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Discussion Starter #1
How many of you have a good sized yard and leave your dog out there while you work and then bring them inside to be with the family before and after work? I haven't got a puppy yet and I was thinking about having a nice place to sleep in at night, such as my room or the garage connected to the house. Maybe a crate for at night too, and then having a kennel and giving her the run of the backyard for around 4-6 hours while we are away. Everyone's schedules in my family alter each day so this would only be for around 4 days a week.

Crating for the same amount of time or letting her play in our fully fenced backyard?


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No, for several reasons.

Number one reason (for me, personally) is safety. There are a lot of dangers in a backyard. Things from simple twigs and rocks that your dog (especially a puppy!) may want to play with and ingest, to crazier things, like psychos throwing poisoned meat in your yard, or even trying to steal your dog. Then there's the possibility of your dog escaping. And if you don't think that an adult GSD can scale a 5-6+ foot cement wall, you'd be dead wrong.

Another big reason is that I live in Arizona. Half the year, it is far too hot to leave a dog outside here and expect them to be comfortable because the temperature climbs to 110 degrees and above on a regular basis.

I would rather my dog be in a crate in the house where I know he's safe than be outside (even in the cool months).
 

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I usually leave my dog out in the garden, for about an average of 8 hours it's biiiiiig but it isn't completely closed off, but my house is isolated from main roads or other houses, he likes sleeping on the lawn in the shade but can do massive damage if he is bored! And he is just only 8 weeks old lol. so make sure to give him a lot of toys, food and plenty of water. Also, put them in a way where he can't spill any of them, because he will!

As for the crate, the first two nights (maybe up to a week) are going to be a pain if you don't put the crate next to you in the room because he will cry a lot. You need to decide whether you want him to be sleeping in the room with you or in another room..

If you decide in another room you must put the crate their and make him get use to it, the first couple of nights are going to be **** though, but he'll get use to it, the first 2 nights I slept a total of 3 hours :p
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I live in NZ and we don't have a lot of dangers here. No snakes spiders or crazy stuff like that. My fences are 1.8m high and we have a nice concrete dry space to put a kennel. It seems strange to me to keep a dog in a crate for hours on end when they can run and play outside for the same amount of time. My last dog slept inside and came in and out while we were at home. We took her to our bach at the beach every weekend as well.
I just see a lot of people talking about crates and stuff. Weather here in NZ isn't so bad specially during summer and we are at the beach for months over Christmas.


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I think it's cultural. We're big into crates here in the U.S. People do steal dogs and there are all sorts of other dangers. That said, I wouldn't leave a puppy outside alone because there really are a lot of things they can get into (even little things like eating something they shouldn't or getting bored and digging out of the yard) but I did used to leave some of my adult dogs outside during the day (in my securely fenced yard in a safe neighborhood). They had access to shade, water, etc. and also the garage and beds in the garage.

Neither of my gsds liked being outside by themselves! One would spend all of her time in the garage and the other barked the whole time. Therefore I started letting them stay in the house while I was gone and they were happier. My gsd Massie was often in the house alone for 10 hours and totally preferred that to being outside. My rottie mix would stay outside when I was at work and my gsd Basu would stay inside and both were happy.
 

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When I was at flyball once, I got an angry call from a neighbor because a neighbor kid had unlatched our gate and let our dogs out and they were running around the neighborhood.

And that's roughly 6 feet high, right? A bored, determined adult GSD would have little problem jumping that fence.

Dangers lie in the least expected places. A piece of wood that your pup tries to swallow that might be a little too big for his throat. A few rocks that might be a little too big for his digestive tract to be able to push through. A small stick that splinters the wrong way in his stomach and punctures the stomach wall. A twig that may turn the wrong way in your pup's throat and choke him to death. A sting by a seemingly harmless bug (such as a bee?) that your pup may have an allergic reaction to that you're not there to take him to the vet because you're away while he goes into anaphylactic shock.

As safe as my backyard may seem to my dog, there are a lot of dangers out there. I know he won't eat the sticks, but there's no telling when the neighbor kids are going to open the gate again. I don't know if some crazy person is going to want to sneak in the yard and take one of them for breeding (he'd be the only candidate, being the only intact one), or to use as a bait dog. I don't know if someone is a dog hater and will throw a meatball full of rat poison, or cheese full of nails in the backyard.

You can obviously do whatever you wish, but I like having the piece of mind knowing that my dog is safe at home.
 

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I think its generational as well as cultural. I'm here in the U.S. and I grew up with dogs outside. My dogs are indoor/outdoor, we have a dog door. I would never dream of leaving a dog crated all day. (except a puppy or a new dog while learning the rule)
 

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The fence on one side is as high as the roof, so maybe I'll fix the back gate so it will be higher........ I just want to make sure the dog I get will be ok for 6 hours or so. There will be plenty of toys and exercise and obedience school. Every time I think I can do this, more doubt haha. I'm over analysing probably, I just want to fully think this through, make sure this is a good decision and not regret it


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When I was at flyball once, I got an angry call from a neighbor because a neighbor kid had unlatched our gate and let our dogs out and they were running around the neighborhood.

And that's roughly 6 feet high, right? A bored, determined adult GSD would have little problem jumping that fence.

Dangers lie in the least expected places. A piece of wood that your pup tries to swallow that might be a little too big for his throat. A few rocks that might be a little too big for his digestive tract to be able to push through. A small stick that splinters the wrong way in his stomach and punctures the stomach wall. A twig that may turn the wrong way in your pup's throat and choke him to death. A sting by a seemingly harmless bug (such as a bee?) that your pup may have an allergic reaction to that you're not there to take him to the vet because you're away while he goes into anaphylactic shock.

As safe as my backyard may seem to my dog, there are a lot of dangers out there. I know he won't eat the sticks, but there's no telling when the neighbor kids are going to open the gate again. I don't know if some crazy person is going to want to sneak in the yard and take one of them for breeding (he'd be the only candidate, being the only intact one), or to use as a bait dog. I don't know if someone is a dog hater and will throw a meatball full of rat poison, or cheese full of nails in the backyard.

You can obviously do whatever you wish, but I like having the piece of mind knowing that my dog is safe at home.
I'm from AZ lived there for 20+ years...my dogs lived outside just fine. They had shade and water and access to the house if they wanted it.

Here in Nevada, my fence is 5 my gate is shorter than that.. My dogs don't go over. They have dug under, but we are double fenced so if they do get out of one another fence is stopping them. They love to chew sticks. We have rattle snakes and scorpions, coyotes and other wildlife too but that is life. I didn't coddle my kids either, they got tossed outside to play with the dogs. I keep liquid benadryl around in case anyone gets stung but its rare. One time when we were still in Arizona the dogs got sprayed by a skunk. Ugh. But they learned to stay away and never did that again. LOL I've pulled cholla needles off both kids and dogs. It is amazing how quickly they learn. I can't imagine trying to keep kids and dogs cooped up all the time. I just don't get it, I happen to think everyone needs sun, exercise and fresh air. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have never heard of crate use before I came into this forum haha. The norm here in New Zealand is to keep your dog outside while you work and have plenty of love, exercise and sleep inside. Crating is such a strange notion for our small southern nation.


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I'm from AZ lived there for 20+ years...my dogs lived outside just fine. They had shade and water and access to the house if they wanted it.

Here in Nevada, my fence is 5 my gate is shorter than that.. My dogs don't go over. They have dug under, but we are double fenced so if they do get out of one another fence is stopping them. They love to chew sticks. We have rattle snakes and scorpions, coyotes and other wildlife too but that is life. I didn't coddle my kids either, they got tossed outside to play with the dogs. I keep liquid benadryl around in case anyone gets stung but its rare. One time when we were still in Arizona the dogs got sprayed by a skunk. Ugh. But they learned to stay away and never did that again. LOL I've pulled cholla needles off both kids and dogs. It is amazing how quickly they learn. I can't imagine trying to keep kids and dogs cooped up all the time. I just don't get it, I happen to think everyone needs sun, exercise and fresh air. :)
I just think of it this way... I wouldn't want to be outside while it's 115 (with shade and all the ice water I could drink or not), so I'm not going to do that to my dogs.
Ozzy doesn't need to be in a crate when I'm not home, but I do keep him in my room with something to keep him occupied while I'm gone. He has access to water in there, too.
 

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I just think of it this way... I wouldn't want to be outside while it's 115 (with shade and all the ice water I could drink or not), so I'm not going to do that to my dogs.
Ozzy doesn't need to be in a crate when I'm not home, but I do keep him in my room with something to keep him occupied while I'm gone. He has access to water in there, too.
Oh and I love to be outside in the heat. My skin is ruined from it but I'm an Arizona girl through and through... Spent hours outside at swim meets, softball games etc. working in my yard... I'm not as fond of the snow but I still want to be outside. I hate being cooped up. Even in the dead of winter with snow on the ground I make sure that I go out with the dogs at least twice a day 20-30 min in the full yard, on top of whatever time they spend outside in their yard when I'm not home. I just got back from a trip down to Vegas to see my daughter. I planned an extra day while she was working just so I could lay in the sun by the pool.. It was heaven. I finally felt recharged after a long icky winter!
 

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I have never heard of crate use before I came into this forum haha. The norm here in New Zealand is to keep your dog outside while you work and have plenty of love, exercise and sleep inside. Crating is such a strange notion for our small southern nation.
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I don't think its really the norm here either. Most people I know have dogs that live outside and they think I'm strange for letting mine in the house. This board doesn't really give an accurate view of the U.S. Most people here are either breeders, showers, or sports people and they are a lot different from your average pet owner.
 

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I don't think its really the norm here either. Most people I know have dogs that live outside and they think I'm strange for letting mine in the house. This board doesn't really give an accurate view of the U.S. Most people here are either breeders, showers, or sports people and they are a lot different from your average pet owner.
Everyone I know, crazy dog people or not, let their dogs in the house and enjoy their pets as family.... Maybe I just know weird people.
 

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I think it depends on where you live, here in Southern California there's a high rate of dogs being stolen for use as bait for fighting dogs. There's no way I'd ever take the chance of that happening to my dogs! I live in a decently sized city with a population of over one hundred thousand people, maybe if I lived out in the boonies things would be a little different but if I was working I wouldn't leave my dogs outside here.

My dogs want to be with me, they bark and whine if I leave them outside. And I'm not a breeder, show person or really a sport person though we do some herding as a fun hobby.
 

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I'd never keep my dog outside with no place to escape inside if needed. I also felt bad leaving Mia in a crate while I was gone for work, but I'd prefer that to leaving them outside.
We have a designated 'dog room' that is reasonably large with a door that connects to our backyard, so she always has full access to a room inside and the yard. When we are home she has full access to the rest of the house.
 

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Everyone I know, crazy dog people or not, let their dogs in the house and enjoy their pets as family.... Maybe I just know weird people.
I know a few who bring them in for bad weather and some who put out blankets and heat lamps and some who like me have indoor/outdoor dogs. I don't know anyone who crates other than the ladies I work with at rescue who have fosters and then they are only crated long enough to make sure they are not ill and get along with everyone. The rescue dogs are put outside in large pens during the day and brought to the inside kennels at night. The other rescue is all outdoors with just dog houses. They don't have an indoor area.
 

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I live in a decently sized city with a population of over one hundred thousand people, maybe if I lived out in the boonies things would be a little different but if I was working I wouldn't leave my dogs outside here.
In the 2010 census the population here was just over 5000. Most of us live on acreage. The nearest "big town" has about 50,000 and is 46 miles away.
 

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In the 2010 census the population here was just over 5000. Most of us live on acreage. The nearest "big town" has about 50,000 and is 46 miles away.
Maybe that's the factor.
I live in a city with approximately 450,000 people. (Crazy ones, at that).
 

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I'm going to be faced with that in a few weeks. I am in the process of putting up a 36' by 12' by 6' high kennel to leave the dog out while I am at work. I work 3-12 hour days (which happened after I got the puppy) so I have little choice. Doggy day care is not really an option because of my hours and family does not want to take care of him for the next five years, lol.

The kennel is sturdy, not a Tractor Supply kennel, and will have a fenced top. I'll put a dog house in there for him and a ton of toys. The neighbors will be great about watching him so that is someone strange is around they will come out and speak up.

I see pros and cons to each way for sure. He is in the crate now for about 7 hours until my brother comes and lets him out for a spell. Then when I get home I let him out (also a good long rompt before I got to work) but....on these nice days I would think he would rather be outside. I dunno

To answer your question though...I would never leave him outside in the yard all day unless it had a roof on it. My boy is only 7 months old and scaled a 5 foot fence like it was nothing. I do not let him out in the yard alone and even when I am out there...if he sees a white furry anything he is in drive.
 
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