I know this is a very controversial topic, but hear my side of the story before judging me, please?
To me the "all outside dogs are abused and should be given to a better home where they will be loved" is a bit like saying "all pit bulls are vicious and should be euthanized so they can't harm anything" (BSL anybody?) or "all Labs are good dogs and make great family pets so everyone should have one no matter what your level of dog expertise is". It certainly may be true in SOME cases but DEFINITELY not in all. Not to mention the stereotypes are upheld by media and mob mentality.
It depends on the dog and owners themselves.
LOOK AT THE SITUATION AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES BEFORE JUDGING ANYONE.
There are many sweet pit bulls because their owners take the time to socialize them well and to train them. And there are vicious Labs and Golden Retrievers because people think "oh my dog is so-and-so-breed so they've already come packaged with a good personality and life skills".
Most people think the term 'outside dog' automatically means that the dog is chained up on a 6 foot leash far away from the family and given little more than a dish of low quality kibble, or maybe just table scraps after dinner, and a bowl of moldy disgusting water, that are barely changed. No matter the weather, rain or shine or snow or hurricanes or tornadoes or fire, it has little protection from the elements. Maybe a beat up dog house (cardboard box is probably a more accurate word) if it's lucky. Whenever a door opens it either growls or tries to run off. No walks, no grooming, no vet care, no human interaction, no training and no love. These are the dogs you hear about all the time on the news which kill little children when they venture too close.
This COULD be true. For some cases.
Now listen here.
My dog has free run of the yard. She is NEVER put on a chain, with the exception of a leash. We buy her high quality kibbles and change her water every day at the very least. We supplement with raw food, such as eggs are raw meaty bones, if we can. She lives under an awning (that my dad built btw) the size of a sunroom, so that means she has quite a large roof over her head. Yesterday my dad finished building her a fantastic dog house from scratch (well the wood and nails were bought) and we're going to insulate it with carpet. Plus we live in a pretty decent part of California, the weather rarely goes to any extremes (and when they do I'm definitely going to ask to bring her in, at the very least until the it subsides). She expresses no desire to go inside and waits patiently when the door to our backyard is opened. In circumstances where any of our doors are open or opened--gate, backyard sliding door--she doesn't bolt out. We've kept the sliding glass door open for hours at a time during BBQs, with many people passing by, and she doesn't even so much look at the door or consider entering. (I take it this means she's, GASP, happy outside?! What, a HAPPY outside dog?? I must be out of my mind.) I walk her for an hour or more daily and twice daily for about two hours total on weekends, plus sometimes she gets to run alongside our bike/scooter. We try to socialize her as much as possible; she loves people and is getting a lot better with other dogs. I train her for at least 15-30 minutes a day and I'm planning on passing the CGC (Canine Good Citizen) test with her. I brush her, and brush her teeth, daily if I can. She's been to the vet, a very good one I might add, twice and of course we're taking her in for annual exams and when things seem off. I try to spend as much time as possible with her; heck, I bring my laptop outside so even when I'm not spending time with her I'M SPENDING TIME WITH HER. I've slept outside a couple of times, even. As far as I can tell she is a well balanced, calm, good girl.
Not to mention,
I LOVE MY DOG.
So WHY do I get a bunch of <poop> when I say "my dog lives outside"?!
I know someone who has an inside dog. Do they even get the time of the day? No. Hey, guess what, they're free fed and watered so no one actually has to visit them for their daily needs if they don't want to. They're walked once a month, if they're lucky, and when that happens they rarely venture outside the block. And no, they're not given much mental exercise, grooming, etc as far as I am aware of.
This person I know, instead of spending time with his dogs, spends all his time on his computer. I hate to be talking bad about my friend because he is a great person but in terms of animal care their family...kind of fails.
But no, his dog is automatically classified as "well taken care of" while me and MY dog get thrown a bunch of BS and lies about how I need to stop "abusing" my dog and bring her inside.
Also...it's not my choice that she lives outside. It's my PARENTS. I'm under 18 and thus can't legally live by myself so the choices in this household are made by my mom and dad, not me. If you're gonna give me a hard time then try to convince my parents (which I am trying to do, just for the record) to keep my dog inside. Don't berate ME.
Now don't get me wrong. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE for my dog to be an inside dog: if my parents gave me the OK to keep her inside I wouldn't be able to speak coherently for at least a week.
Not because she's having a <lousy> quality of life outside, but because I wouldn't need to go out of my way every day in order to spend time with her--which I DO.
Edited by Plushie, 25 July 2011 - 10:40 AM.