I was recently asked to go and see a seven month old pup to address some house training issues. What became apparent was the dog’s lack of access to the garden. The dog had previously escaped out of the garden through some holes in the fence and the young owner had got such a fright that she has not been allowed loose in the garden ever since.
The general care and love for the dog is admirable. However the pups housetraining education is at a standstill as she does not have the freedom and the experience of being in the garden as much as she is in the house. She herself is a clean dog as she keeps her utility room clean and the sitting room clean…but uses the kitchen as her ensuite and the hall as a secondary option.
The family also reported excessive chewing and biting of ankles and inappropriate materials. At the age of seven months pups are beginning their adolescent phase and need to explore their world. Just like small children they will put thing in their mouths so that they can taste smell and chew. This behaviour can be exaggerated if the dog does not have a garden to explore and mooch in. Dogs live in the world through their noses and when they are denied natural exploratory behaviour outside they will chew everything and anything they find inside.
I would suggest it may be likened to locking a teenager in the house without any access to the outside world. I promise you the house would get wrecked out of pure frustration and boredom.
Dogs need gardens or at the very least access to outside space, especially for successful housetraining but also for their naturally inquisitive noses…..noses that save lives dedecting lost people, dectect drugs, and that can smell cancer cells!
Until the next time…. Samantha.