This article by Dr Cynthia D. Fisher, B.A. MS, PhD - Chief Instructor (Obedience) at Gold Coast Dog Obedience Club - is reproduced with the kind permission of the author.******
Is your dog an inside dog or an outside dog? Mine are both they stay out in a well-fenced yard while we are away, and are inside much of the time that we are home and awake. They have draft-free dog houses with dry bedding in the yard, and plenty of shade for hot summer days, but they also spend many hours each day inside with us.
Although our mild climate permits many breeds to live comfortably outside all year, almost all dogs will be much happier if they spend a good part of each day inside with people. Dogs are social creatures, and need to spend plenty of time with their pack the humans in the family. You may have fewer behavioural problems stemming from boredom, frustration, and lack of stimulation if the dog spends hours each day with you. Most people get dogs for companionship and protection unless you spend a lot of time outside, you wont get much companionship from an outdoor dog, nor it from you.
Further, very few backyards are stolen - the dog can deter theft of your valuables better if it's inside with them. Many people enjoy having their dogs sleep inside the house both for company and for safety. The more time the dog spends with you, the more likely it is to bond with you and be willing to work with you. It will learn to read your body language and you will learn to read its as well. This makes for a much more successful training/learning relationship. Many dogs are exiled to the back yard because they behave badly in the house.
However, it is not difficult to teach a dog some house manners, as described below:
Alternatively, create a dog-friendly back yard as a safe place to leave the dog when you can't supervise it.
Cynthia D. Fisher www.gcdotc.org.au