If you keep your dog cooped up in your backyard too long and too often, you will be setting your dog up for a myriad of behavior problems. The reason behind this is that your dog instinctively feels it is part of a pack. You and your family are the pack. When your dog is in the backyard, it feels separated from the pack, and this leads to your dog becoming stressed and anxious.
Some common behavioral problems which come about as a result of being cooped up in the backyard include digging, barking, howling or whining, chewing, escaping, and showing signs of hyperactive behavior. This leads not only to stress and problems with your family, but you will find yourself becoming at odds with the neighbors also. They will start to complain about all the barking, the destruction of their property, and the dog escaping the yard to go roaming around the neighborhood.
The greatest solution to this tangle of behavioral problems is simply to keep your dog with you. It doesn’t have to be at all times, but just giving your dog the sense that your home is his home will relieve the stress and anxiety your dog would feel if confined to the backyard. So, when you are watching television or working on the computer, allow your dog to snooze at your feet. This one action alone will go a long way to curing many of the behavioral problems listed above.
Also, never, ever tie or chain your dog in the backyard. This would cause your dog to become aggressive towards you and your family as well as other people or animals. Dogs get so frustrated about being tied up that they become too hyperactive to control properly. Plus, dogs need exercise and proper entertainment for dogs. So, leave your dog untied if it must remain in the yard all day. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise before being left in the yard, and be sure the fence is high enough to prevent jumping and escaping. Leave enough water and food for your dog to have access throughout the day.
As for chewing behavior, it would not be a good idea to give your dog an old shoe or sock to chew on, because dogs can’t tell the difference between new and old. Dogs chew for numerous reasons. Boredom, pent-up energy, curiosity or in the case of puppies, they are teething. Dogs use their mouths to explore and learn about the world around them, in the same way we use our hands.
You can prevent or control distractive chewing behavior by following these simple guidelines.
1)Puppy-proof your dog’s living area. Remove any thing chewable-clothing, plants, anything within reach of your dog. Especially think about electrical cords.
2)When you are away, confine your dog to a small area like a cage or kennel.
3)Teach your dog where they can be and where they can’t be. You wouldn’t want to be gone for the day, only to come home to find your expensive living room furniture has been “explored” to shreds by your dog.
4)Give your dog plenty of chew toys to keep them from becoming bored and teach them what is chewable and what is off-limits to their mouths.