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Training your Dog to Live Indoors and Outdoors

As a dog owner you have the choice to allow your dog to live indoors or outdoors. At times some dog owners provide their dog with a balanced living experience of both options. Other times dog owners may decide to bring their outdoor dog to live indoors for a variety of reasons. You will always want to consider your dog’s breed, age and health issues before deciding on his or her living arrangements.

Indoor Living

When you choose to allow your dog to live indoors you are providing him or her with socialization and a safe environment. However, there are steps and training that are required in order for your dog to live in peace and harmony indoors without ruining your home.

  • Provide Private Space – Your dog is a den animal that prefers to have his or her own safe environment. Provide your dog with a comfortable bed to sleep and rest, in addition to a crate. The crate is should be large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in comfortably. As well as lay down and still have space remaining around his or her body.
  • House Training – Training your dog to relieve him or herself in the designated areas you approve of is one of the most important indoor training options you can do. Begin by providing a pee pad that is placed indoors in a special place and bring your dog to that area every time you find him showing signs that he is about to relive himself. Signs include sniffing and circling. Usually dog’s need to relieve themselves about 10 minutes after they eat and drink. If you prefer that your dog go to the bathroom outdoors you will also want to designate a special area of your yard that he or she will use as their special area. Usually this area is away from the garden or other areas that you do not frequently use. Bring your dog outdoors to this same area after every meal or when you see the signs that he is ready to relieve himself.
Outdoor Living

If you prefer that your dog live outdoors you will want to take a variety of steps to provide a safe environment as well as frequent interaction with your dog.

  • Provide a Safe Environment – You will want to assure that your yard is fenced in properly and does not have easy access to escape. Remember that dogs can jump high, so you will want to make sure the fence is high enough and also provide rocks that fit under the fence so that it is not easy for your dog to dig a hole underneath to escape.
  • Personal Space – Provide your dog with a dog house that is large enough for him or her to feel comfortable and have plenty of space to stand up and turn around. Since your dog will be exposed to outdoor elements you will want to provide plenty of water so he or she can stay hydrated at all times. Planting a tree that provides shade during the summer months is a great way to make life more comfortable for your dog. Winter months and below freezing temperatures can be hazardous to your dog’s health. It is recommended during extreme cold and hot temperatures that you bring your dog indoors.
  • Spend Time Together – Just because your dog lives outdoors doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t need love and attention. Make it a priority to spend time with your dog, go on walks, hikes or play fetch. Your dog needs socialization and plenty of toys to keep him or her busy throughout the day.

You will want to consult with a licensed veterinarian and seek approval for allowing your dog to live outdoors or indoors. Some dogs need specific elements to thrive and be happy. You want to be a great dog owner and make sure you are providing the proper living conditions for your specific dog. Training your dog to live comfortably and follow rules indoors or outdoors is essential to their overall well-being.

Photo credit: perlaroques/Flickr

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Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.