Should dogs be indoor or outdoor pets? – Part 6

A dog who lives outdoors isn’t a pet, it’s a work animal, a neighbor, or a nuisance, but not a pet. Dogs are social animals and they willing substitute human companionship for canine companionship, but that doesn’t diminish their need for social interactions of some sort every day. Asking a single dog to live outside without regular and prolonged contact with another dog or a human being is tantamount to emotional abuse. Asking a group of dogs to live outside together without regular and prolonged contact with a human being is asking for trouble. Dogs may be domesticated but they still possess many of the instincts of their wolf relatives and isolating a group of dogs away from humans heightens those instinctive behaviors and they may spiral out of control. Suddenly, Huskies, bred for centuries to be alert and obedient working dogs, become aggressive and disobedient of human commands. There are those who argue that Huskies, and other such breeds, were bred to be able to withstand harsh weather without growing sick or weak. I agree, but these animals worked closely with their humans and spent hours each day in their humans’ company, minimizing their ‘wild’ instincts. Nowadays, it’s more likely to see a Husky or a Great Pyrenees patrolling a suburban backyard, not wilderness or mountainsides. These dogs often spend hours at a time alone, usually bored out of their minds, and can go stir crazy. Bringing them inside, an inconvenience for their humans because of the shedding and the drooling, makes them healthier and happier dogs in the long run, and after all these centuries of loyal and amazing service, don’t we owe it to them to provide them with the best possible environment? I’m not saying that they have to spend 24/7 indoors; they do need exercise and fresh air, but it’s grossly unfair to take a social, loving, intelligent animal and exile it to the backyard while you’re inside enjoying the comforts of modern living. And, in this modern age, it’s possible for a Husky, a Chow Chow, or a Great Pyrenees to live in Arizona or Texas and it’s impossible for such a thick-coated animal to live outside during the blazing heat of summer in those southern climates. I don’t have fur and I can’t stand the noonday heat in August in Texas, can you?

As for the toy breeds, the possibility of living outdoors is ludicrous in the extreme. They cannot tolerate the extremes in temperature that occur in the United States, even in “friendly” climates that Florida

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