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What is an Outside Dog?

From the Humane Society Newsletter “Making Tracks” by Carie Peterson

I hear people asking the question “Is this an outside dog?” as if this is a special breed. When I hear this statement, I used to feel sad, but now I look at what a great opportunity I have to educate the adopters as to why dogs are not meant to live outside.

Forcing a dog to live outside is one of the most psychological damaging things a pet owner can do to a a dog. The truth is that dogs are pack animals and we are their “pack”. We are their family and our house is their den.

Claiming that a dog in the backyard is good for protection is incorrect. The burglar is not trying to steal your yard and the sound of barking dogs are as common as car alarms going off. How much better would it be if your protection was actually inside protecting your home and family?

The more the dog is outdoors, the less control of behavior you have and aggression is now going to become a problem. Take a look at all the media stories when a dog bites. The pictures show the dog out in the back, usually tied up. These dogs’ lives are filled with boredom, frustration and loneliness. Such a live goes against a dog’s basic instinct of being left out of his pack leading to stress and anxiousness.

Dogs trying to desperately get their humans attention will whine, bark, claw at the door and dig under the fence. When their human does come out to interact wit them, they are so starved from attention, they exhibit negative behaviors, such as jumping up, whining, barking and all forms of hyperactivity.

Dogs outside become more easily infested with parasites, both internal and external and are more subject to disease. Florida weather is full of hot humid days and terrifying lightning storms that your dog has to endure all alone.

Dogs give us such devotion and joy and deserve to be treated like part of the family. They love their family unconditionally and bring so much happiness into our lives. Humans domesticated dogs, therefore it is up to us to look after them. The reward you receive in return for having a dog in your family is priceless.