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Patti, my son has a 10 wk old german shepherd. The short time (3 wks) we've had him, he has left our house stinking. How, and how soon, can we make the transition to him being an "outside" dog? I don't want to do it too early and traumatize him. Also, I'm sure neighbors won't appreciate his hours of crying and barking. We need to make the transition smooth for all, especially the dog, but he cannot be kept in the house. Thanks for your time.

Answer

Hi Ed,

My personal belief is that a dog should be inside with it's human family. Dogs are social, and can develop behavioral issues from being separated from it's human "pack" especially one as young as 10 weeks. A puppy needs to be trained and socialized, and that means being around the puppy.
You are correct, your son's puppy needs to be trained not to bark or cry, and this is the time to do it. Once grown, it will be an ingrained habit.

All dogs are active, social animals. Your family replaced the puppy’s original active family or "pack". In their pack, they were never alone. To be ostracized from the pack is severe punishment. Regardless of your view of dogs and pack behavior, being inside with the family is better to a dog than being outside and alone.

Outdoor dogs are more likely to have an accident inside or make mistakes than inside dogs. They do not learn the acceptable house rules, because they get less practice. Outdoor dogs are more difficult to train. Dogs respond well to training when they have confidence in themselves and their relationship with the owner. Insecure dogs are more difficult to train. Outdoor dogs may not develop a good bond with the family members. The strong bond helps with control and a better relationship between dogs and humans.
Barking, digging, chewing and aggressive territorial reactions are a few of the behaviors that are more frequent or severe with outside dogs. Dogs like humans need mental stimulation; boredom leads to bad habits. So to amuse themselves they invent a job. These jobs may be; to keep all people and creatures away from the fence, dig holes or destructive chewing, and even self mutilation. Outdoor dogs are more likely to develop aggressive behaviors.
Read more here:

http://www.animalcompassionnetwork.org/outside-only

Sorry I can't help you. I hope your son will reconsider keeping his puppy an "outside dog".

Regards,
Patti  

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Patti

Expertise

To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.

Experience

My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

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Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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