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Previous Next Up Topic Dog Boards / General / Keeping dogs outside in kennels - Advice please
By LucyMissy (**) [gb] Date 06.10.09 08:31 GMT
All my dogs currently live inside. We are toying with the idea of moving house - Moving to a much smaller house so that we have land as oppose to just a garden.

The houses that we have been looking at are much smaller than what we are in now which means that my dogs will need to be outside most of the time. I just wondered if anyone could offer some words of advice as to how they would cope with the transition from house dog to kennel dog? I have 1 dog that will still live inside as she is older than the others and hates being outside at the best of times but the other 3 will be outside most of the time and come in on an evening for family time and also sleep inside if it is really cold.

I've never kept dogs outside so really don't know what to expect or what to do to settle them into kennel life properly! We will have a proper kennel block so I'm not just sticking them in a wooden box and leaving them to it and it's only an idea we're toying with at the moment, just wanted some advice really??
By krusewalker (**) [gb] Date 06.10.09 09:03 GMT
the natural first question would be what do you mean by a small house?
By LucyMissy (**) [gb] Date 06.10.09 09:12 GMT
Sorry, not sure how this is relevant???

I'm interested to see how my dogs will adjust to spending time in kennels rather than trying to work out if the house is big enough to keep them inside or not? :-)
By Jeangenie (*****) [gb] Date 06.10.09 09:16 GMT
Are there any near neighbours? Dogs which are used to being indoors can be very noisy for several weeks when suddenly kept outside, so you might run into problems.
A closed mouth gathers no feet
By LucyMissy (**) [gb] Date 06.10.09 09:24 GMT
No, no neighbours. That's what I mean, it would be an amazing opportunity for us and the dogs. We live in a semi-detatched house now with neighbours at both sides, the dogs can't go out in the garden without someone poking their head over 1 side of the fence (they mean well but the dogs go mad) where as at the new place they will have acres and acres to run around in and we will spend more time outside anyway so they will probably see just as much of us as they do now! I'm just having a panic about it! the older dog would be a nightmare hence why she will be staying inside, the others all enjoy being out. They are happy to stay out in the garden now for hours where as the older one will only do 5 mins!
By Carrington (****) [gb] Date 06.10.09 09:27 GMT
Can't quite make out your breed, got it down to two (can you just clarify) if it is the breed I think it is then they don't have double or particularly thick coats, as long as you had the heated kennels any breed can get used to living outside eventually.

Whether it is fair after they have been used to living as housedogs I don't know, they will probably feel they have done something wrong and may well pine, particularly seeing their older member still in the house. Your interaction with them will most probably be decreased as well it will be a huge change for them, I don't particualrly think it is fair on them, but hey ho, not my dogs.

But, if that is the way you wish to go, then many of us put our house dogs in kennels when on holiday, they get used to it, just as house dogs end up in rescues they too get used to the kennels. Just make sure that you get heated and train them to think it is a good place put treats in there and make a fuss of them, make sure they have knuckle bones and plenty to keep them occupied, you may well find they begin to bark.  They will eventually adapt. :-)
By tooolz (***) [gb] Date 06.10.09 09:34 GMT
They look like Bulldogs.

That breed might appreciate a cooler-than-house environment but may grow a thick wool- type coat if you dont provide a heat source.

Keeping dogs out is different from bringing them in to the warm then putting them out, so making the contrast between the two temperatures, as the winter approaches, will be kinder.
By LucyMissy (**) [gb] Date 06.10.09 09:46 GMT
Yes they are Bulldogs - I have 2 and also 2 Dogue de Bordeauxs.

Keeping dogs out is different from bringing them in to the warm then putting them out, so making the contrast between the two temperatures, as the winter approaches, will be kinder.

Can you just expand on this a bit? (sorry if I'm being thick) are you saying it would be kinder for me to heat the kennels and not bring them inside or heat the kennels but do still bring them inside?
By dogs a babe (****) [gb] Date 06.10.09 09:47 GMT
Simply by virtue of moving house, your dogs will need to get used to sleeping in a different place.  If they are moving immediately into somewhere warm, with their familiar beds and similar routines then the adjustment won't be as big.

I don't know exactly what is meant by kennel dog.  I can understand that you may not have room in the house for four beds but they'll presumably still be inside with you when you are home?  If that's the case then it's just their bedroom which is moving.  If you can also make sure that their new room is close to the house or attached in some way then it will all be easier.

Have you actually found a house?  You might find one with an attached garage you could convert, or the option to attach a small building with dry access to the house.  Depending on your relationship, the greatest problem might turn out to be you - I'm not sure I could put mine outside, however much I thought it sensible to do so!! - but whatever you decide, I'm sure they'll adapt :-)
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see ~Mark Twain
By LucyMissy (**) [gb] Date 06.10.09 09:48 GMT
Whether it is fair after they have been used to living as housedogs

This is what I was worried about, hence why I would still bring them inside on an evening when we have family time etc so we will still be spending time with them.
By LucyMissy (**) [gb] Date 06.10.09 09:53 GMT
but they'll presumably still be inside with you when you are home?

Absolutely - When we sit down for the evening etc then they will be in with us but when cooking / cleaning etc etc is taking place or when we are out, they will be kennelled.

I know so many people who keep their dogs outside and they all seem to think I'm making a fuss out of nothing and maybe I am but I want to know that what I am doing is right for them as well as the human members of the family!!!
By Goldmali (****) [gb] Date 06.10.09 10:02 GMT
I don't kennel as such, but when we moved 2 years ago we ended up with a much smaller house simply because my mother in law and stepson then came to live with us, and half the house was turned into a flat for them. Also the kitchen is smaller than the old one. Hence we started leaving the big dogs outside for most of the day (not the toydogs) -it no longer mattered if they barked, and yes they do bark a LOT more. I have a kennel up, it is 14 ' x 8 ' in size but the dogs are in no way confined to it, they have the entire run of the back garden and the kennel is open so they can go inside it if they want to. I found they adapted very well indeed to being outside pretty much all day, but I don't think they'd have adapted to actually being kenneled. The reason for saying that is that initially, when we had bitches in season, we set up a kennel and run elsewhere outside and tried to either kennel the bitch or the dog (only had one entire male dog then, now have two). It didn't work. They got so stressed out by being confined, and when I put my male dog outside he barked almost nonstop for 3 days so in the end we couldn't stand it.

I also always bring the dogs in when it rains (cold doesn't bother them), they are inside right now for instance for that very reason. Despite having a big (insulated) shed full of straw, if it rains they just lay down outside and get soaked and look miserable. An of course they always come in at night. So during the summer they have been outside all day from early morning until about 10 pm, now when the weather is turning it will be a case of going out and coming back in again several times during the day all according to the weather.

One final thing about when it rains: I only have one Golden Retriever now, the others are Malinois and Malinois crosses so shortcoated, and I have to say that one single Golden drags in ten times more wet and mud than seven other dogs -it only takes 5 minutes outside in rain or a quick trip outside when it is wet on the ground and he will be soaked (especially stomach, tail and trousers if he sits down), then when he comes in he wags his tail and the mud splatters all over the walls. (That is despite our back garden being half flagstones, half gravel!)
Marianne. Dogs are not our whole lives, there are cats too!
By Lokis mum (****) [gb] Date 06.10.09 11:46 GMT
Before we retired and moved, we built kennels and a run in our half-acre garden.   We found it easier to give seven dogs "quality time" by having two (or three) in the kennels and the others in the house.   It also made it easier when the girls came into season - far less stressful than having all of them in the house.   And of course, when it came to Christmas and houseful of people (and extra dogs eek) it made life easier than having 20 or 30 people (including babies and toddlers and 7+3 (or 4) dogs!

We erected three 7 x 4 pent sheds (from B & Q), insulated them and then lined them with the laminated sheets.   The doors were made into stable doors - so top or bottom could be opened.   These were erected on a brick-paved patio area which was 25x 30ft which was fenced round with 4ft high fence panels (with 2ft trellis on top).    It was easy to hose down, the dogs could see what was going on, the sheds were also wired up, so if necessary we could put heat lamps in if we thought it necessary - which we never did.    They had big snuggly beds in there and each week, as we swapped over, so they could be cleaned out properly.

We didn't have any problems at all with the dogs going in/out - the only time we had problems with them barking was in the summer when the fox cubs would come and play just outside at night - and then many the time, I've gone out in the middle of the night and brought whosoever was outside, inside - so that I could get some sleep :-)
By tooolz (***) [gb] Date 06.10.09 12:44 GMT
If you keep short coated dogs out for a sufficiently large proportion of their time - in cool conditions, it may be uncomfortable for them to cope with a centrally heated room in your house during winter.

Bit like a horse really - that's why they are rugged up - stops a wooley coat growing and overheating when exercised ( getting heated up -equivalent to hot room).
By Brainless (*****) [gb] Date 06.10.09 15:11 GMT
To be honest unless you can site kennels out of site or earshot of anything that might attract the dogs attention then kenneling them is likely to cause them to bark and risk neighbour issues
Barbara and the Grey Curly Tails.
By LucyMissy (**) [gb] Date 06.10.09 16:17 GMT
There won't be any neighbours.
By suejaw (****) [gb] Date 06.10.09 16:28 GMT
Loki's Mum,
Can i ask what insulator you used and how you fixed it in the kennel and also the PVC boards you used and how you fixed them to the wooden kennel also.
Also where did you buy them.
I have a wooden kennel and need to insulate it, family don't think i need to do to the breed i have but i feel that it would be a good idea for the cold winters and also make it easier to clean, so aren't really willing to help out.

The outside of our kennel has been treated and i spent hours this summer resealing the joints, as it leaked a bit when it was raining. The kennel is still leaking and the joints inside i can't get to outside due to the way its built, and just wondered what was the best thing to put over the outside to prevent further leaking inside.
By Lokis mum (****) [gb] Date 06.10.09 16:44 GMT Edited 06.10.09 16:46 GMT
We used the polystyrene (sp?? - looks wrong!)  insulation slabs you can buy in B & Q - and the 8x4 sheets of pvc coated (laminate) plyboard - also from B & Q.

However we did ensure that there were no leaks before we did this - otherwise all you would do is allow the outer wood skin to remain damp and rot!

I think I would be inclined to try silicone sealant on the outside along the joints - provided the dogs couldn't get to it!
By Trevor (***) [gb] Date 06.10.09 16:45 GMT
We have 6 BSD and a run of 3 purpose built insulated double kennels and a separate single one ( for bitches in season )  our dogs are kennelled through the day if we are not there but whenever we are at home they come inside - they have free access to their kennels and 3 of the 6 choose to sleep in there at night despite having a heated dog room available .

They have all adapted to the kennels very well and are quiet unless someone comes to the house - the boys can be  noisy when  a bitch is  in season .  We have no neighbours though so the only people who can hear it is us !.

Yvonne
By LouiseDDB (***) [gb] Date 06.10.09 16:56 GMT
I have been thinking about kennels for a while, for  months when they Can't stand the heat and when were out of the house. Personally I think they crave human company and are not an independant breed whatsoever so I don't think they could live out. Would help when I dogsit too. What I worry about most as I'm not rural but not a city either is theft or some sicko setting the kennels on fire with them in! I know this sounds odd but it happens people are horrid. Plus the kennels big enough are very pricey. Any links for some non expensive wood structure with metal bars not mesh?
By ChinaBlue (***) [gb] Date 06.10.09 20:31 GMT
Lucymissy
If you are going to go the expense of building 'proper' kennels, wouldn't it be a better idea to extend the house if you have that much land. More room for you and they wouldn't have to adapt to living outside ? :-) Just a thought.
By colliecrew (**) [gb] Date 06.10.09 22:09 GMT
My two younger dogs adapted to outdoor kennels perfectly well :-)

Very similar methods to crate training to be honest. Meals in there, short spells, only when I was in the house initially.

xx
By MandyC (***) [gb] Date 06.10.09 22:24 GMT Edited 06.10.09 22:28 GMT
You may be suprised at how well they adapt. When i moved i had 5 rotts all house dogs then, we now have 10 rotts and 4 dogues so no way they can all be in the house at the same time. All mine adapted to kennels really well. Though they have the run of 2 acres throught the day (when its dry) so by 10pm they are ready and happy to just go to bed!
Their kennels were expensive but well worth it, they have a covered run area and a seperate bed area with stable door, there beds have fully fitted carpet (with deluxe underlay LOL) all carpets are hoovered weekly and jet washed and changed monthly. They have 15 tog double duvets in the colder months and cant get on them quick enough at night!

We have 8 dogs in the house at night and it is generally rotated so everyone sleeps in some nights, You have to step over a dog in every room you go in!
My 2 oldest dogs are in all the time. 2 of my dogues dont like coming at all and are very uncomfortable with the heat in the house and they both choose to be outside. My girl came in the house at the beginning of the year as she had a litter and she couldn't wait to get back outside when the puppies had left.

I dont think there is anything wrong with dogs being outside AS LONG as they still have quality time with mum and dad, i am home all day so i spend all day doing something with them from morning til night.

Good luck with your move if that is what you decide :-)
Harry, Alfie, Chester, Duchess, Crystal, Bella & Abbey....my beautiful kids, i miss you all so much
By krusewalker (**) [gb] Date 06.10.09 23:01 GMT Edited 06.10.09 23:04 GMT
Sorry, not sure how this is relevant???

I'm interested to see how my dogs will adjust to spending time in kennels rather than trying to work out if the house is big enough to keep them inside or not? :-)


just an honest question, as some people feel they need to kennel outside as they imagine their house isnt equipped for dogs.
for example, i have a one bed house with 3 bigs dogs and 2 cats without any probs, so its doable.
i dont oppose dogs living out
of course, it depends if your dogs are able to adapt after living indoors?

they *may* get sep related stress or other emotional behaviour issues.
depends on their personality and their breed types (to some extent)

you can make it an outdoor house opposed to an outdoor kennel
By Brainless (*****) [gb] Date 06.10.09 23:08 GMT
I have five dogs that live indoors but 3 or 4 sleep out at night.

One would choose to be out all the time given the choice, and I have on occasion not dona  head count and left her out by mistake when going out, and she only barked when we got back.

I cannot kennel the dogs as such as too many close neighbours that would set the dogs off if I wasn't there.

If I had facilities to ahve kennels without disturbing anyoen I woudl probably ahve more than the five dogs and also own both sexes.

As it is I can only keep one sex and have a strict limit on how many I keep, which is five full time giv9ing spoace for oen visiting, fostering, for re-homing etc.
Barbara and the Grey Curly Tails.
By AliceC (***) [gb] Date 07.10.09 14:50 GMT
We have an Alaskan Malamute who much prefers to be outside at all times, I think it's too warm for her inside (I like my central heating on at the first drop in temperature!!!), in the day we leave the utility room door open for her so she can go in there if she pleases, but she only ever goes in there if it's raining.

She usually sleeps in at night but sometimes she refuses to come in - we've just bought her a lovely kennel so she can be outside all of the time - now just got to get my OH to bring it back from the lady we've bought it from as he insists it won't fit in his car! (It will, but he thinks it might damage the interior - rolleyes!!!)

We had frost on Monday and she'd been sleeping indoors overnight, the first thing she did when I let her out was to roll around on the frosty grass, on her back with all four legs in the air !!
By Brainless (*****) [gb] Date 07.10.09 15:01 GMT Edited 07.10.09 15:03 GMT

> we've just bought her a lovely kennel so she can be outside all of the time - now just got to get my OH to bring it back from the lady we've bought it from as he insists it won't fit in his car!


What most of us mean by a Kennel is a proper enclosed fully weather proof sectional building, like a shed with fittings for the purpose (stable door, pop hole etc). 

Certainly could not fit one of those in the car, only tied down on a decent size trailer.

This can be closed at night or in bad weather and will contain a sleeping bench/their basket etc.

The cartoon type huts are certainly not suitable as outdoor housing for any dog.

I have a double kennel that is 10 feet x 5 feet, two 5 x5 feet kennels, but there is a  connecting door so they can use the whole as one.

Attached to this is a 10 x 12 foot weld mesh panel run for when I have older pups at the running about stage so they can safely play outside.
Barbara and the Grey Curly Tails.
By AliceC (***) [gb] Date 07.10.09 15:31 GMT
Oh yes I know the ones you mean...the one we have bought could probably be described as a 'cartoon type hut', would you not recommend this sort of kennel then?! It was a bit of a bargain to be honest!
By Brainless (*****) [gb] Date 07.10.09 15:33 GMT
Nope, could be used inside a proper kennel as an enclosed bed.
Barbara and the Grey Curly Tails.
By AliceC (***) [gb] Date 07.10.09 15:44 GMT
We are going to look at getting a proper kennel fitted - this is just a temporary option as she doesn't like sleeping indoors with the puppy!!
By Brainless (*****) [gb] Date 07.10.09 16:54 GMT
You'd be better putting pup in a crate or another room for now as she probably just wants some peace.
Barbara and the Grey Curly Tails.
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