Not all dogs like spending all of their time outdoors -- in fact, they can prefer the creature comforts of a life indoors. Just like people, though, very few dogs would be happy staying cooped up 24 hours a day. While time inside gives your pooch the chance to relax in comfort and privacy, getting exercise and going to the bathroom are important to any dog.
It All Depends
The amount of time your dog likes spending in an indoor room all depends on a number of factors. For example, a dog who doesn't tolerate extreme weather particularly well may prefer staying inside to venturing out in the snow or heat. Some breeds are predisposed to handling certain weather conditions better than others -- pugs, for example, can't tolerate extreme heat and humidity, and prefer to spend a hot summer afternoon indoors.
Time to Relax
Dogs need their beauty sleep, and in some cases, plenty of it. Certain breeds can sleep up to 16 hours per day -- if that sounds like one of yours, he probably doesn't mind staying in the same room while he enjoys a long afternoon nap. High-energy dogs and puppies, on the other hand, may enjoy unpredictable bursts of energy that will frustrate them when kept cooped up in the same room for too long, and need more exercise than relaxation.
Every dog, even a homebody, needs to get his exercise. A dog who doesn't get exercise will become anxious and frustrated, or even depressed and destructive. This means that you can't leave him in the same room for longer than he prefers, or he'll suffer from boredom and worry. If the weather doesn't permit you to take him for a walk, get his exercise in other ways, like playing fetch indoors or setting up some canine obstacles that he can play on.
The Elimination Round
Besides getting exercise and mental stimulation, there's one major benefit to getting your dog out of the house: giving him a potty break. A house-trained dog prefers not to eliminate inside, but if he doesn't have a choice, he's going to do what he has to do. Letting your dog out of the room and into the great outdoors reinforces good bathroom behavior, so make sure that he gets out of the house for a bathroom break every few hours.
By Tom Ryan
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About the Author
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.