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Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Dog House

No I am not talking about Snoop Dogs place I am speaking about your dog's home. By now you have the puppy home and settled into it's cage inside,  we have spoken about "stop that noise", and house breaking. Maybe you have been bringing home goose and duck wings for it to play with, and he might have even brought it back to you while playing. But you are now ready to move your dog to it's outside kennel and let it begin to learn that this is his new home. Now keep in mind I am talking about hunting dogs here, retrievers mostly as that is what I am most experienced with, but these same techniques will work on your Gus dog as well as my Tom Brown. These dogs have thick coats and would rather be outside, so don't be afraid to make that move to the kennel. 
The kennel should be located  where your dog can see the yard and the activities of your family, get some sun in the winter  shade in the summer, and have a suitable dog house for them to live in. A dog house does not have to be huge, but it does have to offer protection from the wind and rain, and a 55 gal. drum is not an acceptable shelter for your dog. A metal barrel will be cold in winter and smoking hot in summer, plus they roll around and have sharp edges causing injuries. A thick plastic barrel on a frame to keep it from rolling and with a lip to hold pine shats is okay, and Tom Brown had one for about 6 weeks. But when he got bigger that became inadequate and I got him a stick built home with matching vinyl siding, shingled roof, on a elevated deck of course. Okay I spoil him just a bit, but he is a hard working dog and a faithful companion. After a day out with me swimming and running in cold water his house is a warm dry place for him.
His kennel is chain link 12' by 12' and 7 feet high, with the fourth side being my shop where my boats and hunting gear are stored, my decoy shed is located next to his kennel but not attached to it. No one will enter the shop or the decoy shed without me knowing it! The floor is dirt and he loves to dig, but he digs a deep hole I fill it with bricks and cover it with dirt, he now has about 2/3 of the perimeter done, by spring he should have the whole thing done for me. The deck allows your dog a place to escape the summer sun, dig a hole to get to cool earth and hang out with out it being your flower bed or under foot. You must clean your dogs kennel everyday, but if you get into the routine of feeding him at the same time everyday, taking him out morning and evening to the same spot he was a "Good Boy" before that chore will be minimal. Now some people like concrete but your dog was not suppose to live on concrete, a thick layer of shats in the winter, cool earth in the summer is what he would sleep on in the wild, and is the way I keep my dog. Well okay the one dog has it's own recliner, lives inside and lives for dinner and treats, but Tom Brown has a normal retriever life, riding in boats, swimming in ice cold water, and pissing on everything up right.

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