How to Train an Indoor Dog to Sleep Outside


Training your indoor dog to sleep outside can provide numerous benefits for canine and owner alike. Aside from reducing nighttime barking, it allows your pooch to get the air, sunshine, and exercise they may not have access to when kept indoors for long periods of time. Additionally, sleeping outdoors can help ensure that their fur does not accumulate too much dander and human particles like pet saliva and dust mites which can pollute the indoor air. It is important to note that when training your pup to sleep outdoors you must follow certain guidelines in order to ensure their safety. This article will outline how you can train an indoor dog to sleep outside safely and comfortably.

Preparing Your Dog

Before attempting to train your dog to sleep outside, you need to ensure they are comfortable in the environment. Creating a crate/kennel area with some familiar items can help make a smooth transition and ensure your pup feels safe. You should try to provide a comfortable bed, blankets, pads, and any other items that provide warmth and comfort for your pet. Ensure that this space is far away from the noise of outside activity and distraction. If possible, provide an insulated kennel so the temperature can remain warm or cool during extreme temperatures inside. You should also install some external lights around the area; this will help your dog feel secure and be able to see any intruders as needed. Additionally, you should have supplies such as treats, water bowls, toys, heating lamps (in cold environments), pest repellent or deterrents (to keep animals out of the area), and waste bags available for personal hygiene reasons.

Creating a Comfortable Area

Training an indoor dog to sleep outside requires preparation and the right environment. Before you allow your pup to sleep outdoors, designate a comfortable spot for them to do so. Make sure it’s a dry and secure area that is free from all danger, such as other animals or passing cars that may disrupt sleep. Once you’ve done that, there are several steps you can take to ensure your pup feels comfortable in their new sleeping arrangements.

First, consider the terrain of the chosen spot; ideally, it should have soft soil or grass rather than hard dirt or bricks. Additionally, provide plenty of blankets for insulation and place items such as toys in the space for added comfort and security. If possible, give your pup somewhere shady and cool during warm weather months; if this isn’t feasible, set up a tent with mesh sides that will protect them from parasites like fleas and mosquitoes without trapping in too much heat. Last but not least, don’t forget a water bowl!

Training Your Dog

The Take It/Leave It exercise is an integral part of training your indoor dog to sleep outside. This method is simple and effective and encourages the dog to respect boundaries by teaching her that certain items are only available under certain conditions. Start by taking a toy or treat in one hand and telling your dog to “Leave it” while closing your hand with the item concealed from view. When the dog looks away from your hand, open it and say “Take it!” Praise them for leaving the item when you asked them to, then let them have the reward when they look away. Overtime build up a positive habit of looking away from things unless invited to take it.

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Using this exercise allows you to attach a positive experience with going outside so that eventually your pup will find pleasure in leaving the house which links bedtime outside with comfort, joy, and reward. Start by having her wait outside for a few seconds before taking her back inside for her reward— i.e., play time, treats or food. Eventually you can start having her wait outside longer than before until she can stay comfortably until bedtime, while still receiving rewards intermittently throughout the night such as chew toys or treats. As always remember to praise her whenever she leaps into action at your command, as this reinforces their learned behavior making training more enjoyable and successful!

Establishing Commands & Routines

Training an indoor dog to sleep outside can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Begin by establishing commands and routines with simple, consistent cues that will help your dog learn where they should be sleeping. Start with a few easy tasks, like having them sit, stay in one spot or lay down on command. As your dog learns these commands award them with treats or verbal praise as positive reinforcement for good behavior. Then gradually move on to longer tasks and more complex cues while continuing to provide rewards and plenty of praise when they complete the task correctly. Additionally, keep in regular contact with your dog during the process by offering words of encouragement or petting them so they know that you are there for support. With some patience, consistency and everyday practice you will eventually have a trained indoor pup ready to sleep safely outdoors

Keeping Track of Progress & Adjusting Training as Needed

Tracking your progress and making adjustments as needed while training your indoor pup to sleep outside is an important part of the process. You should take note each time you bring your dog outside and identify any changes in behavior, such as if they seem more relaxed or energetic. You can also monitor their sleeping habits, like if they are able to settle and sleep outdoors faster than inside or have difficulty nodding off in a new environment.

If you notice any improvement, continue with the same strategy but with more reinforcement. If your pup appears anxious, too energetic, or unwilling to stay put in one place outdoors, adjust your strategy accordingly by decreasing the amount of time spent outside initially and gradually increasing it as needed. Reward positive behavior with treats or verbal praise during scheduled outdoor activity periods for additional encouragement. Lastly, consider consulting with a certified trainer if needed for personalized advice and assistance from an expert perspective.

Reassuring Your Dog

The first step to training an indoor dog to sleep outside is developing a trusting relationship with your dog. Show your dog that they can trust you and that the outdoors is a safe, happy place. Spend time outdoors with your pup, playing in the yard or going on short walks together. Give your pet lots of positive reinforcement; verbal praise, treats, and cuddles help to assure your pet that being out there is worth the effort! When it’s time for bedtime make sure to establish a routine for both you and your pup. Take them out for one last potty break before bed so their sleeping area will be clean and comfortable. Sleep training starts in your home, get into the habit of leaving the door open for brief moments throughout the day so your pet knows where you are and not to panic when you’re not around. As the weather permits start bringing their sleeping area outside and keep it in the same spot each night encourages familiarity allowing them to get comfortable in their new part-time bedroom. Be patient during this process as it takes time for pets to adjust, but with plenty of reassurance eventually you’ll have a dog who enjoys spending nighttime hours outdoors comfortably!

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Maintaining Good Hygiene

Training your indoor dog to sleep outside can be a challenging task, but with enough patience and dedication, you can achieve successful results. One important factor in the process is ensuring proper hygiene for both yourself and your pup. It is essential to keep outdoor areas clean of droppings, regularly groom your pet, and always remember to bring any outdoor toys or items back inside after use. Depending on the breed of your dog, regular brushing may be required in order to prevent mats and provide avoid skin irritation from build-up of debris. Additionally, any water dishes provided should also be cleaned every day as part of general canine grooming habits. Since your pup will reside outdoors at times, regularly checking outside their area for any sharp objects or other potential dangers is key to keeping them safe while they sleep outdoors. Finally, remember that good hygiene extends beyond physical threat containment – you must take into consideration the mosquitoes and other pests that may linger in outdoor areas which may require monthly flea control treatments as well as any potentially hazardous plants present in your yard that could provoke sickness if eaten by your pet. All these aspects combined will help ensure a healthy environment for your pup while they rest outside!


When transitioning your indoor dog to sleeping outside, it is important to make sure that the area you designate for your dog’s bedding is comfortable for them. This can include placing a blanket or cushioned bed in the space and providing enough shading, weather protection (such as using a kennel), and warmth during colder months or nights. In addition, ensure your pup has access to fresh water and food throughout the day and night.

It may make sense to start small with the transition process, starting off by moving their crate outside temporarily and having them sleep outdoors in this safe space each night until they become more accustomed to being outdoors. Additionally, praise and reward positive behavior whenever encountered which will help encourage them even more.

Once outdoor sleeping has become routine, there should not be a need for much maintenance in terms of changing behaviors. As long as their needs such as food, water, appropriate sheltering and proper check-ups are met it should be relatively easy to keep up with their Sleeping habits from then on! Be sure to check in often on your pup’s condition by visiting them frequently (without disturbing any sleep) and encountering any medical problems in advance if necessary. Overall, this process does take time but will most likely be worth the effort for those who would like their pup’s lives enriched with some outdoor slumbering fun!

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