The truth is, backyards are convenient for humans, but often times they are detrimental to the well-being of our dogs.
Let’s take a closer look at what big yards mean to dogs:
What a yard IS to a dog:
- A bathroom – People let their dogs out to go to the bathroom in their yards. This is easy for people, because it doesn’t require a leash and if you have a good fence you, don’t have to go out there with them.
- A place for fresh air – Dogs like to get fresh air and sun bathe. When the weather is nice, yards can be a great place for dogs to relax and enjoy some sun rays and outdoor air.
- A place to train your dog – The quintessential American home has a dog playing in the front yard with the kids without a fence and without the dog running away. Depending on your dog, this could be relatively easy or something that is quite difficult to achieve. However, the yard is a place to train your dog. Supervising your dog and showing them how to behave in your front or back yard will ensure you have one more great place your dog can be without fear of your dog running away or embarrassing you.
- A place where your dog can develop bad habits – If left unattended, it’s highly likely that your dog will dig, destroy, and bark. Just like in the house, you want to set good expectations on what behavior you expect.
What a yard ISN’T to a dog:
- A place for exercise – Dogs and humans alike need exercise. A backyard is not a place where dogs will get any meaningful exercise. If you have multiple dogs, they might be able to play together, which should be a part of their life, but not necessarily “exercise.”
- A good way to socialize your dog (unsupervised) – If you depend on your dog being in a front or back yard to socialize with other dogs or people, then you are barking up the wrong tree. It’s most likely that your dog will end up with anti-social habits if you leave them in a yard unattended and without direction – this creates dogs who will bark at your neighbors or charge dogs walking by.
- A substitute for a walk – Even if you have a nice yard, take your dog for a walk. It doesn’t take your dog long to memorize emery smell in your backyard. After that they will turn to destroying your house and fixating on squirrels or “attacking” people passing by. Always continue to take your dog on real walks that allow them to work and experience novel sights and smells that they don’t encounter every day.
Remember, a yard can be a great convenience for dog owners, but it can also promote lazy dog ownership. Your dog still needs purpose, exercise, and experience to be live a happy and fulfilled life! Don’t let your spacious yard get in the way of providing your dog with what he really needs.