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Discussion Starter #1
Just closed on my first house today. Have lived in condos all my life, as has my 6-year-old GSD.

Getting keys and moving in this coming Monday. Fully fenced-in (chain-link) back yard. Obviously very excited.

Can anyone share tips or suggestions that would pertain to having a dog in a house?

Having the dog meet the immediate neighbours is an obvious one.

Also planning to teach her to do her business in a specific part of the backyard. Will buy a small can/container for her poops, and one of those claw-like scooper things to pick it up. Already have a chest-freezer for her food.

Anything else along these lines that would be useful?
 

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You might have to take some potty off your old spot to mark your new one..
My potty training to a specific spot went like this..

Tell them potty in your spot and when they do they get praise and a treat. when not in spot redirect to correct spot.

I also have some treats by back door so when they come in they get another one. Helps on those cold days that they come in right away.

Of course this is when they are puppies and eventually the treats stop.
 

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Well, I had to teach Rumo how to go down the stairs.
He would come down, accelerating all the way, and then crash into the wall at the bottom!

I taught him by walking in front of him with my hand out (to keep him from passing me) and saying "slow, slow, slow...."

I figured he must have lived in an apartment or one-level home before!

These days he comes down carefully, steps daintily onto the ground floor, and looks pleased with himself.
 

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Do your landscaping with the dog in mind ---- I'd leave a space along the fence bare. Depending on the dog, you may not have much grass at all. Depending on the neighbors and other access to that chain link fence, you may want to install slats in it. I'd also make a place that's OK for the dog to dig. I had good luck paying attention to that spot at the end of my gardening so the dogs thought it was a special place. That's what I've got right off the bat.
 

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Congratulations! How big is your yard? I suggest you have a designated play area for your dog if you don't have a big yard.

I have one dog and a small yard, with a specific area along the side of the house, where we play frisbee. It started off as a nice grassed area. Nitro has two worn two 'cow trails' in the grass, the left one where he chases the frisbee, the right trail when he brings it back. There is a large dust bowl in the area where he leaps to catch his frisbee and brakes heavily. There is a smaller dust bowl where I stand to throw it. Be prepared for wear and tear, and 'cow trails' to develop in your yard.
 

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Get him used to the sounds and sights of the new surroundings. He may bark at, for you, normal sounds. So have a command that teaches him that everything is OK. I use "All Done!" for this purpose. They learned this when we stopped play.
 

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Congrats on your new home! Nothing like having your own yard/space!! I'd check the fence line for any "weak" spots,this would be for your dog possibly getting out or loose dogs that might squeeze in! comb the yard for anything left behind by others, if it's been owned before you'd be surprised what you might find! Our dogs always seemed to choose the back of the yard for their potty ground, behind the shed! Didn't want spied on! Lol!! Depending on how your windows are in your home, the wood panel(?) on the Windows got scratched up from them "checking" on what was going on outside! They were loose in the house while I was at work, that was the only thing destructive they did after they were fully trusted left alone! Our windows are not full length, but my daughter had one dog break one of full length Windows once, that was scarey! All my face the back in our living room so I just put a table in front of them! We have railroad ties that line our back yard, I had put chicken wire down first, then the railroad ties on top against the chain link. I would have liked to put in slats, because we did have some of the running up and down the fence with the neighbor dogs! Good luck, and enjoy your space!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the tips, everyone!

Liza is pretty good at going to the washroom on command, so I think getting her used to going in a specific area will be fairly straightforward. I'll eventually box it in with some wood to make it even clearer where "her" area is, and I'm thinking of covering that area with pea gravel instead of the grass that's currently there. Gravel should make it easier to "wash down" anything unpleasant there.

Interesting thoughts about "cow trails," heh.

The yard is a decent size:





Stairs should be just fine - she's been walking up/down stairs since puppyhood.

Digging is something I've never allowed except at the beach, so I don't think I want to encourage that in the backyard. But slats on the chainlink may be a good idea - I'll see how it works out and what the neighbours think of it!
 

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You may not want to "encourage" digging but I've found that if you garden at all, they want to garden. If I have a spot for them that I pay special attention to before I quit, they recognize it as "special" and deserving of their attention.
 

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what ever plans you have for the yard, I suggest a bit of "wait and see" before spending a lot of money. Watch your dog's patterns first so you can see where you need to do some work. For instance I have fence line that shows no wear and tear and another that will need to be mulched along. I had one shade tree that my big-boy loved that I had to put gravel under to discourage digging. He loved digging out cool dens under the tree. Alas, a storm destroyed the tree and he hasn't chosen a new den digging spot (thank goodness).
 

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Congrats on your new home! Looks like you have a large house. Don’t hesitate to gate off a room in your home. There are some really nice gates some can be pricey but worth it. Sometimes it feels like they take over the house. It’s nice to have a pet free zone.
Luna a digger i always just stop it before it begins.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Are you in Calgary?
Moving to Vernon, BC.

You may not want to "encourage" digging but I've found that if you garden at all, they want to garden. If I have a spot for them that I pay special attention to before I quit, they recognize it as "special" and deserving of their attention.
Right, I can see that. So the property line is actually way beyond the current backyard; if I move the outer fence to the outer edge of the property, the backyard essentially doubles in size. What I plan to do is fence-in that secondary backyard part (it's on a slope so currently not being used), and set up some garden beds there. That'd be a good time to make one for the dog, too. I'll leave existing fencing as-is (other than adding a gate) so that the garden section is physically separated from the "living" section.

what ever plans you have for the yard, I suggest a bit of "wait and see" before spending a lot of money. Watch your dog's patterns first so you can see where you need to do some work. For instance I have fence line that shows no wear and tear and another that will need to be mulched along. I had one shade tree that my big-boy loved that I had to put gravel under to discourage digging. He loved digging out cool dens under the tree. Alas, a storm destroyed the tree and he hasn't chosen a new den digging spot (thank goodness).
Right. Good call. I won't be rushing into anything backyard related - got lots of things to keep me busy.

Congrats on your new home! Looks like you have a large house. Don’t hesitate to gate off a room in your home. There are some really nice gates some can be pricey but worth it. Sometimes it feels like they take over the house. It’s nice to have a pet free zone.
Luna a digger i always just stop it before it begins.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks! Yes, that's something I'm also thinking about. There is actually a pet gate already in place at the top of the stairs on the main floor (stairs lead downstairs), and it's a nice one. I'm not yet sure what (if any) areas I'll want to make dog-free. Kind of enjoy the shower of dog kisses in the morning, but not crazy about the fur that comes with them. I'm sure everyone here knows the problem very well! Will see...
 

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Right, I can see that. So the property line is actually way beyond the current backyard; if I move the outer fence to the outer edge of the property, the backyard essentially doubles in size. What I plan to do is fence-in that secondary backyard part (it's on a slope so currently not being used), and set up some garden beds there. That'd be a good time to make one for the dog, too. I'll leave existing fencing as-is (other than adding a gate) so that the garden section is physically separated from the "living" section.

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My backyard is zoned off, too. I have the a backyard and a "way back yard" where I do gardening. It was a brilliant idea from my hubby that keeps dog life more manageable.
 
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