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  • Con Slobodchikoff, Ph.D.
    Slobodchikoff is President and CEO of Animal Communications, Ltd., specializing in pet behavior problems and in educating people about the behavior of animals.

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October 06, 2010


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 Small Dog Training

The place our dogs hold in our homes and lives has changed over the years from an animal kept in the back yard to an integral part of the family. Some hunting dogs that are specifically trained and socialized with other hunting dogs might be an exception to bringing them into our home and that would depend on the number of dogs you have.


I don't think its a good idea to keep our pets outside, even though they have a history of surviving outside. They socialize well with human than to other animals.

Hanne Hjelmer Jørgensen

Dear Con

In your last blogg you ask the question : Should dogs be kept outside ?

My answer is no. Dogs should not be kept outside. They should be kept in a way so that they have free access to go outside whenever they want to. Outside does not mean a backyard or rooming freely in the streets or in the woods. Outside means a fenced garden where the owners spent their time doing some garden work and relaxes and where the land shape also is dog friendly (a hill to climb, an area for digging and so on). A dog door in the garden door gives the dog free access to the fenced garden. My husband and I have always kept our dogs (see our dogs on my homepage in danish about the mental life of dogs , "fotos af mine hunde" ) in a way that the dogs were kept inside the house where they were allowed to go everywhere; the dining room, the kitchen, the bedroom etc. but with free access to a fenced human and dog friendly garden through a dog door in the garden door. Our dogs came (into the house) and went (into the garden) as they pleased day and night. Now we only have one dog. It is a 5 year old shiba inu male named Tais. Our dogs never barked constantly. They seldom barked, and when they barked it was only for at short time. Our Inuit Dogs did some chorus howling but never during the night and only for a few minutes at the time. Only one of our neighbors complained over the chorus howling. It was an old woman. She said it made her afraid, because dog howling is a sign of death. But she was very pleased with dog barking (as a warning of something unusual happens).

Nancy Frensley mentions constant stimulation and frustration resulting from birds, squirrels, dogs on the other side of the fence, passersby coming and going etc. My husband and I live in the countryside with open fields surrounding our house and garden and less than 100 meters to the forest. There is not much traffic on the road concerning cars, bikes, and people running or walking. But there are deer, hares, and pheasants in the fields that often come close to the garden fence. And there are birds in our garden some of them feeding on bones left over. But the stimulation from these stimuli is not constant, and I do not believe that our dogs were over stimulated from having free access to the garden day and night. By the way none of them ever tried to escape from the garden.

But off cause we also took our dogs out for long walks etc., and Tais is always joining us on holydays trekking in the mountains of Norway and Sweden.

Hanne Hjelmer Jørgensen (fjeldhund = mountain dog )


nice post you got here, love it.

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