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I have a 10 month old Lab mix puppy. Until now, I have been at home with her, but I just got a job that will take me away from home for 9 hours a day. I'm looking for feedback on my plan for what to do with her. We have a securely fenced back yard with a dogloo. In our area, the average high in Nov and Dec is 50F and the average low is 31F. We get some snow, but mostly winter rain.

Here is my plan:
I will work from 12-9pm. We will leave her in the backyard from 12-5. Then her grandpa will come and move her into the utility room where she has a bed, toys, food and water. He's very busy so he will not be able to spend more than 15 minutes or so with her. The utility room is not heated, but is well insulated.

Do you think this is a good plan? Any suggestions for improvement?
 

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be sure she will be safe unsupervised in your backyard, so many dogs get stolen, dig out, escape..I personally never leave my dogs outside unattended and I have a fenced yard:)

One thing to be aware of, collars, so many dogs get hung up on stuff, and even hang themselves with collars on, yet it's a catch 22, you don't want to not have some type of identificaton on your dog.

Would doggy daycare be an option for you? That might be a thought, and maybe "Dad" could pick her up? would also relieve the boredom of now being alone for a long period of time
 

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Many dogs can survive outside in freezing temperatures with the appropriate shelter (my childhood farm dog can attest to that).

For the outside plan:
- Consider a more significant shelter than a "dogloo" - those are mostly plastic and have poor insulation. A dog house with insulation, off the ground, and a "turn" to get into to to provide shelter from the wind blowing directly into the house
- With collars - they can catch, strangle, hang dogs which is a higher risk with curious puppies but you also need identification on a puppy because they are more likely to escape. A microchip is a must. Consider a break away collar while outdoors.
- Puppy proofing the backyard. Puppies (and sometimes grown dogs) can and will eat almost anything edible or not. Proofing a backyard is harder as you can't control everything. Wind can bring trash into the yard, people can get curious - harder to control the environment. You must escape proof the yard, attempt to keep curious people out and keep the pup from escaping. Puppies will eat rocks, plastic, etc. They can dig (in 5 hours a big enough hole to go under the fence) It is hard to puppy proof a yard.
- Water outside too

For the indoor:
- More puppy proofing since you won't be there to supervise.
- With a well insulated utility room - a consideration - a dog door? The room would be much better shelter than the dog house.
- With a potty break at mid way a pup may be able to make it the full 9 hours inside however without a walk and being 10 months old may be destructive inside. A dog walker may be a consideration.
- Daycare
 

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The weather is fine for a Lab, as long as she can get out of the sun, get out of the rain, and get out of the cold, when she wants to. An Igloo should be OK.

However, a Lab is a goat will eat everything, the Igloo, the corner of the house... mine unscrewed the washout on the outside of my house ! Some Labs can climb a fence (not as well as Pits). All Labs have Houdini genes and will destroy and dig, simply to get out.

My dog dug a 10 foot trench to catch a mole. No other reason or problem. Caught the mole and killed it. Then, ignored it.
When he was about 3 - 4 mos, he found a loose board in the fence, working it for a few hours until he could escape. Then, he walked into the front yard and fell asleep.
When he was 3 yo, we had a bad windstorm that threw open the gate. He panicked and ran out of the back yard, but I walk him a lot... so he knew his way and he came back home.

I have no problem with leaving a dog outside, but be prepared ....
 

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I don't think it's a good idea to leave your dog outside in these particular circumstances.

1) she's not used to being left alone for long period of time (I'm assume due to your post that this is the case, but correct me if I'm wrong)

2) leaving a dog outside CAN be dangerous depending on YOU the owner ie- what precautions are you willing to take to make this safe for your dog. Proper fencing can be expensive and labs are known to dig and chew when they're bored. Igloos probably could stand up to a dog that won't chew and dig and be destructive...but a bored lab can do alot of damage.

3) There are variables that you can control inside that you can't control outside, like storms blowing the gate open, someone coming in your yard, strange dogs getting in your yard, other animals, trash, you name it...

Our neighbors have an outside dog that *literally* barks its head off all day long, and everyone in the neighborhood hates it. While I feel sorry for the dog, it's horribly annoying but we don't want to say anything becuase we don't want to cause trouble.

Have you crate trained the dog? Is that an option? It would be much safer for the dog, IMHO.
 
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