I’m currently on a sit in Australia for the next 3 weeks with a gorgeous dog and cat. The cat is an inside cat, which is fine because I understand a lot of cats are kept in in Australia to protect the native birds. However the dog is kept outside all the time and I’m finding this rather upsetting. She is 12 so well used to this. She is a rescue dog, is afraid of most other dogs so is walked on a leash. She walks very well and rarely stops to sniff, she’s a Kelpie cross. She has a shed outside where she sleeps (open to the elements) and if there’s thunder and lightning, which she’s understandably afraid of, she has another shed with a flap she can run into. She is only let into the house to have a harness put on then to go out of the front door. I would dearly love to bring her in and snuggle up to her but, of course, I can’t. She is ball obsessed so I try to spend as much time as possible throwing the ball, in addition to her walks, although have to be careful as she has arthritis - no medication.
Just wondering if anyone else has had this situation? I haven’t and, as I said, am finding it rather upsetting. Also wondering what the point is for the owners to have her. They’re a lovely couple and tell me all their dogs have been kept outside.
Hello and it’s very compassionate of you to be so concerned. My dog sleeps outside in one of the stables, he is a hunting dog and not used to living in a house, also a rescue. It Is an arrangement we came to (Henri the hound and me) a few years back as he gets to roll on whatever, dig wherever etc without bringing it into my house as I’m a clean freak. Daily walks to keep stimulated and I’m sure your kelpie is fine. Sounds like you are the one wanting the cuddles -))). I know I wanted a little lap cuddle dog but didn’t turn out that way. Love him all the same.
Yes, we had something like this on one sit. Not via this site so no need to take down please. The dog was elderly with many non-malignant tumours which we had to put powder on daily and which had to be removed by the vet periodically so obvious that the owners loved and cared for her. She was kept outside in a shed because the owner said she was allergic to things in the house. Another younger dog was kept indoors and we exercised them together in a large field but they had little interest in each other. We derived some comfort from the elderly dog really enjoying her twice daily walks and to be honest most of the rest of the time she slept in her shed. But we did find it difficult to cope with, also because there were many photos in the house when she was part of the family and living indoors. I guess we can only respect the owners’ wishes as long as the animal isn’t in pain or discomfort?
Hi @Smiley - Im not sure if I mentioned to you before but one of our Australian sits was for Chanel, an inside/outside dog. She spent the day indoors but slept in a kennel outside.
At first, I was really uncomfortable with the setup but, to be honest, soon got used to it.
She was not chained and had a doggy flap for day & night access but she never used it at night and seemed quite content in her kennel.
She was obviously very well-loved and seemed to love her safe space
I don’t think you did, but this dog doesn’t spend any time inside at all.
Hi @Smiley. It’s not uncommon for dogs to live and stay outside in Australia but have a lovely kennel or run to stay in, especially if it is a rural sit. Very different to being in the UK where I find it a little strange dogs are kept inside the majority of time. I think climate and weather have something to do with this too. I have a regular sit in NSW where the 12 year old Labrador is not allowed inside at all. However, she has a very comfortable bed, with heater, in the garage and joins me when I sit outside under the patio. She is very well loved and cared for by her owners. You’re giving the kelpie cross love, exercise and spending time with her and following her owner’s instructions.
@Smiley I can understand your concern but there could be some reason she is always outside. As you stated she is a rescue, she was probably never allowed into the home prior to her adoption and may not be able to cope with the enclosure a home brings. Our beloved Sassy girl was a rescue (we found out she had been locked inside a shed in the yard) and she was fine in our home when we were there, but we could never leave her inside once we left our home. She would panic and destroy blinds, doors, etc., anything she could in trying to find a way out. Her Claustrophobia was so sad and even trying to get help did not cur the problem. Because of this, we made sure she had plenty of outdoor shelter where she was protected from the elements. I hated leaving her at home but she also did not travel well.
If that is not the case, it could just be the way the family has always felt about indoor dogs…some were raised to believe large animals do not belong inside the home…
I would just suggest you continue with what your loving heart is telling you and spend as much time outside with her as possible.
Again, I didn’t realise that but the other sits I’ve done so far in Aus with dogs were inside. I guess we treat our pets as part of the family.
Thanks for your response Debbie but that isn’t the case. But she’s used to it. I guess it’s just been a shock for me as I’ve never experienced this.
I think the Brits do look on their pets as family members more than we do @Smiley but we still love them. Dogs got during the pandemic I feel tend to be more inside dogs and family members.
We sat a lovely Kelpie in the countryside of Victoria, Australia. She was also an outside dog (farm dog) and I gave her lots of cuddles outside, but frankly she was happiest playing fetch and going on farm walks with me. So it’s okay, they don’t know any different and as long as they get love, food and are safe - then I guess it’s just different strokes for different folks. Maybe they are viewed as guard dogs more than anything else.
And sadly a lot of those were taken to animal shelters after the pandemic
Yes, I’ll stroke her and cuddle her for a while, which she seems to enjoy, but then she’ll get her ball for me to throw
I’ve not encountered this as a sitter, but I had a neighbor in the U.S. who kept their dog outside and it really bothered me, especially because the dog was often barking. (I took that to mean it was unhappy, but that might be me humanizing it. It wasn’t a noise issue, because we could hear the dog only when in our driveway or front yard, which we didn’t hang around.)
I would avoid taking a sit with an outdoor dog, because I’m too soft for that.
As I said, this is my first experience of a completely outside dog so thanks for your understanding. @Maggie8K Although I was told she slept outside I didn’t realise she was out there all the time. It isn’t that she can’t come in, she can but not for long. In fact when we come through the house after her walks she makes a beeline straight for the back door. She seems highly intelligent and doesn’t bark at all. She’s a delight to walk as walks very briskly without stopping to sniff at all, which I’ve never encountered either. She’s very well trained. So after my last sit with a 5 month old puppy who was full on I suppose I should count my blessings!
We did an Australia sit with 3 dogs who all lived and slept outside and were only really allowed in if it was very hot weather. They seemed to enjoy living outside as it’s all they knew and had loads of room to run and play. They had kennels they could sleep in with blankets in but rarely used this. It did seem unusual to us but as we live in the UK we would never really be able to keep dogs outside normally. We still talk about those lovely pups now 6 years on
I totally understand your feeling, but it sounds like a very happy dog to me. Don’t just presume that all dogs that are kept outside are mistreated in any sort of way, I think TV gives us that false impression.
In warmer countries its more natural, it’s you yourself that is missing snuggling on the sofa not the dog, and from what you have said it gets its enjoyment from the odd cuddle outdoors and then playing outdoors.
It sounds like its loving life and you’re doing a great job to help it enjoy each day