Hi guys, I have a 6 month (going on 7) adorable little corgi named Gimli. This is my first dog, (always had cats) so I'm not too experienced with training. It's definitely starting to show, as he is still not 100% housebroken.
We got him when he was 4 months old, and at the time, my husband was at home with him all day while I was at work. We thought this was great, because we thought we could use that time to get him all trained up.
He's really good about going outside... if we take him outside, he'll go potty outside. He just doesn't get that going inside is not the same as going outside. He'll go inside when we're not looking. We try to keep our eyes on him 100% of the time when he's inside, but the times we aren't looking, he'll go inside.
We've left him out of his crate a few times mistakenly, and he jumped up and peed on our couch. Twice.
Now my husband is working about the same hours I am, (8 hours a day) and I don't want to keep my poor Gimli cooped up in his crate that long.
Yesterday I suggested we hire a professional dog training company to give us some training lessons for Gimli, but my husband refused. He suggested we keep Gimli outside during the 8 hours we are both working.
We live in South Florida. It gets hot (especially during the summer) and it rains a lot. We're moving to a new house this upcoming week that doesn't have a screen-room, or any trees out in the back for shade. My husband said he would build him a dog house so that he can get some shade, but I'm still very hesitant about leaving him in the yard for 8 hours a day.
Would he be alright for 8 hours a day outside? Would he get lonely/bored? Heeeeeelp! lol
I know I am in the minority with this...
Camber can spend 24 hours a day outside if it were up to her. She loves laying in our back yard under the table on the grass and does not move all day. She is not leashed and is not curious about exploring. We do not leave her unattended, but a couple of times we did forget to bring her in and she was still sitting in her spot in the dark, lol... Our condo neighbors do not mind her laying in the yard either. They use the table like she is not even there, and Camber loves our neighbors.
Every dog is different, but if the weather is in a safe temp zone for Gimli with water, shelter, and shade, 8 hours is no big deal. Only you know whether it's safe for you dog with theft, wild animals, weather, etc. In our case, our yard is safe and she'll come to the side door if she wants to come back in. We only let her sit out there when we can check in on her. She likes it when we join her, but sometimes she'll bolt out the door for her spot.
Granted our dog is 9 years old, I don't think I would've considered letting her be in our back yard when she was younger. We've never found a tick, she does not dig or any of the things most are concerned about. Every dog is different.
I do agree that my Liliput loves to be outside for hours. She loves lying in the sun, patrolling the yard, or sitting up on the furniture in the cold and dark to keep an eye on things. We have a fenced yard, and a doggy door.
The difference between her lengthy stays outside and they dangers I was describing is that I don't leave home with her outside, and I don't shut her door when she's outside. She and her brother will start barking at noises, especially at night, and need to be brought in before the police are called, or just to be good neighbors. There is also the danger of coyotes, so alarm barking at dusk or dawn has to be checked out. I also make her come in after half an hour if the weather is below 0 F. I do have to insist. She would love to stay out longer.
This sounds like our situation too. :) He could be in the garage or even the kitchen but he chose to be outside. Never at night, never at coyote time.
Our corgi mutt (I don't have a dog currently) was allowed free reign of outside and the garage (NOTE: if you give your dog access to the garage it better be free from any reachable chemicals - this includes leaks on the floor). However we lived in VERY moderate climate in a super safe suburban area with a huge yard and when there was any summer days or winter days this was not the case. MOST importantly it was with an an older, well trained dog.
Your puppy is just too young for that kind of freedom - in the house or outside. Your puppy is a little kid. Explain to your husband that you wouldn't let a kid stay home alone so at least containing it to a smaller space inside is like a babysitter. If you do live in a safe dog friendly neighborhood consider that an option for your 3 year old dog who knows his home well and test it with small amounts of time at the start.
Baby gate or a pen of some kind is a great idea if you dont want to crate them but honestly, your puppy will be fine in a crate. Try to get a dog walker to come mid day? In california there are sites like doggyvacay.com that you can pay a dog walker to come by mid day to let them out of the crate but they will also do walks. Its pretty affordable.
Our dog (who was allowed outside) continually pooped on the carpet with free reign of the house. Luckily our kitchen/dining room that we had the family computer in was the perfect dead end with a doorway. It started with putting a piece of plywood in the doorway to confine him to the kitchen (baby gates were no obstacle for this corgi mutt) then we just kept laundry baskets or something in the way and eventually he spent 10 years of his life happily staying in the very large kitchen/dining room. When my parents were gone 14 year old me would try to bribe him to leave his indoor area and come hang out on the couch. It was only when he was very very old man that he agreed to break the rules and come on the couch when parents weren't home.
I don't intend to live this way with my soon to be puppy - I work from home in an apartment so it'll be by my side or in a crate/pen for the first year at least. All I am saying is be smart with your dog. If you are putting them outside for bad behavior how will this behavior improve? He is not housebroken completely because he is a baby, don't increase the behavior. Keeping him in a crate for now will help to train him. I still think a neighbor or a friend or a dog walker wouldnt be a bad idea but keeping them in a small space, large enough for them to lay down comfortably and turn around but not so large that they can go to the bathroom in one corner trains them how to hold it. A very important skill.
Facts for your husband: Your puppy is a baby and putting him outside at this crucial stage of life for a bad behavior will only increase that and more bad behaviors. Don't leave a dog outside unless you know and trust all they will do is lay on their bed in the shade with lots of water of your porch in a very safe area on a cool day. This is not the case with your potty training puppy.
Sorry for the long winded answer but I wanted to fully explain myself as I know many people are opposed to leaving their dogs outside.