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To think this dog's life is not right?

(58 Posts)
Nicola19 Sat 31-Aug-13 11:13:08

Opposite house to us have two older teenagers. They got a labrador pup about two or three years ago. He is sedate and sweet, he always used to be an indoor dog but would follow them out to the yard if they were busy out there. He was never left out. Got walked quite often but not regularly, he would go out on the paper round and up the woods sporadically on a flexi lead.

Last few weeks i noticed him barking and whimpering a lot and i saw that he was in the side yard, a fence away from where they come out of their doors. Walks seem to have reduced. He has now stopped barking and just stands still whimpering a bit. They go out to feed him but definitely no so much fuss is made of him and he is kind of held captive.

I plucked up courage to speak to the guy and we got onto topic of the dog. He said he was fine, banished outside because he has caused an allergic rash on two family members. He showed me and it looked like dermatitis, no evidence of any treatment/ cream. He said he had been to the doctors who said he had to choose between the dog or the rash!??

Dog has a new shed that he goes in as his new home. When i am out i can hear him softly whimpering for attention. Makes me so sad he is so miserable on my doorstep, keep being reminded of it. If they are fed up of him i would love to offer to have him but my DH would say no way! I wonder what others feel about this please? Is it a case of dog is probably adaptable and is ok?

hickerybobp Sat 31-Aug-13 12:43:19

I've worked with a lot of dogs (rescue work) it's not as if the dog is being harmed in any way, however it is sad that his world has turned upside down overnight.
Why don't you offer to walk the dog for them if you have time, take him to the park etc. If you do it at the same time the dog will learn the routine and have something to look forward to. It might help sway your other half and you will likely be given first refusal if they do decide to rehome him.

WannaBeANinja Sat 31-Aug-13 12:45:06

that doesn't sound nice at all.

Could you not speak to the man again and say that maybe the dog would appreciate being with another family who don't have allergys.

Poor dog sad

NomDeOrdinateur Sat 31-Aug-13 12:51:48

Could you try talking your DH round, IF you genuinely would be able to take the dog in and want to do so? He's past the puppy stage, presumably house-broken, tame, neutered, jabbed etc, after all. My DB has a lovely little lab (nearly 7m/o) who spends almost all day asleep on DB's bed while he's at work - you'd hardly know he was there!

Nicola19 Sat 31-Aug-13 13:27:00

Hiya thanks all, i have thought about asking to walk him, but life is so busy, i work full time and have a six and three year old and an elderly cat. If i did it it would be ad hoc which almost seems crueller. I am hoping they see that rehoming to a good home in time. My more immediate tactic is to keep curiousity going whenever i see the guy to try to plant the seed that the situations not great. We have had twenty years of two cats and a dog ourselves and my DH is not a great animal lover like i am!

salsmum Sat 31-Aug-13 13:37:34

I think this is sad for the dog but would not be defined as cruel in law if the dog has shelter,food and water..what I would do is ask about and see if there's any reliable dog walkers local to you and maybe recommend them to this chap or drop a card into his letter box. It's good that you are 'monitoring' the situation and that you are on friendly terms with the owner too. This time of the year there are rashes,itchy,scratchy things everywhere it may not even be the dog that's caused it, I'm wondering if the dog has had flea treatment lately too hmm Thank you for watching out for this dog. xx

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 31-Aug-13 13:39:50

They should rehome the dog if they cannot adequately look after it. He is not a working dog which lives outside with other working dogs. Humans have bred dogs to want to spend time with humans. That is what they all want. Your neighbour is being incredibly selfish.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 31-Aug-13 13:40:45

Oh Yanbu! Forgot that bit.

People who own animals and make no effort to understand their needs really make me angry.

Nicola19 Sat 31-Aug-13 14:01:35

Me too Alis, i have very high expectations of dog care, absolutely routine with two walks a day, part of family, no limits on restricting them in the house etc. i suggested to the guy had he de-flead him but he is quite a bullish kind of guy that you cant tell much to. I hate the situation. I dont reckon he has been to the GP, dont reckon the doctor would say banish the dog. Its like the first and only solution of the family iis get the dog out. Thanks for all advice, i will keep pondering ( manipulating!)

shockers Sat 31-Aug-13 15:58:51

We restrict our dog in the house. She isn't allowed upstairs at all and only in the sitting room if she's with one of us and we put a blanket on the sofa for her to lie on. She's a happy doggy, but she knows that we're in charge.

But back to your problem... its not nice for the dog to be distressed every day. If you got everyone on your street to drop the odd comment (so the owners realise that others find the dog's current situation unacceptable and get uncomfortable), then put a load of dog walkers' contact details through their door, they might be shamed into doing something.

Birdsgottafly Sat 31-Aug-13 16:01:42

You are assuming a lot and you cannot be that busy, I certainly couldn't give you the details about my neighbours habits that you can.

Rehoming a dog isn't easy and the dog is still happier outside than sitting in a Rehoming centre.

Keep an eye in things, but keep it in persective and realise that the choices they have will also cause the dog distress.

I restrict the time and where my dog goes in my house, I don't agree that some breeds should have free reign and are happier if they do.

Birdsgottafly Sat 31-Aug-13 16:04:06

X post, if you work full time how can you say how much attention the dog gets?

I walk my dog at irregular hours, especially ifvthevweather is warm, usually after 11pm.

tabulahrasa Sat 31-Aug-13 16:09:24

"the dog is still happier outside than sitting in a Rehoming centre."

Is it? At a rehoming centre it would get staff attention, there'd be things going on to watch, it'd get exercise, possibly doggy company...personally I think it might be better in a rehoming centre and it's not often I think that.

Being in a garden alone all day every day isn't the same as not allowing a dog upstairs or on furniture, a dog can be well cared for and happy with boundaries, but that isn't what seems to be going on here.

LeoandBoosmum Sat 31-Aug-13 16:45:36

Poor dog sad Another feckless family for whom a dog is a two minute wonder! Could you maybe ring somewhere like the Dogs' Trust to see if they can advise you in any way? The living outdoors thing is not the issue so much - as long as the dog has adequate shelter etc - as the neglect. No interaction, no walks really...that's shit! That breed of dog is especially loving, playful and energetic. I'm wishing I hadn't read his post... sad

Nicola19 Sat 31-Aug-13 18:08:42

Birds, i guess i am just v v nosey! Last few weeks been on annual leave for school holidays. I also smoke outside the front of the house and jog round the streets twenty minutes every couple days so i do tend to notice what's going on!

Shockers, that is a good idea about the neighbours. My next door neighbour is also perturbed and doesnt like it either. Some good ideas given, thankyou

littlemog Sat 31-Aug-13 18:40:44

People who own animals and make no effort to understand their needs really make me angry

This. angry

hickerybobp Sat 31-Aug-13 19:17:11

Trust me the dog will be far happier outside than in a shelter. Shelters are cramped, kennels are relatively small. They are also VERY loud with constant barking, it is very very distressing to the dogs and so they end up barking too. There is also the risk of disease in a shelter, that many dogs in a confined space from unknown backgrounds means they are exposed to all sorts no matter how clean the kennels are. On top of that it is a myth that staff have the time to spend hours blissfully playing with dogs and puppies. There are so many dogs that it really is a case of just trying to get all the basics done.

Nicola19 Sat 31-Aug-13 19:43:07

Yes hickery, am sure. I just feel so sad that he might be feeling so bewildered and confused. I am not relishing the winter. So wish i could offer to have him. Though of course they might tell me no, he's ours.

LeoandBoosmum Sat 31-Aug-13 19:50:33

Nicola, if you think there is any way you can have him then I would at least talk to the neighbour. It may come as a relief, especially if you tell them the kids could still pop over and see him/ walk him occasionally?

hickerybobp Sat 31-Aug-13 19:55:31

I agree with LeoandBoosmum. If there is any way you can offer him a home, I think the neighbours will be relieved and it would be lovely if he was just up the road so they could still see him.

Nicola19 Sat 31-Aug-13 20:06:41

Yes, i have a feeling that if i did offer they might say yes as i suspect it cant just be the allergy, they must be fed up with him as well surely. It may well be a relief. I have form for this as have been in this sort of situation before, and been well received. Will think about things. Thankyou all for taking time to read and help

Nicola19 Sat 31-Aug-13 20:09:46

I kind of wish that he was barking his head off and scratching at the fence as in this case his situation would be finite, they would have to change tack if he was causing a 'nuisance'. But as it is, he is submitting to the situation and so it is likely it will just continue on.

Topseyt Sat 31-Aug-13 23:15:57

You can't do much really without the owner's co-operation, galling though that is. As someone else mentioned earlier, if he has provided food, water and shelter t very likely he is not actually doing anything illegal.

I have just de-lurked here to add that there are some rescues which do not rely wholly on the classic arrangement of kennels in a rescue centre. Some, such as Labrador Rescue, may often place the dog in a foster home as an interim measure, if that is deemed more suitable.

It may well be a tall order, but perhaps you could drop some hints to the guy that his lovely lab seems unhappy with this new arrangement of having been turfed out of the house, and might need a new home if things cannot be changed. The hope is that then he might consider contacting Labrador Rescue:

I think they are nationwide. Hope the link works.

I can't stand people who do this sort of thing. It is totally inconsiderate to the needs or happiness of the dog, and then they wonder why it develops behavioural problems.

Nicola19 Sun 01-Sep-13 06:58:25

Thanks tops, sound advice i think.

Topseyt Mon 02-Sep-13 14:01:31

I got a few pointers from an acquaintance I know who is involved with dog rescue.

1) The RSPCA etc. would be unlikely to act without evidence, but if you think the dog is not being sufficiently exercised without good reason (i.e. it is not ill or recovering from an injury, which it probably isn't) as people will lie if confronted on the doorstep by an inspector and proof can be hard to come by. So, keep a diary if you can about when/if you do or do not see it being taken out.

2) Consider having a word with your local Animal Warden (most councils employ them). Several reports of nuisance barking (even if that is a bit of a fib) may persuade them to lean on the owners to get the dog properly re-homed.

I think that is really all you can do, bar a midnight on the property to spirit the dog away (not recommending this by the way, illegal).

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