keeping dog outside(23 Posts)
I have a spaniel who has been put into kennels twice in his life and he didn't seem to do well in either of them despite them having good reputations.
DH and l are going on a weeks holiday at beginning of October. DD will be at home with him most of the time but she will be at college 2 days leaving the house at 8am and not back till 5pm, I feel this is far too long to leave him in the house.
We were thinking of buying him a large wooden outdoor kennel where we can put a bed/ foot and toys in our back garden. DD could leave him in the secure garden these days when she is going to college for long days. He is a very timid dog and l am a bit worried for him and there is really no one l could ask to watch him or walk him these days.
Does this sound like a good idea, l would really value some honest opinions.
Really? You want to abandon an already timid house dog in the garden?!
Our spaniel is in a home made penn in our garage during the day, when necessary. She has a little kennel bit with her bed etc in and a bigger area. She has a few toys in there and water, she has her breakfast beforehand. She goes in by herself and quite often we have to bribe her to come out and shut the door behind her.
I would try your dog beforehand to see how he goes and possibly ask any neighbours if he is barking whilst in there. Start with a short period of time and build it up.
No! Why on earth would you think your timid dog would be happy on his own all day in the garden? He might start barking and disturb your neighbours or demonstrate his distress in some other way. There are masses of dog walkers, why can't you pay to have him walked on the college days?
No back garden is totally secure and if he is used to being inside I think you are better off leaving him in , either way he is home alone . I am in much the same position ,having decided to leave my dog at home with my son whilst we are away for 3 days in December . Fortunately I think he is only going to be at uni for a max of 4 hours each day . Our issue is that the dog will probably not get walked ( idle son / bad weather) but I still think he will be happier at home than in kennels .
I'd have quite a few concerns about leaving my dog in the garden all day.
Firstly, how secure is your garden. Most gardens are not secure enough to stop someone getting in who wants to steal a dog.
You say he's timid. What happens to the poor little thing if there's a thunder storm and he's on his own outside? Or sudden frightening noises and he has nowhere to hide apart from a kennel in the garden. And what happens if your daughter gets held up later than 5.00.
Nine hours is not that long to leave a dog in the house imo. As long as he can pee in the garden before your DD leaves in the morning; after all, most dogs can hold themselves overnight. Could you shut him in the kitchen or another room with a floor covering that won't suffer too much if he has an accident.
I really wouldn't be happy to shut my dog out all day on her own. I know she'd find it scary and I'd be worrying about her the whole time.
8 til 5 is not at all an unusual amount of time for dogs to be left occassionally. Take the money you would have spent on a kennel etc and pay a dog walker or dog sitter to see him at lunch time those 2 days.
Another one with major concerns. Firstly, he will be extremely vulnerable to theft. Secondly, the weather in October can be cold, very windy and very wet - for a dog used to living in a house this could be extremely uncomfortable. Thirdly, it's not fair on your neighbours if he decides to spend the day howling.
Use a professional dog walker - good ones have full public liablility insurance, are CRB checked and happy to provide references/full information. Have a couple of walks booked before you go away so he gets used to the walker - he will probably have a wonderful time.
Thanks for all your thoughts. Firstly there is only 1 dog walker in our area and we have already approached him but he is full, we lives in a very rural area with the next closest dog walking service 7 miles away, they are not willing to travel. This would have been my preferred option.
I am interested in what you are saying about leaving him in alone all day, l am certainly not against doing that and l have wooden floors so l wouldn't be concerned about any accidents but for some unknown reason l thought he would be happier outside than inside.
Please do not think l was penny pinching or being cruel l am just trying to work out what is best for my boy
Tbh I think it's too late for the beginning of October so I would put him in kennels for as short a time as possible.Unless you have any friends you could call in favours from or DD could juggle her days.
Then I would actively investigate any day care centres, and try him outside in the set up you describe for short periods of time to see if it would be a possibility for future holidays - as this situation will quite likely arise again.
I'd be inclined to leave him in the house. One of my dogs would wee/poo in the house if he had to so if I ever have to go out for several hours occasionally I don't worry too much (and obviously don't make a fuss if there is mess in the house). I guess your dog would probably sleep for most of the day. My boy will go all day without going outside in the winter time ... even when I open door for my girl to go out. Summer time different story when he wants to sunbathe. I'd be worried about dog theft leaving him in the garden.
How long is the average he stays on his own? I think that is the crux of the problem.
If he is very timid, he can get a bit anxious which may render him quite destructive, main problem of being destructive is that sometimes they swallow things they shouldn't.
I would leave him indoors and clean any mess on return, but leave him in a limited area, with bed and toys, where he cannot chew something that could cause him trouble ie. bathroom or kitchen.
You can get him a kong and put some treats snugly inside. That would keep him busy and out of mischief for most of the day. Leave radio 4 on too. It makes them feel as if there are other people around.
Enjoy your holiday, you do a lot for the dog and is only fair that he takes second sit to you from time to time.
We have 2 spaniels that are kennelled outside when we go out for the day, it is fully undercover with an indoor bed area and outside run, and with a heat lamp for the colder days, they love their kennel and quite happily go in even on days when we are at home but their kennel is like Fort Knox so they don't get stolen, if your dog didn't like boarding kennels then I doubt it will like an outside kennel. In all reality 8-5 is not that long, he will be safe and warm and if you left him in the house and with the radio on he will be fine.
Most dogs are happier left indoors in familiar protective environment with smells all around of his absent family. With a quiet breed, 4 hours should be fine, but all day would be unsuitable and cruel.
I leave my very quiet breed for 3 hours in the house 2 x a week and she just sleeps. She hears the taxi drop me off and is already at the door waiting for me with great relief and joy.
When I lived in the country I left mine out during the day because I thought it was better for her - but we worked up to it from when she was a puppy, it sounds like it could be quite stressful for your dog and inside might be better. Alternatively, are there any dog sitters in the town where your DD goes to college? Perhaps she could drop him off on those two days?
How long is your dog left now? I would build up its time alone and make sure there is a safe area in the house for your dog to stay in. Fill kongs, perhaps a new chew toy for those days.
If a dog can be left for prolonged periods on odd occasions when necessary, it makes it easier for you to cope if an emergency comes up, as you know they will be fine.
We have bought a wooden kennel from the local garden centre, sturdy,water tight and big enough for him---but he won't go in it we tried bribing him with chicken and tuna but his head goes in but nothing else. So that l guess wont work this time.
He is a funny wee dog, he is not interested in kongs and treats, eats only when he feels like it and is not open to bribery.
I honestly think the longest he has been left alone was 5 hours a few months ago, generally l would say normally no more than 3 hours.
I have contacted a Pet Care company which could at a push maybe do dogwalking on theses two days-we are a bit out of her area but l have my fingers crossed.
My other option is to cancel the holiday for now, l know it is a bit extreme but his well being is important to me.
Is there no-one who could walk him as a favour if it's only for two days? A friend or neighbour or a friend of your DD's?
What's the difference between leaving him in the house as opposed to outside?
It's still the same amount of time only difference he will be warm and comfortable indoors.
Don't do it.
I think it is a bit late to kennel training him. Leave him in the house, he will be fine :-)
I had the same problem with mine 44d, in our case there was always one spread alongside the door (in the inside) claiming ownership and preventing the other one from getting in.
Getting a second hel didn't help either... They always wanted the kennel the other one was using :-)
Join the discussion
Please login first.