My dog is admittedly spoiled rotten. She’s a fairly large dog, about 85 pounds, yet I don’t follow the common “rule” that larger dogs are to be kept outdoors. My dog has been on a chain only a few times in her life (only while I’m gone on a decent day and she wants to be out front, where I don’t have a fence, and only for a few hours at a time), and she has never been kenneled or placed in a a pen of any sort.
She lives in the house. She goes out when she wants, and enjoys the majority of her time outdoors in the backyard, where she has a doggy door to come and go as she pleases. I just don’t understand people who leave their dogs, large or small, indefinitely outdoors.
My neighbors do this. They have 3 small dogs in a pen that is about 6 foot by 6 foot, with a tiny piece of wood propped on one side to protect against wind, and one small wooden doghouse with no blanket, straw, or bedding of any sort inside. The floor of their pen is just dirt and feces. My neighbor’s dogs bark constantly when their family is outside, and they are never let out of that pen- ever.
My mom’s neighbor has a puppy that they keep tied to a LEASH on a pole, with just enough room to basically turn around, pace, and barely enter its doghouse. They only let the dog off its tiny leash to walk it to the mailbox, about 60 feet away from their home, then back to its tiny space it goes. It whines constantly for attention while the children play around it, ignoring the dog completely.
I see this so often- dogs on chains ignored all day with only a doghouse as shelter from the winter and cold. Dogs left outside in backyards who pace their enclosures to the point of making permanent dirt trails in the yard. Dogs in kennels where the only attention they get is daily feedings. Why is this not pet abuse?
In my opinion, dogs are a part of the family, and large or small, should be allowed indoors. My cousins have a smaller dog they allow inside, while their 2 large labs are left in a kennel all day since they are “outside dogs”, only let out for hunting trips. I just don’t get it. Why have a dog if you’re not going to allow it to cuddle with you on the couch, annoy you by getting into your garbage, and hog the bed all night long, snoring so you can’t sleep? I wouldn’t be able to stand it if my dog didn’t have free range of both the yard and the house, and as a member of the family, she can do whatever she wants.
I was raised this way- my family doesn’t know what an “outside” dog is either. My sister has 2 hounds and a Great Dane/Mastiff cross, all large dogs (the mastiff mix is easily 160 pounds) and even though these dogs are hyper as hell and take up a majority of the living space, these dogs are always able to come and go as they please via the mudroom. They have a HUGE backyard that they prefer to being inside, but my sister will bring all the dogs in at night whether the animals like it or not, since we were all raised that animals are a part of the family. She can’t sleep at night without her dogs hogging her bed.
I don’t care if you walk your dogs, play with them often, give them lots of attention- if they don’t have the opportunity to come indoors, you are doing your animals a grave disservice. I don’t care if your dog prefers being outdoors, if you aren’t giving them the option to come in when they want, you’re not doing your job. I might make people pissed off in saying this, but coming from a childhood where we were always fighting for room on the couch amidst our mutts, I just don’t understand justifying what the hell an “outside” dog is.
Look it up. There is no such thing as an “outside” dog. There is no breed of dog that is built to NOT be a part of a family, or a pack. If you want an “outside” dog, then you don’t want a dog. And if you have an “outside” dog, I’m sorry- it just plain isn’t right. Give your dog the freedom to be allowed in your home. Trust me- it wants to be. And if your dog doesn’t, then at least you have the option open, but I’m pretty sure that your dog isn’t entirely happy being left outside all the time.