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Hello, we are not dog owners, because dogs need to be indoors and we already have two indoor cats + allergies. But we have a friend in a sudden housing transition who needs a safe place for his dog (an 18 month old retriever/dachsund mix very attached to him). Several other options have fallen through so as a last resort we have have offered our backyard as a temporary home. "Waffles" is both dog and cat aggressive but calm and friendly with people. Our problem is that of course he is anxious and lonely in the backyard and is barking. We dont't know whether it's better to ignore the barking? Respond by going out to him? Shushing him? Keep the blinds open so he sees us but can't be with us? Close the blinds so he feels all alone? Get a vibrating bark collar? This is day one of several and we are worried already. But at present the owner is running out of options. Advice and suggestions welcome!
 

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Not a great situation--can you and friend actively look for a more appropriate placement (as a house dog)? That sounds tough.
Are you allergic to dogs, for certain?
If not, could you house this dog indoors (with outdoor privileges) and simply keep cats and dog in separate parts of the house? Yes, your cats will be miffed, but not too much as long as they get dibs on the best rooms & attention and release they will not have to actually deal with the dog.
And if you're not allergic, there's also the possibility that this dog is 'good with cats' and all can co-exist peacefully. I'd be putting my own pets 100% first, but you just never know.

How long is the 'temporary' situation?
I board my dog at a kennel if I'm going somewhere he cannot (in his case, a socialized-plays with other dogs-kennel).


If he must stay, and stay outdoors, make sure he has a secure hidey spot (dog house, crate with open door, etc. that is insulated, cool for hot days, warm for cool days, comfy blankets in there. A comfy spot (old rug, straw, etc.) where he likes to hang out and rest.
Get a puzzle ball (hollow ball with a hole that you put treats or kibble inside, and dog must roll it about to get the food out--you can give it to your cats when the dog leaves--my cats have several)
Go out and play with him as much as you can. Take him for walks. Sit in the garden & read or whatever else you can manage to do outdoors with him.
Maybe find one room that he can stay in sometimes, equipped with dog bed & sometimes you (if the allergies not too bad) with the cats locked out. Time sharing.

Hope things work out for you.
 

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Thanks for the reply. He did better than expected the first night. After trying various methods, what seemed to work best was to keep the screen door shut but the sliding glass door open, so he could hear as well as see us. Whenever he barked we would firmly (but not angrily) speak to him, ditto when he started fixating on or growling at the cats through the door. When he first arrived, he tried ramming through the screen to get to the cats, so that's actually an improvement. I sat outside with him a few times as a reward for settling down, as the barking gradually settled into whining. He did sleep, for which we're very grateful! Now we're working on long walks morning and evening, play with family members several times a day, and letting him just get used to the fact that he is on the patio and we are in the living room. We lost a 4 yr old cat to sudden heart attack this spring, just a week or so after having had family with dog visiting in the house, and are fearful of over-stressing and losing his brother (even though it may have been coincidence). So we're not going to disrupt the cats for the dog, especially when he is definitely not safe yet with any other animals (lunges at other dogs on walks). Whew! But he does seem to be settling in, and it won't be forever (best case a week, worst case a month). We have mild weather, so he won't be too hot or cold.
 
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