Do you leave the dog in the yard?
Most people do leave their dog in the yard when they leave home. Why not? The dog loves the yard, they can be out in nature and enjoy the sunshine, they can go to the bathroom as they need, and well it keeps them from getting into trouble inside the house. Sounds great right?
Many dogs just get into trouble outisde. They dig holes, they fence fight with other dogs, they bark, they react to every little noise and passerby, they destroy outdoor furniture, and the list can go on.
All this to say leaving your dog outside can potentially cause more harm then good. With all the chaos that goes on in our yards and neighborhoods many dogs develop undesirable behaviors and end up becoming reactive, destructive and unstable. Leaving your dog
outside will only make it harder to creating a balanced and well behaved dog.
The real issue with the yard is in fact the amount of freedom they receive from it. With the yard they gain a large amount of space to move, run, sniff, see and therefore react to stimuli. The more freedom to roam and make choices can create behaviors which usually are more related to excitement or stress then calmness. For example, if a dog hears the jingle of dog tags the dog is likely to get up from his nap, run to the gate and bark bark bark till he doesn’t feel like the threat is there anymore. The more times this activity occurs the more alert and on guard the dog becomes to listen for the tag jingles that cross in front of his territory throughout the day. We now have created a reactive, anxious, and stressed dog that can’t relax because he is always waiting for the jingles.
How would you feel if you were constantly on gaurd for an intruder? Say you stay in your home all day continually looking out the window, watching every camera you have in place, alerting to every unusual sound, waiting for camera notifications to come in that are triggered by passerbys? Sounds terribly stressful right? That’s how many dogs feel.
Dogs need structure and boundaries in order to achieve balance and a calm state of mind. They need to be taught they don’t have to be on guard or destroy everything in sight. If you truly want to help your dog learn to stop undesirable behaviors and achieve a more relaxed lifestyle then the yard just isn’t going to cut it. It’s great under supervision but it’s not a good baby sitter for your dog.
So what do you do with the dog when you leave home? More on that later. Stay tuned.
In the meantime we’d love to help you out with your dog problems. Leave a comment below or check out our programs and contact us! We are here to help keep dogs in their homes and out of shelters. So let us know how we can best help you!