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Too young for outdoor kennel?

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Hello,

I am new in the forum because I don't have a BC, yet. We are thinking of introducing one to the family, but lots of practical questions keep popping out. Since both parents are working (and kids go to school), we are worried about the young BC left alone at home. We have no other pet at the moment.

One possible solution would be to build her a spacious wooden kennel in our big (fenced) garden so that she would be able to stay outdoor and use the kennel (with food, water, toys) if she wanted (e.g. if it rains). The kennel will be without door obviously, just a safe space for the dog. As soon as one of us get back home, she will be able to come into the house and enjoy some play/run time at the park. She would spend the night indoor, with us.

The real question is: how old she would have to be to go through this routine without minding? I mean, to be left alone in the garden in or out of her kennel for few hours? Ideally, we would like her to be the youngest possible, but I want to make sure she is not too young for this...

Any advice will be highly appreciated.

Cheers

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Hello :)

I can't really give you much advice, other than to say that our puppy (now 21 weeks) mostly has free reign of our garden during the day, however he will sometimes bark at noises in the distance, cats peeping through the fence at him and birds flying past. Not all time, but sometimes. And when he does we call him in and direct him to his toys and his bed. I don't want his noise bothering the neighbours and I don't want him to get in the habit of barking when bored or tired. This might not be a problem for you if you don't have close neighbours, but if you do consider that your puppy/dog might be noisy or might dig or fence chew etc if he/she is bored or lonely.

Our puppy has not been left completely unsupervised for more than a couple of hours during the day. My partner works shifts so will be asleep some of the time (in the same room) so he is expected to be independent, quiet and calm for much of the day although he isn't completely alone. I assume my partner moves around every so often. Our puppy thrives on human contact, even if he is sleeping during the day he wants to be sleeping in the same room as one of his humans. One of the reasons we chose a border collie over other breeds is because we wanted a dog that would be very bonded with his humans and we knew that there would always be someone around for him. I think he would be very unhappy being left on his own for long periods of time.

Saying all that, I'm sure some working dogs spend most of their day shut in a kennel. One of the reasons I didn't continue sheep dog training with my previous collie is because our trainer wanted me to kennel him and only bring him out twice a day for 'work'.

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You don't say how old of a BC your thinking about. My BC puppy has been in a 10X10 outdoor kennel on and off sense he has been 7 weeks old, and love it.  He has 2 dog houses he plays in and toys everywhere. He is 13 weeks now. He does sleep in his crate at night in the house. He goes everywhere I go be it in my truck or for a short walk. He stays in his kennel when I am doing other things, sometimes for 2 or 3 hours. I let him out an we train, play ball, or just have fun together. I let him explore all he wants to. I don't see a problem as long as he is safe and secure.

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On 8/31/2018 at 8:59 PM, jami74 said:

Hello :)

I can't really give you much advice, other than to say that our puppy (now 21 weeks) mostly has free reign of our garden during the day, however he will sometimes bark at noises in the distance, cats peeping through the fence at him and birds flying past. Not all time, but sometimes. And when he does we call him in and direct him to his toys and his bed. I don't want his noise bothering the neighbours and I don't want him to get in the habit of barking when bored or tired. This might not be a problem for you if you don't have close neighbours, but if you do consider that your puppy/dog might be noisy or might dig or fence chew etc if he/she is bored or lonely.

Our puppy has not been left completely unsupervised for more than a couple of hours during the day. My partner works shifts so will be asleep some of the time (in the same room) so he is expected to be independent, quiet and calm for much of the day although he isn't completely alone. I assume my partner moves around every so often. Our puppy thrives on human contact, even if he is sleeping during the day he wants to be sleeping in the same room as one of his humans. One of the reasons we chose a border collie over other breeds is because we wanted a dog that would be very bonded with his humans and we knew that there would always be someone around for him. I think he would be very unhappy being left on his own for long periods of time.

Saying all that, I'm sure some working dogs spend most of their day shut in a kennel. One of the reasons I didn't continue sheep dog training with my previous collie is because our trainer wanted me to kennel him and only bring him out twice a day for 'work'.

Many thanks for your input Jami. I think you raise a very good point that I had not considered: barking when we are not there, resulting in an unwanted disturbance with neighbours. I think this pretty much kills my idea of leaving her outside for few hours by herself.

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On 8/31/2018 at 10:23 PM, NW_MONTANA_BC said:

You don't say how old of a BC your thinking about. My BC puppy has been in a 10X10 outdoor kennel on and off sense he has been 7 weeks old, and love it.  He has 2 dog houses he plays in and toys everywhere. He is 13 weeks now. He does sleep in his crate at night in the house. He goes everywhere I go be it in my truck or for a short walk. He stays in his kennel when I am doing other things, sometimes for 2 or 3 hours. I let him out an we train, play ball, or just have fun together. I let him explore all he wants to. I don't see a problem as long as he is safe and secure.

Thank you for your reply. Our situation would be much worse than yours because nobody would be at home for a few hours... You made me realise this is just not doable, and basically unfair for the dog herself.

We will have to rethink this, and maybe wait until the kids are a bit older and able to share more of their time with the dog. 

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IMO there can be all sorts of potential problems with this. Years ago I tried it with older dogs. I never heard a peep out of them as I came and went to work, but neighbors called complaining about their barking.

Depending on where you are people could tease them, creating fear or reactivity.

Or worse, they could be stolen. Everyone likes to think they live in a safe area, but it happens all over the country in urban, suburban and even very rural areas. Stealing dogs is an organized criminal activity. Dogs are stolen to be used as bait dogs in dog fighting rings, to be sold to laboratories for various kinds of testing and/or to be resold to the pet market or held for ransom. Do an internet search using the keywords dog plus bunchers or flipping. You won't like what you see.

A number of years ago the rescue I volunteer with got a report of a dog being stolen from a 6' chain link kennel with a padlock on it. Bolt cutters cut through them pretty easily.

Aside from safety issues a puppy left alone all day will get pretty lonely. Much better IMO to have someone come in to look in on her or him at least once a day to take it out. It'll make house training much easier too.

 

 

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Around here they are stealing dogs and then selling them at swap shops.  It is getting to be big business.

One woman in my neighborhood was at home and caught a woman coming up to her fence holding out a steak.

I knew some people who had their Australian shepherd stolen out if his kennel in the back yard.  Unless you had a 6 foot privacy fence with locked gates on the inside I would be afraid to try it.

I couldn't leave my dogs in their outside kennel.   They barked nonstop until I got home.  I couldn't do that to my neighbors. 

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I might add I have no neighbors. The nearest one is a half mile away. I have a home security system with one of the cameras directed at the kennel so I can watch my dogs when their in there. I also have motion detectors on my drive way so I no when someone is approaching or coming in my drive. When I am not at home the dogs are with me or in the house in their crates. If I did live in an area where they were stealing dogs I would use added precaution to make sure they were safe.

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2 hours ago, NW_MONTANA_BC said:

If I did live in an area where they were stealing dogs

The thing is, there's no way to know whether you're in an area where people are stealing dogs or not until it happens. And then it's too late.

The fact that it's an organized criminal activity means that people move through areas and then leave when things get hot, i.e. when people start getting more vigilant. They go somewhere else and work that area for a while. Then they may come back some time later when things have cooled down.

I can't (and won't) tell people where to keep their dogs when they're not home or not supervised. All I know for sure is I'd never forgive myself if I lost my dogs because I didn't exercise a little common sense.

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30 minutes ago, GentleLake said:

The fact that it's an organized criminal activity means that people move through areas and then leave when things get hot, i.e. when people start getting more vigilant. They go somewhere else and work that area for a while. Then they may come back some time later when things have cooled down.

 

If I was to use this logic or common sense I would of never had kids and certainly never let them out of the house. I am not telling anyone to leave their dog unattended outside. Leaving a dog in a kennel for a few hours while your at home is not going to hurt anything and if you do leave the house put your pup or dog in his crate in the house is not going to either. Safe and secure is what I have said. Nobody is telling anyone where to keep their dog. Only giving my experiences.

 

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I used to take mine to a big park near me.  We went really early before anyone was out.  But then the whole area started to get built up with townhouses and houses.   Now it isn't safe for people or dogs.  

There are 2 dog parks close to me.  One is very small and tons of apartment people go there.  I think the other one is bigger but it is always full, too.  It is right down on the river.

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I would've never thought a dog could be stolen out of a padlocked kennel, but then again, if my bike can get stolen that way...

My dog, my mum's dog at the time, was actually stolen out of the yard while my mum was unloading the groceries. She was a pup at the time, about six months old I think.
Luckily the neighbours saw where they went and my mother was able to retrieve her. They said they thought she was a missing dog and showed a poster of some sort of spaniel type dog. Our dog is a smooth collie and does not look anything close to a spaniel, except that the dog in the picture is black and white as well. Plus, she was a pup and the dog in the picture was clearly an adult.
They were either really stupid or used this as an excuse if the owner came knocking. 

Some years before that we thought our other dog was stolen, but it turned out we accidentally locked her in the laundry room :) and she was too polite to bark to let us know.

 

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