How to Transition You Dog Indoors and Out

When we decided to get our puppy, Rowe, I did a lot of research on how to keep a dog outdoors. I was determined that he would be an outside dog. While that plan hasn’t entirely taken course we have found a way to let our pup live a happy life partially indoors, and partially out.

Outdoor Dog Lot

My husband and I both work 8-5 jobs with a 40 minute commute. We live in a tiny, one bedroom house that doesn’t have a garage/basement/additional room to accommodate a dog. We don’t travel often, but occasionally take long weekend trips. These factors (paired with my desire to keep Rowe outdoors) led us to the decision to build Rowe’s lot. The truth is, all the research I did recommended against our plan. We had lengthy conversations with Rowe’s breeder and vet before moving forward with our plans, because we want to keep our dog happy, healthy and safe!  

Outdoor Dog Lot

Rowe’s Schedule

Basically anytime we are at home, Rowe is with us. He sleeps inside, in a crate, and hangs out with us after work doing whatever we are doing around the house. Anytime we are not at home Rowe goes in his lot. This includes time we spend at work and anything that happens after work that he can’t be a part of. If we go away for a couple of days we leave Rowe in his lot and ask someone to come feed and play with him while we are gone. His dog house is inside of his dog lot and he goes in there for sleep and when there is a storm, otherwise he is usually lounging on the turf!

Rowe will potty in the lot, but pee only. We intended for him to do all of his business in his lot but he has never pooped inside of it, so we make sure that he goes before bringing him in every day. We clean his lot occasionally by taking the house out and spraying down the turf. We feed Rowe in his lot every morning and most evenings, depending on our schedule. If we are eating at home we will feed him inside while we eat.

Of course Rowe barks and whines when we leave him, and he would always rather be at our feet than in his dog lot, but every day I know that he is safe, he has plenty of room, water and toys. He even has a little fan that blows air through his lot on extra hot days. What a life! 

Vet Tip: Leave a ticking clock in your dog's lot while away, the rhythmic sound can be calming

We have plans to “winterize” his lot this fall. This includes adding on a box to the lot that he can go in for warmth and shelter. Pictures and details to come!

Vet Tip: To keep odors down when bringing your puppy in and out wipe him down with a non scented baby wipe!

How to build an outdoor dog lot
Indoor/Outdoor Dog

Lot Details

Andrew gets all the credit for this dog lot. He planned it, sketched it and built it so we could provide Rowe with a safe place to spend the day protected from critters, rain and wandering off while also having room to play, eat and potty

Andrew started by building 12’ x 20’ lean to shed with a 12’ x 10’ dog lot (eventually the open space adjacent to the lot will be a shed).

It’s structure is pressure treated 4x6 post set in concrete with 2x6 rafters and 2x8 fascia pressure treated wood. The roof is Central States Screw Down Panel Lock Plus, Galvalume in color, applied over 1x4 pressure treated purlins as decking. 

Dog lot fencing is 2”x4” poly coated 16 gauge fencing applied to pressure treated wood bands with galvanized fencing staples. The fencing stretches out beneath the turf and is secured with boards the run along the inside of the fence. This prevents Rowe from digging out of the log (or something else from digging in).

All fasteners are exterior wood screws however galvanized nails could also be used.

We started with half of the lot covered in turf, and half rock, but the vet advised full turf so Rowe wouldn't eat rocks all day!

We started with half of the lot covered in turf, and half rock, but the vet advised full turf so Rowe wouldn't eat rocks all day!

I am sharing all of this in hopes that some new dog owner out there who is searching for a way to make life with their new pup more manageable will read this and find comfort! I sure could have used it when I was trying to plan for Rowe’s arrival!

Products We Use

Interested in building something similar? I am happy to answer any questions you have about Rowe's Lot, drop me an email at!

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