I am an avid animal lover. I have adopted 12 dogs in total to this day.
Can Dogs Sleep Outside? Should They?
This is really dicey, as there are a lot of potential issues involved once your dogs sleep outside.
So you first need to understand why you want this and if there any alternatives.
In this article, I'll first try to solve the problems causing you to want your dog outside at night. If nothing helps, there is a step-by-step guide to making that transition.
Common Reasons People Want Their Dogs to Sleep Outside
1. The Dog Pees or Poops Inside
Unfortunately, I would say that this is more of your mistake than your dog's.
- If you have an adult dog peeing inside, it shows that you were not able to train it properly, and it is the most basic thing in dog training.
- If you have a pup and you want him to sleep outside, it shows your impatience in training. The little one needs more time to adjust, and a super strict gesture like making him sleep outside won't do any good because he may come inside during the day and pee anyway.
With older dogs, it is difficult but not impossible to train for toilet manners. There are many other resources online to help with this issue. I would recommend you start working on training immediately.
With puppies, give it some more time for the training to work. Try different methods if it doesn't look like what you're doing is working.
2. Barking or Crying All Night Long
Though this is the second most common reason people want their dogs outside, I think it's one of the easiest to tackle. Barking and crying or whining are different topics that we will deal with separately.
Solution for Barking
The dog barks when it is excited or angry. Make sure the area that it is sleeping in at night is free from external disturbances. What do you expect your dog to do if he hears your neighbor shouting at night or your tap water leaking?
Try to make the dog's sleeping place a soundproof area. Also, make sure it is dark where he is sleeping. Sudden flashes like your toilet light switching on and off or some kind of electrical indicator may be exciting him at night.
Solutions for Whining or Crying
Dogs cry when they feel lonely or scared or if they are in pain. Make sure your dog feels comfortable and that you are spending quality time with him.
Be careful to notice basic things like making sure his collar isn't too tight. People tend to forget common things such as these, especially in growing pups.
Dogs also whine to get attention. Look into his eyes and strictly say "no." This will stop his attention-seeking-whining.
3. Chewing Everything at Night
I once had my wallet (worth $20) with 3000 INR (about $60) finished as a late-night snack by my four-month-old pup. Add to this many shoes, especially leather ones, and door and window edges that were enjoyed by him.
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Puppies and some older dogs (again as a result of poor training) tend to chew things. This is simply something you have to accept.
The best thing is to give it something to chew other than letting it pick something to chew.
Hunt for those chew bones or many other similar products available at pet stores. If it is still a nuisance, tie your dog inside somewhere or bolt the crate at night.
Training Your Dog to Sleep Outside: Step-by-Step Guide
If you still want your dog outside at night after trying to fix the underlying problems, here's what you can do.
Let the dog sleep during the day in the spot where you want it to sleep at night. Put your chair nearby and let the dog have an afternoon nap. Repeat this for a few days. This process is not magical. It will take time and patience.
For a few more days, let the dog out at night for a few hours but let it sleep inside. This will make it comfortable with the elements of night.
At the start of this phase, give it company for a little while. But remember it is essential to leave the dog alone on its own unless you are also planning to sleep beside it later on.
Collect everything that belongs to your dog, like its rug, its favorite chew toy, the water bowl, etc. Take the crate and put it in a calm place outside along with all the stuff you have gathered.
Let your dog see all your preparation. They are really smart and will understand that you are planning something. If they are already enjoying the freedom they are going to get at night, they will be happier to sleep outside.
A Few Other Tips
- If your dog is still not willing, try repeating these steps again. After repeated failures, do not force your dog to sleep outside. Either take your dog in or look for a family that can adopt it.
- Ensure that your dog is inside some sort of boundary or fence; otherwise, it may get lost or get into a fight at night.
- Leave more water than you normally do unless you want your dog knocking on the door because it's too thirsty.
- Get up before the paper guy or other visitors come. I am sure you won't like your dog chasing them away.
Remember, think carefully about why you want your dog outside. See if you can solve the underlying problems first, and then follow this guide.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Kit on July 22, 2020:
I think everyone on this comment section needs to realise they don’t know everyone’s situations. Same for the writer of the article. I’m moving house and my new place doesn’t want the dog inside the house at all so I’m looking to transition her in a way that won’t stress her. I love her and she usually sleeps with me but due to the real estate I can’t do that anymore. Open your minds before you judge people and tell them to get rid of their pets.
Whilma on May 05, 2020:
My puppy gets really hot when he's inside the house I've tried a cooling matt but he doesn't like to use it so I let him sleep outside.
Ramin on April 14, 2019:
If you cannot give the quality of life that a family dog deserves, please do not ever get a dog. They are pack animals and find great comfort and emotional stability by being close to you and inside your home. If you are unable to accept that DO NOT get a dog!
Tony on November 24, 2018:
You're a woman. A dog can totally be an outdoor animal.
1. It's an animal. What were they doing before we brought them indoors and tried to turn them into people?
2. No one said that temperature controlled shelter, food, water, and plenty of exercise, play time, training and attention weren't provided.
Chris on July 15, 2018:
If you can't live with your dog, inside the house, as part of the family, then let the dog live with someone who will. Leaving a dog outside is cruel.
mark on November 15, 2016:
Rubbish. Dogs are dogs.
Carl on December 30, 2012:
My dogs gets to hot at night an will go round house to move to cooler floor area but when she outside shes seems happyier