times a day.
Remember that accidents can happen, dogs can get out and it is up to you to do everything you can to keep your outdoor dog safe and healthy.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.