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 a copy of 'Breakfast, School Run, Chemo'

To celebrate the launch of EB member and contributor Julia's Watson's first book, we have five copies of Breakfast, School Run, Chemo give away.

Electronic tags may keep newborns safe

The possibility of using electronic bracelets for mothers and their newborn babies is being investigated by Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital. 

Baby steps: when your little one starts walking

As a parent there are so many milestones to look forward to. That first smile, first word - and, of course, that first step.

Julia Watson's new book 'Breakfast, School Run, Chemo'

Tomorrow my friend Julia launches her first book. And while we're all overjoyed, the success is tinged with sadness. You see, Julia has stage 4 bowel cancer.

How not to name twins

Call me boring, but I don't think that when it comes to choosing my twins' names is the right time to use a good pun.

Fun Sunny Life pool inflatables just for babies

The babies of 2015 will thus be thrilled to paddle their happy baby legs in these brand new flamingo and swan baby inflatables.

Breastfeeding basics for beginners

Here are 10 tips to help make breastfeeding successful and stress free for both you and your baby as quickly as possible.

Girl smothers baby brother with peanut butter

This mum had a big clean up job on her hands.

How to hide those under eye shadows

Pandas are the only ones who benefit from under-eye shadows. If you're not fluffy and cute, you'll just look tired.

Young mum dies after being denied pap smear

A mother has died after she was denied a pap smear because she was deemed "too young" to need it.

Birthday cakes banned at childcare centre

A childcare centre in Sydney has banned birthday cakes after parent complaints about excessive sugar and children with allergies being left out.

Triplet surprise for newlyweds

As the radiographer moved the wand over her abdomen, Shelley King got the surprise of her life.

3 yummy Thermomix baby and toddler recipes

Louise Fulton Keats shares her recipes for babies and toddlers, including corn and sweet pikelets, pumpkin and pea risotto, and cheesy bunny biscuits.

Man arrested over toddler Nikki's death

A 31-year-old man has been arrested over the death of two-year-old Nikki Francis-Coslovich in Mildura.

Adoption ban on pregnant women to be lifted

Pregnant women will no longer be barred from adoption waiting lists in NSW, after the Baird Government decided the practice was discriminatory.

Are you getting enough magnesium?

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, but we don't talk enough about it and the vital role it plays in great health and energy, as well as disease prevention.

5 workplace lessons for new parents

Take heart in these principles that will transfer seamlessly from the workplace into your new life as a parent.

Mums to follow on Instagram

A creative outlet for many, there are some savvy women complementing their blogs and businesses with riveting Instagrams feeds. We've chosen a few which have bucketloads of appeal; there are some big time players and some smaller local ones, and they each bring their special brand of magic to the Instagram experience.

Review: The Volvo 2015 XC90 SUV has all the safety features your family needs

The new Volvo XC90 SUV's focus on keeping you safe does not come at the expense of comfort in the XC90.

Kim Kardashian reveals she may have hysterectomy

Kim Kardashian has revealed complications during pregnancy means she might have to have a hysterectomy after the birth of her second child.

Why late night snacks wreak havoc on weight loss

 Loath as you may be to admit it, chances are that at some point you have found yourself in the kitchen late at night, devouring food.

Toddler twins pretend to be asleep to fool mum

They say twins have a unique connection. If this cute clip is anything to go by, these toddler sisters like to use their special bond to try to fool their mother.

Dad bags: 10 picks for out and about

Getting out of the house is a big priority in the early years of parenthood and you need to take a well-stocked kit with you. We've chosen 10 of the best nappy bags sure to appeal to dads in style and function.

Win a Mountain Buggy Swift

To celebrate Essential Baby reaching half a million Facebook fans, we have a Mountain Buggy Swift to giveaway to a lucky fan.

Get your FREE Baby & Toddler Show ticket!

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Dads who do their share have more sex: study

For women trying to encourage their partners to take more interest in fatherhood, it could be the ultimate incentive.

Think you might have IBS, coeliac disease or Crohn's?

Conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract are common in modern humans, and many are on the rise - including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and coeliac disease.

Couple poses for newborn shoot with adorable puppy

Tired of being asked about their baby-making plans, Australian couple Matt and Abby decided to give a creative answer.

The exercises you know you should be doing (but probably aren't)

I bet your to-do list today is long. But somewhere on that massive list, are you making time for your pelvic floor?

This baby really loves the family cat

Some babies get excited when mum or dad come to get them from their cot after a nap.

Designer kids clothing good enough to eat by Oeuf

Even if you aren't heading to the Northern hemisphere in the next six months, you can't help but love the amazing food-themed knits for babies and kids by cult kids brand Oeuf.

Early exposure to peanuts recommended for allergy prevention

A paediatricians' group is recommending that infants at high risk of peanut allergies be given foods containing peanuts before they turn one.

Home brand foods contain less salt than pricier rivals

Supermarket home brand foods, long derided as cheap and inferior, contain far lower levels of salt than pricier, branded rivals, new research shows.

Nannies for hire, wherever you're flying

Ever dreaded the prospect of a long flight, dreaming about how wonderful it would be for a nanny to entertain the kids?

Couple poses for newborn shoot with adorable puppy

Tired of being asked about their baby-making plans, Australian couple Matt and Abby decided to give a creative answer: with an unusual photo shoot with their 'baby', a groodle (poodle/golden retriever cross) named Humphrey. The talented Elisha from Elisha Minnette Photography caught all the precious shots.

Is it okay to name your baby with a sense of humour?

My husband was sure that Danger was a good option for a boy. And as the pregnancy progressed, it actually started to sound really good.

Woman gives birth after having her own mother's uterus transplanted

In a world first, a healthy baby has been born from the same womb that nurtured his own mother.

So hot right now: double-barrelled baby names on the rise

It's one way to make your baby stand out from the pack – giving them not one, but two first names.

Second time around: is it really better the devil you know?

When I fell pregnant with my second child I was, naturally, very excited. Then it all started to come back to me - and I freaked.

Shopping with kids: breaking the pester-power cycle

You're out shopping with your little one and they're incessantly whining that they want a treat. It's easy to say no ... the first time, at least.

How did we have babies before apps came along?

Three months ago, my wife, Chrysta, and I were driving along Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles when she let out a harrowing cry.

When your toddler disagrees

There comes a time when your child starts having different views to you. I didn't realise that time would come so soon.

Win a Pacapod this Father's Day

To celebrate dads and families, we are giving away a Picos Pack from Pacapod Australia filled with a few extra goodies ENTER NOW

 

FREE TICKET

Discover the magic of the LEGO® DUPLO® Play Area in Sydney

Get your free ticket to The Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!

 
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.