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Well, I disagree with your trainer, GSDs do fine in small runs if that isn't their entire life. And it depends on what is small. 5x10 is small. But it isn't small if it has a doggy door to a secure indoor area. Like your sun room. For me, the dog doors give peace of mind.

In NE Ohio, it can be 50 and sunny when I go to work, and 23 and blizzarding when I come home from work. It can be sunny when I leave and then monsoon hits. The thing is, if the kennel is properly sloped, it will shed the rain, if you don't want to do a doggy door, a larger kennel within the fenced yard, with a dog house is perfectly suited to a GSD. If it is really cold, an appropriately sized dog house (not too large) with straw in it will keep a GSD within reason. A dog that is outside 24/7 year round, will probably grow a thicker coat than a dog that spends 2/3 of its life in 68-72 degree weather. But we don't have dogs to be yard ornaments, so having the dog with you when you are not at work, just makes sense. So this means the addition of straw in the dog house might be earlier in the year than dogs left out -- put straw in too early and the dogs just pull it out.

Leaving the dog in the sun room is problematic for me because you say, the floor is tile, if she make a mess it will be easy to clean. The thing is a house trained dog, does not go to the door when they have to potty, no one home, and then poops. No, they hold it. With more and more distress, they wait for you. If they do make a mess, they act mortified. I think the distress itself sometimes causes them to have a loose stool, then they run back in forth in that waiting for you to let them out. You are greeted at the door of your small house with a undeniable smell and enough times that happens, the dog will become an outdoor dog, or will be rehomed.

The run within your fenced yard, keeps the dog safe. A doggy door will keep the dog more of an indoor dog than an outdoor dog. Having the run outside your garage, and a pen set up in your garage for her with a doggy door would be fine too. We are just talking about 8 hours a day. Put a cot in there and she's in the lap of luxury while you are working, and when you get home, she's your companion.
 

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How is leaving her in the yard for 8+ hours worse than leaving her in her crate for 8+ hours? I don't have a choice. I feel like at least I'm better than many alternatives--she gets at least 1 hour (usually 2 hours) of exercise per day via walks and fetch, I take care of her, I am doing training, etc. She seems happy. Yeah I know being with her 24/7 is ideal but somebody's gotta pay for the dog food around here. In her past life she was kept in a dog run all the time, or in a 5th wheel with a dog that bullied her.

I would loooooove for her to stop whining in the truck. Honestly she did pretty well when we were driving back and forth to the check station (about 20 minutes each way) but even then, she'd whine when we started and she'd whine whenever we slowed down coming into town or when I'd have to jump out of the truck real quick to do something. I can't really reward her when she's quiet, because she's in a crate in the backseat and...I gotta drive, yo. I tried passing her little treats through the slits in the crate when she was quiet and it would work for like...10 seconds. I really have no idea why she whines. She sleeps in that crate when the truck's parked, seems perfectly content in there but...when we're moving, she's a whining machine and it DOESN'T. STOP. Yeah, she also whines when we're about to go for a walk or when she's about to be fed so I'm guessing it's an excitement thing, and I'm trying to be consistent about not walking her until she's quiet. But scolding her for whining only seems to make it worse. It's really bad. The trainer wants me to buy a shock collar and said that might help, but...I'm on the fence.

Plenty of dogs are outdoor dogs. And it would only be for the day while I'm at work. I don't understand why that's "sinful", especially compared to being crated in the house, which toooooons of people do (including my trainer) and it seems like that's perfectly acceptable among many dog owners. I feel like having the freedom to pee, drink, and run around as you want would be better than being crated. And with my schedule (not necessarily knowing when I'll be home, getting stuck in the field, etc.) makes it a better option. We can't all stay home with ours dogs 24/7 but that does that mean we shouldn't have dogs?
Some dogs just travel like that. I've had 2. My current one has actually really improved a lot this year and not by anything I did. But it's obnoxious, I know exactly what you are talking about with the truck whining.

I drove 3 days from FL to New England with a bad traveler and I was about ready to drive off a cliff. I should have drugged him for the trip but it didn't occur to me.
 

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I'm sure you will work it all out and it will be fine. Be it a doggie door into the garage or the shed Willow will have safe shelter from the elements. I thinks it's great that you have a good relationship with your neighbors and can rely on them to tell you if Willow is nuisance barking during the day when you have to leave her home alone with outside access. Willow being accustom to being in a kennel run/ crate situation is actually a plus. She probably isn't likely to bark much but will likely enjoy the extra freedom of the yard when she wants. I hope you know this, but if not, don't let anyone make you feel bad for having to leave Willow out during the day when you have to work long days since you are providing her with shelter. You've given a lot of thought to her safety and comfort. She is a dog and honestly they like being outside in most cases. It's us humans that have trained them to be inside spoiled critters. Trust me I know this as I have one. My previous dogs were inside/outside dogs and did just fine. They went out when we went to work and came in with the family when were home. They were well cared for and loved dearly. They were raised that way and it surely didn't seem to bother them one bit. Current dog was raised as me being stay at home and is clearly conditioned by that. If I left her out while I was gone she would likely have a stroke from anxiety. Shame on me because now we can't be gone more than 8 hours without worrying if the dog has to pee or poop because she isn't conditioned to be outside by herself all day.

In the past, if we had to be away for just a couple days we hired a trusted person to come and take care of the dogs. We would put them out when we left. The dog sitter would come in the evening, feed them, hang out with them for a while (teenagers love free snacks and tv) and leave the tv on for them over night. Sitter would come by in the morning, give them clean food and water in the garage and let them out for the day. Rinse and repeat. It was all good. We know you have Willows best interests in mind so what ever setup you chose you got this so don't worry too much!
 

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This is a HORRIBLE idea.
Frostbite, cold water that will damage the intestines and immune system will suffer. GS tend to develop nerve damage related to arthritis meaning your dog will lose sense in hind legs sooner than needed

After thirty years of training, I will tell you all, there are a myriad of trainers out there who do not know anything about natural holistic care for a dog, meaning they don't realize how much some conventional training methods damage a dog, dogs psyche and health
My advice is find a decent doggy day care. Get out of bed 1 he early and drive the dog there. If you leave her home, create a doggy door to the yard. So she can come in when she is cold. We have picked up dogs frozen to an icicle. RECORD temperature means we have Never had cold like this, do not assume your animal is well. We are now fighting to keep sled dogs indoor, that's how bad it is, they are suffering from arthritic pain due to century old believe that they're ok in the snow. They're not.
PS: NO one should crate a dog past two months of age. It leads to anxiety, nervous paw biting, and it is bad for their joints. If someone told you to stick a wolf into a crate you would say but he's used to running won't he go crazy!?
One human year is seven years for them YES they are damaged from crating. It's a people comfort and like all ideas that make people comfy it spread. Now plenty of trainers are singing the same song. One man's dog burned to death when the house caught on fire. He barely got out with children. Dog burned in the crate. NO one would have burned if the dog was out of the crate. He would have sensed it coming before the flame ever sparked.
Dogs receive beta waves on the back of their neck
Another reason why prong collars are a horrible thing damaging dogs nerves
There is an Lshaped way to hold a dog leash to prevent all dogs from pulling however big, but people buy prong collars and dogs suffer. The one time they get happiness on a walk they get prongs into their neck. HUMANS pathetic. Get doggy day care or hire a dog walker to come one time mid day to walk your dog nicely. You work long hours you can afford this. Treat your pet like a child or don't get one. It's as simple as that
1) I don't know what kind of trainer you are or training school you went to or if you're self taught, but...no crates after 8 weeks old?! Ok, whatever. My dog loves his crate. Goes in on his own to sleep and relax. No anxiety there...at all. If your dog is anxious in the crate, you didn't crate train it right or you just have an anxious dog. I don't have a problem with people who don't believe in crates (and there are a lot of them), but don't give us a bs advice about how crates are harmful when there are just as many people out there who think they ARE helpful.

And yes, there could be a house fire and your dog could be burned alive. And your dog could also get attacked by another dog and killed at a doggie daycare. Which one of these 2 things are more likely to happen? I put my money on the latter.

2) "Beta Waves on the back of the neck?!" WT blank are you talking about?! I get there are people who are into the whole holistic thing and I'm sure some of it works, but give us a break with the metaphysical mumbo jumbo. Banzai needs constructive advice.

3) Prong collars damage dogs' nerves as much as choke collars, no-pull halti collars, regular flat buckle collars, or whatever thing goes around a dog's neck. Anything can damage a dog's neck.

4) "Treat your pet like a child or don't get one." Seriously...no! They're not people. They're dogs. As someone who has trained dogs for 30 years, you should know that you don't treat dogs like people.

5) "You work long hours you can afford this." Who are you to say what she can or can't afford? If you actually read her post, you would've seen the part where she says her dog doesn't get along with anyone so getting a dog walker or day care wouldn't work. All you're doing is setting her up for failure. The dog doesn't get along with anyone or anything. There's a chance her dog's going to bite someone or thing and then she'll end up having to put it down.
 

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Well, I disagree with your trainer, GSDs do fine in small runs if that isn't their entire life. And it depends on what is small. 5x10 is small. But it isn't small if it has a doggy door to a secure indoor area. Like your sun room. For me, the dog doors give peace of mind.

In NE Ohio, it can be 50 and sunny when I go to work, and 23 and blizzarding when I come home from work. It can be sunny when I leave and then monsoon hits. The thing is, if the kennel is properly sloped, it will shed the rain, if you don't want to do a doggy door, a larger kennel within the fenced yard, with a dog house is perfectly suited to a GSD. If it is really cold, an appropriately sized dog house (not too large) with straw in it will keep a GSD within reason. A dog that is outside 24/7 year round, will probably grow a thicker coat than a dog that spends 2/3 of its life in 68-72 degree weather. But we don't have dogs to be yard ornaments, so having the dog with you when you are not at work, just makes sense. So this means the addition of straw in the dog house might be earlier in the year than dogs left out -- put straw in too early and the dogs just pull it out.

Leaving the dog in the sun room is problematic for me because you say, the floor is tile, if she make a mess it will be easy to clean. The thing is a house trained dog, does not go to the door when they have to potty, no one home, and then poops. No, they hold it. With more and more distress, they wait for you. If they do make a mess, they act mortified. I think the distress itself sometimes causes them to have a loose stool, then they run back in forth in that waiting for you to let them out. You are greeted at the door of your small house with a undeniable smell and enough times that happens, the dog will become an outdoor dog, or will be rehomed.

The run within your fenced yard, keeps the dog safe. A doggy door will keep the dog more of an indoor dog than an outdoor dog. Having the run outside your garage, and a pen set up in your garage for her with a doggy door would be fine too. We are just talking about 8 hours a day. Put a cot in there and she's in the lap of luxury while you are working, and when you get home, she's your companion.
I agree with this. The reality of the situation is that most of us have to work full time. And while we love our dogs, a lot of us can’t load them up and bring them. You’re lucky to have a job where you can. Unfortunately, it doesnt work with the specific dog. Make him/her comfortable while you’re gone like rest of us and I think she’ll be fine. Good luck!


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This is a HORRIBLE idea.
Frostbite, cold water that will damage the intestines and immune system will suffer. GS tend to develop nerve damage related to arthritis meaning your dog will lose sense in hind legs sooner than needed

After thirty years of training, I will tell you all, there are a myriad of trainers out there who do not know anything about natural holistic care for a dog, meaning they don't realize how much some conventional training methods damage a dog, dogs psyche and health
My advice is find a decent doggy day care. Get out of bed 1 he early and drive the dog there. If you leave her home, create a doggy door to the yard. So she can come in when she is cold. We have picked up dogs frozen to an icicle. RECORD temperature means we have Never had cold like this, do not assume your animal is well. We are now fighting to keep sled dogs indoor, that's how bad it is, they are suffering from arthritic pain due to century old believe that they're ok in the snow. They're not.
PS: NO one should crate a dog past two months of age. It leads to anxiety, nervous paw biting, and it is bad for their joints. If someone told you to stick a wolf into a crate you would say but he's used to running won't he go crazy!?
One human year is seven years for them YES they are damaged from crating. It's a people comfort and like all ideas that make people comfy it spread. Now plenty of trainers are singing the same song. One man's dog burned to death when the house caught on fire. He barely got out with children. Dog burned in the crate. NO one would have burned if the dog was out of the crate. He would have sensed it coming before the flame ever sparked.
Dogs receive beta waves on the back of their neck
Another reason why prong collars are a horrible thing damaging dogs nerves
There is an Lshaped way to hold a dog leash to prevent all dogs from pulling however big, but people buy prong collars and dogs suffer. The one time they get happiness on a walk they get prongs into their neck. HUMANS pathetic. Get doggy day care or hire a dog walker to come one time mid day to walk your dog nicely. You work long hours you can afford this. Treat your pet like a child or don't get one. It's as simple as that
One last thing about crates. If you don't like crates, that's great. We all have our own ways of raising/training our dogs. But how do you transport your dog when you need to fly somewhere? Some of us don't have the "luxury" of living in one place our whole lives. We work for companies that move us every 2 years or so. So how do we get our dogs to our new home? Let them loose in the ocean and hope they make it across and find their way to us? How about all those people who take their dogs to Schutzhund training, or to dog shows, or to other dog competitions, or to their winter home down in Florida, or whatever? How do they get their dogs there safely without a crate? Because I seriously doubt you are ok with a loose dog in a vehicle. You said we should treat our dogs like a child. So we put children in child safety seats for safety reasons. Shouldn't we put a dog in a crate for safety reasons? What happens to a dog when a vet needs to keep it overnight for medical reasons in a small cage/kennel and that dog has had no crate training whatsoever? All these situations are going to make your dog really stressed out and anxious because you took away the crate at 8 weeks of age.
 

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Let's disagree respectfully please.I've edited out several snarky comments on this thread .Any more name calling will result in warnings and time outs.
 

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The only other thing I don't know of anybody mentioned is acclimating her. An acclimated shepherd with a good straw bed and shelter ought to be ok but if she has been in a heated house 90% of time before now she needs to be gradually introduced to longer times in colder temps I would think. OR find a way to leave her a heated bed or shed so she can warm herself if she gets cold.
 

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I don't believe that you mentioned where you live. Suffice to say that things aren't like they used to be. Where we used to feel safe in leaving the dogs outside, we don't any more. We hear about dogs being stolen every week, horses being shot, and then there's poisoning by "neighbors".

I am a retired security professional and was involved in designing integrated security systems for nuclear power plants, the Shuttle facilities at Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg AFB, The White House, and several high-risk government sites.

Depending on where you live and how close the neighbors are to your house, you guys may be fine. You definitely should teach Willow not to take any food or treats or bones from anyone but you. That alone will take some time, but it is doable.

Second you need to upgrade your fence. I have the dog yard fenced in with a five foot high welded wire mesh fabric. Our dogs seem to know that they shouldn't/couldn't get over the fence. But we were "baby sitting" a friend's Dutch shepherd when she saw deer "out there" and sailed over the fence. Fortunately Heidi got tired of the chase and came back here. I guess that we erred in not telling her that she should not jump the fence.
Go for a six foot minimum fence height.

When I was ten, I met my first German shepherd, Ping. Several years later, Ping and his master moved about three miles away. Harry, Ping's master, had a 8-9 foot pen set up complete with dog house so that Ping could be outside when Harry was at work. Ping seemed to know that he couldn't jump the fence. But he could climb and he did, showing up at our house for his daily snacks. That was every bit of 60 years ago and still remember hearing someone paw at the front door.

I watched as Karma got her paws at the top of the fence today, barking at deer. She kind of "popped up" but didn't try climbing the fence or we'd have been out chasing Karma as Karma chased the deer. It's hunting season here. "Nuff" said. (I don't hunt.)

If your yard can be fenced so that the house is included in the perimeter, then I would suggest putting a dog door. That way Willow has her options. We used to have a dog door, but both dog doors are no longer being used. If you opt for a dog door, get one that has a tag that you put on Willow's collar. That way only Willow will be able to access the house. Guess that my background is showing.

Best of luck
Hi there! I'm in Montana, small town. I know dogs have occasionally been stolen, but they seemed to be more rural/outlying areas. I'm in city limits, and surrounded by retired neighbors who keep an eye on things. I feel like this neighborhood is generally pretty safe; and Willow runs away from strangers, so she might get out of someone opened the gate, but I don't think she'd let a stranger take her. They'd have a fight on their hands.

I am hoping to get my fence upgraded very soon; got a quote that was very reasonable, now just waiting for the fence people to call me back and get it scheduled. The fence will be 6 feet all around (right now I just have a small porton of 4.5-foot fence and the rest is 6-foot). Willow has not shown any inclination at all to jump. The other day I threw her ball over the 4.5-foot section when she was all amped up, just to see what she'd do. She just looked longingly at the ball through the slats in the fence and waited for me to go get it.

As for the dog door....yeah. I just don't like that idea honestly, I have visions of coming home to a room covered in mud. I'd have to gate off the back room so that's the only room she could make a mess in. But if I do that, I might as well just keep her in that room without a dog-door; it's tile floor so if she does have an accident it's an easy cleanup.

It's all just complicated. My house is tiny (only 5 rooms: bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen, and sun room), I get stressed when things are dirty, I try hard to keep my small home clean, and I'm limited on rooms I can keep her or her crate in. The yard is huuuuuuge. It just makes the most sense to me....but we'll try things and see what sticks. The most important thing is that Willow is content with whatever system I work out, and that it's something I can manage without having to add a whole lot of cleaning to my chore list.
I used to tell visitors that we had a "dog house" in light of: the rampant clumps of fur, the various spots where one of our GSDs threw up or had a bout of diarrhea, the missing cushions on the furniture when King decided to tear one or more cushions to shreds, then there was Shali who spent her days when I was at work making the wall-to-wall carpeting throw rugs, the fact that the house was modified back when I had Sarek and Jenn had the rest of the pack (Sarek didn't like other dogs), Wiley (a temporary foster who ended up living out his days here) had to be separate because Wiley didn't like me, and now Karma has to be kept separate because Karma has "resource guarding" issues so that when we feed her it's kind of like "drop her bowl and get the h**l out of there".

You'd think that by now (I'm 72) I wouldn't have one GSD, much less three shepherds. Suffice to say that I wouldn't swap any one of them for the World and never would. They're part of the family...Period.
 

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I used to tell visitors that we had a "dog house" in light of: the rampant clumps of fur, the various spots where one of our GSDs threw up or had a bout of diarrhea, the missing cushions on the furniture when King decided to tear one or more cushions to shreds, then there was Shali who spent her days when I was at work making the wall-to-wall carpeting throw rugs, the fact that the house was modified back when I had Sarek and Jenn had the rest of the pack (Sarek didn't like other dogs), Wiley (a temporary foster who ended up living out his days here) had to be separate because Wiley didn't like me, and now Karma has to be kept separate because Karma has "resource guarding" issues so that when we feed her it's kind of like "drop her bowl and get the h**l out of there".

You'd think that by now (I'm 72) I wouldn't have one GSD, much less three shepherds. Suffice to say that I wouldn't swap any one of them for the World and never would. They're part of the family...Period.
Oh my goodness! Your dog house is just like mine. Add in a severely shedding rabbit. (Nice how bunny fur just floats.) Then there's the horse hair. Personally, I don't think eating a little pet hair is going to kill us. I think we're already immune to everything. I wash my hands periodically. It's all good. :)
 

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How is leaving her in the yard for 8+ hours worse than leaving her in her crate for 8+ hours? I don't have a choice. I feel like at least I'm better than many alternatives--she gets at least 1 hour (usually 2 hours) of exercise per day via walks and fetch, I take care of her, I am doing training, etc. She seems happy. Yeah I know being with her 24/7 is ideal but somebody's gotta pay for the dog food around here. In her past life she was kept in a dog run all the time, or in a 5th wheel with a dog that bullied her.

I would loooooove for her to stop whining in the truck. Honestly she did pretty well when we were driving back and forth to the check station (about 20 minutes each way) but even then, she'd whine when we started and she'd whine whenever we slowed down coming into town or when I'd have to jump out of the truck real quick to do something. I can't really reward her when she's quiet, because she's in a crate in the backseat and...I gotta drive, yo. I tried passing her little treats through the slits in the crate when she was quiet and it would work for like...10 seconds. I really have no idea why she whines. She sleeps in that crate when the truck's parked, seems perfectly content in there but...when we're moving, she's a whining machine and it DOESN'T. STOP. Yeah, she also whines when we're about to go for a walk or when she's about to be fed so I'm guessing it's an excitement thing, and I'm trying to be consistent about not walking her until she's quiet. But scolding her for whining only seems to make it worse. It's really bad. The trainer wants me to buy a shock collar and said that might help, but...I'm on the fence.

Plenty of dogs are outdoor dogs. And it would only be for the day while I'm at work. I don't understand why that's "sinful", especially compared to being crated in the house, which toooooons of people do (including my trainer) and it seems like that's perfectly acceptable among many dog owners. I feel like having the freedom to pee, drink, and run around as you want would be better than being crated. And with my schedule (not necessarily knowing when I'll be home, getting stuck in the field, etc.) makes it a better option. We can't all stay home with ours dogs 24/7 but that does that mean we shouldn't have dogs?
Re: Whining in the truck.
Driving across Canada worked for Shadow, lol. Seriously though, Shadow used to drive me crazy if I had to put her in a vehicle. I drove from Calgary to Canmore with her and Bud in crates in the back of the truck and she howled the entire time. Loud enough that people were giving me funny looks. I put her in the back seat for a 3 hour drive to a hiking spot and she whined the whole way! I wanted to throttle her. Truly. But she was tired on the way home and passed out, much to my relief. After that she whined for the first twenty minutes or so and then settled. When we moved to Ontario she fussed the first day but after that she seemed to settle. So perhaps the key is simply to keep driving until they are so tired they stop.
As for leaving her outside, dogs are dogs. Lots of dogs never see the inside of a house. As long as she is secured and has shelter and water she will get used to the routine. It seriously annoys me when people act like they are children. Since Bud could not be safely handled by anyone else when I travelled he was secured in a dog run and fed and watered with a no contact system. His shelter had a door that could be secured from outside the fence to allow cleaning and my vet was aware that in an emergency he would need to be tranquilized. It worked just fine for those times when I had no options. A dog hanging out in the yard while you work is not a tragedy.
As a caution I would check for prior issues with people in your area who bother, harass, harm or steal unattended dogs though. Don't mean to be scary but it is an issue in some places.
 

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Hi there! I'm in Montana, small town. I know dogs have occasionally been stolen, but they seemed to be more rural/outlying areas. I'm in city limits, and surrounded by retired neighbors who keep an eye on things. I feel like this neighborhood is generally pretty safe; and Willow runs away from strangers, so she might get out of someone opened the gate, but I don't think she'd let a stranger take her. They'd have a fight on their hands.

I am hoping to get my fence upgraded very soon; got a quote that was very reasonable, now just waiting for the fence people to call me back and get it scheduled. The fence will be 6 feet all around (right now I just have a small porton of 4.5-foot fence and the rest is 6-foot). Willow has not shown any inclination at all to jump. The other day I threw her ball over the 4.5-foot section when she was all amped up, just to see what she'd do. She just looked longingly at the ball through the slats in the fence and waited for me to go get it.

As for the dog door....yeah. I just don't like that idea honestly, I have visions of coming home to a room covered in mud. I'd have to gate off the back room so that's the only room she could make a mess in. But if I do that, I might as well just keep her in that room without a dog-door; it's tile floor so if she does have an accident it's an easy cleanup.

It's all just complicated. My house is tiny (only 5 rooms: bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen, and sun room), I get stressed when things are dirty, I try hard to keep my small home clean, and I'm limited on rooms I can keep her or her crate in. The yard is huuuuuuge. It just makes the most sense to me....but we'll try things and see what sticks. The most important thing is that Willow is content with whatever system I work out, and that it's something I can manage without having to add a whole lot of cleaning to my chore list.
Another point: You should definitely be aware of the local animal control laws. Some cities, town, et al will let you get away with leaving a dog outside as part of your routine. Others won't allow that. One thing's for sure: you don't want to come back and find that Willow has been "picked up". And since you're employed the Government (federal or state), you don't want to have a major problem there. Better to be safe than sorry. (I'm really not trying to make you any more "hyper" than you started this post. Really.)
 

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Another point: You should definitely be aware of the local animal control laws. Some cities, town, et al will let you get away with leaving a dog outside as part of your routine. Others won't allow that. One thing's for sure: you don't want to come back and find that Willow has been "picked up". And since you're employed the Government (federal or state), you don't want to have a major problem there. Better to be safe than sorry. (I'm really not trying to make you any more "hyper" than you started this post. Really.)
Oh I'm sure it's not a problem here. I feel like half the houses we pass by on our walks have dogs in the yard.

Re: Whining in the truck.
Driving across Canada worked for Shadow, lol. Seriously though, Shadow used to drive me crazy if I had to put her in a vehicle. I drove from Calgary to Canmore with her and Bud in crates in the back of the truck and she howled the entire time. Loud enough that people were giving me funny looks. I put her in the back seat for a 3 hour drive to a hiking spot and she whined the whole way! I wanted to throttle her. Truly. But she was tired on the way home and passed out, much to my relief. After that she whined for the first twenty minutes or so and then settled. When we moved to Ontario she fussed the first day but after that she seemed to settle. So perhaps the key is simply to keep driving until they are so tired they stop.
As for leaving her outside, dogs are dogs. Lots of dogs never see the inside of a house. As long as she is secured and has shelter and water she will get used to the routine. It seriously annoys me when people act like they are children. Since Bud could not be safely handled by anyone else when I travelled he was secured in a dog run and fed and watered with a no contact system. His shelter had a door that could be secured from outside the fence to allow cleaning and my vet was aware that in an emergency he would need to be tranquilized. It worked just fine for those times when I had no options. A dog hanging out in the yard while you work is not a tragedy.
As a caution I would check for prior issues with people in your area who bother, harass, harm or steal unattended dogs though. Don't mean to be scary but it is an issue in some places.
She's already getting kinda better in the truck; the last time we had to go somewhere in my work truck, I found that tapping the crate when she started whining kinda shut her up, and I kept my arm back there and kept doing it and she got the message quickly. We'll see if that keeps working....


In the car though, when she's not crated, the only thing that shuts her up is me rolling the window down and letting her stick her head out. But even then, she'll take little "breaks" from that to pace the backseat and whine. I've tried the harness + clipping her into the seatbelt thing and that kinda works but it's a pain. We'll keep trying and yeah, maybe one long trip will help matters.
The only other thing I don't know of anybody mentioned is acclimating her. An acclimated shepherd with a good straw bed and shelter ought to be ok but if she has been in a heated house 90% of time before now she needs to be gradually introduced to longer times in colder temps I would think. OR find a way to leave her a heated bed or shed so she can warm herself if she gets cold.
Yes, I've been thinking about this too. I'm starting to learn more toward the garage idea, putting a dog door in the outer garage door. The garage isn't heated per se; it has a wall heater (but I don't trust it out of fear of fire hazard), but it definitely stays warmer than outside. Otherwise I'm planning on insulating the crap out of her dog house (buying a dozen or so straw bales and putting them inside and outside as insulation). But again, if it's gonna be, oh, below 20 all day, I probably wouldn't keep her out there, at least not this first winter.
 

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Another point: You should definitely be aware of the local animal control laws. Some cities, town, et al will let you get away with leaving a dog outside as part of your routine. Others won't allow that. One thing's for sure: you don't want to come back and find that Willow has been "picked up". And since you're employed the Government (federal or state), you don't want to have a major problem there. Better to be safe than sorry. (I'm really not trying to make you any more "hyper" than you started this post. Really.)
Good point, especially for other people who read this thread in the future. There are some places where the rules for dogs outdoors are becoming absurd! I do understand making sure that the law has teeth when it comes to requiring that the dogs are safe and have their need for food, water and shelter in place, but some new rules treat all dogs like glass teddy bears.
 

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This is a HORRIBLE idea.
Frostbite, cold water that will damage the intestines and immune system will suffer. GS tend to develop nerve damage related to arthritis meaning your dog will lose sense in hind legs sooner than needed

After thirty years of training, I will tell you all, there are a myriad of trainers out there who do not know anything about natural holistic care for a dog, meaning they don't realize how much some conventional training methods damage a dog, dogs psyche and health
My advice is find a decent doggy day care. Get out of bed 1 he early and drive the dog there. If you leave her home, create a doggy door to the yard. So she can come in when she is cold. We have picked up dogs frozen to an icicle. RECORD temperature means we have Never had cold like this, do not assume your animal is well. We are now fighting to keep sled dogs indoor, that's how bad it is, they are suffering from arthritic pain due to century old believe that they're ok in the snow. They're not.
PS: NO one should crate a dog past two months of age. It leads to anxiety, nervous paw biting, and it is bad for their joints. If someone told you to stick a wolf into a crate you would say but he's used to running won't he go crazy!?
One human year is seven years for them YES they are damaged from crating. It's a people comfort and like all ideas that make people comfy it spread. Now plenty of trainers are singing the same song. One man's dog burned to death when the house caught on fire. He barely got out with children. Dog burned in the crate. NO one would have burned if the dog was out of the crate. He would have sensed it coming before the flame ever sparked.
Dogs receive beta waves on the back of their neck
Another reason why prong collars are a horrible thing damaging dogs nerves
There is an Lshaped way to hold a dog leash to prevent all dogs from pulling however big, but people buy prong collars and dogs suffer. The one time they get happiness on a walk they get prongs into their neck. HUMANS pathetic. Get doggy day care or hire a dog walker to come one time mid day to walk your dog nicely. You work long hours you can afford this. Treat your pet like a child or don't get one. It's as simple as that
Treat ur pet like a child, omg, leave them loose at 2 mo old omg, and ur a trainer, scary. The rest you stated is ridiculous
 
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