Let’s face it: Dogs are busybodies! They are social creatures who want to know everything about their environment. Thankfully, it takes very little to satisfy this instinct and create a happy environment for them.
One solution that I discussed in a previous post was to install doggie windows in fences. But many of my clients cannot create doggie windows, perhaps because of homeowner’s association restrictions, because of the material the fence is made out of, or because they simply do not like the look of them. For these clients, I would suggest another appealing alternative: creating a doggie observation deck. This allows dogs to perch up high and safely view their neighborhood.
I’ve asked numerous vets and animal behaviorists why dogs like to perch, but nobody really has an answer except that they almost all like to do it, regardless of their size. Whether they like lying on the back of your couch or sitting on an arm chair to look out the front window, most dogs seem to enjoy being elevated.
Here’s how you can help your home’s pooch reach new heights.
For backyards, you can install mounds of soil for dogs to play on and look over. Although dogs enjoy dirt, I would advise that you always use a landscape fabric or stepping stones so that dogs don’t track mud and the hill won’t erode. Depending on the slope of the hill, you can also install plants, mulch, or vegetation (nontoxic and nonthorny) so that dogs can enjoy their new post.
Other observation decks include elevated patios, decks, and boulders. Many dogs can simply use a boulder to stand on and view their entire neighborhood.
Observation decks can be made out of numerous materials—whether it’s mulch, decking/patio material, topsoil, or a simple boulder. But regardless, Fido will appreciate the effort, whether great or small, that you put into it so that he can watch over his domain.