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Hi there! I have a question about transitioning an outdoor dog to being an indoor dog. I have an almost 4 year old Australian Shepherd who lived indoors for his first 10-12 months, then was moved to being outdoors full-time. Occasionally is brought inside for a night and does totally fine, never chews on things, doesn't have accidents, no barking or whining, etc. My boyfriend and I are getting an apartment and want to have this dog with us. However, we won't have him right away because 1. I know transitioning straight from being outdoors to a small apartment is not a good idea, and 2. I will still be in college for another year, so I know that I won't have time to exercise him the way he needs to be. In order to help this transition, he will be living with a couple of my friends that rent a small house with a backyard while I'm finishing school. I figured this way he would be able to get used to being inside full-time in a larger space than an apartment, he has a backyard, and should get plenty of exercise between my friends and I.
What do you think about this plan? Anything I should change or do in addition to help with the transition?
 

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Been through this when GF brought her outdoor farm dog into the city. She was a lab/husky cross that was used to having full run of the farm - she was a protection dog, took down yotes and other animals. That created some issues of it's own when she was moved.

First of all, don't make a big deal out of it.

First few days she was totally unsettled, didn't know what to do with herself really. She has a bed of her own, but didn't matter. Realized the one thing that was missing in her life, a place to call her own, 4 walls and a roof. Brought her kennel in the house, removed the door and left it off, blanket inside and she took it over immediately. That single thing caused her to settle fast. She wasn't a crate trained dog and the dynamics with the minpin changed immediately as well.
 

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Honestly, if it's ONLY the apartment thing that's worrying you then I would just transition her with you. If you really don't feel you can meet her exercise requirements then a year with the other family has to be done -- but honestly it's more shocking to the system to go through a change in "pack" then it is a change in pack living location.

When we adopted my girl she had never been inside a house before. No idea about stairs, doors, wood floors, having walls around her, etc. We just acted like everything was no big deal and approached everything very matter of factly. Within 48 hours she had everything figured out.

Like Jagger, the most important thing we found with our girl was that she had a comfortable space of her own. Since we had just adopted her we had nothing that smelled of her. So we got 2 towels and I rubbed her all over with them so that they started to smell like her. I then put those towels in her crate on top of the (new) mattress/bed. Within 5 minutes she walked into the crate and lay down -- it's been her spot ever since.

She still prefers the outdoors over houses, but she's very confident and comfortable in our apartment. It really wasn't a long adjustment AT ALL.

Also - she's a high energy dog (like aussie level energy) and we have no yard. She gets 2x 1 hour walks plus an early morning/late night 10 minute "pee walk" each day and is totally content to chill and chew her toys inside the rest of the time.
 
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