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Hello everyone,

I’ve been an owner of a Miniature Schnauzer for about a year and a half, he was around 6-12 weeks when we got him and has lived indoors ever since. He’s a great little guy but for a while there’s been some issues.

First off my dog is very hyper active and loud dog. He loves running around the house and loves to chew on anything he can find. Occasionally causing him to damage some furniture, belongings, and frequently leaves a huge mess. He also barks a lot at other dogs or strangers he sees through the window, and it is very annoying to other family members especially at night.

And here is the big problem, the dog also has a very bad relationship with a particular member of the household. I don’t really want to go into too much but this particular person has been rather cruel to the dog from the moment they met. As a result the dog has always barked whenever this person got near. At first he was still a puppy so the barking was bearable and was nothing too bad. Time has now passed and the dog is pretty much at adult age, so of course he is much more defensive and aggressive to threats. The barking has become much louder and aggressive and it’s hard to deal with. It’s nearly resulted in bites several times and I don’t want to deal with the those consequences because would be unfair for the dog and me because in all honesty, its not really our fault. This person’s behavior towards the dog still hasn’t changed and at this point its apparent that there isn't much I can do about it.
Arguments and drama arose several times because of this situation and it’s gotten to the point where its painful to deal with. I don’t want to ruin any relationships so I have make these changes. I ’d never be able to give him away because we’ve all become so close to this dog, and I’d feel incredibly guilty because I know he has the same attachment towards us. I've been suffering from depression for a while and this dog has brought me so much joy and comfort so I have a very strong bond with this pup. So ultimately I’ve decided to make him and outdoor dog.

Fortunately, I already have some of the proper equipment like a dog house and tie-out cable and will definitely keep a supply of water around at all times. It probably wont be an easy transition so how can I ease him into it? What are your personal experiences, tips, & advice? I would greatly appreciate you guys’ help. I don’t want to do this alone.
 

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It's not going to be easy. I think it's incredibly unfair to the dog to make him live outside, away from his family. It sounds like this dog lacks basic house manners and potty training, which are all easily trainable given proper time and management. Most likely, the dog would simply start to destroy your yard should you make him live outside. Instead how about you make the person who is abusing him live outside? It certainly is not the dog's fault.

I'm very sorry that you are going through this drama and your depression, but it's time to think about the dog before yourself. Being made to live outside when previously an indoor dog can be very traumatic to a social animal like a dog, because they need that time with their family. Yes, it will be painful, but if the dog is being abused and your only option is to make him live outside (which will not guarantee the dog isn't going to be abused by this person, by the way) then it's time to start thinking about rehoming the dog, or changing your living situation so that the abusive person no longer lives with you. If you love this dog so much, then you will do what's best for him.
 

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I don't have any experience owning an outside-only dog...but I do have a silly question; have you tried a crate indoors? Your pup is old enough that he can "hold it" for a good length of time when you're not home, which would prevent all of the damage and chewing and seeing strangers outside of the window. The crate would be a safe place to sleep at night, too.

A really delicious stuffed Kong might help keep your pup quiet indoors, too, for a period of time. The problem with popping him outside, if he's a barker, is that your neighbors will surely notice.

It sounds like you really care about this pup, and I don't know how much you'd enjoy pushing him outside and out of your presence, either. Could he have a crate in your room, where he hangs out if you're not there? Would this effectively separate the housemate who doesn't like dogs from the pup? These are questions only you know the answer to. I'm basically suggesting that you consider the opposite extreme; instead of forcing your dog outside and away, what about bringing him in as close as possible (into your own personal space except for walks and potty breaks)?
 

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My dogs bark far more outside than inside. A bored outside only dog that already barks too much is only going to get worse. My area has a noise ordinance that is enforced, does yours? Annoyed neighbors could open the gate and let him off the cable, poison him, throw things at him. The dog will still bark at the household member he is afraid of, will that person stay out of the dog's reach? Probably not as she/he is so annoyed by the dog as it is.

Can you keep the dog in your room and I'd put a gate up in the door way so you can have the door open if you like. Can you keep him crated when you aren't in the house? I'd look into that before putting the dog outside. When you are home in common areas then leash the dog to you and be armed with tiny treats. When dog behaves as in when his tormentor comes in the room and he is quiet, he gets a cookie. When he barks, you both leave the room. You can dog proof your room more easily than common areas and a crate can be an amazing tool to manage dogs if used wisely.

It isn't acceptable to tease a dog but once a dog is reacting by barking and snapping it is near impossible for immature people to change behavior appropriately. If you can help out your dog by rewarding when your dog does something good it might help. Definitely keep dog out of range of his tormentor at all times.

My fearful dog that charges at just about anybody has learned to be calmer using Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol. You might try it out, it's an easy to follow down stay training method that lasts 15 days if you are able to go straight through. It isn't necessary to do so and unlikely it will happen. Bucky got stuck in a couple places and we just repeated the following day and to my surprise was fine at that sticky point.
 

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Behavior problems indoors tend to be multiplied when a dog is left outdoors (barring a few specific cases like a working livestock guard dog or active mushing dog for example). Since you mentioned a tie-out cable, it makes me think you might not have a securely fenced yard? Even more risk for danger to the dog, complaints by neighbors and dangers to people/kids coming by.

Unless you spend a significant time outdoors with the dog also, you may find that you struggle emotionally with keeping that close bond you have now. Having your dog outside and you inside may quite possibly worsen your depression.

Are you an adult? Honestly, it sounds like you need to think about any possible way to have your own living situation if it is legally and financially possible.

Otherwise, what can you do to train and exercise the dog to keep him occupied whilst also securing his living space indoors away from the problem person? Crate indoors, door lock etc. Using film on the windows that blocks view but not light can help with barking at the windows (its cheap enough to be worth a try at least).
 

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Totally understandable if you don't want to divulge too much personal information online. But based on the very limited information you've given... Any chance you can set up a crate/pen situation in your room so that your dog is separated from your housemates? Your dog will be happier. And honestly, with dogs that have fear/aggression issues, which is what it *sounds* like is going on (again, very limited information), the animal is usually much happier once they have their own secluded space. Having the whole house, with housemates, is often difficult for dogs like this since they see the whole house as within their boundary and then any person they don't trust is intruding. So if you teach your dog that your room is his space, your dog will more likely learn to relax over time, maybe even retreat rather than aggress when he's uncomfortable.

Yeah, responsible outdoor setups can be made. But this sounds like an uncomfortable situation as it is. And based on your dog's history and possible fear/anxiety, (and maybe lack of training? this piece has not been mentioned), it may be a very harsh transition for him and it may make his problems worse over time. I apologize if I am misreading any of this. The behaviors that you describe only paint a very crude, general picture.
 

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Believe me, I'd take the dog over most people any day, just others don't think the same way and I have no choice. But I don't think he'll be a problem anymore if the dog stays outside, from my observations his current mistreatments seem to be more in reaction to the dogs barking, rather just doing it to be a **** like when he was a pup. So I dont see it being a problem once their separated but I it continues I WILL do something about it.
At times like these I try to be optimistic, i know some people who have successfully trained their dogs to live outdoors. I definitely won't make him feel lonely, we'll be willing to spend as much time with him outside as possible. He loves being outside so we'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I should've mentioned this but unfortunatley I share a room with the tormentor and my house isn't that big so separating them is not easy. He definitely won't get near him outdoors since this person spends most of the time inside relaxing. I don't barking would be much of a problem because several neighboorhood dogs already bark constantly throughout all hours, everyone i pretty much accustomed to it.Thank You for the tips, my dog has a tendency to charge at new stranger so i'll definitely make sure to look into that Relaxation Protocol also. As of now, he I plan to only keep him for a small part of the day, specifically when the tormentor isn't in the room.
 

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I definitely should have a little bit more detailed but I don't thin the indeed does have fear and aggression issues. I'd definitely would love to be able to follow your advice and keep him in my room but there's one huge problem a should've mention, and its that I share my room with this tormentor. But I definitely will look into ways to help with his issues.
 

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I'm not usually one to judge. And for the record, I have no problems with the general idea of dogs living outside. But my problem is you say your housemate has been "rather cruel" and you use the word "torment".

The definition of torment: "cause to experience severe mental or physical suffering."

Maybe you want to rethink your choice of words, if this is not an accurate picture. But the sense I get from your choice of words is your poor dog is being abused by someone. That does not sit well with me, inside dog or outside dog or anywhere in between. If you or your dog are in any danger, you should seek help beyond posting in a public forum.
 

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Believe me, I'd take the dog over most people any day, just others don't think the same way and I have no choice. But I don't think he'll be a problem anymore if the dog stays outside, from my observations his current mistreatments seem to be more in reaction to the dogs barking, rather just doing it to be a **** like when he was a pup. So I dont see it being a problem once their separated but I it continues I WILL do something about it.
At times like these I try to be optimistic, i know some people who have successfully trained their dogs to live outdoors. I definitely won't make him feel lonely, we'll be willing to spend as much time with him outside as possible. He loves being outside so we'll see.
Since this person abuses the dog only when he's barking, can you convince the person to handle the barking in a different way? Barking is a very trainable behavior that can be fixed with positive reinforcement. Yes, it takes time, but it is better than yelling or screaming or striking the dog. I have no idea how this roommate of yours is related to you, but I hope he would see that you are distressed about the way he treats your dog and agree to try different methods that may at least teach the dog to tolerate his presence.

Yes, some dogs are outside dogs and do fine, but they are generally farm dogs or LGD who spend the vast majority of the time outside working with their owners, who also work outside. From what you've described of your dog, though, it sounds like he lacks basic manners, boundaries, and potty training. He may bark and chew furniture inside, but outside he's going to bark more, destroy the yard, and probably develop some other undesirable behaviors. It sounds like you are set on this in order to keep the dog, so you must consider the dog's safety if you're going to make him live outside.

You should make sure he has a secure kennel area with shade and shelter that is locked to deter thieves. A cable tie out can become dangerous if the dog gets wrapped in it while you are gone, it can be easily stolen, and if something like a stray dog or animal gets into your yard, your dog is toast because he's tied up and can't run away or really defend himself at all. Even if you have a securely fenced yard, it probably isn't he best idea to leave them unattended out there, because they can dig, climb, or get stolen. A security camera also helps just in case someone decides to dink around. The kennel should have something to prevent digging, and something over the top to prevent the dog from climbing out and wild animals/birds from getting in. I don't know where you are, so make sure to research the types of threats your dog could be facing. Animals like coyotes and large birds of prey stalk even cities!

Also, you will have to up the amount of time you spend one on one with your dog. An hour of exercise everyday is fine for a dog that lives inside with his family the vast majority of the time, but for a dog that is restricted to outside they need more time with their person. Based on your dog's behavioral issues, you will also have to dedicate a bit of time to working on those, as well. I would consider taking up obedience classes or something to work out the dog's mind, her perhaps even a professional personal trainer to help you with the more persistent fear and anxiety issues.

Make sure our dog is UTD on vaccinations and has parasite prevention, like fleas, ticks, and heart worms. Heart worms can be deadly and are more prevalent in dogs that live outdoors. I don't know where you are, but research the risk level of heart worm and talk to your vet about other diseases your dog could be at risk for in your area.

Finally, be honest with yourself. If your dog's mental state is deteriorating despite removing him from the tormenter, or you can't give him the amount of attention that he needs, you either need to remove yourself from this living situation if you are an adult and you can, or rehome the dog.
 

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I don't barking would be much of a problem because several neighboorhood dogs already bark constantly throughout all hours, everyone i pretty much accustomed to it.
The problem with this line of thinking is that the other dogs are barking because they are distressed in some way.

A companion breed like this having grown up inside being forced to live outside all of a sudden isn't ethical, IMO. The dog is going to be distressed, lonely, destructive, and tied dogs are statistically more likely to be aggressive. Not to mention the risk from other animals, being stolen, poisoned, injured while unattended, the list goes on.

If the dog cannot be kept safely in the home, I would be either moving or rehoming it to a family who can properly take care of it.

As mentioned, barking is something that can be resolved with training.
 

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In some areas, tethering an unsupervised dog is illegal.

In all areas, it puts the dog at high risk from other animals and malicious humans.
 

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Sorry to hear of your issues, however a miniature schnauzer is not one to leave outside do to their grooming needs, socialization needs and overall personality. I have had many miniature Schnauzers and honestly the dog will get worse. They like to go outside but not stay out all the time. Their hair will mat, they will get ticks, fleas, skin conditions, etc. Have you considered a schnauzer rescue? What area are you in?
If you leave them out this is the horrible condition they will become;
Picture 210.jpg
Picture 209.jpg
And this is what they should look like; happy indoor dogs;
Picture 211.jpg
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IMO the dog's behaviour is going to get worse by being left outside and you're heading down a road that will have a negative outcome. If your housemate abuses the dog when he barks, how will he react when the dog is barking twice as much because he has been left outside away from his family and safety? If the dog charges at strangers already what happens when someone comes onto your property to pet the dog (like a child who doesn't know better)? His fear/aggression is going to get worse - he is likely to be much more fearful outside.

As for the current destructive behaviour it sounds like the dog is either bored (under-exercised) or has separation anxiety. Crate training could help at least with the destruction.

Taking an inside dog and leaving him tied up outside because of one person and some lack of training is pretty unfair IMO. If you care about the dog you should be looking at moving away from the problem person or re-homing the dog. Once his behaviour has gotten way worse outside it will be harder.

Depending on where you live, it could also be illegal to leave a dog on a tether and/or to have a dog barking outside all the time. Just because there are other dogs in the neighbourhood that bark doesn't mean your neighbours are going to appreciate another barking dog right beside them. Honestly if I were that neighbour I would be quite upset at you for it (putting it mildly).
 

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I was just looking for some schnauzer grooming advice and saw your post. So sad for you and the dog. I actually have a four month old schnoodle who can also be very wild and chews on everything. We would not survive without a crate. I let him play for awhile and if he gets too wild into the crate to calm down. You need to try to find a new home for him. Schnauzers are meant to be indoor dogs. My baby is on my lap much of the time but definitely sleeps in his crate at night. You can?t let a dog have the run of the house. But as I said you must rehome you or the dog. He will not survive outside
 
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