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So I "abuse" my dog...

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#1 Plushie


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Posted 18 October 2010 - 05:44 AM

Yes, just because I have an outside dog, that automatically classifies me as an abusive animal caretaker who has no sympathy for the well being of my pet because she's just a decoration in my garden. Right?

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.
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,

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.

Your thoughts?

Edited by Plushie, 25 July 2011 - 10:40 AM.

#2 Bea


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Posted 18 October 2010 - 06:09 AM

I'm generally not a fan of outdoor dogs because -usually- they are kept in <lousy> conditions. Now, people like you, are the exception to that. In fact, my parents wanted Sam to be an outside dog but, alas, our yard is not escape proof so he isn't and never will be.

My grandma does own an outside dog though, and while I believe she has decent conditions, she obviously would do much better being inside with the family. Keep in mind that this dog doesn't have optimal care either. She gets fed whatever they had for dinner that night (which includes CURRY, which baffled me that they didn't know this was terrible for dogs). She also howls constantly to be let inside.

I think that being an outside dog is suitable for some dogs, and then it depends on how it is done. If the dog has fresh food/water and shelter that will protect them from the elements, and still gets plenty of human attention per day, it is okay. But then it also depends on the dog. If you have a breed that is usually very "velcro", living outdoors is not a good option. If the dog is pretty independent though, I don't see a huge problem with it, as long as the conditions meet the above criteria at the very least.

So, people definitely need to see the conditions of the dog in question before assuming that they are being abused. Because there are definitely people who successfully keep the dog outdoors and the dog is not is a cruel condition.

#3 rhapsody


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Posted 18 October 2010 - 07:01 AM

Aw geez, are your parents at least giving you a reasoning behind their decision? My mom shares the same view that dogs must live outside the house - she firmly believes that housing animals inside (including hamsters) is beyond disgusting and unhygienic.

But seriously, I don't see why housing a dog outside triggers so much animosity. A bunch of people think its inhumane to house cats inside for Pete's sake. If you were living further up north, I can understand where these folks are coming from, but dude, I live 40 miles away from you, and I can attest that it doesn't get that cold. I mean, how happy can your Maple get? She has full run of the entire yard instead of being cooped up inside all day. Can you imagine how inhumane it is to keep a high-energy dog inside all the time except for walkies?

*Grumbles* Sorry, but some of these "ABUSE" folks get me mad sometimes - no matter what you do, you're doing it wrong and are an animal hater. They always fail to look at the big picture.

#4 DolphinDreamer


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Posted 18 October 2010 - 07:39 AM

You are definatly giving your dog an amazing life. I understand what you mean about some people being annoying and getting on people who keep their dogs outside. Some people even get on me sometimes about having my dog outside, but she is well taken care of. She has lived outside her whole life, but ALWAYS had love, attention, care, tons of room to run, good food and water, and places to shelter her from the weather. My dog even has a memory foam bed in her igloo. My dog is 14 years old now, but still to this day HATES coming in the house. The only time she comes in is during thunderstorms when she is scared and she is only inside a few seconds because she runs from the back door to the garage door and begs for that door to be opened so she can go in the garage. For some reason she dont mind hiding in the garage, but HATES the house. Its not cruel keep her out there at all, she has everything she needs and I still take her out for little walks too (she is old, so i dont want to tire her out too much). If a dog is unhappy inside its more cruel to keep them in.

My parents also had made the rule that the dog needs to stay outside, so while I live under their roof, I must obey their rules.

As long as the dog gets what they need, and are happy, then it shouldnt matter whether its inside or out. I think that you defiatly do a great job taking care of your dog. Some people really need to look at the whole picture instead of just saying "WHOA! you keep your dog outside. You are such a horrible person." Those people need to get over it. If a dog is happier outside than inside then I believe it is fine for them to be where they are happiest, as long as they have the proper care of course.

#5 Luci


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Posted 18 October 2010 - 08:56 AM

Urg, I hate generalizations! Apparently it's "OK" with animals though :pullinghair: It's like saying: "Oh, you're wearing pink, so you love glitter, nail polish, gossiping and other girly things". People can't get it through their thick skulls understand that just because they'e heard of one story, they can't be swayed.

However, I know that Maple is treated like a queen (high quality food, lots of love, paw massages, gold-encrusted collars... oh wait :laughing: ) I know that you know your stuff, and that she is lucky to be in such a great home :hug:

Edited by Luci17, 18 October 2010 - 08:56 AM.

#6 SouthPaw


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Posted 18 October 2010 - 11:00 AM

I can understand why the generalizations are made... I mean seriously, how many people spend much time out in their yards? Compared to how much time they spend IN their house? When we talk about pet dogs (I'm not including working dogs), the majority of the ones that are kept outside are NOT getting the attention they need and deserve. Out of sight, out of mind.

While I'm not really keen on the idea of dogs being kept outside (I think they should be with their "pack"), I certainly agree that it's possible to take good care of them and give them a nice life. Because yeah, being inside doesn't mean anybody is giving them any attention. My sister is quite possibly the worst dog owner ever. Her dogs are kept inside all right... they probably barely understand the concept of a leash, that's how infrequently they get taken out. There have been times her dogs have been crated for just under 24 HOURS. And even more times when she forgets to let them out of their crates in the morning. So yeah.... doesn't really matter WHERE you keep your dogs, that's just one piece of the puzzle.

I also can't imagine anyone successfully keeping a dog outdoors in Minnesota, so that may have something to do with my opinion of it as well. I just assume that the weather is horrible everywhere else as well, lol.

#7 Rachel_Morgan


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Posted 18 October 2010 - 04:15 PM

I can see where some come from on this, but it's unwarranted in your case. Your dog sounds happy as a pig in mud! How could she be being abused by being an outdoor dog?

Sadly, that's not often the story up where I live. (BC, Canada)
Unfortunately, I can take the bus around town, and I see a lot of dogs tied out on a rope run, with these awful dog houses (IF THEY ARE LUCKY) that have no blankets or "nesting" materials in them to help insulate them from the cold. Most often, these dog houses resemble ramshackle sheds. made of scrap wood, that are lopsided as all get up. And we get cold here during the winter, so it's a huge issue. One of my bus drivers are awesome though, as he lists the addresses he sees this at and reports them. But sadly, I doubt anything is truly done quite often.
Many don't even HAVE a sheltered area. Most are just tied to a post or a tree, given 6-10feet of rope/lead, and left with a bowl of food and water (often frozen over). I highly suspect our new dog, Charlie, came from a similar situation, as he goes through a lot of unnecessary antics to stay "warm" when he curls up on his dog bed now. Tightest ball of fur imaginable. He's also an incredible garbage dog, and if you don't keep an eye, will forage through the garbage bins in the house. He's not starved now, but it's quite apparent he likely was in the past.

It's just one of the many things I hate about my town, and another reason why I desperately want out. The stupid rednecks outnumber the smart ones, here. =/

Either way...you tell them, Plushie! You are most definitely NOT one of the owners I have listed, and no where near to being close, in the extreme. Keep trucking. =)

-Rachel & The Zoo.

#8 Darkally


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Posted 25 December 2010 - 10:47 AM

I don't really believe in outside dogs for myself..unless we got a dog that ended up just being too unruly for the house, But no it does not sound like you are abusing your dog at all. I say as long as you are taking care of the animal and keeping it safe from harm as well as making sure it is socially active there is nothing wrong with having an outside dog if the proper conditions are met..I just see too often poor animals left on chains as you described in your post.

#9 mikachewie


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Posted 08 January 2011 - 03:35 AM

I actually get what you're saying. You know, some people don't understand dog breeds and they don't understand dogs. Their image of a dog outside is exactly what you said and others have noted. It does happen, but not EVERY case is the same so looking at someone and saying what they are doing is wrong without knowing the situation is absolutely wrong of them.

For instance, my first dog -- whom God I loved him so much it hurts. I still have a picture of him in my room on my bookcase and I wish I still had him, but this particular dog, Kratos, was a Siberian Husky. Whenever he was indoors he would sit at the door and CRY to go outside. He was so depressed being an indoor dog that for 7 days he wouldn't touch his food until I sent him home with my mother where he could be in a fenced in yard. Knowing I was moving to Chicago and feeling lied to by the agency who said he would be fine indoors, I had to find him a home -- but not just any home. I looked for exactly what you are giving your pet! Someone who will let him indoors when it rains, but has a huge, huge, huge fenced in yard that is husky proof and will allow him to be outside as much as he wants. Someone who went outside to be with him and someone who gardened. Someone who was responsible!

He found that. They even howl with him every night.

Some dogs need to be outdoor dogs, others are find with being outdoor dogs, and some are not happy with being an outdoor dog. What you described sounds like... HEY! Your dog loves being an outdoor dog, lol. Plus, your baby probably never has to hold it to go to the restroom -- an extra perk of always being outside, lol.

Edited by mikachewie, 08 January 2011 - 03:37 AM.