The Water Cooler: Leaving a Dog Outside All Day & All Night – Is it Cruel?

May 9, 2012 12:00 pm · 74 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Today’s question:

  • Many people have dogs, and many of those people keep their dogs outside all day & all night. Do you believe it’s cruel to leave a dog outside all day & all night?

Talk about it….

1 Dee May 9, 2012 at 12:04 PM

`Not Cruel at all! Its too hot to be inside the house all day too. As long as they have water, food, and attention, they are fine :)

2 german sheperd lover May 9, 2012 at 12:12 PM

agree. The temperature makes the difference. I think dogs should come in to sleep at night, for comfort and safety though.

3 don89 May 9, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Yes assuming your giving the animal the proper attention it needs. Food, water, shelter, love, protection ( from other animals possibly, or protecting others from them ). I have had outdoor dogs for some time…my whole property front and back is fenced and they pretty much do as they like. They come in on occasion, but they have lived that way since they were young. After some time in the house, they just want to go out. A lot of it has to do with how they were brought up. Dogs who are indoors from a young age and stay that way…probably cruel to just throw them out to the environment. Dogs who are brought up outside from young…they do just fine assuming they get the attention.

4 Rebel May 9, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Depends on the situation, and the breed of dog. Being a dog trainer, I have seen multiple cases of neglect and abuse. Some dog breeds do well outside, especially dogs bred just for hunting. However, the people who buy your random house dog, and keep it outside 24×7, with little to no affection, are abusing the dog in my honest opinion.

My neighbor is a great example. She is a single Mom with two kids, and bought a Yorkshire Terrier for the family. The Mother has not trained the dog in any way, and keeps it outside most of the time. I offered to train the dog (for free) and provided some tips, which went ignored. The dog has very little area to run around, and barks constantly. The dog is kept outside in the extreme heat and cold while the family is inside listening to the dog bark. Being only 5 lbs with a long coat, the dog is in danger when kept outisde in the heat. The poor dog rarely receives affection or exercise. In my opinion, this is a classic case of neglect/abuse, and the dog should be removed from the home.

5 thank God May 9, 2012 at 12:13 PM

what is the point of them even owning the dog then?? it’s not a bike, it’s not something that’s meant to be kept in the garage/backyard. it’s a living, breathing, loving creature. people who leave their dogs in the backyard all day/night & never pay more attention to them more than just feeding them should not be allowed to own a dog. do you wanna sleep outside in the cold?? i don’t think so. all they do is love you, why would you wanna leave them out there? don’t own a pet if you can’t love them right!

6 Chuckie's Wife May 9, 2012 at 12:14 PM

It really depends on the dog, but if a dog is left outside all the time, s/he should be provided for appropriately – access to water and shelter (from heat/cold) and obviously enough food and room to roam. Personally, I keep my dog indoors and she’s never unsupervised in the yard. She’s a small breed, so can’t handle heat/cold very well and is better off indoors.

7 Hey! May 9, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Depends on the dog. I had a dog that would not go in the house, no matter how hard I tried. He hated being inside. I had another dog that would barely go outside to pee.

It’s only cruel if they do not have shelter from the heat ( shade ) or from the rain/cold.

8 Sercy May 9, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Yes, it is cruel! Why have a dog then? We have a dog that loves to be outside during the day, but we never leave her outside while we are away or at night. She is the best watch dog and the most loving dog ever! We have her because we love her and she is part of our family.

9 ozziethedawg May 9, 2012 at 12:20 PM

dogs are pack animals. they want to be with their pack, which is your family. i dont understand why people get a dog then just shove it out back and ignore it. we have many neighbors that have dogs and i never see them take their dog for a walk or go anywhere with the dog. its very sad…

10 Chuckie's Wife May 9, 2012 at 12:22 PM

@ Rebel (#4) if you’re so sure the poor dog is being abused/neglected, why don’t you call animal control?

11 Amy Lynn May 9, 2012 at 12:31 PM

I called the East Bay SPCA today to report a case of severe animal neglect. As it turns out, you can leave a dog outside and never once check on her, pet her, walk her, or talk to her. You just have to provide food, water, and some form of shelter (shady tree, dog house) and that’s within the law. You don’t even have to live at the house where you keep her. Yes. I called to report a dog living in the backyard of an unoccupied home (owner deceased) and this is what I was told. :*( So do I think it’s cruel to leave a dog outside? Not if you still interact with the dog regularly. But it’s cruel to our society to allow this kind of treatment to remain legal when there’s no interaction.

12 this guy May 9, 2012 at 12:38 PM

It might be more cruel to leave the dog inside all night if the dog enjoys being outside. My dog sleeps inside by choice, (her choice). She enjoys being outside and relaxing in her dog house.

13 Anon777 May 9, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Not at all! When I was a kid our dog was always outside, never inside. Why would you want your dog inside all the time? Not to mention the dog hair that must be everywhere – YUCK!

14 Cowellian May 9, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I don’t do it, but I don’t think it’s a big deal. Most critters have lived outside for thousands of years.

15 Blah Blah blah May 9, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Yes why get an animal as a pet if it is not going to be a member of your family. As a pet owner you are inviting a dog to join your pack. You also must demonstrate that you are the leader of your pack by setting boundaries. But if you leave them outside they are not part of the pack

16 Chicken Little May 9, 2012 at 12:49 PM

I don’t think it’s necessarily cruel, as long as they have food, shelter, etc. But I think dogs that are outside all the time are often neglected and don’t get much attention. My dog is a part of my family. We let him out whenever he wants (and he loves to spend time outside), but we always let him back in after he’s finished playing and at night.

17 Julie May 9, 2012 at 12:49 PM

the mentality of people who own dogs, keep them outside all the time, is beyond me. they ARE loving animals, who only want to be with you (pack animals) that said, I’m sure some breeds would rather be outside a lot, and vice versa. One way to find out (besides educating yourself about the breed beforehand) is to install a dog door, if it’s after the fact-you have a dog, even a mutt, and really don’t know. the dog will use the dog door (if it’s intelligent, and most are) coming and going as it feels like it. I had 2 german shepherds for 15 years, and always had a dog door in every house. They were invaluable. I worked sometimes 10 hrs per day, and never had a qualm that they would have an accident in the house, not have water, or shelter. It’s really the only way to go, if you care about your dog!

18 lol! May 9, 2012 at 12:50 PM

of course it is ok! they are animals, not people. I can’t stand the people that get dogs to pretend they are children…dress them up, bring them in every store, let them ride in their lap on car rides (CRUELEST THING OF ALL!), then leave them in the car while they go into a store with the windows barely cracked like that means something….THE LIST GOES ON.

19 Julie May 9, 2012 at 12:51 PM

oh, and for those folks who can’t stand the thought of having a dog in the house when you’re not home, how about a dog door into your garage (only)? solves the temperature issue, and shelter issue. And probably barking dog issue, since they generally won’t boredom bark, if they can get away from an area!

20 don89 May 9, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Why is it assumed that everyone who has outside dogs are some how neglecting them. Sure there are folks that just toss them out and forget about them, but don’t assume everyone does, that’s over generalizing. Outside dogs can be loved and have great lives…don’t kid yourself into thinking your dog somehow has a better life because he can sit on his ass with you and watch reruns of Oprah all day. Hanging with the pack is great yea..uh… Oh wait…see I overgeneralized and some people probably got emotional…lol. Point is outdoor dogs have a lot of fun. Mine love to chase the quail on our property, hunt gophers ( only can do at night, and they do a great job ), dig, lay around, play with the kids, get treats from the local mail/ups/fedex person, jump in sprinklers, howl at the moon, etc, etc.. It’s a different type of relationship from owning indoor dogs, but don’t assume its somehow cruel and awful for the dog….your kidding yourself. I bet if I could do a study you would find that most indoor dogs are overweight and fat compared to outdoor dogs….all that Oprah… ;) ( can’t wait for all the indoor dogs with athletic owner remarks to start coming )

21 Rebel May 9, 2012 at 12:56 PM

@10 Chuckie’s Wife

Animal Control won’t do anything because the dog has a proper food and water, and did not show any injuries. Other neighbors have called with no success. People in the neighborhood volunteer to walk the dog for the family (and play with it too) because the family won’t.

22 MTZ native May 9, 2012 at 12:59 PM

My three Pit Bulls are inside and outside. They get bathed at least every two weeks and yes all three of them. They go outside while we are at work then when we get home they are inside or fallowing us around outside. They get to hang out in the fenced front yard while we all hang out together. I would never get a dog or an animal if my intention was to just leave it outside and do nothing but provide for it. Animals and humans benifit from the attention and also increases their life span as well by promoting happiness, affection, and just being so darn cute. Dont have animals if you cant spend time with them. Family is family no matter how bald or harry they are :)

23 BagsFlyFree May 9, 2012 at 1:07 PM

I agree with most of the comments above… As long as the dog has adequate food, water, shelter, and attention it can live a happy life in a SECURE backyard… If your pup isn’t too fond of the boring backyard life, they may dig their way out and can cause harm to others.. Keep an eye on your dogs, enjoy their company, and train/solialize them from a young age.

24 Dutch May 9, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Depends on the breed of dog but in general, no. Dogs are animals, animals live outdoors. But, wild animals have a means to find food and water on their own or die. Pets don’t have that luxury so must have to depend on us to provide food and water. So, if the dog has food and water, shade in the summer and shelter in the winter, no, it’s not cruel.

25 Antler May 9, 2012 at 1:11 PM

We have Brittanys keeping one another company whether they are indoors or out, and they like to be inside with us in between yard play times. But when we are away from home (even if only to go to the store), they are put into chainlink, fenced kennel runs, each with it’s own porch for reclining and a weatherproof house if they want to curl up and sleep…..plenty of water. That way they can’t get notions about trying to follow us by digging under the fence or trying to climb up and over the fence where there are right-degree angles to help them brace.

At night they sleep indoors and are our guardians.

Not a fan of doggy doors……we have too many feral cats, raccoons, and pack rats around here. Plus we like to control whether the dogs are out or in….muddy paws for one reason.

26 Captain Obvious May 9, 2012 at 1:16 PM


27 Wisecracker May 9, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Reminder: A dog is an animal
Yes, it’s okay to leave your dog outside during the day and at night – providing, of course, it’s not left out there barking constantly 24/7, among other considerations…

Should you leave it outside in the beating sun on a hot summer day when it’s 90 degrees? Common sense would say no. So, use common sense. If the dog is your pet, then also treat it with love and care, respect and attention. There’s nothing worse than seeing someone who has decided to adopt a dog and they are either never home, or they pay it very little attention.

Taking on the responsibility of any animal as a pet is a big responsibility, and in my opinion, right up there with deciding to have kids. You either do it and do it right, or don’t do it at all.

28 anonymous May 9, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Given that they’re pack animals, they want to be with their pack. If the pack is in the house, that’s where your dog is going to want to be most of the time. Maybe it makes you feel better to think your dog really wants to be alone outside.

And if you’re one of those lovely people who has a dog barking day and night, I hope you croak.

29 ozziethedawg May 9, 2012 at 1:20 PM

@20 do you have lots of land where your dogs can howl at the moon and not disturb the neighbors? we have issues with dogs barking all night because they are left outside. once one starts to do it, it seems they all start to do it. i just don’t understand why people do not realize how rude this is…

30 anono May 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I don’t think animals should be left outside for extended periods. My dogs are house dogs. I would never leave them outside in the heat or cold. But, I do think they need to be outside some part of the day. I think WE ALL need to be outside some part of the day when possible. If they’re outside, my dogs have food, water (cold during summer), lots of shade, toys, and dog beds. People need more sun than they get (to process Vit D for instance), so I think dogs should get some outside exposure, too. I don’t leave my dogs out during the rain. Heck, one doesn’t like to get his feet wet!

Our dogs have the run of the house inside and sleep with us at night. We have a toy poodle mix (rescue) and a terrier mix (shelter).

31 Anon May 9, 2012 at 1:25 PM

For the most part dogs are pets. Whey bother having a dog if you are going to force it to live outside. They are pack animals not to be left by themselves. Get a stuff animal if you don’t want the work which comes with having an indoor doggy.

32 Zoom-Zoom May 9, 2012 at 1:26 PM

No. But it depends on the breed. Keeping a Siberian husky outside during a Phoenix summer is plain stoopid. On the other side of the spectrum, keeping a chihuachua outside in the dead of winter in Nome, Alaska is also stoopid. (Wanna ‘pupsicle’?)

In general, so long as they have some shelter from inclement weather or extreme cold freezes or extreme heat it’s usually okay. Again, it depends on the breed.

33 ??? May 9, 2012 at 1:27 PM

It’s absolutely ridiculous we breed animals that can’t survive on there own or in the environments we subject them too. It’s an environmental, ethical, and rational failure of a huge magnitude, use your brains when choosing the animals and plants to share your space with.

34 Ian May 9, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Nope! Not cruel at all. Unless it’s freezing cold or scorching hot. And as long as they have adequate food, water, shelter, etc. I have a lab. For the most part, he is inside. If I’m home at all, he’s inside. But, when I would go to work, he’s outside. And on the occasion I go to my girlfriend’s house at night and end up staying, he’ll sleep outside. (Although, usually I’ll take him with if I plan on staying.) But he always has food, water, and a dog house with blankets in it that get regularly washed. He’s fine.

35 mamatosix85 May 9, 2012 at 1:56 PM

My son and I saw a dog in a truck with the windows barely cracked at Safeway on Denkinger yesterday afternoon. Please remind people the dangers of this Mayor.

36 jtkatec May 9, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Rebel, I must live next door to your neighbor also.

Have had to call Animal Services because the dog had open wounds all over it. Neighbor has a rat colony in her backyard, and the rats were eating at the elderly dog and it couldn’t defend itself.


37 Ian May 9, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I remember visiting a farm in Wisconsin, my father’s cousin, when I was a kid. They had 7 or 8 farm dogs, in the dead of a Wisconsin winter, who were absolutely never aloud inside. If they were allowed inside, they would build up the necessary coat to protect them from the cold. Of course they had some sort of shelter, probably in a barn, don’t remember. Point is, we’re in California. Midwest and Northern folk would laugh at this thread. Outdoor dogs are extremely common.

38 anon May 9, 2012 at 2:05 PM

My neighbor supposedly moved and left his dogs in the backyard. I called Animal Control and they said to call back when I can see signs that the dogs are starving and then they will do something.

39 OhMy May 9, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Cruel would depend on an individuals perception of what cruel acutally means. In my definition, no it’s not cruel. In the best interest of the animal, perhaps not. Depends largely on the breed, climate, size, and temperament of the dog. If the said dog barks all night and keeps the neighbors up, it would be considered cruel. Cruel to the neighbors. What is cruel is not putting dog tags on your dogs so when the get lost the person finding them has no way of knowing where said dog belongs. That is cruel to not only the dog, but the owner, and the finder. Tag those dogs peeps!

40 No! Leaving it Inside is what's cruel! May 9, 2012 at 2:30 PM

I grew up on a farm. In Southern Calif. where it gets both hotter and colder than it does here. We had 3-4 dogs during 30 years, and they never, ever went indoors. They were perfectly happy, and never tried to come inside. They wanted to be outside where they could run around and have interesting things to look at, hunt, and chase. If we kept them in the yard, they would be whining to get out, wanting to chase away some coyote or squirrel, or dig up a gopher. I am absolutely that if we had taken them inside, they would have whined constantly wanting to get outside.

I have to work indoors. All day long, in the back of my mind, I am thinking I can’t wait to get OUTSIDE, out of the airconditioning and where there is sunshine and fresh air, and where there are interesting things to look at. At night, in the back of my mind, I am constantly thinking I can’t wait for it to be light so I can go OUTSIDE…and sometimes I don’t wait for it to get light…I years to be outside.

Our dogs lived long, happy lives OUTDOORS. They just need to be able to have water and shade if they want it, and a shelter to go inside if it’s cold and rainy.

41 Blah Blah blah May 9, 2012 at 2:34 PM


People from Wisconsin are not the best example. Those people think it is cool to put cheese on their heads. I mean really who wants to live where it snows that much and there aren’t any good hills to ski?

42 DoReMi May 9, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Re #40: It is not cruel if the dog has companionship of other dogs or allowed to roam at will (in the country or a farm). But if the dog is confined alone in a small backyard or run, yes. When the owners get home, it is cruel to not greet them or at least let them in the house. Every Day and night. Dogs are pack animals and need to belong to a group.

43 Install a pet door May 9, 2012 at 3:03 PM

let the dog decide.

44 Cap'n Nick May 9, 2012 at 3:07 PM

First let me say, stop the Wisconsin bashing. Half of my family is from Wisconsin. Midwest folks are extremely friendly and welcoming and not all of them are cheese heads.

That being said, I personally have always babied my pets to a point that some would find disgusting. However, animals are bred to live outside. I’ve never seen a breed of dog that was known for building houses. I see more of a problem with keeping a large dog cooped up in a small apartment or condo than I do with leaving it outside. If the dog is taken care of and is clearly healthy, what difference does it make if it sleeps on the lawn or on a 75 dollar doggie bed in an air-conditioned home?

45 Blah Blah blah May 9, 2012 at 3:21 PM

@Cap’n Nick

It was a joke on my Husband who was born there. lol

46 DOG LOVER May 9, 2012 at 3:37 PM

YES ITS CRUEL!!!!!! I treat my dogs like humans.

47 DoubleTap May 9, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Dogs are social animals, if your not going to let your be by your side while your home then get a cat!

48 Troy May 9, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Some people should not have pets!! Of course some dogs love being outside. The point is don’t just get a dog to be a fixture it should be a part of your family. They need love and attention.

49 concerned May 9, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Its is cruel. Do not own a dog if you’re going to keep it outside all the time.

50 Cap'n Nick May 9, 2012 at 4:35 PM

@blah blah blah, I suspected it was more of a personal joke than anything serious. I wasn’t honestly offended for the record. Just curious, have you ever been there? (oh and you probably know, I was completely full of cap when I said that not all of them are cheese heads. LOL)

51 Subterfuge May 9, 2012 at 4:57 PM

The question is general. To answer in general… Yes it is cruel to both the dog and the neighbors should the dog be a whiner.

52 Man Boobs May 9, 2012 at 5:25 PM

@ Ian # 37 It’s “allowed” not “aloud”.

53 MO May 9, 2012 at 5:55 PM

It’s okay to leave them outside.
As long as they have shade, and water and food, and a shelter….and depending on the weather..

My dogs have never been indoor dogs…we live on a farm…(now the cat is in the porch at night because of the coyotes)….we have always protected our pets….

But…our dogs have always been working dogs…

Extenuating circumstances should be the factor….I always brought mine into the porch where we had an electric heater when it snowed. And…when we have tornado warnings, I brought them in the shelter with me….

My old Border Collie girl has gone to Rainbow Bridge…(sniff)…and she did not like to come into the house…made her so nervous. She would run into the kitchen when I had left her a special treat…she would grab it and take it outside …. she was a wonderful friend.

54 Sue May 9, 2012 at 6:04 PM

You need to really enjoy the companionship of a dog to get one and enjoy the interaction both inside and outside. However, a dog being a pack animal, needs the love and companionship of it’s two legged pack members, too. Make sure it is a good balance of quality time inside and outside with adequate shade, water, food and security. i am a certified dog “nut” so I am a bit biased. I would not consider having the do just left outside 24/7.

55 A Dog Lover May 9, 2012 at 7:56 PM

It’s okay, as long as its a Pit Bull.

56 Adam Henry May 9, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Looks like Ian had both #52:
“aloud inside. If they were allowed inside…”

If you had been speaking with Ian you would have never known the difference.

57 Be a responsible pet owner May 9, 2012 at 8:35 PM

I do not see what is wrong with an animal being out side or inside, if that is your preference, but there are some animals that may prefer to be outside. I know someone that has dogs, they will not go out unless she does. She is bottom of the ranks in their pack. They constantly bark and bark, mostly AT HER! These dogs are not really bathed, rarely for a walk and when they are outside, they sit next to her. They never have engaged in any physical activity outside, well rarely. I feel bad because they love the dogs, but if you get a dog, you need to be aware of it’s needs. They want to be active, social and clean. They can not just bathe themselves. So when you get a pet, understnad that it is going to be a lot of work. OH, and you should be in some control, train your dog! It is like teaching children to do the right thing, dogs are so easily trained there is no reason that you should be running after them or yelling at them all the time for the same thing, over and over. Dogs are smart, they get it.

58 Blah Blah blah May 9, 2012 at 8:38 PM

@cap’n Nick

No I haven’t been there yet. Not until next year to visit extended family, since his parents live here there hasn’t been a huge need to go back.

59 Use your head May 9, 2012 at 10:23 PM

This doesn’t have to be black and white, inside or outside. Use your head. If the dog is lonely and barks or howls outside, bring it in. If it’s a small dog, a puppy or old dog, be aware of hot or cold weather conditions. Would you leave a baby or your 80 year old grandmother outside in the heat or cold? I have 4 dogs and would never leave them outside while I am gone. They could dig out, fall in the pool, panic when some dumbbell sets off firecrackers, etc. I love my dogs and just wouldn’t risk it.

I have worked in animal rescue for years. I have seen people bring old dogs that can hardly move in to the vet during the winter. They couldn’t figure out why the dog left outside could not get up in the morning. I can’t believe some people are so stupid they can’t figure out the cold, or the heat is not good for old pets. Or that their dogs bark all day long while they are at work. We had a neighbor who would take 3 day weekend away, leaving one dog in the backyard. The dog was so lonesome he howled for hours on end. We finally offered to bring the dog into our yard while they were gone. This was a nice dog that the wife would not allow in the house. Then they moved and a family member took the dog. I believe he had a much better life with his new family.

60 Ian May 9, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Man Boobs,
I understand your detriment. You don’t understand context. It’s ok. We’re here for you.

61 Outdoor AND indoor dog May 9, 2012 at 10:44 PM

@ Ian #34, I totally agree with everything you said. I have an 11 year old aussie with a thick coat. She has slept outside since a pup, and loves being outside. She has a very nice dog house, with lot’s of warm blankets. When the temperature gets to freezing, we bring her dog house in the garage, although she would be fine outside. Don’t get me wrong, she is very much a part of our family and comes in the house often. She also has a bed inside, to lay on when she’s in the house, along with her toys. Most evenings are spent in the house with the family, until it’s “bed time” at 10:00. She’s like clockwork! She goes to the back door to go out to her dog house. She gets her night time biscuit and she’s a happy dog, and heads to her dog house without a fight. We don’t hear a peep from her until she comes in the house in the morning, unless there is a possum on the telephone line! She loves to lay on the cold concrete, even in the winter. When she’s in the house, her favorite spot is on the tile where it’s cool, but also enjoys her foam bed in the family room. In the summer, she gets groomed with a “puppy cut” to stay cooler. She is walked every day, usually a mile or more. Loves her walks. My dog is very happy being outside, but enjoys coming in too. She gets lots of love and attention!

62 anon May 9, 2012 at 11:06 PM

my dog is fed, exercised, walked, able to go to the bathroom then put outside while i work for 5-7 hours then when i come home immediately take her out to exercise and do her business. then fed and given attention and sleeps inside at night. she lives a great life and a BALANCED life. with a routine. which is what dogs need. and fory two days off i take her hiking. swimming. etc.

63 MO May 10, 2012 at 8:43 AM

I wish you all could have known my Tippy, a Border Collie/German Shepard mix…he was the dog of dogs. He didn’t want to be in the house…he was an extremely active dog, and knew what we were saying, or planning on doing. That dog read our minds.

He was a self trained cattle herder …. He’d sit out in the yard and watch what we were doing…or going to do…for example, if the Bull was down on the fence moaning and bellering at the girls on the other side….Tippy would just look at me…I’d look back and him with a nod of my head…and ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM he was gone to get the Bull. He’d bite that bull on the back of the flank…and away they’d go…all the way to the west pasture…(at a high rate of speed).

One day they got into an altercation right here by the garden gate….going in circles…Bully fighting back….the dog won, but in the scuffle, got the ”tip” of his tail stepped on. And there was the ”white” tip on the ground and a bone at the end of his tail….He jumped into the back of the pickup and I grabbed the ”tip”…….and away we went to the Vet’s office in town.

Well they couldn’t put the tip back on…but they were able to stretch the tail skin down around the bone…leaving just a small bit of white….after all, he needed that tip cause his name was TIPPY.

He was with us, herding cattle for about 15 years….his hips became bad, and we had to pile up small square bales of hay at the back of the pickup to help him in. We got him all the best medical for his hips but it came to the point where running the bull was no longer an option. So instead we’d go down to the house pond, here, and go fishing. He loved to bark at the fishing line when I casted. He was just beside himself when I’d pull in a catfish and put it in a bucket of water…that flapping in the bucket made him so frustrated. We often had a picnic while we fished…(even tho we were only half a football field from the house)…he loved bologna sandwiches…mustard and all. Id take the bread off and he got the ”meat”…lol…and I’d roll up the damp bread and put it on my fish hook…even the cat fish liked the sandwich…fooled them every time…

Oh to console you purests, Tippy had a chain to keep him safely in the back of the pickup when we were on the road….just long enough so he cold put his ”elbow” over the side of the pickup bed, and be ”cool”.

He was a wonderful watch dog…and he loved cats and the other pooches that lived here off and on…(we’ve had many dogs that just moved in because someone dumped them…they got shots and grooming and became a part of the family.)

All were outside dogs and had really nice insulated dog houses…and soft beds.

I especially remember Tippy tho, because he could read our minds, and worked tirelessly when we were getting cattle up. He needed no direction from us other than ”the look”…….he didn’t like people (other than the grandkids)…running around the yard….he always stood between me and anyone else….everyone was afraid of him, but I never said he was a real pussycat …. because guarding was one of his jobs.

He just laid down and died one day…beside his water pan in the green grass under the oak tree. We cried for weeks.

I feel sorry for people who cannot or will not let down their emotions, and allow themselves the privilege of loving a dog and being loved back. I miss Tippy and now I miss Matilda the last Border Collie…both lived to be old, and I still hear them barking out there somewhere …..

64 Little Butterfly May 10, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Absolutely. Dogs are pack animals and your family is his pack. If he is kept apart from the pack it is going against the very nature of the dog. If you do not want the animal to be a part of your family then don’t get a dog.

65 If the people are outside during daylight, the dog should be too May 10, 2012 at 10:23 AM

I HATE being indoors! I am sure my dog would too. I will not spend one more minute indoors than I have to. It would be cruel to a dog to make him stay inside while his family is outdoors enjoying the fresh air!

What is this society thinking?! Weird!

66 @MO May 10, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Nice story-thanks!

P.S. Is your real name Timmy? Did you have another dog named Lassie?!

67 Farm dogs May 10, 2012 at 10:37 AM

If you live on a farm/ranch and have a dog, it needs to be outside day and night. Its purpose and fulfillment is in watching over the other animals and protecting them. It wants to be alert to coyotes, bobcats, skunks, whatever is out that and keep it away from the cattle, horses, or other animals. It wants to alert them to any dangers they might not detect.

If you keep it inside, it can’t do that, and won’t be able to relax, wanting to get out, and won’t be fulfilled either.

68 just a concordian May 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM

I think it all matters on what breed you have. My shepherd can stand both heat and cold due to his topcoat and undercoat. How I know? I researched! What a concept… Learning… Foreign to most dog owners who treat them like people when they’re anything but. A dog loses heat through the only uncovered part of his body, the nose. Also from research. A dog with short hair will do bad in cold weather. Dogs must not be shaved, their skin is way more sensitive to sunlight than ours. Dogs will dig, its in their nature. They will lie in filth, they have no concept of clean. They bark, its part of their language and they will bite, part of their animal instincts. The more you learn the better a dog owner and human you will become.


69 MO May 10, 2012 at 11:52 AM

No I’m not Timmy….I’m a Concord girl who was rescued by a Cowboy on a White horse…(sounds strange but true)…I never went back to live in Concord, and became the Truckinfarmer’s wife….and found that country living was meant for me.

And. thus the experience with working dogs. My silly Beagles, spent the day yowling and running after rabbits…coming home at suppertime, looking like a bunch of grapes….all summer long we picked ticks. Ugh. Then after the Beagles were old and gone…someone invented Frontline.

I brought my dog Susie with me, a tiny Black Lab (looked like one)…and she was a real squirrel dog. I would have never known this, as she just lived in the house with the kids and I (first marriage)….She was fast as a whip…and we had many fine meals of Squirrel … she could tree them in a flash…I could shoot ….(someone else did the skinning)…..and it tasted darn good.

Actually on a farm, one takes in many lost, discarded pets….you try and find their owners, then you have to get them cleaned up and Vet care…and they end up being your dog. I hated to take them to the Shelter up in town…(besides they charged me too much cause I live in the County)….and leaving a dog (with those eyes looking at me) at the Shelter is not possible. I put them back in the truck, and home we go…I’ve tried doing this twice…didn’t work.

So now I have no dog…but I know one will come begging for some love and a pan of food soon……….I don’t need a puppy…I’m too old..the dog will outlive me. :(

70 Cash May 10, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Sure, it’s fine to leave a dog outside all day and all night, as long as you don’t mind having it stolen, or run over by a car when it digs or jumps out, or dead from heat exposure, or totally unsocialized because it spends its life in the yard. And your neighbors may not like the constant barking from you bored dog, but who cares about them? Of course the dog may hate children because it never sees any in its yard. It may bark and lunge at other dogs when it finally sees them, or growl at people becuse it has no exposure to strangers. And, it will probably learn to ignore you as it lives its life, day and night, in the yard. But hey, the joy of owning a dog balances all that out, right?

71 Doggiemama May 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM

It’s not necessarily cruel to leave the dog outside all the time as long as there is plenty of water, food and shelter for the dog. The only problem is is that the dog doesn’t quite bond with the humans if it is always kept outside. My dogs and cats live WITH me so they are bonded with me. My dogs are big indoor dogs and they protect my place and myself. We’re basically a family. My house, my couch, my everything is theirs too.

72 Pegasus May 10, 2012 at 12:55 PM

I’m not selling Pits and I wouldn’t own one but this is a positive story ……… finally.

Pit Bull Rescues Unconscious Owner from Oncoming Train
Move over, Lassie. A Massachusetts pit bull named Lilly took on a freight train last week to save her owner, who collapsed unconscious onto the tracks during a late-night walk in Shirley.
The 8-year-old dog used her teeth to pull Christine Spain, 54, off the tracks as the train approached. While Spain emerged unscathed, Lilly lost a leg.–abc-news-topstories.html

73 Newman May 10, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Cruel? Only if there’s snow on the ground. And that may not be cruel if it’s an Alaskan type dog.

More likely it’s cruel to the neighbors because dogs left outside all night often bark the entire time.

My neighbor had his dog out Wednesday night and the little bastard was barking until 5:00 AM.

74 Chels May 10, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Two words: Doggie Door :)

My pooch is a happy camper

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