Whether keeping a dog outside is possible depends on many things. First of all you have to consider if you’re going to leave the dog outside all the time or you’re thinking of getting a dog that enjoys a yard. After you decide that you have to consider the climate you are in.
How cold does it get in the winter? How hot in the summer? You must know that different dogs can’t handle extreme heat or cold. For example Bulldogs have a hard time in very hot environments because of the high humidity level. Likewise Husky’s are pretty content to live outside because of their inherent ability to withstand cold, but if it gets too hot in the summer they will have problems.
Another factor is that dogs are pack-animals. In other words they are socially oriented animals, they need a family or pack to be truly happy. If you’re at work all day and when you’re home you leave him outside he will feel like he doesn’t belong. Let’s take a look at the most common misconceptions about keeping dogs outdoors.
Keeping a dog in the yard mitigates the need for a daily walk
You might think that by providing a dog with a yard you never have to care about his exercise needs again. First of all if you don’t provide attention and exercise time with your dog he will quickly develop his own agenda. Digging huge holes, barking at every insect and whatnot, chewing on shoes and so on, this behavior comes from inactivity.
Second of all dogs have a natural instinct to migrate. In the wild few animals stay in the same place their whole lives. Most likely they migrate according to the changes in food supplies. Therefore even a content dog still needs a daily walk in order to satisfy his natural instinct.
It’s okay if you don’t provide your dog with a shelter if he lives outside
It’s imperative to provide shelter for your dog where he can take refuge when it’s too cold or when it’s raining, snowing etc. It’s a good idea to make the shelter big enough so he can at least turn around in it. It’s easy to see why, just think if you would be able to stay in a room where you can’t even turn around.
The shelter will need a raised floor and perhaps straw as bedding. It’s also very important to create a good door that will keep wind out. Many types of dogs have sensible ears. Also keep in mind that water can freeze in the winter. Therefore you will need to constantly check upon him in order to provide fresh water whenever he needs it.
Dogs kept outside have destructive behavior
Dogs that exhibit destructive behavior almost always do so because of a lack of physical and mental workout. This is true for apartment dogs as well as outdoors dogs. The yard actually provides a good place to exercise with your dog.
It’s accessible at all times, there’s no chance of distractions from other people or animals, unlike a park. The dog is already familiar with his surroundings so he will not feel the need to explore before you start to exercise with him. A controlled environment such as a yard is also a great place to train your dog.
Remember that even if you have a large yard it’s still a good idea to let the dog go inside as well since he benefits tremendously from socializing. Also keep in mind that dogs that live outside need to be able to cope with cold, wind and rain. Some breeds, like the Chihuahuas can’t take much of anything, and really can’t live outdoors.