You Can Keep Your Dog Outside
Is it okay to leave a dog outside all of the time? This issue has been hotly debated of late and the people who have tried to give honest answers have been accused of animal cruelty and neglect.
Leave a comment if you disagree.
I have even read a quiz given by breeders, in which those potential adopters who think it is okay to leave some breeds outside are eliminated from their waiting lists. What breeders need to do is find out which potential owners are going to lock their dogs into a crate for their convenience.
Is being shut in a cage better than being outside?
Is it okay to be outside, from the dog´s standpoint?
If you are wearing a fur coat, being locked in a car sitting in the sun or trapped in a house with the furnace blasting are both uncomfortable.
And, despite what certain people claim, you can generalize at times. A Chihuahua would not do well living outside in North Dakota. A Siberian Husky would not do well living outside in South Carolina.
Those are generalizations, based on breeds and prevailing weather conditions.
If a Siberian Husky is used to being indoors, but is put outside, that is not the same thing as living outside all of the time. This breed does not need to be brought inside during cold spells. It is cruel to take a dog that is adapted and built for the cold, and able to handle the cold, and then to make her come inside just enough so that she will start to become accustomed to the heat, then thrust her back out the next time someone comes over to visit.
That is the type of neurotic human behavior that a dog cannot handle. Unless one of my dogs was sick, I would never have forced him or her to come into my house.
Some breeds of dog prefer to live outside in the cold.
Which dog breeds can be kept outside all of the time?
All of the livestock guard dogs that are working will do better if kept outside. If you ask a Great Pyrenees, Komodor, Kuvasz, Anatolian Shepherd, Caucasian Ovcharka, or any of the other guard dogs to come inside at times, and then go out at other times to guard the flock, it is hard on the dog´s health. A dry area of the barn can be available so that the dog can get out of the rain but, other than during a storm, he might not even use it.
The sled dogs with thick fur coats can be kept outside. Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds, and other sled dogs will all do okay. Thousands of sled dog drivers across the Arctic keep these dogs outside. Amazingly enough, they are still able to perform and run races like the 1100 mile long Iditarod. You can logically infer that they are not being abused.
Some other breeds like Tibetan Mastiffs, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands, and Saint Bernards all do okay outside.
If you decide to keep one of these dogs inside, do so consistently, not whenever you feel in the mood or you think the night might be too cold. That sort of behavior is not good for the dog.
Do you need to provide them with food, water, and shelter?
Shelter should always be provided. At times it will not be accepted. During the harshest cold spell, with the wind blowing and snow falling, my Siberian Huskies would prefer to be outside in a snow drift, their bodies curled up under a drift and their noses protected by their bushy tails.
During rain or thunder, the dogs would take advantage of the shelter.
Food should be provided in adequate amounts to keep the dog in good shape. A dog that is kept outside in the cold will have extra caloric requirements and should be fed extra, and given a diet high in fat. Does that mean he needs to be fed free choice, with his food available 24/7? No, the food can still be given in regular meals.
Water should be provided throughout the day. If the dog´s water freezes during the night he is not going to die of dehydration. Anyone who tells you that this is going to happen is trying to scare you by making inflammatory statements.
It is not cruel for a dog to go without water during the middle of the night when he is sleeping. If this were cruel, all of those writers who suggest puppies be housetrained by taking away their water in the evening should also be prosecuted for cruelty.
If you are not going to go out and provide your dog with water throughout the day there are electric water heaters available. A water heater does not excuse you from taking your dog out and exercising her.
Can dogs be left outside without any sort of stimulation?
No. Dogs are social animals and it is not right to leave them outside without livestock to watch, other dogs to play with, or humans to interact with.
Leaving a dog locked up alone in a garage is a horrible thing to do and will lead to excessive barking, chewing, and other abnormalities.
If you want to leave your dog locked up outside just so that you do not have to interact with her, you should not have a dog.
I prefer not to leave any dog alone at night. My dogs sleep in my bedroom, on the floor, but if I had five or six to take care of, I would probably leave them outside in one of my kennels.
Dogs are not humans. If you are really interested in doing what your dog prefers, do not force all dogs to live inside all of the time, and do not force a dog with a thin coat to spend his life at the end of a chain or rope. Both things are just as cruel as locking them in a crate at your convenience.
It is okay to leave dogs outside. Yes, I am writing this for you.