Outside dog

Ok, this is Noodles. He is wild and crazy sometimes, and a couple weeks ago he chewed up my razor. Before that he was an outside-while-I’m-at-work-or-asleep dog, but now for his own safety I have banished him to the yard until I can find a new home for him, with people who are better suited to look after him. It’s purely a safety issue, I love him to death. He could concievably be dead right now, due to the razor. My home is reasonably pet-proof. I have another large dog that spends time inside with no problems. But Noodles seems to go out of his way to find things to destroy–he eats CD ROMs, rolls of paper towels, my computer speakers, bags of hay, food bowls, just anything he can find or drag off the desk or counter. One time he exploded my jar of pennies all over the house. It seems I can’t predict what random little thing he may take an interest in. I also have two cats, two rabbits, and two tiny baby kittens to take care of, and their safety is a concern also. So, Noodles is outside. My question is, what can I do to make his life out there more comfortable? He isn’t attention starved by any stretch–I spend time training him every day or so, and my retired next door neighbors are always petting and playing with him as they come and go. Right now he’s got a big water dish situated under a running faucet, so in the summer it’s always cool and fresh and in the winter it never freezes. He likes to dump it out and play with the bowl, and I have to go fix it every few hours. His house is on my porch, so he’s got two roofs over his head. I’ve tried putting cedar pillows and blankets out there for him, but he just destroys them. So has anybody got any ideas for anything I can buy or build to keep him warmer? Our winters aren’t terribly cold around here, but I work nights so he’ll be alone from midafternoon till about midnight most nights. I hate to think of him out there shivering in his doggy house while I’m away at work!

How about a nice comfy dog crate inside, maybe in the kitchen?

No worries about weather, other pets, or him chewing another dangerous item.

That would be a good solution for nights when I’m home and asleep or doing homework, or when I run errands during the day, but when I’m gone to work for 9-11 hours at a time? Won’t he pee in it? I live alone, so there would be nobody here to let him out when he needed to go.

9 to 11 hours? What did you expect him to do?

Dude, he’s bored to death, no wonder he’s getting into stuff. If you can’t be there to look after him, I applaude you finding someone who can.

In the meantime, I’d crate him before I left him outside.

Cheers,
G

In my opinion, dogs are just fine outside. He’ll gradually acclimate and grow a thicker coat. My dogs have a five-gallon bucket under running water too; that might be too heavy for him to knock over. Barring that, you could try the faucet adaptor that they lick, or a bigger water container like a small trough with a float valve in it to refill the water.

I don’t know how severe your weather is. My Californian dogs do just fine with old blankets in their dog houses. The destructive dog goes through about one a year. If it gets really icey, they get to go in the garage at night.

No, no, no–I didn’t leave him in the house for 9-11 hours. He was outside during that time, as I said in the OP, quote: **he was an outside-while-I’m-at-work-or-asleep dog. ** He gets into things when I’m home, at the computer, doing housework, etc. When he chewed up my razor I had gone to the neighbor’s for a half hour.

Wallyworld sells large blood basted cow femurs (AKA dinosaur bones) for eight bucks. Dear Tulip while become utterly preoccupied for hours with them. She chews them like I read books and we get along nicely.
Kong toys filled with peanut butter and treats also occupy a bored dog, but not quite as much as another dog will…

Hang a flap pver the dog house and fill it with cedar shavings in the mean time.

Outside dog
man’s best friend. Inside dog, too dark to read.
[/tonto]

Ok, the dog has his own toys and chewies, and he hasanother dog. He has the company of me when I’m home, and the company of my neighbors when I’m not. I guess he could be bored, but it’s doubtful. Now that he’s outside of course, the other dog isn’t so reachable, but if I leave both of them out they can at least see each other.

There was a flap over the dog house. He chewed it up. I don’t keep cedar shavings around because it’s dangerous to the rabbits, but yesterday someone at work suggested I buy some carpet and use a staple gun to attach it to the inside of the house. I can insulate the whole inside of the house that way, and if it gets dirty I can just pull it out and replace it. Sounds pretty good to me, anybody got any better ideas?

Actually I wouldn’t use carpet. If he chews it and ingests it, it could kill him. I know a dog that very thing happened to, as a matter of fact. Use straw or shredded paper for insulation - it’s cheap and easy to replace when it gets dirty. He can also shove it around and nest in it, which a lot of dogs like.

Have you tried giving Noodles more exercise? Some dogs need a lot. A tired dog is a good dog.

What about a flat sort of carpet? Not shag, but something woven, with rubber backing? Maybe not. Yeah, I tried giving him more exercise and maybe it would have helped in the long run, but I work 50+ hours a week, and I go to school, and I’ve got 7 other critters here to look after. Going on several walks a day isn’t feasible right now. That’s part of the reason I’m looking to find him a new home soon, I can’t provide him with whatever it is that he needs. All but one of my pets are rescued, and all but two are up for adoption. I’m at full capacity right now, but I’m working on it!

(No, I’m not a hoarder either–I recognize my limitations. This is a small house and I’m generally broke. That said, everybody gets checkups and shots regularly and they get fixed as I can afford it. Noodles is next up; maybe that will help him out a bit. Everybody gets plenty of attention from me and my neighbors and my friends, everybody has toys and everyone’s area is well-kept. I scoop/dump litterboxes twice a day, I hose out the dog houses and the rabbit cages every week. I sweep every day, mop every week, I wipe down walls and vaccum the furniture. A friend told me last week that if he hadn’t seen the animals personally, he wouldn’t have known they were here. There’s no smell, there’s no fur. It takes up a lot of my time, but it’s a smooth operation, IMO.)

The problem with carpet - any carpet - is that they can tear hunks off and swallow them. It’s not digestible and can get stuck in the intestines. At best that leads to huge vet bills - and at worst the death of the dog to boot.

You should be able to get straw cheap at any place that sells gardening stuff.

Will Noodles fetch? Sometimes walks aren’t enough for my younger dog so I get two frisbees and throw them in the back yard, one after the other, for him to chase and catch. This does a good job of wearing him out (he gets to run) and takes less time than a walk.

He fetches, and he sometimes just runs around. One of my rabbits will do this too–he makes zigzags and circles all over the yard, then stops and looks at you for a minute, as if to say, “What?” Then he carries on for a few minutes till he finds something to chew on or bark at. Sometimes I run back and forth just outside of his reach, and he runs right beside me. The other dog does it too, like a race. He will eventually stop and go do something else, but Noodles never gets tired of this. And even if he did, I still couldn’t leave him in the house alone with two cats and two rabbits and two helpless two-week-old kittens for 9-11 hours.

How old is Noodles? Our Boomer is 10+, and he can sleep all night without having to go out to pee – sometimes that’s 8-9 hours. Maybe on cold days, Noodles could be crated indoors without too much discomfort.

It sounds like you’re doing a lot to keep him happy and occupied. Are some dogs just chewier than others? Could he have a jaw or tooth problem that’s relieved by chewing? He certainly looks like he’s getting enough to eat. He’s a beauty, by the way.

You said in an earlier post he was chewing things while you were home, which is what I was trying to address in my post by mentioning exercise. Perhaps if he were more tired, he wouldn’t do that and could then spend some time inside with you while you are there. Obviously if you are planning on adopting him out, acclimating him to a house as much as you can is a good thing. He looks like a great dog!

And straw and shredded paper really do work as insulating materials for when he needs to be outside - I know people who own commercial kennels in a southern climate; that’s what they use and the dogs do fine.

I’m not for sure how old Noodles is, but he was this bigin February when a co-worker and I rescued him from the wheels of a van outside my work. Funny story, the lady driving the van said, “He’s so cute! Is he yours?” and I said, “No.” and my friend and I proceeded to crawl under her vehicle (which she had knowingly run over him with). When I pulled him out, I stood up, and she asked me again, “Is he yours??!” No, he’s not mine. WTF would I be doing with a dog at work? Do you see my uniform? Didn’t I just answer that question? People piss me off. Anyway. My guess is, he was born around Christmas, so he’ll be less than a year old right now. Yeah, puppies chew, and he’s a large and energetic one. I’ve had dogs my whole life, and in my experience some are much chewier than others. Mostly I’ve found that smaller dogs chew more often but larger dogs chew a wider variety of things–I guess because their mouths are bigger, and more things will fit in them.

I may give straw a try, but my neighbors wouldn’t appreciate paper floating all over the neighborhood.

Our two dogs live outside. We use hay/straw in their house during the cold weather months. Even the short-haired one is fine.

For water, we use a five-gallon bucket; they can’t knock that over. You can always use a strap or something to secure your bucket.

Orvis sells some somewhat pricey dog beds that they guarantee to be unchewable. I have a Rottie who can reduce a chair leg to splinters in no time. She worked on her bed for a few minutes and gave up.

http://www.orvis.com/store/search_results.asp?release=3&offset=0&keyword=toughchew%20dog%20bed&bhcp=1

I’m assuming that was ‘unknowingly’, or that story isn’t funny, it’s horrifying.

Well, my gosh–he’s just a baby! He’ll be a chewer for a while yet, most dogs I’ve had are chewers until two years or so and big dogs can be longer than that. Chewing for a dog is like handling things for a child, anything unfamiliar needs to be munched on. He’ll learn what’s appropriate to chew and what isn’t, but I’ve known dogs who’ve eaten entire couches because they got going on it and it felt good.

I think he’s bored and not getting enough exercise, he needs more running around than he’s getting. Is there a possibility to run him next to a bike? That’s not much of a time commitment, and any dog is going to be worn out after a couple miles at a good clip–that’s what I do with my border collie mix when he gets antsy. You might also get into the habit of playing tug of war with him because that lets him exercise and get his teeth into something satisfying at the same time. A big rope toy would be perfect for this–let him really yank on it and get it away from you then come back for another bout. I’ve never known a big dog who didn’t love to play tug.

We had a malemute who was an outdoor dog all her life and we used straw for her bedding in winter–we’d pile up a foot or so of straw in her house and she’d paw it into a nice comfy bed for herself. When it got dirty and packed down we’d rake it out, compost it and refill with fresh straw. She was a bit destructive too, so her dinner dish was a big stainless steel cooking pot and her water dish was a five gallon galvanized bucket.