Keeping your Dog Confined to your Property

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We recommend that you keep your dog indoors, unless you’re present to supervise his time outside. Dogs are social creatures and need to socialize with you and the world around them. By walking your dog regularly (at least twice a day), you can provide him with the exercise and mental stimulation he needs.

If you must leave your dog outside, keep him in a securely-fenced yard to prevent him from straying. You may also consider providing him with a covered dog “run” or pen with a doghouse inside. This is a good alternative if you’re unable to fence your dog, or if your dog is apt to escape from your yard by jumping the fence.

Colorado law requires you to feed your dog, provide clean water at all times, and make sure your dog has access to appropriate shelter. So within the safe confines of your yard, provide access to adequate shelter from rain, snow, severe winds, and other inclement weather and access to water.

When outside, it’s best to provide your dog with a tip-proof water bowl or place the bowl in an area where it won’t get knocked over. To keep a water bowl from getting knocked over, you can also dig a hole and place the bowl at ground level, which will not only keep it from being knocked over, but will keep the water cool as well. It is also recommended to provide your dog with safe toys that are appropriate for his size to keep him from getting bored and into trouble (see our handout: “Dog Toys and How to Use Them”).

If your dog does like to wander, we don’t recommend that you chain or tie your dog to prevent him from wandering off. A chained or tied up dog is likely to become frustrated, which could lead to destructive and/or aggressive behavior. He could also become entangled in his chain, rope, or leash and, as a result, severely injure himself.

However, if you feel you must chain or tie up your dog, use a “dog trolley”. You can construct one by sliding a ring onto heavy wire or rope and fasten the ends between two post or tress. Then, connect your dog’s lead to the ring. Make sure the lead is short enough to avoid tangling, yet long enough to allow your dog to lie down. The trolley may either be overhead or on the ground. Provide at least 15 feet of clear space for your dog to move around in and be sure to remove any objects or debris that could cause him to become entangled or injured. Don’t secure the dog trolley near stairways, fences, decks or porches, and make sure it’s a safe distance from all possible “escape routes”. When using a dog trolley, don’t ever use a choke chain collar, instead use a leather or nylon harness. However, even when on a “dog trolley” it is recommended to not leave your dog chained outside for extended periods of time.