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Is this cruel?

(20 Posts)
Solo2 Sun 05-Dec-10 11:56:41

Recently came across two people we know who've each acquired a dog - one a rescue hound aged about 1 yr and the other a puppy - who is now about 7 months. In both cases, the dog is kept in their garage. The rescue dog - who is largely untrained and spent most of its life in kennels and is aggressive with children - gets to come into the house when the people are there but spends much of the day and all the night in the unheated garage with access to a small garden. Although it hasn't been nearly as cold snowy weather where we are locally, it's still been bitterly cold, especially at nights and I can't help worrying that the dog must be freezing cold?

The other people's puppy - now aged about 7 months, appears to live in a garage too, with access to the garden and occasional access to the conservatory but isn't allowed in the house at all. In both cases, from what I know, the dogs are walked and played with.

The puppy's owners recommended to us that when we get our puppy next year, we also don't keep it in the house but convert a shed or the garage. It never crossed my mind to have anything but a house dog as part of the family, although we might restrict it to downstairs only but the other people say the whole house will smell strongly in no time at all and it's unhygienic.

So I'm just asking really is it normal practice - and the owner's choice - to keep a dog outside the house - I suppose in the equivalent of a kennel arrangement and is this common practice and not too cold for the dog? I know the breeder we'll get our pup from has her dogs in kennels but with access to the house and her elderly dogs are in the house.

Incidentally, we'll DEFINITELY want to keep our puppy-to-be in the home but does this mean the house will inevitably smell? How common is it to house your family pet outside the house?

Toughasoldboots Sun 05-Dec-10 12:12:01

Well I think it's very cruel- dogs are sociable animals, it is absolutely freezing at night. Would never consider putting our dog outside for most of it's life. Don't know why people treat animals like this.

oxocube Sun 05-Dec-10 12:15:54

Our dog lives in our house and doesn't go upstairs. Yes our house smells a bit doggy sometimes but I rally don't care. If I wanted a perfect, sweet smelling home, I wouldn't have pets in the first place.

And yes, I DO think its cruel to keep a dog in an unheated garage in winter [looks at golden retriever happily sprawled out on the reclining armchair hmm grin

AVeryMerryPersonalClown Sun 05-Dec-10 12:20:56

It IS cruel.

I'm another who insists on my dogs being part of the family.

Says she who has a Doodle across her legs and a Staffy in her lap. They have the rest of the sofa, a huge double chair and a duvet laid crate and they STILL cuddle up to me!grin

ABudafulSightWereHappyTonight Sun 05-Dec-10 12:29:51

Yes. I don't get the point of having a dog if it lives in the garage. Some friends of ours have their dogs sleep in the garage but in cosy crates and there is heating. They are in the house or garden the rest of the time.

I don't let our dogs on furniture or upstairs but they are house dogs. Sleep in crates in the living room.

coatgate Sun 05-Dec-10 12:36:33

Our dog is not allowed upstairs or on the furniture, but he lives in the house (except on summer days when he refuses to come in). He is my first dog and I was actually quite surprised at how much they like their home comforts. I have always had cats and knew they liked to be snug and cosy, but the dog is much the same. Tis cruel in my opinion. And if my house smells of dog, that is because we have a dog.

Vallhala Sun 05-Dec-10 12:41:16

As a rescuer I would say that it's a bloody disgrace. angry Poor dogs. sad

All I can suggest is that you tell the people so and shame educate them into behaving appropriately with their dogs.

I would also ask you please to find out the name of the rescue the first people adopted from and contact them, telling them what you know and asking them to make an impromptu visit.

LaWeaselMys Sun 05-Dec-10 12:49:36

Are they supposed to be working dogs or pets?

I would understand more if they supposed to be working. (although no heat still seems harsh in this weather)

Toughasoldboots Sun 05-Dec-10 15:33:30

That's a good point about finding out where they were rescued from- poor dogs, from one miserable situation to another.

nameymacnamechanger Sun 05-Dec-10 15:35:23

Poor dogs. sad I brought my rescue dog home last weekend and I'm so glad I did - it is absolutely freezing and the thought of him basically outdoors with no warmth or comfort was heartbreaking. If I could have taken every single dog home from there with me I would have done.

SummerRain Sun 05-Dec-10 16:20:38

I do homechecks for an animal rehoming charity and one of the main questions I have to ask people is where will the dog be living and neither of your friends arrangements would be acceptable to us and they would be denied as rehoming candidates.

Dogs need somewhere warm and dry to sleep and they need tonnes of interaction with the family they live with and anyone not willing to provide these things would be considered unsuitable owners.

I know some people who have warm outdoor accomodation for their dogs but who allow the dogs in and out of the downstairs parts of the house during the day which is absolutely fine.

Dogs do sometimes cause a smell but tbh if the dog is kept clean and dry the worst housekeeping issue they cause is a bit of dog hair around the house.

Jajas Sun 05-Dec-10 16:30:05

Are you sure in both cases that there isn't heating provided in the garage?

Does sound awful if the dogs don't have lots of warm bedding, a source of warmth and plenty of interaction with the family and lots of exercise of course.

notalone Sun 05-Dec-10 17:16:35

I volunteer at my local rescue centre. The dogs there are literally shivering with the cold despite all having coats and a heat lamp on at night. This is better than the alternative of being pts and the main rescue worker loves each and every one of these dogs as if they were own.

However, this is only temporary for them and one day they will hopefully go to loving (warm) homes where they will have interaction and love. The rescue dog is never going to learn to behave better around people if it is not adequately socialised and to leave them in the garage in this weather is cruel. I would second contacting the rescue and asking them to do an impromtu visit. Either stern words or "dog reposession" would be the likely outcome which would hopefully result in the dogs having a better life.

oxocube Sun 05-Dec-10 17:38:44

Our dog is one of the family as are our cats. Why chose to have an animal if you are not prepared to love it and care for it properly?

Notalone, that is so sad. My previous dog was from a rescue and it is heartbreaking to think that this was his life (and much worse as he was a street dog too) sad

Solo2 Sun 05-Dec-10 18:33:06

I don't know where the rescue dog was rescued from except that it was a rescue kennels who apparently checked the couple and the accomodation and actually suggested to the couple that they just keep the dog in their garage as he was already used to unheated kennels!hmm

I must admit I was quite shocked to hear that the dog was outside and/or in the garage as the day I was there (this is my hairdressers BTW), it was really cold.

It's supposed to be a pet not a working dog and presumably will need loads of training as it had already been rejected from 2 other possible re-homings, as it was aggressive with children.

The other dog situation I'm less clear about as I've not seen where it's kept. It was this family however who strongly recommneded that we don't keep our puppy in the house cos of the smell and told me that their dog isn't allowed in theirs except for the conservatory. It may be that the garage has been partially converted/ heated for the puppy - but I don't really know.

I just felt sad in both cases as it was so cold outside and I've always thought of dogs being part of the family - not outside in a kennel/ garage most of the time.

Jajas Sun 05-Dec-10 19:37:32

If you don't like the smell then don't have a dog! Simples innit

booyhohoho Sun 05-Dec-10 19:42:50

why on earth would anyone get a dog jsut to put it in the garage?? that jsut doesn't make sense. surel;y tehy get a dog because tehy love dogs and can provide it with better life tahn it had previously. you wouldn't get a dog if you didn't love dogs. would you?

MeMudmagnet Sun 05-Dec-10 19:45:39

I can't believe any reputable rescue organisation would suggest a dog is kept in the garage!
IMO it IS cruel and very sad. Dogs enjoy being part of the family and need company and affection.

As for your house being smelly. If you keep your dog healthy, clean and brushed regularly and keep his bedding clean your house won't smell.
My dog enjoys lots of swimming and long muddy walks. I hose off the mud when we get home, towel her down and keep her out of carpeted rooms until she's dry. I've had 'clean freak' friends comment surprisingly that despite having huge hairy dogs, my house doesn't smell.

The only doggy houses I know of, that are a bit wiffy, are those where the dog is shut up for long periods or not walked regularly.

Why would someone even want a dog if they don't want it's company and are so worried about the house! Thats a question the home checker should have asked and the breeder of the puppy.

notalone Sun 05-Dec-10 19:47:29

Oxocube - Same here. DP told me not to volunteer because we would end up getting a dog. I disagreed with him and said he was talking rubbish. We ended up bringing home the 4th dog I ever walked grin. He shakes at loud voices but apart from this is an utter angel despite the fact he sneaks into our bed all the time. It breaks my heart to think of him being like this too. I think in the 2 years I have been volunteering I have only met 3 dogs that were seriously aggressive - the rest are there through absolutely no fault of their own.

Solo - the only way a rescue might suggest keeping a dog outside is if they were a husky type who thrive in cooler temperatures. However, even then, and even if the rescue did say this I don't know if they meant in weather as cold as this. I just don't get why people would get a pet if they didn't want it to live with them? Oh and our house and even our dog, never smells. Clean bedding and grooming sees to that. If they put the effort in they would find the same. Is there anyway you could find out where the dog came from?

nooka Sun 05-Dec-10 19:47:44

It certainly seems very odd to get a pet and then exile it to the garage, but I'm not sure it's cruel (assuming that there is appropriate bedding etc). Lots of working dogs live in kennels - most of the farmers I know keep their sheep dogs in outhouses/barns, but then there are usually several of them, and I'm guessing that they are also hardy breeds. Plus they have all day interaction, so very different to the life of a pet.

It does seem very sad not to give a rescue dog a happy family home.

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