Dogs are social creatures and, if properly trained, do best if allowed to live in your home where they can feel like a part of your “pack.” However, the ideal is not always possible and many dogs do end up as backyard dogs or outdoor dogs. If you plan to train your dog to live outdoors be sure you will be able to devote the time need to still properly socialize your dog. Also be sure that your yard is properly secured. A chained up dog is a miserable one and these dogs will often start to display behaviors that will cause problems for them and you down the line. You also want to be sure you provide adequate shelter for your outdoorsy hound. He need a good, well insulated dog house – a place where he can go when he needs protection from the wind, rain and harsh elements.  It doesn’t need to a mansion dog house though. Most dogs are happy with a place that has four walls, is up off of the cold ground and a good, solid roof over their heads. If cost is an issue, don’t let that stop you. Do a quick google search on how to make your own wooden dog house. Believe it or not, wood is one of the best insulators and wooden dog houses are attractive and durable. If you need a more mobile solution, plastic or fiberglass dog houses, such as dogloo or igloos are well insulated, lighter weight and do an excellent job at protecting your pet from the harsher elements. As a final note, if your dog is just making the transition into becoming an outdoor dog, make sure he or she is the right breed to be an outdoor dog. Not all breeds are able to grow the thick coat needed to endure cold weather. Even if he or she is the right breed, remember that thick coats take time to grow out. They usually grow out gradually over time as the seasons change.