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 Outside dogs

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Join date : 2014-01-30
Location : Regina, Saskatchewan

PostSubject: Outside dogs   Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:35 pm

Hi! So I have a dilemma. My boyfriend and I have to move to Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, for work. If you know anything about working in the oil patch, you know that rentals are very, VERY hard to find up there. The ONLY (literally, ONLY) place we could find is 45 minutes outside of Lloydminster, and doesn't allow pets. Well, it does, but our new landlord doesn't want Nikita in the house.

Now, Nikita is like my child. She loves us, and we love her more than anything. We rescued her from a reserve in northern Sask, where she spent her first 6 months of her life outside, with little care and supervision, and I don't want to just rescue her to put her back in that situation (not really, we'll still lover her and baby her as much as we can). I do not like the idea of a strictly outside dog, but for at least a month (until we can find another place), she has to be outside during the day (and I WILL NOT leave my dog outside at night).

So, my question is: How do I make her the most comfortable while being an "outside dog" for a little while? I've never had an outside dog... growing up, all of ours have been inside dogs (aka, family). We are thinking of putting a clothesline that she can run back and forth on, and a dog house right beside our door. Really though, I hate the idea of her being out there Sad

Any ideas, suggestions, and help would be REALLY appreciated!!

NOTES: Our yard is not fenced, either, but we are living in a teeny, tiny town, with very little traffic and no traffic lights. We also asked our landlord if we could give a non-refundable pet deposit... no go Sad
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Female Join date : 2011-05-03
Location : Buffalo, NY

PostSubject: Re: Outside dogs   Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:08 pm

I think it's dangerous to leave a dog outside unattended with no one home. Heck I check on mine every 2 minutes when I'm there! I wouldn't trust a tie out because she could get tangled, hang, or injure herself. She could also get hurt if another dog/animal ventures into your yard, she could get stolen, loose, any number of things. The only way I would consider it is if I had a completely enclosed kennel type of set up where I knew she was absolutely secure and no one or nothing could get at her. Do you have friends or family that could take her until you can find a place where she could live inside with you? I don't quite understand why your landlord would allow her in at night, but not during the day...what if you crate her inside during the day? It's such a hard situation and I'm sorry you're facing it Sad
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Female Join date : 2013-12-20

PostSubject: Re: Outside dogs   Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:23 pm

Our dog is an outside dog - first, he was adopted to keep the deer, rabbits, woodchucks, mice, voles from eating all my plantings. Second, husband is allergic. Now, our plan, when we decided on crop-protection dog, was to have 2 dogs to keep each other company but Ami came up for adoption at a local shelter and we jumped on him - we were not at all prepared but with the help of friend, son's fiance, a quick trip to petco and walmart, we made a go of it. (I was not prepared to fall in love with the Beastie and worry so much about him...

First - purchased a 100' aerial dog trolley (if you go this route - be careful - the curling of the line has a LOT of twist, we put it on a turnbuckle to be able to tighten it and 24 hours later, the twist in the line unwound the turnbuckle - looked out the window and dog, 100' of trolley and 15 ' of trolley tether was wrapped around 7 pieces of pool furniture all poised to leap onto the pool cover (water not yet frozen affraid ). I am paranoid regarding Mr. Dog's safety, so he has an extra snap shackle and a carabiner added to his tether. (I will be purchasing a locking carabiner and a double swivel eye - he's learned how to unbuckle one of the snap shackles but not both.Mad ) In addition, just in case the trolley wire comes off the hook, I have and extra tether wrapped around the tree and shackled to the loop of the trolley wire. Mr. Dog also has 5 other pine trees that I have installed large eyebolts for rotating 30 ft tethers so he has variety and does not get bored. All are on elevated ground for drainage, he has 1 permanent dog house with a 10-12 layer of straw. The house is sited so he can look out down the hill, see the cows, the traffic, the mail lady. Also, within ear and eye of the house - and in the foot traffic pattern so we have lots of interaction. He also has a portable dog house but he really doesn't use it - Drives me crazy, prefers being outside so I cobbled together a wind break, keep fresh straw in there and top with an old satin covered, polyester fluff filled bedspread. This is actually his favorite.

Next - you need to train him to the boundaries of his tether - so he won't yank at his neck (use a web collar with a metal belt buckle kind of buckle. I also made sure he was microchipped) I also taught him how to untangle himself from brush and trees - I find the 15 ft lead is best in that regard, he learns how to manage it, goes into the brush and backs out the way he came. The 30 ft lead is only used when I am home, so if he gets it wrapped around the tree, I will know immediately. Be careful there are NO fences or other objects he can climb over and potentially hang himself!

I rotate his toys, walk him 3 plus miles in morning, 2 plus in the evening, have play time during the day, when I do chores outside, he is tethered to me for our mutual company.

The Beastie Boy sleeps in a crate in an outbuilding at night - bottom of crate has cardboard plus newspaper plus mover's blanket plus old quilt plus new plush dog bed plus flannel sheet all topped by several old wool sweaters. Crate is covered top and sides with old sleeping bag and mover's blanket with a piece of foam insulation on top. Every morning the sides are lifted to allow bedding to air out for the day - if it's damp it gets washed and dried. Mr. Dog carefully and intently watches me make his bed - I swear, he thinks he's supervising Laughing 

Water: If it's freezing weather, no metal dish! I have cobbled together a sort of insulated, solar waterer - an 18 gal. Rubbermaid Roughneck tote, bottom filled with bubble wrap, cover with dense straw, make a well in the straw to fit 2 gal plastic trash bucket (with a lip). Cut hole in cover of tote to fit trash bucket. Fill trash bucket to brim with very warm water, place a rubber ball (or tennis ball) in water. Put the whole contraption in southern sun exposure. If really cold, bank the north side with snow (or bury the thing?) I have kept water liquid in this for up to 10 hours in 15° temperature. In the 20's, this stays liquid til late evening (however, since winter hit, Mr. Dog prefers to eat snow, won't drink free water so I end up baiting his water - in his kibble morning and evening he gets twice as much water as kibble, mid-day he gets 2 cups of water flavored with broth from cooking chicken livers or thighs. Before his walks he gets another cup of baited water, before bed he also gets a cup.

All in all, Mr. Dog seems quite content - it's quite rural here, there are squirrels, rabbits, cows, birds...we are home most of the time though. He has a massively thick undercoat - the past few days of 40° has him heated and lazy Very Happy  I think you can make it work - just coax him into it - it's the guilt that will get you. I actually think he likes being outside better than my previous siberian 30 yrs ago that was an indoor dog - she hated being indoors and escaped whenever she could!
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Female Join date : 2012-11-01
Location : Spokane WA

PostSubject: Re: Outside dogs   Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:25 am

We house the majority of our dogs outdoors. One reason may because we are at 14 dogs, the other is running a sled team I like to keep my dogs acclimated to the climates they will be working in. We do have a couple full time house residents due to breed or health limitations to the cold climates.

Things have certainly become easier after putting in the 10'x25' kennel runs that are fully topped and have welded wire grids buried beneath the gravel base. We copied Karen Ramstead's dog house design and fill with straw in the winter. Happy dogs here have a 1 acre fully fenced yard that have welded wire attached to the bottom and buried to prevent dig outs. We've been thinking about adding coyote rollers to the top as an added precaution. We too are pretty rural, we keep the main gates padlocked mainly to prevent a nose flip open gate and to detour any deviant minds if any were to come onto the property to the back of the house Wink
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Female Join date : 2013-03-29
Location : SW Missouri

PostSubject: Re: Outside dogs   Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:24 pm

Shaqua was an outside dog for a long time when she was younger. I had a kennel run that I purchased at a Home Improvement store. I also had to padlock the gate latch because she figured out how to push it up and open. If you do it right and make sure you still give your dog LOTS of attention being outside is just fine. The biggest mistake people make with outside dogs is putting them out there and only seeing them once or twice a day when feeding them. I think it actually takes a little more energy to have an outside dog as you have to make sure you are going out there often and giving them attention, love and training. When a dog is inside they are with you constantly.

i know you don't have an option but to keep her outside there but she will be fine. I strongly suggest purchasing a kennel run though.... tying her out allows her to still be approached by other animals (with no where to run.... really messes with the flight or fight response). A kennel will keep her protected not only from escaping, but also from other animals coming to her. There are lots of options for kennels to keep them secure (tops, burying the bottom, etc). Hopefully you can find a new place soon.
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Female Join date : 2013-12-20

PostSubject: Re: Outside dogs   Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:42 pm

Also - if you do go the tether and/or trolley option - the hardware tends to rust even when it says water "resistant". We used a substance called ACF50 (used on the airplane for anti-corrosion that is plastic safe) to coat all the metal parts- just a tiny drop is all that is needed. I am sure there are other substances you can use to prevent rust (probably even shortening would work in short term but you don't want to encourage dog to nibble on shackles Laughing .) If you do decide on tether/trolley - please, make time to be home full-time for several days to monitor how she adapts, figure out the problems your particular dog has and how to fix them - Ami quickly learned how to untangle himself - I would look out the window, see him apparently tangled, come out to "rescue" him and then, when I was 20' away, he would come bounding out to greet me bounce

As far as dangers in other animals, you need to know your area and wildlife. Here, not really an issue - we have cat that adopted us - she has been around for over 10 years, completely outside. The one time we thought we had a problem was with a fox - however, it seems that cat trumps fox - she chased it away repeatedly. In retrospect, turns out she was eating fox babies and Mama Fox took exception! 
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