When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside
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Thread: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

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    When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    We got our Yellow Lab about 4 weeks ago from a good local breeder. I plan to make him a duck dog for hunting. He will be 11 weeks old on Monday. We are crating him on the back porch during the day while at work and i go home at lunch to let him out and then again after work. We also crate him at night while sleeping. Our back yard is completely fenced in. My question is at what age is it acceptable to give him free range of the back yard and not crate him anymore. I'm not worried about him getting out. I'm more worried about him chewing up something that will kill him. I will obviously clean up all material i thought he could get into prior to this.

    He is allowed inside while we are home for play and sleep. Once he is full grown he will only be allowed inside for sleep. Play will be outside. So he does need to be house broken. He has had a few accidents in the house when we first got him but we watch him like a hawk now and he gives us just alittle warning before going...i usually catch him in time.

    So at what point can I let him just roam the back yard at night and at work? Thanks! Any other tips will be appreciated. He is an awesome puppy...he has sit, stay and come down well already and sits on the whistle sometimes. I'm getting him there!

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    Senior Member MissMutt's Avatar
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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    I totally disagree with your decision to leave the puppy outside unattended.

    Why not just move the crate indoors? It is much safer, regardless of a fenced yard. Safe from someone trying to steal him, safe from the possibility of him digging out/climbing over a fence, and to be left outside alone constantly is to deny a dog what they want: to be with their owner.

    If you even have the slightest bit of worry about him chewing something, you should keep him inside. It seems like the obvious fix. A bored puppy alone in a backyard will likely dig, chew and eat things he shouldn't be touching.
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    Senior Member LoveMyBirdDog's Avatar
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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    Not sure where you live but isn't it too hot outside to leave the dog crated on the porch? Hopefully this is a screened or covered porch. I agree with Miss Mutt that the pup should be crated inside during the day. Then when you get home you can play with the pup outside in the fenced yard.
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    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    Read this thread.
    http://www.dogforums.com/2-general-d...ll-do-gsd.html (How well do GSD pups do in cold weather outside?)

    Or the first two pages at least... after that it kind of veers off-topic.
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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    Quote Originally Posted by LoveMyBirdDog View Post
    Not sure where you live but isn't it too hot outside to leave the dog crated on the porch? Hopefully this is a screened or covered porch. I agree with Miss Mutt that the pup should be crated inside during the day. Then when you get home you can play with the pup outside in the fenced yard.
    LOL. The back porch is covered and in the shade and I leave the fan on. What do other wild animals that live outside do for the heat? I guess they randomly die from it?

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    Senior Member rosemaryninja's Avatar
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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    Quote Originally Posted by bacchus View Post
    LOL. The back porch is covered and in the shade and I leave the fan on. What do other wild animals that live outside do for the heat? I guess they randomly die from it?
    They make their way into cooler parts of town.

    Maybe my perspective differs from yours, but I'd like my pet to have a much more comfortable life than that of a wild animal.
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    Senior Member LoveMyBirdDog's Avatar
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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    Quote Originally Posted by bacchus View Post
    LOL. The back porch is covered and in the shade and I leave the fan on. What do other wild animals that live outside do for the heat? I guess they randomly die from it?
    Well if the crate was in the direct sun and the pup was unable to make its way to any shade then the dog could most certainly die for heat exhaustion.
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    Senior Member sheltiemom's Avatar
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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    I hope you are keeping water in the crate in a container that cannot be spilled....they make different attachments for inside crates. I disagree with crating him outdoors and I also disagree with outdoor dogs in general, but regardless, it's important for him to have water out there.
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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    I could never leave my dog outside alone!
    I think its cruel to leave a dog outside and then just go for work or something.
    Thats just what i think.

    My dog is always in a crate inside when no one is home, and sometimes he just comes with us and waits in the car (we always have the window open ofcaurse)
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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    My answer?

    Sorry, but I dont have one that could help you... I have 5 dogs, 2 being Great Danes... and they are always inside. They only go out when they want, and when I'm out there.

    My dogs are FAMILY members and deserve the same respect and the same level comfort 24/7 that we do. They are never "bored" the way SOME people think inside dogs are... they all get 30 mins-1 hour walk every day.... and how can they be "bored" when they are with the humans they want to be with most?

    Plus... a Lab puppy... left alone outside... is just ASKING for disaster. Their level of destruction knows no ends... so your yard must be COMPLETELY puppy proofed if you wont be watching him the whole time he is left outside.

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    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    I don't think it's possible to lab-proof (or Plott-proof) a yard.

    If my dogs can't find some trouble to get into, they will dig up trouble. Maybe I'll post pictures later. They have dug up nasty-looking stuff that should probably be donated to the Smithsonian. And that's while I'm home.

    I'll also post photos of my kennel solution - 1 12'x18' chain link kennel run where they can be safe and secure outside on mild days. The only time the have the run of the large, fenced yard is when I'm home with them. At night, they are in the house regardless.

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    Senior Member 'tasha's Avatar
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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    Quote Originally Posted by rosemaryninja View Post
    They make their way into cooler parts of town.

    Maybe my perspective differs from yours, but I'd like my pet to have a much more comfortable life than that of a wild animal.
    Couldn't have said it better myself!

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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    Quote Originally Posted by bacchus View Post
    We got our Yellow Lab about 4 weeks ago from a good local breeder. I plan to make him a duck dog for hunting. He will be 11 weeks old on Monday. We are crating him on the back porch during the day while at work and i go home at lunch to let him out and then again after work. We also crate him at night while sleeping. Our back yard is completely fenced in. My question is at what age is it acceptable to give him free range of the back yard and not crate him anymore. I'm not worried about him getting out. I'm more worried about him chewing up something that will kill him. I will obviously clean up all material i thought he could get into prior to this.

    He is allowed inside while we are home for play and sleep. Once he is full grown he will only be allowed inside for sleep. Play will be outside. So he does need to be house broken. He has had a few accidents in the house when we first got him but we watch him like a hawk now and he gives us just alittle warning before going...i usually catch him in time.

    So at what point can I let him just roam the back yard at night and at work? Thanks! Any other tips will be appreciated. He is an awesome puppy...he has sit, stay and come down well already and sits on the whistle sometimes. I'm getting him there!
    I'll just answer the question.
    Before giving him more freedom (run of the backyard), give it a test run. I'd start by just leaving him in the yard while you're home. Watch out the window and see how he does. He'll be fine. Then, maybe on the weekends when you don't have to work, leave him out in the yard while you run a quick errand in town. Gradually leave him for longer periods until you can trust him. Crate him when you leave for work like normal, and when you return at lunch to let him out, leave him in the yard until you get home from work. If you intend for him to sleep inside as an adult, go ahead and keep him crated at night still (I wouldn't give him run of the yard at night). Happy future duck hunting!
    Last edited by GenuineGoldens; 06-05-2009 at 04:52 PM. Reason: added some more stuff

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    Senior Member LuvMyAngels's Avatar
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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    Having experienced the destruction a Lab puppy can do when "everything is picked up", Id have to go with never. And thats just with the risks already present in any given yard. Pup could eat a stick or rock and end up with an intestinal blockage or the stick caught in his mouth/throat.

    He could dig under or climb over the fence which then puts him at risk of being hit by a car, he could be stolen from the yard (happened with my brother in laws yellow female...in a small town), bored dogs often bark which could lead to a neighbor dropping poison over the fence.

    You have to decide if the risk of one day coming home to a missing, dead or seriously ill puppy are worth it. To me, its not. My boy (47lb, 15 1/2 week old Saint Bernard) is a house dog. Im not willing to leave his life in the hands of those we dont know.

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    Senior Member Xeph's Avatar
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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    I know many people with "outdoor only dogs". For some, they are show dogs, and they're kept outside to keep them in coat. Others have hunting kennels and keep them outside so they're acclaimated to the weather of the area.

    They both have one thing in common:
    None are allowed free roam of the yards. They're all in Indoor/outdoor kennel runs.
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    Senior Member pugmom's Avatar
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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    Quote Originally Posted by Xeph View Post
    I know many people with "outdoor only dogs". For some, they are show dogs, and they're kept outside to keep them in coat. Others have hunting kennels and keep them outside so they're acclaimated to the weather of the area.

    They both have one thing in common:
    None are allowed free roam of the yards. They're all in Indoor/outdoor kennel runs.
    I'm in agreement with Xeph.....I personally would not leave my dogs out all day ..just too many uncontrollable elements to try to deal with .....but if I was it would be in a kennel w/shelter and water available and if possible a top........I could never see letting them run the yard all day...
    Last edited by pugmom; 06-05-2009 at 06:01 PM.

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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    I think only the OP can answer because it all depends on your back yard, the area you live etc. Dog thefts? Coyotes? Escape? Problems for some, not for others.

    I can tell you from other threads there is a big bias on DF against having your dog outside, even if inside they would be alone and probably in a crate. I think that bias is unfortunate and that most dogs would rather be alone in the back yard than alone inside. You just have to evaluate the risks in your particular situation and whether or not they are acceptable. Dogs are animals. Outside is good, as long as they have adequate shelter and safety.

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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    Quote Originally Posted by Xeph View Post
    They both have one thing in common:
    None are allowed free roam of the yards. They're all in Indoor/outdoor kennel runs.
    This is key. Bored Lab puppies will find something interesting to do, and their destructive capacity is a force to be reckoned with. I wouldn't expect to be able to give a young Lab the free run of the yard (without supervision) before he's about 2 years of age. A properly constructed kennel/run/doghouse is an investment that will pay enormous dividends. By the time cold weather becomes an issue, he should be big enough to handle it--assuming he's got appropriate shelter available.

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    Senior Member 4dogs3cats's Avatar
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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    My dogs have free roam of the yard all day when I am at work. But they are allowed inside via a doggy door. i could not keep my dogs outside 24/7 because it is arizona and they would surely die. (That and I have them sleep IN my bed and that would get too dirty lol.)

    If I had a situation where they had to be kept outside, I would do a setup like what Ron has, or a indoor/outdoor kennel situation.

    if you have already made your choice, just make sure there is plenty of water... water that at ALL points in the day are never in direct sunlight.
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    Senior Member GSDGAL's Avatar
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    Re: When can you leave a Yellow Lab Puppy Outside

    Quote Originally Posted by bacchus View Post
    LOL. The back porch is covered and in the shade and I leave the fan on. What do other wild animals that live outside do for the heat? I guess they randomly die from it?
    Oh but you sound terribly ignorant compared to all these learned folk. Honestly you should build your dog a separate house, equipped with automatic waterer (with added electrolytes of course), velvet cushions, don't forget the air conditioning and adequate ventilation, he needs a live in nanny for those hours when you're not at home, so he never learns to be alone and how to cope with that. And when the nanny goes to the toilet, which nannies inevitably do (idiots) he'll need a plasma screen Tv with inbuilt dvd and sound system, so that he can watch Lassie all day long, but never the same movie twice, because heaven forbid he get bored. He'll need a nutritionist on site, to advise him constantly on his organic raw food diet. Oh and don't forget to get him castrated, we couldn't possibly have a person like YOU breeding inferior puppies destined for shelters everywhere.
    seriously everyone needs to relax, I'm sure she's quite confident in herself as a dog owner and knows what her dog needs. Hell my dogs live outside....arrest me. you could probably start to let him out now for half the day, if you're confident you've picked everything harmful up, there shouldn't be a problem.

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