Need some help. My wife loves dogs, so i told her i would get her one, but neither of us know much about dogs. We live in Oklahoma and want a bigger dog, yet (according to my wife) cuddly also. We both work 40 hours a week, the dog will remain outside only. Right now we are thinking about a german shepard, Lab, or Irish setter. We have some friends with an Irish setter and my wife really likes her, so i guess we are kinda leaning that way but are pretty much open. Soooooooooo could someone give us the pros and cons of these dogs? Also we are open to other suggestions. thanks soooooooooooo much
Most dogs will not be happy outside all day by themselves-- We have german shepherds and they are definatly pack animals-- they have a serious need to be inside with their people. My husband and I both work fulltime jobs and are not home during the day but from what my neighbors tellme, the only dog of ours that spends time outside is my 9 pound chinese crested hairless dog and tahts because she suns herselfon the bench out back. ( we have a dog door) Our neighbors say the onlytime they see the shepherds outside is when they have to go to the bathroom and then they zoom right back inside-- When we are home they are pretty much inside at my feet or watching the kids. When the kids go outside the dogs are right beside them Literally.
German Shepherds and Labs tend to be high energy dogs and dont tend to grow up out of puppyhood until they are around 2 years old.
I dont know much about Setters but being a hunting dog i can see that they would need the exercise and daily interaction as well.
I cant recommend a breed that would do well in a backyard all day as i dont know of any. I know you are thinking but half the people in our neighborhood have their labs and shepherds outside 24/7.
Dogs are pack animals they NEED to be with their people.
Growing up every dog i had was outside 24/7 and they seemed to be OK. I don't want to tell my wife that there are no dogs out there for her. I won't let a dog in the house. I understand that some dogs need more attention then others and that is why i posted this to find out what dog will work. thanks sooooooooo much
Like the other posters I really don't know of any dogs that do "well" outside. Dogs are really pets that were meant for indoors..and even if they seem alright outside, every single one would rather be inside with it's family. Plus how can you cuddle with a dog that's outdoor only, are you going to crawl up in the doghouse next to it? lol..If you really want a dog I'd seriously consider getting one that is low shed or small..something that you'd be able to live with inside.
However, if you are absolutely adament about keeping a dog outside..
Please, please, PLEASE keep at least two dogs so that they at least have each other. Dogs are very social animals, and they get lonely just like people do. Even if you plan to spend a lot of time with the dog, if it is living outside alone, it will get lonely. Second, I'd make it priority to look into breeds that do very well in extreme temperatures. I would not suggest any of the breeds you listed. Also, without the proper socialization any dog can become wild and a huge liability...so definitely don't slack on socializing these pups to everything from children to other pets, etc. Of course you'd also need to have a proper dog house, and provide plenty of shade and water in the summer.
***Edited By: JWE1986 on 8/21/2005 3:55:31 PM*** Reason: typo
I found them by googling "choosing a dog" - try doing that if this doesn't help.
There is a lot to be considered when trying to find the "right dog" or a dog that "will work". You have to think about your lifestyle and the breed and personality of the dog. As mentioned earlier, dogs are pack animals and must be involved with the pack. Animals that are very human-dependent will turn towards destructive behavior if left outside all the time. They will bark for attention, ruin your back door in an attempt to get in, attempt to escape, become both dog and human agressive due to lack of socialization, etc. If you had a farm where the dog had a job to do, then that is different.
It all depends. You already have made up your mind that no dog is allowed in the house. You should do a lot of research before deciding on the breed. Your lifestyle will greatly affect your dog and you have to be wise in figuring out which one is best. Otherwise, your future dog will not be what you expected and will end up in a shelter.
Good luck with your research.
***Edited By: Cecile on 8/21/2005 4:24:44 PM*** Reason: add
I have never understood and probably never will understand why people want a "pet" then keep it outside. What is the point? If you want to keep an animal outside get a cow or a goat or a pig or a horse! Not wanting to sound mean, I just don't get it.
That's why I posted those links, Cody. The second one is better, but all in all they pretty much let you know that the lifestyle of the human affects the dog. I don't know if the op had done research on what type of purpose the dog will have in his home/backyard. If it's a companion dog only, then it will need attention and socialization.
Hmm, I don't know. I hope it's not going to be just left outside to play with itself its whole life. Hmm, I'm posting a poem I had seen a while ago:
DO I GO HOME TODAY?
My family brought me home cradled in their arms
They cuddled me and smiled at me and said I was full of charm
They played with me and laughed with me and showered me with toys
I sure do love my family, especially the girls and boys
The children loved to feed me, they gave me special treats
They even let me sleep with them – all snuggled in the sheets
I used to go for walks, often several times a day
They even fought to hold the leash, I’m very proud to say
These are the things I’ll not forget – a cherished memory
I now live in the shelter – without my family
They used to laugh and praise me when I played with that old shoe
But I didn’t know the difference between the old ones and the new
The kids and I would grab a rag, for hours we would tug
So I thought I did the right thing when I chewed the bedroom rug
They said that I was out of control, and would have to live outside
This I did not understand, although I tried and tried
The walks stopped, one by one; they said they hadn’t time
I wish that I could change things, I wish I knew my crime
My life became so lonely, in the backyard, on a chain
I barked and barked all day long to keep from going insane
So they brought me to the shelter but were embarrassed to say why
They said I caused an allergy, and then they each kissed me goodbye
If I’d only had some classes, as a little pup
I wouldn’t have been so hard to handle when I was all grown up
“You only have one day left,” I heard the worker say
Does that mean I have a second chance? DO I GO HOME TODAY?
Put a LSG outside without a job or a family and you will have a roaming mosnter impossible to keep at home, close to untrainable, hard headed and not cuddly. These are intense dogs.
The problem is that dogs, in general, have been bred to focuse on we humans. GSD for example have an INTENSE need to be with whoever they care for.
The problem with many outside dogs, unless given a lot of daily attetnion is that they become a bit neurotic, hard to manage, and often noisy.
Quite frankly, there are other animals that would fit your needs, be affectionate, and outside all of the time. One is a llama. They will even guard, they are affectionate, and built to be outdoors. They do fine in a large back yard, they can go on walks and learn tricks.
I am not being scarcastic. There are many more pets then dogs out there, who do better in the enviorment you are descirbeing.
I'm with the others. Labrador retrievers will suffer psychologically if htey are left outside. Dogs are first and foremost pack animals. An animal that lives outside isn't really part of the pack. Just because a dog will survive totally outside doesn't mean it's good for the dog, or healthy or anything else. Think of it like this. A human can survive as a hermit living alone. However, how many people do well in this kind of environment, even when it is their choice? You're not giving the dog the choice.
***Edited By: Minniyar on 8/21/2005 6:16:19 PM*** Reason: add
Icy has a really good point. I'd really consider re-thinking the dog idea. There are plenty of animals out there that can live outside all the time. I know you don't want to tell your wife that there is no good breed of dog for her, but if you want to keep it outside all the time, the truth really is that a dog just isn't the right animal for your family =(.
I can totally relate to Minniyar's message about Labrador Retriever's possibly having psychological problems from being left outside for great lengths of time. Labrador Retriever's do like to go out, but definitely not 24/7. Hershey during the day will go out in the back to do her business, get fresh air, and play ball, etc. However, a lot of the day she prefers to be inside with us and also take naps.
Just like most of you, I too bought a crate soon after we got Hershey. For a few times, when she was smaller we locked her in her crate when we were away from home. We decided that since we didn't want her to be in the crate for more than a few hours, we thought it would be best for her to stay out in the backyard. Now, when we go away for several hours, we will leave her outside to roam with several bowls of water in the yard. We also put a bowl of water and food inside her covered crate which serves as her den since as of yet we don't have a dog house for her. If it gets too sunny and hot, she has her covered crate to serve as a shade retreat. If you are looking for just an outside dog then labrador retriever's aren't the best choice. I know mine will yelp and yap with hurt feelings when we come home. She is so happy to see us, but nonetheless makes that hurt feelings sound. She will also do that happy, yet hurt feelings sound even if we are home and when she really didn't want to stay out. Dogs really don't always have a good sense of time. So in other words it really doesn't matter whether you're gone 5 minutes or several hours, they will greet you with happiness and let you know that they also felt hurt that you left them behind. Now if you are looking for a dog that is gentle with children then a labrador retriever is a good family dog. It's amazing how much they tolerate from children.
My sentiments exactly! I think it isn't right to leave a dog outside 24/7. That's cruel. Dogs are supposed to be family pets not just watch dogs. There are other animals I'm sure that are more suitable to be outside 24/7, but a dog is definitely not one of them. Although, your place needs to be zoned for those types of animals.
I read somewhere that dogs eyes are very sensitive to the sun. They get irritated and very red if they are too much out in the sun. Is this true?
now i am not totally against 24/7 outside dogs, though a single dog left outside by itself, is hard on dogs, i did not know if you knew that. i work well over a 40 hr work week. i find to for my dogs everyday. training,playing,waliking roughhousing. people have been around for since man first domesticated, trying to get aound that dogs shed, bark, dog, sometimes chew, pee on the floor till potty trained. and there is no way around it that's what dogs do. and they also are social. dogs usually take it personally when they are excluded.
WHY don't you want a dog in the house? If we start there, we can get on with recommending a dog for you. I think that you haven't told us enough about your situation. People on this site tend to worship their animals and get a bit irate when they think someone is not as gung-ho as they are.
Give us some more information about you and your wife. Did you have pets as a child? Were they outside dogs? What do you do for a living? Are either of you available to visit the dog during the day (during lunch for example?) Do you want to go hiking, hunting, jogging with the dog?
Do you have a neighbor in your area that could walk the dog during the day? Maybe a child would like to visit your dog after school for a small sum? Have you considered "doggie day care?"
Maybe you have a $10,000 collection of rare Navajo pots in your living room. Maybe you have an aversion to dog hair. These are all things we could help you with in your search for a dog.
This is an extreme example, but it shows what a determined dog owner can do:
I knew a man who owns (or is owned by) a mutt who has a lot of Old English Sheepdog in its ancestry. Yes, the dog is a bit hyper, and yes, it hates to be left alone.
This dog owner is a lawyer and sometimes works 80 hours a week. He also collects match box cars and some of them are worth a lot of money. His furniture is expensive and he does not like to have a lot of mess and hair in his house.
His solution? He spends a fortune at the local grooming/doggie day care place. The dog goes to day care every weekday. The day care also makes sure that the dog is clean, brushed, teeth clean and nails clipped. This man also employs a maid who eliminates dog hair, muddy footprints, etc. once a week. You've heard of the wireless electric fencing for outside dogs? Well, he has it in his house. The dog does not go into the living room or the room where the collection is kept. It is allowed in the den and has an assigned bed in the bedroom, which is laundered once a week.
This guy may seem a bit eccentric to you and me. He spends a fortune to have a dog as clean-smelling and well-behaved as possible and the dog is essentially excercised and played with by substitutes. But the dog and the lawyer adore each other! It would do your heart good to see them palling around during the weekends in this guy's lovely sports car with the leather seats. The dog wears little booties, of course, so he won't scratch the leather--but he doesn't mind.
benjamin I know people who have outside dogs and it works well. Sorry folks! But you need to make provision for them. You must have a fence and shade depending on where you are you may need to make special provision for winter they can freeze. Plenty of water and you need more than one dog. at least 2. But have you considered this........... they dig up your yard tear up the furniture dig up flowers grass ect and they poop and pee everywhere so what grass they dont dig up is brown. and everytime you walk by they look at you with pitiful faces! lol maybe you could get fish!