Inside vs outside - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Inside vs outside

Hello everyone!
I am hoping to find some answers here as the internet so far has been of no help at all. I have an almost 7 year old Black German Shepherd mix. She "came" to me 2.5 years ago. I moved twice in the first half year she was with me (not ideal, I know) and both those places had a balcony which she could access when she was home alone. I never had any issues. No barking, no crying, no destructive behavior. She was perfectly fine. Then we moved the second time, this time I didn't have a balcony and she started barking and crying bloody murder when I left. She also started to be quite destructive, the destruction fluctuated over the 2 years though. Recently I have moved again. We live in a little village now in a little house with a fenced in garden and a patio with a roof. She loves being outside. I think she would sleep there if I would allow it. We live in a very warm climate so it's fine, I just don't wanna have the door open at night and I feel uncomfortable leaving her there all by herself without the possibility to come in. While Luna is very obedient, she always comes immediately when I call her for example, when I'm calling her to come inside she literally just rolls over and ignores me. Since she hates being alone so much I have organized a dog sitter now for when I'm gone but obviously can't do that forever because its unpractical and expensive. I have been trying to train her to be alone by means of gradual desensitization. It turned out that when I leave the house and close the front door she sits by it, even if I'm just out on the patio and starts barking when I dare leaving the garden. I can leave her the tastiest treats ever, she doesn't even touch them. But.... if I do it the other way around, leave her in the garden and go inside and close the front door, she happily rummages around the garden, plays with her Kong-like-toy and sun bathes for hours. I could easily get out a back window. She has no way of knowing if I'm home or not. My question is, did any of you make the same experiences with their dogs? I am seriously considering training her to be outside alone when I'm gone. Do you think this is reasonable? I'm afraid she would dig herself out of the garden and if I put her on a chain she can't bite through she might get tangled up and can't free herself and starts barking because of that. Did any of you have positive experiences with leaving their dogs outside when alone? If so, do you tie her or not? I appreciate all tips and tricks! i just want her to be able to be alone and be comfortable while doing so. And I also want myself to be abe to leave the house on a short notice sometimes. Anything will help! Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 09:42 PM
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My previous dog was outside any time I had to go anywhere, because left indoors she's find and destroy a wastebasket, preferably the kitchen one cause it made a bolder statement, buy if that we as unavailable to her any bathroom or bedroom bucket would do! It was her way of protesting being left behind LOL!

I think your dog would be fine left outside, and definitely not tied or chained, provided she's getting adequate attention and exercise when you are home.

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Tim

Thank you very much for your answer! Yes, she does get enough exercise.... I've tried going on a bicycle ride for 30minutes+ before I leave and it didn't change her behavior at all! She gets plenty of exercise.
I guess I'll give it a shot and stay close the first time and watch her via doggy cam to make sure she won't dig her way out or something:-)

Have a great weekend!

PS: Luna looks just like your dog (including the white spot on the chest) juts with shorter hair:-)
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 04:43 AM
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She just likes the outside entertainment is all. How about a large kennel that you can add to if you want. You could always put a doggy door leading in/out of house into fenced in yard or even an invisible fence around the yard to keep her from digging under the original fence if you are worried about that.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 06:06 AM
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Never leave your dog outside alone unattended. There are those that steal dogs to resell or use as bait for dog fighting.
Crate her inside if being destructive
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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I tried crating. That doesn't work. In fact it made it even worse. I think she has isolation anxiety. The crate was fine when i was at home and i left the door open, but being locked in there when she was alone exacerbated the problem drastically. She panted for hours even after I'd come back home. I couldn't leave her water as she spilled it, she peed in it ands hurt herself trying to get out. (yes, I did introduce it how one should.)
She can't really be stolen from my yard for several reasons, one being that I would buy a lock for the gate.... Also, I live in small village where chances of that happening are really, really small. Moreover, she's a very suspicious dog and chances that she would go with a stranger are minuscule. She's also not really into food that much so bribing her with food would not work. And... she's not a pure breed, so I really don't worry about someone stealing her. I don't live in the US, dog fighting isn't really a thing here as far as I'm aware... thanks anyways though!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, an outside crate might actually not be a bad idea... Doggy door and invisible fence is not really an option at the moment, but should I settle down somewhere at some point, I will for sure install a doggy door. I don't really know how invisible fences work
though... electro shocks?
I'm not sure if it's only entertainment, I think it's mainly a matter of feeling isolated in her case, as a balcony doesn't give that much more entertainment than a living room, especially in Luna'a case as I have tried ANY possible kind of entertainment. (Kongs, all kinds of food toys, hiding stuff, bones, TV, Music, recording myself and playing it, etc.... ) She also ha sa better view of the surroundings on a balcony/in the garden and can thus take better care of the house.... Anyways, thank you very much for your answer!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 03:00 PM
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Did you say you have a fence? If you're in a safe area and have a secure fence, you could probably leave her outside when you're gone if that's where she feels most secure. When I was growing up, our family dogs always had a dog door that led into the fenced yard, and they came and went as they pleased. These days, I don't leave my dogs outside when I'm not home because I worry that if they did somehow escape the fence, our neighbors might shoot them--we live in a rural area, there are chickens, cows, horses, ect, and I worry that a GSD might be seen as a threat to the livestock. For a little more security, you might consider building an outdoor kennel and a run. If I wanted to leave my dogs alone when I was gone, that's probably what I would do. Good luck. I hope you find a solution that works for you.

If you think she'll dig under the fence, here are some things you could try:

Bury chicken wire at the base of the fence. Be sure to roll the sharp edges away from your yard.
Place large rocks, partially buried, along the bottom of the fence line.
Bury the bottom of the fence 1 to 2 feet below the surface.
Place chain-link fencing on the ground (anchored to the bottom of the fence) to make it uncomfortable for your dog to walk near the fence.
For more detailed advice, read our instructions for keeping out burrowing wildlife.

Last edited by sebrench; 04-22-2019 at 03:03 PM.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 03:07 PM
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From your description of where you live, it sounds like it's pretty safe to leave her outside while you're gone!

So, my dog is happy to hang out in the yard if I am also outside, or he knows that I am inside the house. I am afraid to leave him in the yard and go away though - because I know that one of the first things he would do is try to get out of the yard and go FIND me. Do you think that your dog would try to escape so that she could go FIND you?

They can dig a big hole in the dirt in relatively few minutes of work, and are pretty smart enough to lift a latch with their nose...
And then my fear would be of course that the dog would wind up in a road with cars.
I think that as long as you could escape-proof the yard somehow, it sounds pretty safe for her!

Rumo ~ rescue shepherd/husky mix
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