Get Your Dog To Respect Your Yard
Do you feel like you need a yard to have a dog?
After all, having a yard certainly makes owning a dog much easier. Outdoor potty training can start right away, without the need to paper train right off the bat. The yard makes a great place for energetic pups to explore without constant oversight from their owners.
However, having a yard can also set a dog owner up for some very bad habits of their own. When company drops by, the dog is often banished to the outdoors to prevent it from jumping on the house guests. Once the guests are gone, the dog is then allowed back inside. No time for a walk? No problem. Just open the door and shoo the little pup outside to complete potty training on his own. Is it easy to do that? Yes, of course. Is it wise? Not at all.
Lack of supervision can set up a pet owner for some serious independent thinking on the part of their new pet. That thinking may be very hard to reverse later when you have decided that Fido should care more about minding you instead. The long term consequences of easy non-training can certainly come back to haunt you later!
Dogs are very social animals and, given a choice, would much rather be in the company of their owners than alone. They can become lonely and bored, creating unintended mischief. Digging holes in your newly planted flower bed, chewing on the garden hose, and trying to conceive an escape plan to the neighbor’s yard may become a lot more important to them! Some dogs will even bark excessively in response to hearing the other neighborhood dogs do the same.
A supervised dog is less likely to ever be allowed to learn these kinds of habits.
After all, you will be there to redirect them to a more preferred activity such as playing fetch or learning where it’s appropriate to go to the bathroom. Young dogs, especially, need this kind of constant interaction and training to grow into the adult dog that you would like them to be. They need to learn your likes and dislikes on just about everything. Obedience training is not a skill that is learned in isolation.
Good behavior can be rewarded immediately and poor behaviors can be redirected.
Rewards increase the likelihood of adoption of new behaviors by your pet. After all, praise and a treat are wonderful things to your new pet!
The backyard is a great place for the dog to exercise and blow off pent up energy, but it needs human interaction that only you can give it. It needs to learn how to build positive relationships with people. It needs to bond. Something that is impossible to do if it doesn’t get that one on one time with humans.
Having a game plan for a young dog to get enough exercise and interaction is crucial. If you’re gone all day on most days, a dog walker or a doggie daycare can help fill in that time. A dog door and one or two dog proof areas in the home can also be a useful part of your strategy. Try a few of these things until you feel sure the dog can have its run of the house.