Yard Manners take a little training and some supervision.
It’s beginning to warm up and spring is in the air! I don’t know about you, but my dogs and I like to be outdoors as much as possible during this wonderful time of rebirth and green. We look forward to warmer weather and more time outside. As a dog owner, you probably feel that this is a time that your dog can experience more freedom. If done correctly, this can and will be a great experience. If not done correctly, mischief and mayhem can ensue. Here are some helpful hints to make your backyard time with dog during the spring less stressful:
Boredom can lead to big problems! If you leave your dog outside without helping them to release their physical and mental energies beforehand, you may find that they will most definitely become creative. Their projects can range from a small hole to a knocking over your prized grill to tearing down or redecorating your deck and lawn furniture. Alone time outside does not replace walking or mental exercise. It is not an automatic relief of stored up energy, at least not in a consistently positive manner. A relaxing nap underneath a tree outside will only result when the dog is exhausted. Make sure to set your dog up for success and not put your them in a position to express their creative energies in a way that would not make you proud. Remember: A tired dog is a good dog.
A watched dog is a better dog. Do not leave your dog in your yard unsupervised, especially if you expect them to behave. If regularly attended, the dog will understand that outside is just like inside: you are the leader and they need to listen. New sights, new sounds, looser dirt, small animals beginning their springtime frolic, and increased daily sunlight are all invitations for a grand canine adventure. If you would rather your dog not take part in these activities, you need to be consistent with your training and supervise.
Remain in control. Remember, a long line (30 feet) can give your dog an increased area to play while you remain in control. Even if your dog is reliable off the leash, it may take a couple of days to remind them how to behave in their changed environment. Without a leash, this becomes much more difficult. I never recommend a remote collar without proper training.
Canine-proof your yard as much as possible.
Dogs are creatures of habit. Do not assume that your dog will be happy to be outside. Banishing them to the great outdoors while you are away can create stress. Many dogs would be happier to remain surrounded by the familiar sights and sounds inside that can remind them of their place in your home. If they are used to being in a crate, it is relaxing for them to remain in their routine.