Hey guys/gals - I have a situation and I need some opinions. We have a one year old Lab (Jay) and live in SC. We just finished building our new home that is an hour from where we work. Jay stays in his kennel during the day while we're at work and at night. We aren't able to come home and let him out at lunch. He seems to be just fine and never has an accident. At our old house we tried keeping him in the laundry room so he would have more room to walk around but he tore it up really bad so we got the kennel. It's a larger kennel and he can sit up when he's inside of it but doesn't have much room to do anything else. We have another dog (poodle/spaniel mix) that prefers to be outside at night and during the day. We've tried to keep him inside at night but he barks until we let him out. So, my wife's parents keep telling her that we need to put Jay outside because it's cruel to keep him locked up in a kennel all day and at night. He still can't be trusted inside by himself and if we let him outside for more than 10 minutes unattended he starts to dig and eat bushes/tree's etc... He dug up one of our irrigation valves yesterday. We don't have any grass in the backyard but are working on that. Her parents think he would be happier in a kennel outside. I know he'll grow out of this one day (hopefully) but I don't know what to do. I've read many posts on here and most will disagree with keeping him outside. I've thought about getting an outside kennel so he would have more room during the day and then he can sleep in his indoor kennel at night. My wife has always had a dog and has stayed out during the day and at night and they were really happy. Jay loves to play with Ollie (other dog) and I think they would have fun but he would have to be in his kennel and I didn't think it would be fair to him b/c he would see Ollie running free.
Any suggestions??? If we did get a kennel it would be 10x10x6 with a roof and I would put it on gravel/deck or a concrete slab.
Sounds like you're describing more of a dog run than a kennel, which does sound preferable, IMHO, to a crate inside, PROVIDED THAT:
- It is secure. One of the main reasons against back-yarding a dog all day has to do with either their ability to escape or their inability to protect themselves from being hurt/stolen/killed by sickos who may want some jollies at his expense.
- It is protected from the elements. SC gets hot in the summers, no? Is it shaded? Plenty of water? Able to catch a spare breeze or two? You don't tell us if Jay is yellow or black, but the blacks really suffer in the summers. Labs, as you know are 2x coated for swimming and hunting, and those coats can retain heat to a dangerous level.
Other things to think about ----
The destructiveness @ home can be trained out with things like LEAVE IT and OFF and SETTLE. Has Jay been to obedience? Also boredom can lead to the destructiveness that is pushing you toward an outside kennel. What is Jay's exercise regimen on a daily basis? Is it enough to tucker him out, so that perhaps he CAN be good enough indoors while you're at work.
Other options: Doggie daycare. Dog walker during the day.
Just some thots.......
Jay is black and we have a 7ft privacy fence around our acre back yard. I'm not worried about him being taken because of the fence. The gates stay locked. He's attended a couple of obediance courses and understands off and leave it. Since we're in a new house we walked the back yard and when he went to something he wasn't supposed to play with I say leave it and he goes on his way. We play catch for 30 minutes or so when I get home in the afternoon and then he likes to play with Ollie. They run around and chase each other.
The kennel I saw over the weekend is chain link with an A-frame roof. We're not sure if we'll pour a concrete slab or use gravel and build a little deck that he can lay on....if we decide to do this.
Would it be better for him to be in a large kennel or his inside kennel during the day?
I can't tell you to do one or the other. I will tell you though that Mocha (and now Zeus) was crated during the day from 8:00am-5:45pm when we're at work. Mocha (3 y.o) has earned her freedom but Zeus (who is 1 1/2) is still crated daily. They are out in the evening and we make sure they get plenty of exercise and mind stimulation during the eveings and mornings to keep them out of trouble and in shape.
Something to concider for crate time to keep him busy:
- Kongs - stuff them with kibble, peanut butter, yogurt, wet dog food, etc and freeze them it should keep him busy for a good while and is stimulating for the mind which is good for keeping them out of trouble.
- Buster cube - http://www.sitstay.com/cgi-bin/sdisp.cgi/TYBUST.lg.jpg
you put food in it (I put part of Mocha's morning meal in hers when I leave for the day) and it keeps them busy and stimulates their mind.
- Moluecule Ball - http://www.sitstay.com/cgi-bin/sdisp.cgi/TY12.lg.jpg
Similar to Buster cube and there are numerous other similar toys any of them would work
- Everlasting treat ball - http://www.triplecrowndogs.com/shop/product.htm?loc=208
I've also heard good things about these that they hold up and last a long time.
I would prefer my dogs inside out of the heat and weather personally. It's not ideal to crate them for long periods of time but it's not the end of world as long as they have plenty of outside time and exercise.
Playing devil's advocate here: Can he dig under it??Originally Posted by WaltSoooo... he CAN be uncrated during the day or not? ???He's attended a couple of obediance courses and understands off and leave it. Since we're in a new house we walked the back yard and when he went to something he wasn't supposed to play with I say leave it and he goes on his way.
I would say if he was kept outside uncrated then he could possibly dig out that's why we thought of the outdoor kennel. He can not be trusted uncrated inside or out right now.
We've tried kongs in the past but it's been a few months since he's had one so maybe we can try that again and see how he acts. He loves marrow bones with peanut butter or pimento cheese in the center.
I live in SC, too, and those 95+ days with the high humidity are rough on our pooches. I give mine plenty of shade and bring them in as soon as we get home in the late afternoon (4:30). My husband has a somewhat flexible schedule as he is a contractor and often stops by on those tough weather days and lets them relax in his office while he does paperwork. We live in a gated community on a cul-de-sac, so we have little concern with stealing of dogs. Lily and Legend sleep inside during the evening hours. Lily likes her crate and Legend sleeps in an old recliner; that keeps them separated and out of trouble. In the summer we try to keep them inside as much as possible because the mosquitoes are so BAD! Their walk during the summer is done late at about 7:00 P.M. because of the heat. We walk three miles which helps them sleep better as they are truly plum tuckered out afterwards! Remember that labs want to be with their families and the more time they get to spend with you the better off everyone will be.