Jump to content

Dog doesn't like being left outside alone
Is it cruel?


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 Kalota

Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:42 PM

I've been a dog owner for a very long time to various dogs, and they've always mainly been inside dogs. However, I've always put them outside in the yard when we are going out/not home. I've never thought of it as cruel or inappropriate as we've got a large, fully-fenced backyard with lovely grass area, gardens, a paved area which is undercover including a cosy kennel to sleep in. In cooler weather I'll put a hot water bottle inside their kennel and in warmer weather sometimes I'll give them a frozen Kong or slightly fill up the kiddie pool. Our dogs have also never been left for unacceptably long periods of time. My fiancé and I work differing hours, so the crossover works out that our dogs are only left alone for about 5 hours max on about 3 days of the week only.

My fiancé and I recently rescued a dog from a shelter. He hates being left alone outside when we go out. The first day that we left him alone outside in the yard, he escaped through a small hole we never knew we had in one of our fences. Since then, we have entirely dog-proofed the entire yard like Fort Knox, so now when we go out and leave him outside he just cries at the back door. When we come home he jumps like crazy at the back door and appears like he has been stressing the entire time. He has never harmed himself or displayed destructive behaviours, just crying and lightly "pawing" at the door.

We have tried many things. We ignore him for 10 minutes before we leave, and for 10 minutes after we get home. We have practised walking in and out of rooms over and over again, and practised leaving the house and coming back over and over again. We have encouraged him to enjoy his time outside, which he does, but only when we are there! We have tried gradually increasing his time alone outside. There is a possibility that he may be, gradually, very slowly improving, but I'm not sure.

My question is, should I be concerned about this and is it cruel? He is not being destructive or harmful, he just seems to get upset and cry when we leave and wants to come inside. I've read many articles online about how dogs should not be left outside, but I honestly never saw a problem with it. We only put him out when we leave the house, otherwise he spends his other time inside and he sleeps inside. What do you guys think? Opinions?

Edited by Kalota, 02 February 2013 - 04:45 PM.


#2 la di dah

Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:50 PM

Is it about being outside or being alone? Is he quiet when he's left alone inside the house?

Honestly, personal perspective, I don't leave dogs outside unattended, never have and likely never will because I distrust people too much even if the dog is well-behaved.

Also not to be morbid but you don't know what's been bugging him when you aren't there, or at least has in the past before you had him. He could have reason to be upset.

#3 winkywonkeydonkey

Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:54 PM

Has he got plenty to do outside. what about a kong stuffed with treats?

#4 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:59 PM

I kind of need to finish my housework (bathroom cleaning, it sucks), but I'll come back to you later tonight.

Can you tell me what he has in the yard to play with or occupy himself with, while you are gone?

Taa

Spikey

#5 Kalota

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:01 PM

QUOTE (la di dah @ 02/02/2013, 05:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is it about being outside or being alone? Is he quiet when he's left alone inside the house?

Honestly, personal perspective, I don't leave dogs outside unattended, never have and likely never will because I distrust people too much even if the dog is well-behaved.

Also not to be morbid but you don't know what's been bugging him when you aren't there, or at least has in the past before you had him. He could have reason to be upset.


I think it's more about being left alone possibly. Right now he is outside, while I am inside, and he is quite happily playing in the grass and chewing on his toys. He is unattended out there, he cannot see me, but he knows I am at home so I think that's why he is fine. If I left him outside to leave the house, he would get a little upset.

He also tends to follow us from room to room, which is why I've been working on leaving the room and him being OK with it etc.

The times that we have left him inside the house, when we returned home he was doing the same thing at the front door so I think it's more about being left alone rather than being afraid of something outside.

The reason we choose to leave him outside is for going to the toilet while we are away, but also because we have an internal alarm system for our house that we would prefer to put on for security when we leave. There is also more for him to do outside, as the tiled area we would leave him inside is quite small.

Spikey - These are some of the activities he has to do outside, and will often participate in while we are at home and he is happily outside: Chewing on his treat-filled Kong toy, playing with his ball or rope, splashing in the water of the kiddie pool, snoozing in his kennel, sniffing, running, rolling on the grass (especially if he finds a lovely bit of bird poo to roll in), chasing birds, and often we will give him a meaty bone or something like a pig's ear which he loves to bury and dig up multiple times! He's got lots to do out there, it's just when he's alone that overrides his excitement of wanting to do these things!

Edited by Kalota, 02 February 2013 - 05:05 PM.


#6 ChexMix

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:02 PM

I think the outside = cruel thing is more from the US where they have other large predators and rabies. But then they are also more likely to crate all day *shrug* FWIW I don't think being outside is cruel unless the dog is particularly upset by something out there.

Edit - typed too slow Tounge1.gif

Edited by ChexMix, 02 February 2013 - 05:03 PM.


#7 Jellyblush

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:04 PM

One thing I found really useful with Roo was to film her while she was alone in the yard.

This way you can tell if the dog has been stressing the whole time, if any toys occupy them for any period, if so which ones etc ...you can get a lot of useful information this way.

It's easy enough - just prop your phone on it's side looking out a window at the dog and hit record. A fully charged phone will take a couple of hours of footage.


Things that have made a (slight) difference to Roo you might want to try would be treats frozen in an ice block, toys such a tug-a-jug, bones buried in the backyard, a radio on softly where she can hear it, and a thundershirt. None of these might be useful but maybe worth trying if you had the time and money. I could post you a thundershirt to try if you didn't want to invest in one without seeing if it worked....

Also exercise before you go out if possible. A tired dog is a calm dog (usually!)

Edited by Jellyblush, 02 February 2013 - 05:05 PM.


#8 la di dah

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:14 PM

QUOTE (ChexMix @ 02/02/2013, 06:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think the outside = cruel thing is more from the US where they have other large predators and rabies.


Naw in most areas its not natural predators, it's just a mix of:

1) Weather including un-Australian levels of cold.
2) d***heads who poison dogs
3) d***heads who steal dogs
4) Other dogs
5) People teasing dogs to get them to bite so they can sue/make you get rid of it. If an idiot gets bit breaking into your actual house the dog is safer, legally speaking.
6) d***heads who pop the dog with Airsofts or pellet guns through the fence.
7) People letting your dog out either accidentally or on purpose.
8) Smaller yards/more urban living where nobody wants to hear your dog barking all day long while you're out.
9) The fence being high enough to keep your placid Cavalier in but not to keep the horny Golden Retriever down the street out.
10) Fences being illegal in many areas, and tall fences being illegal in many more.

#9 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:19 PM

Weird double post thing going on...

Edited by *Spikey*, 02 February 2013 - 05:21 PM.


#10 ChexMix

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:21 PM

QUOTE (la di dah @ 02/02/2013, 03:14 PM)
15294757[/url]']
10) Fences being illegal in many areas, and tall fences being illegal in many more.


O.o That's really weird. Why would they do that?

#11 Kalota

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:22 PM

Just to clear up, after watching a bunch of separation anxiety dog videos, the behaviour that my dog displays when we go out is not an inconvenience at all! He doesn't bark, or make any loud noises (he whines so quietly the neighbours would not be able to hear, it's more just an expulsion of breath!), he doesn't scratch the door (just lightly paws it), doesnt do anything at all destructive or harmful.

QUOTE (ChexMix @ 02/02/2013, 06:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think the outside = cruel thing is more from the US where they have other large predators and rabies. But then they are also more likely to crate all day *shrug* FWIW I don't think being outside is cruel unless the dog is particularly upset by something out there.

Edit - typed too slow Tounge1.gif


I was thinking this too, as I've been searching the Internet and it seems to be a US thing, they are very big on crate training and seem to be against giving your dog the freedom of outside.

QUOTE (Jellyblush @ 02/02/2013, 06:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
One thing I found really useful with Roo was to film her while she was alone in the yard.

This way you can tell if the dog has been stressing the whole time, if any toys occupy them for any period, if so which ones etc ...you can get a lot of useful information this way.

It's easy enough - just prop your phone on it's side looking out a window at the dog and hit record. A fully charged phone will take a couple of hours of footage.


Things that have made a (slight) difference to Roo you might want to try would be treats frozen in an ice block, toys such a tug-a-jug, bones buried in the backyard, a radio on softly where she can hear it, and a thundershirt. None of these might be useful but maybe worth trying if you had the time and money. I could post you a thundershirt to try if you didn't want to invest in one without seeing if it worked....

Also exercise before you go out if possible. A tired dog is a calm dog (usually!)


Thanks so much for all the tips, Jellyblush, I've been following your thread about the gorgeous Roo original.gif

I really want to try the camera thing because I want to know if he only cries when we initially leave, and then calms down, or if he stresses the whole time! Our backyard is so big that I wouldn't know where to put the camera so I might just try to point it at the back door.

QUOTE (la di dah @ 02/02/2013, 06:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Naw in most areas its not natural predators, it's just a mix of:

1) Weather including un-Australian levels of cold.
2) d***heads who poison dogs
3) d***heads who steal dogs
4) Other dogs
5) People teasing dogs to get them to bite so they can sue/make you get rid of it. If an idiot gets bit breaking into your actual house the dog is safer, legally speaking.
6) d***heads who pop the dog with Airsofts or pellet guns through the fence.
7) People letting your dog out either accidentally or on purpose.
8) Smaller yards/more urban living where nobody wants to hear your dog barking all day long while you're out.
9) The fence being high enough to keep your placid Cavalier in but not to keep the horny Golden Retriever down the street out.
10) Fences being illegal in many areas, and tall fences being illegal in many more.


We live in a lovely neighbourhood and have never had a problem with any of these things, you cannot see our dog from the front and our fences are above 7ft high (our council allows us to out lattice at the top).

Edited by Kalota, 02 February 2013 - 05:23 PM.


#12 la di dah

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:29 PM

QUOTE (ChexMix @ 02/02/2013, 06:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
O.o That's really weird. Why would they do that?

Because of zoning regulations and homeowners associations. Many height cap it (4' is pretty typical and that will only keep in small placid dogs and won't keep out anything bigger) and some just flat ban them as not in keeping with the character of the area.

Many MANY areas value rolling lawns that are continuous from one end of the block to the other. It's seen as nicer and more friendly and a sign of a better area. Even not-better areas are often very stubbornly/fearfully defensive of nice lawns as the one nice thing they can have.

Places that allow them often disallow chainlink and colourbond is uncommon, so the permitted choices can rapidly become very expensive in terms of brick/iron or useless for keeping in a dog, like split-rail.

EDIT: was just saying. Sorry for the derail OP.

Edited by la di dah, 02 February 2013 - 05:30 PM.


#13 Custard

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:41 PM

Maybe some of the tips in this article from the RSPCA might help you?

http://kb.rspca.org.au/What-can-I-do-if-my...nxiety_319.html

#14 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:43 PM

Kalota,

I think what you are seeing is a fairly low level of anxiety, which is understandable coming from a new dog, who is also a rescue (and how wonderful it is that he has a new home!). For most recue dogs, I expect them to become comfortable and confident in their new home around the 6 month mark.

I think that you're completely on the right track for keeping him occupied while you're both out, and that time is probably going to be the healer in this case.

Do practice short absences though. Start with a literal out the door and back in. Reward for a quiet dog. Most dogs cotton on to what you're doing fairly quickly, and will begin to 'expect' you to return. Once you've got a dog that isn't carrying on for that bit, try staying on the other side of the door for a short time - 1 minute or so. Every time you achieve a quiet dog (and lots of praise and rewards for 'happy' behaviour while you're gone), you bump it up another minute or two.

JB's list of things you can do is worth a go - especially the radio on where the dog can hear it. You could also offer an old, sweaty T-shirt to be loved. Sometimes your scent is comforting enough.

Finally, some dogs communicate with a lot of whining instead of barking. This is not necessarily a sign of stress or anxiety, its just 'talk'. As you get to know your dog better, you will work out what kind of 'chatter' he uses.

If you think it isn't getting better, or is getting worse, please get a behavioural trainer in to assess your dog and to help tailor strategies designed just for him. I can offer suggestions, but it rarely beats seeing and meeting the dog in question!

#15 Kalota

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:52 PM

QUOTE (*Spikey* @ 02/02/2013, 06:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Kalota,

I think what you are seeing is a fairly low level of anxiety, which is understandable coming from a new dog, who is also a rescue (and how wonderful it is that he has a new home!). For most recue dogs, I expect them to become comfortable and confident in their new home around the 6 month mark.

I think that you're completely on the right track for keeping him occupied while you're both out, and that time is probably going to be the healer in this case.

Do practice short absences though. Start with a literal out the door and back in. Reward for a quiet dog. Most dogs cotton on to what you're doing fairly quickly, and will begin to 'expect' you to return. Once you've got a dog that isn't carrying on for that bit, try staying on the other side of the door for a short time - 1 minute or so. Every time you achieve a quiet dog (and lots of praise and rewards for 'happy' behaviour while you're gone), you bump it up another minute or two.

JB's list of things you can do is worth a go - especially the radio on where the dog can hear it. You could also offer an old, sweaty T-shirt to be loved. Sometimes your scent is comforting enough.

Finally, some dogs communicate with a lot of whining instead of barking. This is not necessarily a sign of stress or anxiety, its just 'talk'. As you get to know your dog better, you will work out what kind of 'chatter' he uses.

If you think it isn't getting better, or is getting worse, please get a behavioural trainer in to assess your dog and to help tailor strategies designed just for him. I can offer suggestions, but it rarely beats seeing and meeting the dog in question!


Thanks so much for your detailed reply, Spikey! We've had him for less than a week! So hopefully with persistence and routine he will get to know that we do always come back and that he is fine outside original.gif for the meantime, he's not being destructive or noisy or anything, but I hate to think that he's anxious when we're out!


#16 Kalota

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:54 PM

QUOTE (Custard @ 02/02/2013, 06:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Maybe some of the tips in this article from the RSPCA might help you?

http://kb.rspca.org.au/What-can-I-do-if-my...nxiety_319.html


Thank you, will check it out!

And no worries, Lah di dah! original.gif

#17 Kalota

Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:04 PM

Okay, so I left a secret camera running when we left him to see what he's really like when we are gone - he was really calm and slept for the entire time almost! There were a couple of times that he got up and a sniffed the gate, but other than that he was very calm original.gif I'm very happy! He must only whine/paw when we leave and when we return. Having said that though, he was exhausted today from a walk and a run!

#18 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:11 PM

Oh that is good news!  biggrin.gif

#19 FiveAus

Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:23 PM

All but one of my dogs stay out during the day while we're at work, and even if we're home sometimes. One stays inside because he climbs the fence and takes himself for walks, but the others all like being out. When I leave for work, they come to the gate to watch me leave and as I reverse down the driveway, they just turn and walk back up the yard.

Your little guy will get used to your comings and goings and it sounds like he's happy enough once you're gone anyway.

#20 Jellyblush

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:36 PM

Great news biggrin.gif

Great news biggrin.gif

#21 icekool

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:45 PM

Perhaps you could also leave an old item of clothing/blanket that belongs to either of you so that the dog has the comforting smell when you go out. Comfort toy.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

WIN an exclusive performance from Sam Moran!

To celebrate the release of children?s musical series Play Along with Sam, out now on DVD, we?re giving one lucky parent the chance to have Sam perform at their child?s pre-school or day care!

Toddler freed after getting trapped in escalator

A shopping centre escalator needed to be pulled apart to free a toddler's trapped hand.

Why I'm kind of excited about my daughter's nits

Is it weird to say that I am secretly thrilled to find that my daughter Edie has nits?

Baby born at 10:11 on 12-13-14

Well, it's actually 13-12-14 to us over here. But still, Clare Elizabeth Keane's consecutive numerical birth time is pretty special.

On holding tightly and loving fiercely

We can't live in fear. This post is about Christmas and how at this time we should be celebrating life and grateful for what we have: our loved ones who we cherish fiercely.

Babies, relatives and coping with Christmas day

Everyone will love your baby but your baby may not be so happy to be passed around a lot of new people - nor may you want to feed with an audience.

Why I won't be posting pictures of my baby on Facebook

There are pros and cons to this policy.

The myths and truths of gender swaying

Here are a few popular methods hopeful parents-to-be use to try to get a baby of their preferred gender – and what an expert says about whether they really work.

10 easy DIY Christmas decoration ideas

It's officially time to get into the Christmas spirit. Why not branch out when you put up your tree this year and add a personal touch with a few DIY decorations? We've found the perfect easy-to-make ways to put more festive fever into your home.

The dangerous new trend of glucose challenge test refusal

A dangerous trend is seeing more mothers-to-be declining a relatively simple and painless test to check for gestational diabetes.

Office of Fair Trading reveals naughty toys ahead of Christmas

The Office of Fair Trading has pulled seven toys from shelves ahead of Christmas after they fail safety tests.

Video: Baby boy's trouble with twins

These twin girls will no doubt have fun fooling people in years to come, but nobody will be as confused as baby Landon.

Long-term reversible male contraceptive on its way

Men could soon have access to an injectable long-term contraceptive which works in a similar way to a vasectomy but promises to be easily reversed.

'I tried to kill my baby': one mum's story

After bathing and dressing her three-month-old son, Amanda had a rare moment alone with her baby.

Attack of the 'mummy brain'

I feel that almost every day, someone in my life - be they a friend, family member or complete stranger - feels the need to excuse my behaviour as I have other things on my mind.

Mum of baby who fell ill after drinking raw milk speaks out

A Melbourne mother has described how her son turned grey when he became seriously ill after drinking raw milk.

Australian divorce rate lowest since 1976

Modern newlyweds are now well into their 30s and marriage still offers something powerful a new book argues.

The aftermath of a traumatic birth experience

In Australia, 30 per cent of women find their birth experience traumatic, with 6 per cent going on to develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Young mum burns 'from inside-out'

A young mum is in intensive care after she took a friend's antibiotic and wound up with an ailment that is burning her body 'from the inside-out'.

The disagreement that can break a relationship

If he doesn't change his mind, all I can hope is that I will. It would be a waste to spend the rest of my marriage mourning a baby that never was.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Co-sleeping or no-sleeping? Mum videos worst nap ever

One mother's futile attempt to sleep in caught on camera in a hilarious - and very cute - video.

Why children misbehave during the festive season

While we all like to imagine the holiday season as being a fun, loving and bonding experience; often our reality is quiet different.

I was fat-shamed by my doctor

The fear of being weighed is the most significant factor in women cancelling medical appointments - and now weight-shaming has happened to me.

End of an era: no more childcare

As we reach the end of 2014, we're closing the book on many things for another year, most notably childcare. Our last child has attended childcare for the very last time.

WIN an exclusive performance from Sam Moran!

To celebrate the release of children?s musical series Play Along with Sam, out now on DVD, we?re giving one lucky parent the chance to have Sam perform at their child?s pre-school or day care!

The 7-year itch is more like the 10-year itch: study

Contrary to popular belief, making it past the seven-year mark doesn't mean your marriage will be smooth sailing from there on.

Should children be forced to sit on Santa's lap?

We teach kids it’s okay to say no if they don’t feel safe, so why do some parents force their children to climb in to Santa's lap?

Stop telling us that parenting gets harder

I’m sure that parenting will get harder. But life isn’t exactly smooth sailing for many of us right now, either.

Baby born weighing almost 14 pounds

Yes, the bouncing baby girl was born by caesarean section. And mum says no more kids.

The dummy debate

I'm the first to admit that when I used to see tiny babies with dummies in their mouths, I thought "Hmm, lazy parenting." And now I apologise.

'I thought I was an only child'

Imagine meeting your double at a school sports event, or regularly being mistaken for someone you haven't met. Separated twins Margaret and Joy tell their story.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

As Sydney grieves the loss of Sydney siege victims Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, reports have suggested that both died as heroes.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.