What compels people to get a dog only to keep it isolated outside, away from the family?... They are animals born to be part of a social structure, a pack or a family, yet this is denied them. They spend their lives on the outside, looking in. The experts say many of these dogs will never really bond with owners who interact with them so little...When I was growing up, a small family dog (springer spaniel) was allowed indoors, but our larger dogs (retrievers, labs) had a doghouse in the garage with access to the outdoors. Nowadays I see large dogs routinely kept indoors by neighbors and relatives.
I have always had difficulty understanding why people want to keep dogs outside. If keeping a beautiful house and yard are of the utmost importance to you, then don't get a dog. If you know someone in your family can't abide a dog in the house, for whatever reason, then don't get a dog. If you can't let a dog be part of your family, then don't get a dog.
You don't get the benefits of companionship from a dog you see so little. You don't even get much in the way of protection from the pet who has no access to the house. And don't count on outdoor dogs as an early warning system. These animals often become such indiscriminate barkers that you couldn't tell from their sound whether the dogs are barking at a prowler or at a toddler riding a tricycle down the street. Besides, people who keep outdoor dogs seem to become quite good at ignoring the noise they make, as any angry neighbor can vouch.
Outdoor dogs often become a problem to their owners. Bored and lonely, these animals develop any number of bad habits. They dig craters in the yard. They bark endlessly day and night. They become chewers of outdoor furniture, sprinkler heads and siding. And sometimes, without the socialization all dogs need, they become aggressive, ready to bite anyone who comes into their territory.
If you're considering getting a puppy or dog with the intent of keeping him exclusively outside, please reconsider -- for the animal's sake as well as your own and your neighbors'.
Is it unkind to keep them outdoors?