My daughter has had her 2 labs since they were 8 weeks old. They have been indoor dogs, with a small fenced in area of yard to go outside to do business & play. Lady & Hoss are about 14 months old now. It may soon become a MUST to move them outside, with a much larger fenced in yard. My question is...will these 2 spoiled rotten indoor babies adjust O.K. to becoming outdoor doggies? They love, of course, being outside when they do go out. These dogs have been well taken care of & loved & that will not change if they are moved outside. Just let me know any experiences you have had with this situation. Thanks! Grammy of Lady & Hoss
Why?It may soon become a MUST to move them outside
Why must they be moved outside?
most dogs do well outside, but labs need more attention than most dogs. Unless you are outside all the time (not just an hour or two) they are not really a breed that should be left outside (my opinion anyway). Especially if they have spent so much time getting into their routine. Just the time before bed where one may hang out on the couch with the dogs nearby - those moments will be lost. When you are in the kitchen making food and they are not too far away - those moments will be lost. Or when you walk by and say hello as you are moving thru the house - that won't happen anymore. These moments in a day add up.
but if this is not up for negotiation here are a few things to look out for - they may start digging and climbing. I have a lab that could (in his younger days!) climb COVERED fences and get out of the yard. Keep an eye out for holes in the yard. Ensure there is absolutely no way for them to escape. As they will be outdoors MUCH more often than before they may start looking to escape or cause damage (this is not a given, just a posibility).
There is a difference between loving time outside and being put outside 24/7 as well.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Why do you want to move them outside?
My strong opinion is that pet dogs (especially social breeds like Labradors) should NOT be left outside in suburban backyards. In some situations I think having outdoor dogs is perfectly acceptable. For example, working gundogs, or farm dogs with lots of open space that have been outside from the word go. But PET dogs? no. Absolutely not. Why have a pet dog/s if you are going to isolate it to the backyard? Labs are social creatures. Even with other dogs as company they need HUMAN contact. It is all to easy to forget about an outdoor dog.
Can you honestly say that you can spend enough quality time with an outdoor dog? what about in the dead of winter? the heat of summer?In short, the answer is no. You said it yourself that they are "spoiled rotten indoor babies". That is sort of like saying if you lived in a palace for 14 months would you feel satisfied moving into a wooden shack in the great outdoors.My question is...will these 2 spoiled rotten indoor babies adjust O.K. to becoming outdoor doggies?
IMO, it will start a whole series of unwanted behavior as they have been inside dogs and may see being outside as punishment. Also, that is their house. That is where they have grown up and lived until now. Moving them outside would be like moving us from our comfy homes to a teepee. They will not understand why the move. It could cause feelings of abandonment. Why must they be moved? ???
You have received some great advice -- labs love people -- they need to be part of a family. I, too, wonder what would initiate the change to outdoor dogs?
Agreed. Because they have been indoor dogs I don't think they will do well outside.
my dogs were always indoor dogs until i moved to a house with a large yard. fortunately for me, i work from home and my studio is in my backyard. because san digeo has a mild climate i just leave the backdoor open all day so the dogs can come and go as they please. well, my lab Jackson definitely prefers to stay inside and sleep on his doggy bed. on the other hand, my bully mix Bear LOVES to be outside - he loves sunshine and sleeping in the grass and on the concrete. jackson would NEVER do this. it's so funny to watch the behaviors of two different kinds of dogs. i think labs just prefer the indoors!
Well said, everyone. Especially Tanya. Those "little moments" are what makes a life.
I agree wholeheartedly about this change spawning unwanted behaviors. Case in point: Next door neighbor's Lab.
They got him when he was about 8 weeks old. I knew as soon as they brought him home they had bitten off more than they would be willing to chew. Long story. : I wouldn't go so far as to say he has been spoiled in any way. But he was kept mostly indoors.
He's now a little over a year old. He's not a sweet wittle puppy anymore (to them, anyway), and he spends an increasing amount of time tied to a tree or to the deck in the backyard.
And he barks. And barks. And barks. And then, he barks some more.
This week on two different occasions he has kept me awake ALL night long. I would be lying if I said I wasn't super-annoyed. But I also realize why he's doing it, and it makes me feel very, very sorry for him. :'( He feels that his pack has forgotten him, and his barks are frustrated cries for help and attention. Labs are indeed very social, and need to feel connected to their pack.
I don't keep mine inside 24/7. They have a few hours every day that they are let out to play, or sun, or chase each other around. But it is pretty scheduled, and they know they will be back inside in just a short while.
I think there's no reason they have to be relegated to the backyard...you can make good use of things like baby gates and crates and dog-proofing, and work around any issues that might come up until they are fully reliable in the house.
Connie and "The Boys":
Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD
Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever