TOUGH ONE-is it time to leave home alone outside? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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TOUGH ONE-is it time to leave home alone outside?

I have an almost 5 mo. old GSD male. He sleeps in crate overnight in our room, then goes outside in the mornings while we get ready for work, at noon when I come home to let him out/feed and then after 5 pm when we get off work. My questions are:

1. After turning 6 mos. old and needing only two feeds a day, I will most likely not come home at noon (having to leave him 8 hrs straight in crate) Is crating for so many hrs. safe/ok? IF NOT...

2. Is it time when he turns 6 mos. to leave him home alone in
backyard considering it's a safe place and partly covered?

I will have to make a decision SOON...
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 08:40 PM
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Re: TOUGH ONE-is it time to leave home alone outside?

Personally, I would not leave my dog outside unsupervised, even if the yard has a privacy fence. There are just too many variables. Dogs can get bored and dig their way out. Someone could leave a gate open. Neighborhood kids might throw things at him. He could bark at passers-by and annoy the neighbors.

I just wouldn't do it.

If you want to leave him loose, I would leave him loose inside the house, if he is ready for that. Some dogs can be trusted loose in the house at a relatively young age - others cannot be trusted loose in the house, even when they are older. So this very much depends on your dog.

What I would do, is start by leaving him loose in one room - like the room where his crate is - and block access to other rooms using doors or child gates. Remove things that are easily destroyed, and leave him for a short period of time, maybe half an hour the first time. See how that goes. If there's no destruction, try it for longer periods of time and in more rooms. If there is destruction, he may just not be ready to be loose.

If he's not ready to be loose, then there are options other than just leaving him crated. For example, he could use an X-pen around the crate, so that he would have some room to walk around and play with his toys.

Also, if you need to crate / gate him in a small area for a longer period of times, like 8 hours, set aside some time in the morning for a nice long walk and some play time. 8 hours goes by a lot faster if your pup is tired and napping, than if he's got tons of energy and is looking for something to do. You'll also need to take time when you get home from work to walk and play again, get some of that energy out.

Leaving your pup something to do that works his mind can also really be helpful. They make treat balls that you fill with treats, and your dog has to move them around to get the treats out. It's important that your dog gets mental stimulation, not just physical exercise, and this is one way of doing that.

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 09:18 PM
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Re: TOUGH ONE-is it time to leave home alone outside?

I know probably the majority of people don't feel too highly about leaving their dogs outside when they aren't home, but we live in a verryyyy country area, & have a large backyard & 2 dogs (9 month old GSD & 2 year old golden retriever). Our GSD has a very large doghouse outside in the shade (backyard behind the house) & a 30 foot chain drilled into the dog house so she can't rip it out. We were going to buy a kennel for outside but our yard is at a slant & wouldn't be possible. She has food & water outside all day, & is usually left out for 6-8 hours. This summer we will be moving the chain to a little longer than 30 foot runner from tree to tree, & then add her 30 foot chain to that so she can run around more since she will be older. She loves it & gets to rough house with the Golden (theyre chains touch just enough to play without getting tangled).

I feel that she is safe, she has never broken off of it & there is nothing for her to get tangled in. I guess it's up to you.. but that's what we do.

OH. Since it's winter, she is inside her crate or penned in a room with a baby gate when we are not home. (Usually crate, not ready to be loose so much). She has a Kong toy & it seems to keep her occupied.

beamer - black/tan gsd 6/11/07
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: TOUGH ONE-is it time to leave home alone outside?

Where can I find these treat balls at? Any pet store?
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: TOUGH ONE-is it time to leave home alone outside?

Excuse my ignorance but what is a kong toy?
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 09:35 PM
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Re: TOUGH ONE-is it time to leave home alone outside?

Kong...rubber toy that you can fill with natural peanut butter or other tasty treat.
Treat balls...toy that you can put cookies or other treats in. It has small openings that the dog can work on getting the treat out of through the day.

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 09:36 PM
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Re: TOUGH ONE-is it time to leave home alone outside?

Many dogs love either of these options.

Sharon, Mom to
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Lexi CGC (Cert. area search)
Neko CGC (Cert. HRD)
Justice CGC (trailing),
BOLO, Bloodhound CGC(trailing)
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: TOUGH ONE-is it time to leave home alone outside?

got cha. looking at some online as we speak. Will try either xpen and these toys or leaving him in small area in house with toys. I am so glad I joined this site. Your help is soooo great!!!
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 11:18 PM
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Re: TOUGH ONE-is it time to leave home alone outside?

I'd keep my dog safely crated in the house before I ever left them in the yard and even worse "chaining them up".

My sister lived in a rural country area and always left her dog outside when they left. She had a fenced in yard. She came home to a mauled dog one day and despite weeks of treatment he did not survive the injuries. To this day they still have NO idea what happened or what attacked him.

That is just my honest opinion.

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 11:45 PM
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Re: TOUGH ONE-is it time to leave home alone outside?

I won't leave my dogs outside when I'm not home. Two neighbors near me do this alot - with one their dog would always get out and someone would find him and bring him home or he'd go back on his own (he liked to dig under the fence), well last time he got out he went the wrong way up the street (towards the busy main road) and was killed by a car. My other neighbor keeps having their smallest dog get out while they are at work - so far the dog keeps running towards the rest of the plat and not towards the main road, but one day I'm sure she will wind up like other dog. Nope, I don't trust leaving dogs outside when no one is home. I don't go outside with my dogs every time they need out, but I'm never out of the house when they are outside. Too many possible bad things that can happen.

With the Kong toy I like to fill it with peanut butter and bananas and then freeze it overnight. That's their favorite combo. I also bought a rubber orange ball that has one hole in it at Petsmart that I fill with Cheerios. They roll those around to get the cereal out. I tried the everlasting treat balls and they just don't last long with my dogs so I'm not buying any more refills.

Michelle


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