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Dog Training/keeping GSD outside at night


We have a 12 month old German shepherd, neutered and lately he has been refusing to go in the crate at night to sleep. His body language seems to suggest he dislikes it, many times he'll pant, whine and have trouble sleeping . I was thinking of leaving him outside in the night since he seems more happy with this adjustment. His ears prick up and eyes brighten when I send him out rather than in the crate. I was curious if this would be an OK compromise, he has been outdoors since he was a pup and seems happy to patrol our property as it gives him a job to do. Wondering, if this affect our bond and training, we have some training goals in the future, and others told me thattoo much time outside may make a dog more "wild", thanks!

Melanie, I'm going to give you my opinion. I think you should allow the dog to sleep wherever he wants, as he's not destroying things and barking outside all night long. I have a dog door and my dogs can choose to come and go as they please. Most dogs I've owned chose to sleep in the house, but I had a husky who was happy to be outside, day and night.

When you do training, you'll find reinforcers that your dog enjoys (tug, toys, food) that will come from you. That will build your relationship and you might find that he starts to choose to come inside more frequently to seek you out.

Good question! And good luck with your training. If you need references in Arizona, let me know!

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Barb Gadola, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP


I can answer questions related to problem dog behaviors, teaching polite manners, puppy raising, and any type of training-related issues. My website page, offers a wealth of information on training and behavior issues as well.


I've been training dogs since 1989 and own and operate Distinctive Dog Training LLC in Keller TX. I specialize in providing practical and positive solutions for families through personalized training in their home.

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Victoria Stilwell Positively! Licensed Trainer
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
Truly Dog Friendly Coalition

BS in Education
Graduate work in Behavioral Psychology
Karen Pryor Academy Dog Training Program
Certified Professional Dog Trainer

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