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Thread: Dogs that live outside...is it bad?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Question Dogs that live outside...is it bad?

    Hi everyone!

    I have had my golden retriever mix for over 2 years now. Her name is Cricket and she weighs about 65 lbs and is very thick coated. Since she was about a year old she has lived outside in the backyard. She has a Dogloo dog house and always gets fresh food and water. She is just so large that we cant keep her in the house *our home is not that large*

    People tell me that I shouldnt keep her outside because its cruel and all. She has free run of the backyard and we have a little dog who goes out and plays with her all of the time *as do I* and we play fetch and I love on her. Her tail is always wagging and she is NEVER tied up to anything.

    I just want to make sure I am doing everything possible that is good for her. When it gets cold we put hay into her dog house to keep her warm and make sure her water is never frozen.

    IS there anything else I am forgetting to do for her so she can always be comfortable? Thanks so much!

    Heather
    Mosby--Maine Coon
    +
    Salsa-- black and tan chihuahua
    +
    Chica--red brindle chihuahua
    +
    Cricket--golden retriever mix
    +
    44 gallon aquarium full of tropical fish
    ---------------------------------------
    Equals: One crazy but very happy family!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    here in Australia we seem to keep dogs as more of a outdoor pet but we also do more activies outside rather then being inside...personally my dogs live mainly outside and come in for about 1hour a day....but living in your climate I would think it would proberly be too cold for your pup...in winter here my guys get locked up in the laundry where they have there beds etc....is it possible that you could put your dog in the bathroom/laundry or even a warm spot in the garage....as I would think it would get pretty cold....our temps here in windter get to about 1C during the night and 15c through the day....so nowhere near the temps you get...Donna

  3. #3
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    I would at least bring the dog inside at night because that is when it is the coldest. I'm sure a warm blanket in the kitchen would be much better than hay in a cold dog house. You dog sounds old enough that it wouldn't be a hassle in the house with running and knocking things over.

    Robyn

  4. #4
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    I agree with Lady. Bring her in for the night. You can put a baby gate up in the kitchen or bathroom or something if you really don't want her around. I'm sure she would appreciate it and she could sleep on a nice soft dog bed instead of hay.

    Other than that I'd say she sounds happy.
    *Riley Star*
    English Springer Spaniel

    *Jasmine Lula*
    English Springer Spaniel

    *Meera Abby* Adopted Dec. 26, 2000

    *Putsy Tabitha* Born May 1995
    *Samie DJ* Born Mar. 8, 1998

    http://i2.tinypic.com/qz591v.jpg
    "Don't support groups that support BSL."

  5. #5
    Squawksx3 Guest
    I have a 150 lb, a 100 lb and an 80 lb .. that are not too large to live in the house with us . It doesn't hurt the dog physically if proper housing for weather conditions are provided... however... it could effect them mentally because they are social beings and need lots of interaction and feel they are part of the family with the ones they love.

  6. #6
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    Oh my I sure would bring her inside at least at night during the cold winter months. It is still cold with straw in, I keep all my Shepherds inside during day and night for winter, I just cannot bear to know how cold they might feel being left out. Maybe I am spoiling them, but I just cannot put them out even all day during the day, sorry.
    www.vomschreknhaus.com

    SAY SOMETHING IDIOTIC AND ONLY A DOG POLITELY WAGS ITS TAIL.....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    she does get a lot of attention and love and even has a playmate with our other dog. I will see what I can do about the outdoor during the winter months. It actually hasnt been that bad here...lately the temps have been in the 40s during the night
    Mosby--Maine Coon
    +
    Salsa-- black and tan chihuahua
    +
    Chica--red brindle chihuahua
    +
    Cricket--golden retriever mix
    +
    44 gallon aquarium full of tropical fish
    ---------------------------------------
    Equals: One crazy but very happy family!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    780
    I persoanlly am not big on keeping pets outdoors. I know many people do. I would think emotionally or mentally as said before it can do something to the dog. You say your other dog comes out and plays with the Golden I am very suprised their is no jealousy their. I would think the other outdoor dog would have issues with that or may and you dont know it. I dont know what state you live in but I think its kinda lonely at night for your pet out their. Not trying to make you feel bad but my house is so small. No joking my kitchen I can not open my oven and the fridge at the same time and wouldn't matter to me I just got another dog 8 months ago another Cocker. But people do leave their dogs outside just do as your doing if your gonna keep him outside and make sure the dog has plenty of food and stuff and a warm place. Also I dopnt think hay is to comfortable for a family pet. Not trying to offend you asked and I am giving you my honest opinion.
    Good Luck to you and Cricket.
    Rio&Nickysmommy

  9. #9
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    I realize a lot of people think it is wrong to keep a dog outside but I have to keep my dogs outside. My beagle is about 11 1/2 years old now and he has been outside all his life, it's not my choice as I'm only 18 and have been living with my mom, but he isn't housebroken. I got him at 4 yrs old and my parents never let me keep him inside long enough to train him. He has always been well loved, played with and kept warm in a dog house. Hay is warm and cozy for dogs, for now I am at college and him and my recently adopted sheltie mix are boarded in a kennel not far from the college. The kennel has boards on the side, a tin roof and a warm dog house with plenty of hay. All the years of having my beagle outside he has done just fine. As much as I want him in a house I can't possibly do that since I am now at college. It makes me mad when people say I'm a bad pet owner for keeping a beagle outside because he is short-haired, but you know what I have no other option. I know no one was saying that on here, but don't feel bad if you can't keep your dog in the house.

    I have been staying at my dad's place for a few days now during Christmas break and Shiloh and Willow both have been able to stay in the house because my dad and stepmom's dogs do and there is no dog house outside. Well even with the available doggie door leading to a fenced yard, showing them how to go out the door, taking them out as much as I can, the other dogs showing them how to use the doggie door, they keep messing in the house. Certainly if the dog is housebroken you can keep it in the house, but when a dog is older and they have lived outside there whole lives its harder to housebreak them and if a dog isn't house broken it makes it very hard to keep a dog in the house. When I go home during breaks to my mom's house my dogs have to stay in the fenced yard, worse yet they have to be tied up because the fence just isn't secure enough to keep them in. I don't care what anyone says but there is no way I can do anything about it. I let them off the cable and chain every night for a romp around the yard, plus I walk them and play with them. They always have water and get fed regularly of course, they are in no way mistreated because they are kept outside or even because they have to be tied up. I go out there enough to make sure they aren't tangled or out of water. They also don't seem to get jealous because of my mom's housebroken rottie mix being in the house or our chihuahua being in the house. I mean of course they want in the house, but even if they are in there for a few minutes one of them ends up going to the bathroom in there. Whether its Shiloh marking territory because there are females (he is neutered but still marks) or Willow who pees it seems 50 times a day, there always is a mess.

    Please don't feel bad for keeping your thick coated Cricket outside. It seems like you care a lot about her and sometimes a person just can't keep a dog indoors. If my beagle does fine outside for almost 12 yrs I'm sure your Cricket will be fine with hay and all in her house. A blanket wouldn't hurt though just to be a bit more cozy. As a matter of fact we ended up putting some carpet on the floor and along the walls of the dog house at home so if you can get some that'd be great too. Is she housebroken or not? I'm not yelling at anyone on here for saying you should keep your dog in the house, I know it is better for a dog and I'd love to have them in the house, but its just not possible for me. I also know that if a dog is well taken care of they can live a happy life outside. When I have my own place and if I can get a doggie door put in I will do my best to train them to go outside, especially because Shiloh is now getting so old and his bad leg starts hurting in winter I want him in a house even more, but I am switching him over to a food with Glucosimine and Condrotin to help his leg and he has Willow, plus right now my friend's rottie mix pup to keep him and each other warm. Sorry this is so long of a post I just have a lot to say on this subject. If you can bring her in the house that's great if you can't don't feel bad.
    Missing being a pet parent, but will be again some day when the situation allows it...Rest in Peace Willow my aussie girl-sept.19 2010, sweet Satin bunny Oct 1999-Jan 10 2006 and Tinsle chinchilla 2004-Jan.23 2008, Shiloh beagle dog June 23rd 1994-April 17th 2008, Grace chinchilla Dec. 26th 2003 -July 2008, Kit chihuahua Dec 1997-2009.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    392
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerica
    I realize a lot of people think it is wrong to keep a dog outside but I have to keep my dogs outside. My beagle is about 11 1/2 years old now and he has been outside all his life, it's not my choice as I'm only 18 and have been living with my mom, but he isn't housebroken. I got him at 4 yrs old and my parents never let me keep him inside long enough to train him. He has always been well loved, played with and kept warm in a dog house. Hay is warm and cozy for dogs, for now I am at college and him and my recently adopted sheltie mix are boarded in a kennel not far from the college. The kennel has boards on the side, a tin roof and a warm dog house with plenty of hay. All the years of having my beagle outside he has done just fine. As much as I want him in a house I can't possibly do that since I am now at college. It makes me mad when people say I'm a bad pet owner for keeping a beagle outside because he is short-haired, but you know what I have no other option. I know no one was saying that on here, but don't feel bad if you can't keep your dog in the house.

    I have been staying at my dad's place for a few days now during Christmas break and Shiloh and Willow both have been able to stay in the house because my dad and stepmom's dogs do and there is no dog house outside. Well even with the available doggie door leading to a fenced yard, showing them how to go out the door, taking them out as much as I can, the other dogs showing them how to use the doggie door, they keep messing in the house. Certainly if the dog is housebroken you can keep it in the house, but when a dog is older and they have lived outside there whole lives its harder to housebreak them and if a dog isn't house broken it makes it very hard to keep a dog in the house. When I go home during breaks to my mom's house my dogs have to stay in the fenced yard, worse yet they have to be tied up because the fence just isn't secure enough to keep them in. I don't care what anyone says but there is no way I can do anything about it. I let them off the cable and chain every night for a romp around the yard, plus I walk them and play with them. They always have water and get fed regularly of course, they are in no way mistreated because they are kept outside or even because they have to be tied up. I go out there enough to make sure they aren't tangled or out of water. They also don't seem to get jealous because of my mom's housebroken rottie mix being in the house or our chihuahua being in the house. I mean of course they want in the house, but even if they are in there for a few minutes one of them ends up going to the bathroom in there. Whether its Shiloh marking territory because there are females (he is neutered but still marks) or Willow who pees it seems 50 times a day, there always is a mess.

    Please don't feel bad for keeping your thick coated Cricket outside. It seems like you care a lot about her and sometimes a person just can't keep a dog indoors. If my beagle does fine outside for almost 12 yrs I'm sure your Cricket will be fine with hay and all in her house. A blanket wouldn't hurt though just to be a bit more cozy. As a matter of fact we ended up putting some carpet on the floor and along the walls of the dog house at home so if you can get some that'd be great too. Is she housebroken or not? I'm not yelling at anyone on here for saying you should keep your dog in the house, I know it is better for a dog and I'd love to have them in the house, but its just not possible for me. I also know that if a dog is well taken care of they can live a happy life outside. When I have my own place and if I can get a doggie door put in I will do my best to train them to go outside, especially because Shiloh is now getting so old and his bad leg starts hurting in winter I want him in a house even more, but I am switching him over to a food with Glucosimine and Condrotin to help his leg and he has Willow, plus right now my friend's rottie mix pup to keep him and each other warm. Sorry this is so long of a post I just have a lot to say on this subject. If you can bring her in the house that's great if you can't don't feel bad.

    Thanks for the advice. I am kind of in the same situation as you. I am at school most of the time during the day and Cricket is not housebroken...so she has been use to taking care of everything outside. I dont think you are a bad owner for your beagle staying out...I love Cricket with all my heart..but it is just not possible to bring her in. We do make sure she gets plenty of warmth though in colder times I love her and always want the best for her. and yes she is very thick coated..looks like a lion! lol!
    Mosby--Maine Coon
    +
    Salsa-- black and tan chihuahua
    +
    Chica--red brindle chihuahua
    +
    Cricket--golden retriever mix
    +
    44 gallon aquarium full of tropical fish
    ---------------------------------------
    Equals: One crazy but very happy family!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Boston MA
    Posts
    243
    Well, you asked for our opinions....

    I'm of the opinion that dogs should not live outside. In the first place I don't really understand why someone would get a dog, only to keep it outside, when there is probably someone else out there willing to let that dog live inside.

    I can accept that if a dog suited to outdoor life (s.a. a husky) and is kept outside with access to an insulated dog house AND has a canine companion out there all the time too, that might be an okay life for the dog. Not ideal, but okay.

    Dogs are social animals. They're not meant to be alone, and though they can survive, I doubt they thrive when left alone so much. Even if you play with your dog two hours every single day (which I doubt most people with outside dogs do), that's still not much compared to the 12 or so hours most dogs get to spend with their people every day.

    Dogs that are left alone that much are going to be underdeveloped mentally and definitely very underdeveloped socially. They generally can't be well trained, because a lot of training is about the relationship with the owner and takes more than just training "sessions..." it takes on-the-go learning in everyday situations all the time.

    Just to be fair, I also don't think the idea of leaving a dog alone in the house all day every day is very good for the dog.

    If you can't keep a large dog in your home (and by the way, most people can, unless you plan on never exercising the dog), then you should not have a large dog. If you don't have time for a dog or your lifestyle forces you to leave the animal alone for over 8 hours a day, you shouldn't have a dog.

    I recently heard from someone on another board about how they could not spend enough time with their dog and this dog was barking all day long in its lonliness and anxiety. They loved their dog, and so they found a better home for him where he could be with people more. THAT is a true dog lover.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    740
    Jones, I really do agree with you. My cousins had a gorgeous golden retriever, Shannon. They kept her outside all the time. They had a very large yard, when she was younger they kept her way in the back on a dog run. You couldn't even see her from the house because of all the trees, and her bark wasn't all that loud from back there. She would wag her tail when I'd go visit her, probably hoping I'd let her go. As the years went on, she didn't even get up when anyone visited her. She started chewing her cord and escaping, so they had to move her into a pen. This time she was closer to the house. She was about 8 at this point. After 8 years they discovered, she was terrified of thunderstorms. So scared that she actually chewed through the pen (which was a fence) until there was a whole and her gums bled. She lost alot of teeth this way. Still, they kept her in there. Her only walks were around the yard. When she died early last year... my cousin said "oh I miss my dog so much"... and I couldn't help but tell her off.....

    They did play with her once in a while, walked her everyday (around the yard), which for a golden retriever is not nearly enough. When she was a puppy she was inside and was loved very much. She probably wondered all her life what she did wrong.

    Yes, I called the SPCA, they couldn't do anything because she was being fed and watered. To me, keeping a dog outside 24/7 is one of the worst kinds of abuse (besides the obvious).
    *Riley Star*
    English Springer Spaniel

    *Jasmine Lula*
    English Springer Spaniel

    *Meera Abby* Adopted Dec. 26, 2000

    *Putsy Tabitha* Born May 1995
    *Samie DJ* Born Mar. 8, 1998

    http://i2.tinypic.com/qz591v.jpg
    "Don't support groups that support BSL."

  13. #13
    reeskujo Guest
    Jones,I have to agree with you.First of all,if you can't make room for your dog inside why have?So it can just hang outdoors?i truly believe this girl loves her dog but in my opinion it's cruel to deprive them of continuos social contact and mental stimulation.Especially when he sees another dog being aloud to stay insde.There's no way you can give an inside dog the time you do an outside dog.I have a small 2 bedroom house and a 106lb Akita.He never spends all day and night outside.If you choose to have a large breed dog then you have to also choose to accomadate them inside.I'm not trying to be cruel or nasty but as you said Jones,opinions were asked for and that's mine.

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    So what you guys are saying is that we shouldn't have dogs just because we can't keep them indoors? How is that right? We provide plenty of attention to our dogs, they are not just fed, watered and left out there. They are played with, petted, loved and exercised. To me it sounds like you are saying that we should give up our dogs to someone else just because we can't keep them inside. So in other words when a shelter lets a dog be adopted they must always be an inside dog and if they can't find someone willing to keep the dog inside it will be killed. So would have been better off for my little sheltie mix girl to be left at the kill shelter instead of me adopting her? I should have never got my beagle and kept him as long as I have even though he was through two other homes before me? Pretty soon it will be against the law to keep a dog outside and then what? All those homes out there like ours who can't keep the dog inside are rejected, you know there are a limited number of homes who allow dogs in the house and you know what? There would be twice if not three or four more times the amount of dogs killed in shelters if the requirement was you have to keep the dog inside.

    Here's something I just want to say I saw this 6 1/2 yr old neutered red heeler male at the shelter. He seemed to be an extremely sweet dog, but just sat there and stared sadly at me like the world has ended. I could feel the pain he felt of being left at the shelter by his owner, how confused he was and just like nothing would ever make him happy again. I walked this dog because I felt so bad for him and just looking at him made me want to take this dog right away. Well I knew I couldn't get a 3rd dog, but my grandparents said something about wanting a dog. The next day my friends and I went back to the shelter because one of them was adopting a dog for her mom. Well when he saw me again his eyes lit up and he wagged his tail, like "oh my goodness you are back!" I petted him again and walked him again. We did have to leave again, but I called up my grandparents to ask if they'd like him. I told my grandpa about him, he said, well I don't know he sounds nice, but see what grandma thinks, she was out for a lunch with my aunt so I called her cell and told her about the dog, suprisingly she said yes pretty quickly so I called my grandpa back and told him she said yes and he was shocked (dogs ruin her gardens). Well we went back, my heart racing so excited I could get him out of there. He saw me as I walked in and I got an even bigger greeting he stood, bright eyed, wagging his tail like crazy, I got him on a leash held him close as I scratched his belly and he was sooo happy.

    I took him to the front desk to adopt him and also asked more info, come to find out he had all his shots records and they told me he was stricly an outside dog well this was perfect because my grandparents have 4 acres of land and he was going to be outside able to roam all this land freely. Well I adopted him and I had to keep him at the at the place where I'm boarding my dogs until I could take him to my grandparents place over Thanksgiving break. Well this dog turned out to be amazingly loveable and very obident. He could walk with us with out a leash and would come right back if you called him even if he was chasing something. After I got him my mom told me my grandparents thought harder about if they wanted a dog or not and thought maybe they shouldn't have gotten him. Well I said if they don't want him I will keep him, but I knew once they met him they'd love him. Anyway, during Thanksgiving break I took him to their place and they instantly loved this dog. He stays on their 4 acres of land no problem and although he has no dog house at this moment he gets onto their enclosed front porch to sleep, he can open and close the door because it doesn't latch.

    My grandparents always have stories to tell me when I go back and visit about how much they love Jake and how happy they are to have him. He is the happiest dog you will find, he may be an outside dog, but you can see the total happiness in his eyes and in his wagging body. You tell me keeping dogs outside is cruel, this dog is meant to be outside, as much as he loves people he knows how to be on his own just fine. He would probably not be as happy indoors because he enjoys roaming around their land so much. Don't you think that if the previous owner and the shelter say he is meant to be an outside dog he is? I mean I believe this dog was kept on a farm his whole life. Just to express how mad it makes me to hear people saying I am cruel to my dogs I'll make this post more lengthy. Shiloh and Willow as I've said are kept outside mostly because I am at college and have to live in the dorms for my first year, but also because even if I had a house, they are not housebroken. Anyway, when I first got Shiloh long ago he was 4 yrs old, he had always been outside. Well I was allowed to keep him in the house for a little while I remember, without even speaking of him going to the bathroom all over the house, he wanted to go outside half the time because he loves to sniff everything, being a beagle and all. Also with his beagle insticts he loves to track rabbits. Now when I go to take care of him after classes I usually walk him around for at least an hour. A few days I've just let him run all over. The town I'm in being so small and the place I'm keeping him having so much land he runs all over. One night it was freezing and I figured usually he comes back to me in an hour or so, with a cold night like this he'll be back sooner. Well, long story short, he came back 4 hours later, no ill effects. If my almost 12 yr old beagle can run for 4 hours straight in freezing weather, in snow some places 2 ft deep and not get sick or anything, I'm sure he does just fine sleeping in a warm dog house with hay, two other dogs, blankets, in a kennel with boards around the sides and a roof.

    Don't you dare say I am cruel to my dogs. My other dog, just to bring her in too, is a sheltie mix, she has about 4 inches of thick fur, she is at least 5 years old the shelter told me. She rolls in the snow, leaps and bounds through it and never have I seen her even shiver, she doesn't get cold. She sometimes get to free roam at the place I board her, but sometimes she doesn't listen when I call her back and there are horse pens she goes into so I've been keeping her on a leash while I walk her. Just to add again to why I am not cruel to my pets. At the place I board my dogs I could leave them there over the breaks we have from classes, they would feed them, walk them and everything, but I would never even think about leaving them there over a break. As much as my mom nags about having four dogs around and having to transport two dogs in the truck, (not to mention my other animals) I never give a thought to leaving them at the boarding place. I bring them home and get to spend all day with them since there arent classes. They are still outside, but I am out there with them all day unless I am visting with friends, which actually as much as I love my friends I usually spend time with my dogs and other pets.

    I currently am at my dad and stepmom's place. They have two dogs that stay in the house and use a doggie door to go outside to go potty. Well my dogs just refuse to use that doggie door. I had been taking them out every once, showing them how to use the doggie door, even phisically going through it myself, they still refuse to use it. Well my stepmom who also believe keeping dogs outside is cruel said that if I can't get them to quit going in the house we'd have to find a way to keep them outside, however it couldnt happen because they have no dog house outside. Now I just take my dogs out every two hours, but you know what even if I get my own place after this first year of college I can't be there all day to let them out every two hours. I'm seriously considering taking my sheltie mix to the vet because she pees about 50 times a day it seems, however she does drink a lot of water.Oh and just to put the icing on the cake, I am a vet tech major, my dogs get very good health care. Just because there are some idiots out there who don't care properly for their outside dogs doesn't mean all of us who have to keep our dogs outside are cruel. Yes if I was asked the perfect living conditions for a dog I would say in the house and I would always suggest keeping a dog in the house, but again, its just not always possible.
    Last edited by Jerica; 01-04-2006 at 02:10 AM. Reason: needed to put it in paragraphs
    Missing being a pet parent, but will be again some day when the situation allows it...Rest in Peace Willow my aussie girl-sept.19 2010, sweet Satin bunny Oct 1999-Jan 10 2006 and Tinsle chinchilla 2004-Jan.23 2008, Shiloh beagle dog June 23rd 1994-April 17th 2008, Grace chinchilla Dec. 26th 2003 -July 2008, Kit chihuahua Dec 1997-2009.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    nope...I am sure no one is saying you aint great pet owners...and from what I have read you love your dogs...so please dont read more into it then was intended...your dogs are happy and only you know how well you take care of them...as for me if I upset you Im sorry but if you read what I wrote my dogs are mainly outdoors as well they are locked up in winter..only because I know I wouldnt want to be outside when it is cold...I think people were just trying to offer some advice and sometimes it does come accross calouse but I can assure you there would not be their intentions to upset you...take care Donna

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