Dogs living outside like guard dogs…?

RJ W

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Hi guys,

I have recently moved to a home with stables and paddocks and found out there is a problem with people pinching trailers which we have...

We have been advised to get a couple of "yard dogs" and I just wanted to know your thoughts on this.

The idea of having a dog that would live outside is very new to me… I already have three much loved dogs that live inside (even sleep on my bed!!!) However the people that have dogs have not been touched by the trailer thieves and those without have all been victims so I am thinking about it now!

I would get two so they had company, and I am often around so they would get human interaction… they would obviously have a kennel and be able to roam around… do you think keeping them outside is cruel?

I can't make the dogs i have currently live outside as they are small breeds that are really more like lap dogs and living outside would not be the right thing to do!

If you do think keeping dogs outside is okay would you advise a specific breed? and would you advise a puppy or older and any more tips would be much appreciated!

I don't want to do anything thats unfair on the dogs but I would very much like to keep my trailer and other things from being stolen!

Thanks in advance!! x
 

SusieT

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GEt some geese, they are good guard animals and won't mind being outside animals whereas dogs in general like human company and unless you have a lot of ring fenced land you would need to walk them etc.
 

RJ W

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lol Fides mine are pathetic… they would hate it! a 20 minute walk is enough outside time (plus sunbathing during the summer lol)!!!
 

Patterdale

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Our working sheepdogs and terrier live outside. They come in at night in winter but otherwise they just roam. They're all very friendly but quite protective of the place.
They'd never hurt anyone though, they're more of an alarm system. If a car were to arrive or an unknown person walk into the yard they'd be sure to wake us and/or scare them off.

As far as breeds go, no idea. Our dogs NEVER stray and I think that sheepdogs are quite intelligent in this way, but they get plenty of work. I suspect that if they didn't, they might be more apt to make their own fun ;)
 

RJ W

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GEt some geese, they are good guard animals and won't mind being outside animals whereas dogs in general like human company and unless you have a lot of ring fenced land you would need to walk them etc.

Geese REALLY scare me…. pathetic isn't it! I would be down with the dogs for the most part of every day and walking wouldn't be an issue although there is a lot of land to be running around in… but i still feel horrid even thinking of leaving them outside!! :/
 

RJ W

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If a car were to arrive or an unknown person walk into the yard they'd be sure to wake us and/or scare them off.


Thats what i need! don't want anything vicious just an alarm!!! its nice to know people do leave their dogs outside the majority of the time, makes me feel less mean thinking about it lol
 

RJ W

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locks for the trailer we have but one person who had their trailer taken had a lock on and it doesn't stop some people now… they have these things they can put underneath and lock the trailer and cctv is being put up this week isn't going to necessarily stop them...
 

SatsumaGirl

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Completely random suggestion and I'm not suggesting this as an alternative to the dogs (I myself only have pets so have no experience with dogs that are solely kept outside so can't help on that front)...I digress. Yes, so anyway, a few people I know have suggested Guinea Fowl. I'm not sure they would deter thieves as such but apparently they make one hell of a noise and are a good alarm, should intruders enter the property.
 

Dry Rot

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I think there are all sorts of legal implications to having dogs loose, especially anything coming under the descriptive title of "guard dog". If you have two dogs together, you have a pack…and with a pack you have the dangers of them getting off together to hunt and worry sheep. Dogs permanently in kennels or on a chain will inevitably go "stir crazy" and it must be a miserable life for them.

I have two GSDs. One is a pup but the older dog looks the part and has all the guarding instincts as well as being an intelligent useful companion. Both go into an outside kennel at night as they are a bit much even on a double bed! I always seem to end up precariously balanced on the outside six inch ledge!

BUT even having a GSD in a strategically placed kennel can be a good deterrent. Mine bark at visitors and I know by the tone of the bark whether the visitor is a stranger or the postman. And trespassers do not know when the dogs will be loose. Be careful of warning signs if you choose dogs. "Beware of the Dog" can indicate to a court that you knew the dog was vicious while "Dogs Loose at Night" admits to nothing. Under the law, a dog is said to be allowed one bite -- when it's had that it is known to be vicious and the owner is liable. There is also strict liability under dangerous dog legislation and the laws get stricter every day.
 

TwyfordM

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Geese 100%, so much more terrifying and effective than any guard dog!! Evil creatures they are, they were used to guard a small holding i worked at. To keep the foxes away from the chickens/goats/alpacas too. Nothing will mess with an angry goose!!!
 

RJ W

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Be careful of warning signs if you choose dogs. "Beware of the Dog" can indicate to a court that you knew the dog was vicious while "Dogs Loose at Night" admits to nothing.

Thank you for that! A good tip! It wouldn't actually be a guard dog, it would be a dog that would look like a guard dog to scare people off! the land is very well fenced, we went around and checked the perimeters the other day and I wouldn't keep them on a chain.. they would be loose around the yard! i just need a deterrent and i know people keep mentioning geese but i cannot begin to explain how much they scare me!
 

paulineh

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my working Springer's live outside at night they love it. The kennels are water proof and warm. My old boy asks to go to bed and you often find him in there to get away from the younger ones.

Have you though about getting a trailer stand. This is a stand that you can hitch the trailer too (something like thishttp://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BULLDOG-FOLD-DOWN-PARKING-DRIVEWAY-SECURITY-POST-SURFACE-MOUNTED-/171274245180?pt=UK_HaG_Lock_Safes_GL&hash=item27e0bd943c) a bit like the ones you get to stop people parking in certain areas.

You can also get Padlocks that have an Alarm as part of them. They are also cheap to buy.
 
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RockinRudolph

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Geese 100%, so much more terrifying and effective than any guard dog!! Evil creatures they are, they were used to guard a small holding i worked at. To keep the foxes away from the chickens/goats/alpacas too. Nothing will mess with an angry goose!!!

The first yard I was at had a herd of geese - we all gave them a massively wide berth! If they were blocking the way, we would wait for them to move or find a different way round and never dare go near the things. They attacked my car tyres on more than one occasion! Wouldn't say I'm particularly worried by any animal, but wouldn't dream of going anywhere near a goose - and if it was angry I'd be running in the opposite direction!

OP maybe they would be ok with you if you owned and fed them?
 

Fides

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Just to warn you - geese don't stay put so they may end up guarding
Your next door but 3 neighbour... We have inherited geese from
3 doors down!
 

Copperpot

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We have 3 geese at our yard. They petrify me. They chase me and make an awful racket the minute they see anyone. Gordon the big white one is particularly aggressive lol and I'm more worried by him than any dog.
 

shadowboy

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The thing about geese is they go to bed at night- a livery yard I was at some years ago had some that nested in an empty stable at night and when we came up early to get ready for royal London they did nothing as were nesting. We were up before dawn. I've been on a yard where they've had 2 Germans shepherds and they did a fab job- after you'd been up 3 or 4 times they wouldn't bark at the car but would bark at any strangers and were intimidating to those who were new to the yard but fab with the kids/liveries they knew - stunning dogs and the owner still walks them and treated them as pets. They slept in a stable that had the top door closed but bottom door open. When pups they had a heat lamp and straw and they still bed on straw now. That have collars on and are in all respects happy healthy dogs that get loads of fuss from liveries and stimulation as they follow the quad doing perimeter checks which they love! An outside dog doesn't mean an unloved dog!
 

Daytona

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Nothing wrong with dogs living outside if that's what they are brought up like, get a shed, put a heat lamp in it, leave dogs loose to wonder property and they will be fine and happy. They will get interaction with people during day so it's not like they get no human company

A friend of mine has two boxers who protect his yard, they are two happy dogs, love there shed with its heat lamp and just wonder about the yard all day.
 

Dry Rot

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Dogs adapt well to temperature, even thin skinned dogs. What they cannot adapt to is repeatedly changing from inside to outside temperatures as they can never fully adjust to either. No need for a heat lamp, just a draft proof kennel and a warm bed they can curl up in.

For a bed, I favour the "fox box" design which is basically an insulated box with a tunnel entrance just large enough to curl up in. The insulation can be effected by sandwiching 25mm of expanded polystyrene between sheets of ply on the sides, top, and bottom, and perhaps a flap (quarry belting?) over the entrance.

My GSDs go outside into the kennel at night but they have fox boxes. When they are in the house, they often choose to sleep in the passage on the concrete floor, presumably because it is cooler. My pointers would pant and show obvious signs of heat distress inside until I took pity on them and put them outside into their kennels, even with temperatures below zero. With adequate feeding and a good bed, they will generate their own heating.
 

jodie3

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We have a couple of Guinea fowl on the farm that free range. They are fantastic at making a racket when they see a fox but don't make a sound when visitors arrive so perhaps best not to rely on them!
 
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