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Old 01-15-2013, 11:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Transitioning from Outside to Inside

Don't be discouraged because it's long!!! I need advice. My male boxer, Bobo, is two years old. I'm 16, and plan on getting an apartment or something of my own between the ages of 18 and 21. So by this time he'd be at least 4 years old. Almost all of his life he has been an outside dog, but his first year he was an inside dog. My mom remarried this year and my stepdad says we're not allowed to have pets in the house because of fleas and dirt. When I move out, though, I hope to take him with me, and keep him as an inside dog. Would this transition be hard on him? We have other dogs, two female labs,(who would no be coming with us) and they are part his pack as of this past summer, but I think he sees me as a dominant part of that pack, because I'm out there so much after school with them and he is quite submissive to me when he understands what I'm demanding. Would the separation from the other dogs be difficult, or would I be enough for him for it to be easy? I don't want to put unnecessary stress on him, especially if it will cause unwanted behavior. What about the space? He's used to going out of his shed-sized pen and running around as much as he wants, jumping and playing all over the place. Would he feel crowded in an apartment? I would walk him every day whenever he needed to expend some energy. I love this dog like he's my best friend in the whole world and I want what's best for him. Would it be better to let him stay with my parents, even though boxers are meant to be inside dogs? I'm not saying he's not happy as an outside dog, I just know boxers are meant to stay inside year-round. He is always so excited every time he sees me. I know this dog loves me just as much as I love him, if not more. I think he would love to be around me more, but I wonder what's best for him. I know it sounds like I don't even deserve to be a dog owner, what with all of these questions, but I'm asking them so that I can become a capable dog owner...
I know he needs to be inside. I know he is meant to be an inside dog, but I can't exactly demand that my stepdad let him inside all of the time. That is not my place as a child. If I could, I would let him inside when he was at work (even though that's wrong...) but he is trained with an underground electric fence and shock collar to stay inside a perimeter, which does not involve any entry to the house... None of this was my idea... I swear. I hate the fence. I hate that he's outside. I hate that I have to take off his collar and drag him over the line just to walk him every day. Although he's getting used to the idea that he can cross the fence as long as his leash is on, he still fights me about the fence... I do not want this for him, which is why I want to take him with me. It is cold in Illinois in the winter and hot in the summer and boxers are not made for that kind of weather... Idk what I should do. If it were up to me he would have never become an outside dog in the first place... but I had no say. So... please give me advice on what would be best for him, because I think someone with more experience than me should assess the situation.

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Old 01-15-2013, 11:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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take the dog with you and get that shock collar off him....
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Does he have a dog house out there? I feel your frustration and empathy for your dog. I think when you can take him he will be grateful to be an inside dog. Take him with you by all means. I'm sorry your going through this.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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All these worries are a bid responsibility for you. So is the thought of having to support an apartment and dog at 18. What about college? Can you discuss this with your mom? I am very sorry your going through such changes and frustrations. Is ther someone you can talk too. I am worried about you.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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my heart goes out to both you and your dog. Where are you from?

I agree with the above posts. For one.. I worry about somebody your age taking that on so young. I will tell you that I had my first puppy in my teens... at 18 I was accepted into college and moved hours away with my now husband. In the end, I found Dakota a beautiful family with kids who loved him so much. It tore my heart out that day. I loved him more then anything. But college life was no life for him. He has now passed. But they kept me in the loop for the remaining 7 years of his life. Im not saying you should do the same, but maybe consider it.

It sounds like you are not approving of his lifestyle now... and I cant blame you!!!! Do you think maybe rehoming him were he can be an indoor dog may be something that should be considered? or discussed with your parents? I know thats not what anybody wants. But as I said.... sometimes the hardest thing is to put the needs of the one you love above your own. Its just a thought.. please don't think I am being mean.. Its just I've been there

Good luck... keep us posted.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Breezy girl has valid points. I can feel the love u have for Bobo and the determination to do what is right for him. You are so young and have to also do what is right for you and your future. This is a lot for someone your age. You have your whole life in front of you. Maybe you should consider rehoming him. Not because you don't love him but because you do. You seem like a responsible young person. I just hope there is someone you can talk to about this. You are going through a lot yourself with your mother's marriage.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You can always talk to us as well
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My heart goes out to both your pup & you. I agree with the the above posts. It is a lot of work taking care of a dog & not to mention the newness of moving out on your own. I remember how hard it was adjusting to living in a new place (I got married at 19 & by the time I was 20, I was living in England with my husband). With all that said, I've never been a believer in an outside dog as most of the outside dogs I saw were put out & the only time they had interaction was when someone would bring them out food & water. That always saddens me. My girls are strictly indoors (spoiled rotten) but with plenty of time outside for potty & play time. I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow, I must say that you are very well spoken for a 16 year old and I admire your willingness to take on such responsibility.

Some valid points have already been made. You say you live in Illinois? Is the dog pen heated? I imagine it could get quite cold for a boxer there especially at night. At least he has the labs to keep him warm. Let's not even discuss the heat in the summer! ugh!

I agree with the others on it being a big responsibility moving out and taking care of a pet. And you will probably have to potty train him all over again too. Perhaps rehoming is the best option, or even foster care until you get settled into your new life.

Either way you will find a lot of helpful people here and very good advice so feel free to ask any questions you need answers to!

Good luck to you.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree with what the others have said here. Rehoming may be the best option, but it depends on how you adjust to college life and growing up. I say that because - I have always grown up around animals- my parents are both Veterinarians and I grew up on the farm. We had many many pet and lots of livestock. When I went to college I had a horrible time adjusting and meeting people, making friends. It was a lot diff than the small town I was used to. I was very lonely and was flunking out of college. By the spring of my freshman year I went and bought a Mini Schnauzer puppy and moved out of the dorms. I had $$ in savings but I knew I was going to have to start working in order for me to support this new puppy - my new baby. She sparked my life- because of her I was happier, healthier, got my grades up in school, exercised, and got a job- and at that job was where I met my hubby and a lot of the friends I would call family for so many yrs. because of this amazing dog I was able to finally be myself. College is a whole new world to take on, and who knows how things will happen. Rehoming may or may not be the best option but I'm glad you agree that outside is not the best option here. I would make a plan- knowing you may or may not have to rehome your dog. Your focus should be about yourself and your growth. You want to experience college to the fullest- once you get there and are fully emerged in college life, you will know what the right decision is. I hope your baby can come with you, but I don't know if that's the best option- only you will know - when it happens. We are here for you


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