With all the dogs that live in my house - and who pee on entirely different
schedules - I thought a doggie door would be terrific. I may have been
The dogs who were used to going out only when I took them out use the door in
pretty much the way I intended, they go out, do their business and come back.
However, the puppies I've gotten since then, who have had the door in their
lives from the beginning, like to play outside, Skidget being the prime example.
Skidg couldn't use the door until she was about 10 weeks old. When she was
first big enough to use it she was frightened by it but not so badly that she
didn't start following the other dogs in and out pretty quickly.
Skidget discovered digging early on. She loves digging. Anyone who thinks
that poodles are prissy "make believe" dogs would be surprised to see this
dainty little thing who aspires to be a junkyard dog.
My house was remodeled after I began raising poodles. My floors are all wood
or tile, none are carpeted and I have leather furniture. Dogs know about these
things. Not only does Skidget dig but if the bedroom door is left open she makes
a beeline from the doggie door to the bed where she can roll around and share
with everyone all that great mud she just brought in. Even if there is no mud
and even if, like me, you don't have to be concerned about carpet or upholstery
there is sand or pollen or just plain old dust and stuff that you don't want on
your lap and you certainly don't want in your bed. Skidget has seen weeks where
she's had a bath every day. This can be a lot of work and it can be bad for the
dog's skin (although we've never had skin problems, see info on shampoo). I
really like giving my dogs baths but I don't like having to do it while I'm
cooking supper or planning to go out because she just happened to find a good
mud puddle at that time.
Small dogs like our poodles are usually purchased by people who intend to let
the dogs on the furniture (some get poodles especially for this reason as they
don't shed), on their laps and in their beds. (If you don't want a dog in any of
these places, please don't buy a dog from me!). This means that it is probably a
good idea to keep your dog out of the backyard except on occasions when you are
there playing with her. Fortunately there is no need for these dogs to go
outside to exercise. They will have plenty of room to run laps in your house and
even in a small apartment. (Remember to let them.)
It's a good idea to plan from the start whether you will let your poodle play
outside or not. It is very easy to keep an indoor poodle indoors. It is not so
easy to keep an outdoor poodle indoors.
One other item to consider is that many people with dog allergies have
Poodles (myself included). While the poodles don't bother my allergies there is
some pollen they pick up outside that makes my hands break out and itch when I
groom them after they've been outside at certain times of year. If you have
allergies this could be an important factor.
Please note that when I talk about an outdoor poodle I'm not talking about
leaving dogs outside for any length of time unattended. These little dogs are
essentially indoor dogs and a half an hour is a very very long time for them to
be outside. Even Skidget only plays outside for 15 minutes at a time (but she
does it about 20 times a day!)