Problems with Raising Puppies Outside

Raising puppies can be a difficult job, but it's important to raise them indoors rather than outdoors. Besides health concerns, your puppy may miss out on important socialization by living outdoors.

Outdoor Dangers

Puppies can be very vulnerable to predators at a young age if not properly supervised by their owners. Depending on your location, puppies can be preyed upon by coyotes and large predatory cats. Young puppies or small dogs can even be preyed upon by smaller wild animals, other neighborhood pets and predatory birds.

Leaving your puppies in the yard leaves them vulnerable to any type of attack, even from a neighbor cat or dog. Just because the fences keep your puppies in doesn't mean that they keep wild animals out. The younger the puppy, the more vulnerable he is.

Health Concerns

At a young age, a puppy's temperature needs to be carefully monitored, because he doesn't have the strength to keep his body heat where it needs to be. On cold nights, puppies should definitely be inside. Most evenings get cool enough that your puppy could be very uncomfortable outdoors, making him more susceptible to diseases.

Young puppies also don't have high immunity to many dangers that can live in your yard. Many parasites carry diseases or can cause illnesses in young puppies. Your puppy is more likely to attract fleas and ticks living in the yard, as well as many different types of worms.

Neighborhood dogs or even wild animals can bring diseases into your yard to which your puppy may not be immune to, such as distemper or even rabies.

Training Concerns

If your puppy begins his life being raised outside, it will be much more difficult for him to adjust to indoor life later. There will be no opportunities for potty training or teaching which objects on which chewing is appropriate. Because your puppy lives outside, you will spend less time interacting with him, eliminating many natural training opportunities when you might teach him not to nip or jump, or when you might teach him simple commands such as sit, down and stay.

Puppies are pack animals, so if they are isolated outdoors, they can also develop many destructive behaviors, such as chewing, tail chasing or biting themselves. Because they aren't getting proper exercise, they will be more likely to jump on you or nip you when you come outside, further preventing you from wanting to interact with them. This can lead to an unruly adolescent.

Socialization Concerns

By the time your puppy is 16 weeks old, he needs to be exposed to everything in the world you don't want him to fear: people of all ages, other pets, lawn mowers, joggers, skate boards, etc. Leaving him outside leaves a huge gap in socialization.

If your dog lives outside, he won't be exposed to carpet or linoleum floors, which can later be frightening to the unsocialized dog. He likely won't meet a variety of people or other pets, and if he does, it may be without your interaction; thus, you can't control if it goes well. If your dog isn't properly socialized, he can become fearful and even aggressive, making it less likely that he will grow into the family pet you had hoped for. If you raise your puppy indoors, exposing him to many people and activities as well as training him to behave as you would like, he will grow up into a happy, healthy dog that can easily live indoors for his entire life.