“Dogs Should Be Supervised in the Fenced-In Backyard At All Times” (Notes from Helicopter Pet Parenting)

Hi kedtneinte
Folks — It  constantly stuns me how much we don’t believe in our kids, convinced they will be hurt, frustrated, killed or bored without our constant ministrations. But to see this standard of supervision extended to dogs is fairly knock-me-down-with-a-chew-toy shocking. There’s something about our society that CLAIMS it is for all-natural this and that, but it is for the most unnatural ideals of parenting people and pets EVER. – L

Dear Free-Range Kids: This came across my Facebook page from an East Coast friend who’s another Free-Ranger. She and I adopted
rescue dogs about the same time, and went through the same sort of
nonsense from the first adoption group we tried to work with. Different
groups, same thinking. “We want what’s best for the dog and you’re not

Here’s one group’s exhortation on the sort of backyard supervision
they want. Mind you we’re talking dog here, an animal that’s descended
and can still interbreed with the wolf. Dog, that, with a few exceptions,
is bred to work and live and hunt outside. Keep in mind we’re talking
about DOG as you read this.

DAWG recommends complete, physical fencing of a yard so a dog can exercise
freely with minimal danger. The best fencing is privacy fencing, because a
dog cannot see through it and therefore is less likely to go over or under
it… …All dogs must be constantly supervised in their yards for their
safety. Dogs of any size can scale fences within minutes of an owner’s
inattention. Physical fencing is not a guarantee of safety, because
children and delivery services can leave gates open, and other animals
such as bats, bees and snakes can gain access to yards. DAWG recommends
checking on the condition of fencing and digging/jumping deterrents on a
regular basis, securing all gates with locks, and installing outdoor
floodlights to illuminate the entire yard so that a dog’s “adventures” in
the yard are clearly seen at night.

Not only do we helicopter parent our kids, but once we’ve perfected that
skill, we must now helicopter our dogs. They need FLOOD LIGHTS in the
back yard so they don’t stub their poor little claws. How about bats that
can fly away clutching your precious dog? How about those dog-eating
snakes! And all those fence climbing dog-monkey cross breeds! Oh
HORRORS! Not even my own backyard is SAFE for poor defenseless DOG!

The document is here. Just in case you thought I was making this up. – Yan Seiner

Old Bill, mascot of the Lethbridge Fire Department by Galt Museum & Archives on The Commons\

I hope you weren’t planning on making dinner while I play in the yard!

127 Responses to “Dogs Should Be Supervised in the Fenced-In Backyard At All Times” (Notes from Helicopter Pet Parenting)

  1. greg November 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    I had dogs as kid. There were never allowed in the house. They just stayed in the backyard by themselves all the time. My Dad would let the beagle out of the yard to run the field behind our house all the time. The dog always came home. A few times with a rabbit. It is just a freaking dog.

  2. Earth.W November 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    My dog has sharp pointy teeth.

  3. Warren November 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    If I fenced in my three, they would revolt. At least a couple of times a week they meet up with four or so other area dogs and go adventuring in the woods. No matter where they are, they always come home at 3:15pm. That is when the school bus drops off the kids.

    I can see fences in certain areas, or situations, obviously. But the floodlights, my neighbors would kill me. The bats, snakes and such? Without them, I would have to spend a fortune on toys.


  4. Amy Austin November 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    Wow, I feel like a real maverick for letting my 3 kids (ages 7, 5, and nearly-2) play unsupervised in the backyard with the also-unsupervised dog all the time!

  5. Jamie November 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    This reminds me of something I read on our local Animal Control’s website. They had a page about animal theft, and they recommended varying the times when you let your dog in the yard so you don’t have a predictable routine that will make it easier for someone to steal your dog. God forbid you should get out of bed and casually let your dog out for his morning pee. No, you should act as though nefarious dog-snatchers are always watching your every move and act accordingly. I’m sure Fido will be glad to hold it in while his owner waits for the imaginary thieves to get bored and leave.

    Anyway, I’m completely boggled by the over-the-top “security measures” these kooks are recommending. Digging and jumping deterrents? Seriously?

    Yes, some dogs are escape artists, but that doesn’t mean every dog owner on the planet needs to lock their backyard down like Fort Knox. My pomeranian is dumb as dirt and doesn’t have a single adventerous bone in his body. He won’t step over the vacuum cleaner cord if it’s laying in his way – there’s no way he’s ever going to scale a fence or dig an escape tunnel. The tiny fence in my backyard is more than enough to contain him. I’ve had him for ten years, and he has never gotten out of my yard.

    My neighbor’s corgis, on the other hand, are very curious and much too smart for their own good. They’re about the same size as my pom, but my fence wouldn’t stop them for a second. Does that mean /I/ need to dump hundreds of dollars on a twelve-foot privacy fence for my yard? Of course not.

    People just need to have the common sense to know what their individual dog is capable of.

  6. Silver Fang November 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    @ greg: They couldn’t come inside even in the dead of winter?

  7. BL November 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Never let your dog walk to school alone.

  8. TaraK November 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    Next up? Safety 1st catalog Dog Edition! (Insert clever yard proofing products for your pooch here.)

  9. Kellie November 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    It took me exactly six months to adopt/rescue a dog because I don’t have a fence. After explaining to several organizations that I intended to leash and walk the dog and being told that was just not safe I began to lose patience.

    My kids really wanted a dog and we all agreed a large dog would be best. Well, that wouldn’t do either because my kids were 8 and 5 and they can’t give a dog to a family with children under the age of 6…REALLY???? IT’S A DOG! Also, many of the organizations wouldn’t allow us to look or consider puppies because I had “small children” to take care of and a puppy wouldn’t get the attention it needed. We can’t possibly allow people to evaluate and make these decisions for themselves because clearly after raising two healthy and relatively safe 8 and 5 year old girls I’m incapable of deciding if I can really handle a puppy.

    Then when my youngest turned 6 we checked the rescue sites daily. I was rejected several times for no fence. I was rejected because I signed a form saying if the dog got cancer I wasn’t willing to pay, their wording, “large sums of money”, I was also rejected because out of principle I wouldn’t signed a form stating I would feed the dog only top quality grain free food and feed at the already established times (i.e. 5:30 am for breakfast)….I could sooner adopt a child before I could get a dog!

    In the end, we rescued a 10 week old puppy in the middle of February when a mom had a litter of 8 and the rescue had no room to keep the dogs and they allowed me to take the dog despite not having a fence.

    We are now the proud owners of an 80lb. goldendoodle lab mix that is the friendliest dog in the world and he has playfully knocked my children over several times much to their delight. So much delight in fact they invite friends over to rile the dog up in the UNFENCED back yard and have him knock the friends down too!

  10. Jeanne November 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    Wow! We had two dogs and a 1 1/2 year old son when we bought our first house. For whatever reason, there were no gates on our fence. We live in the city and have plenty of laws surrounding dog ownership… all of which I comply with. However, I insisted that we put up gates specifically so I could let the dogs out without having to “supervise” them at all times. And it held true for our son too… when he was 4, I could let him play in the yard while I made lunch.

    Comically enough though, even when the side gate was left open, my dogs would always come to the front porch and patiently wait for us to let them in.

  11. Kelly November 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    Eih. I can see this from a rescue agency. The dogs there were probably given up for various reasons and are more likely to have behavioral issues.

    We had a friend who’s dog got out of their fenced yard and got hit by a car and lost a leg. She’s fine now but was still not good.

    There’s a lot of people who don’t treat dogs very well so I can understand them wanting to be more picky. That and usually children can be smarter than dogs, or at least understand consequences better.

  12. jenny November 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    I tried to adopt a dog from a poodle rescue years ago, and was denied because we don’t have a fenced in backyard. Despite my explanations that poodles, as a breed, do not like to be away from their people and are not the kind of dogs to be left in a backyard, they acknowledged this was true of the breed but still refused to let me adopt. I needed a dog that doesn’t shed (allergies) so I was forced to go to a breeder – something that frustrated the hell out of me when there were perfectly awesome pure bred poodles within a rescue organization. It worked out though, because my guy is the most awesome dog I’ve ever had. True to form, he never leaves my side. (Sometimes he’s like a relentless toddler this way, but I love him anyway.) 🙂

  13. Kristen S November 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    I am the original poster that Yan referenced in his letter. I’m not sure how it is elsewhere, but most of the applications with pet adoption agencies in the DC Metro Area that I looked at were about 50 detailed questions. I had to use google to answer some of them. I understand the basics— if you have kids or other pets, it’s good to know if the dog will get along with them. But beyond that? Overkill.

    We happen to have a privacy fence for our yard but no intention of going on “bat watch” every night when he pees- perhaps that’s why we were rejected. Sadly, the dog we tried to get through the original agency in September is still listed on their adoption page. But on a positive note, we ended up with a great dog through a more level-headed agency. And, I am happy to report that, in spite of the fact that I do not keep my eyes glued to him every moment of every day, he is still alive and unmolested by the local fauna. The bunnies and squirrels in the neighborhood, however, are subject to regular torment.

  14. opsomath November 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Go to the pound. They don’t give a crap and their dogs are going to die if someone doesn’t take them. Whatever you’ve got is better than the needle.

  15. Alison S. November 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Yes, go to the pound. Here in greater Houston, it is reported that about 25,000 dogs and cats are euthanized each year, largely for lack of available homes. County animal shelters in particular will be thrilled to see you; some of them have euthanasia rates as high as 85%. We got our dog from the Galveston County shelter and could not have been happier with the attitudes and the service we received during the adoption process. Our dog was a “surrender” – her original owner got a job transfer and could not take the dog to their new location – so she came fully trained and socialized, no heartworm, etc. A huge gift for us facilitated by the nicest animal care workers in the world.

  16. Linda Wightman November 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    Surely you could see this coming. When I was young (showing my age here) dogs were pets and/or working animals; today, dogs are CHILDREN to many owners (who prefer the terms “Mommy” and “Daddy”). If they take their dogs for “walks” in strollers and pay enough in vet bills to feed a small nation, it’s not at all surprising to see the rise of helicopter dog-parenting.

    (And I’m not just saying this because I’ve never had a dog. Cats, birds, hamsters, a rat, and now worms, but no dogs.)

  17. Heather November 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    I’m a vet and was almost rejected for adopting a dog because my cats hadn’t set foot the office for several years. No amount of explaining that I treat them at home was working. I finally was able to talk to someone high up in the organization who immediately understood. That’s the problem with “One size fits all” standards. Sometimes they just aren’t logical.

  18. Stephanie November 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Guess I’m a terrible dog mommy, then! While we do have a fenced-in yard, it’s chain link, and our dog can (gasp!) stare at bunnies and squirrels in our neighbors’ yards! Although he is a bird dog, so even WITH a privacy fence, he’d be tempted. We used to have a wireless fence, but we put in a physical fence because we wanted friends to be able to bring their dogs over without worrying about any of the more adventurous dogs escaping.

    Poor Elvis did lose his off-leash nighttime privileges though, flood lights or no. He chased a skunk into a bush by the shed, and let’s just say no one was happy with the outcome – we had a stinky dog, and our stinky dog needed multiple baths. Not gonna risk that again, he’s only allowed off leash if we have a bunch of people outside making enough noise to fighten off skunks. 😉

    To Kellie though – I do understand why rescue organizations want to make sure you’re willing to treat the dog well. I think the bit about sticking to pre-established mealtimes is a bit much, but dogs should NOT be eating food with any significant amount of grain in it (Totally grain-free is a bit much, though it really is the ideal – and even though it’s more expensive per pound, the dog will eat less and bonus: it makes their poop so much easier to clean up! Our dog was previously fed Ol’ Roy, which is mostly corn, and his poop was DISGUSTING and he was horribly underweight), and if you’re not willing to pay for an animal’s medical expenses, you shouldn’t have that pet in the first place (though you do need to weigh whether something like cancer treatment is likely to actual improve the dog’s quality of life, or whether the more humane thing is palliative care and/or euthanasia – many people take it to the opposite extreme and drop thousands of dollars to keep a miserable animal alive because THEY aren’t ready to say goodbye. Which is just as bad.). Of course, this is coming from the girl who was willing to pay $300 for her beloved rat to have a tumor removed when said rat was 1 1/2. When the same rat got another tumor at nearly 3 (life expectancy for a rat), I opted for euthanasia once her quality of life began to suffer. No sense in putting the poor little girl through surgery and recovery when she would have likely died of old age in a couple of months.

    Uhh… Sorry that got kind of long and preachy there, but I do get passionate about this. My pets have always been my babies, have always been members of my family, and I never understood how people could treat their pets as anything less. Granted, I was always a painfully shy kid who bonded more easily with animals than with people, which I’m sure plays a role in my current views. 😉

  19. C.J. November 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    My dog likes to lay on the deck right outside the back door when it is sunny. So I guess I’m supposed to go stare at her for however long she feels like sunning herself. She is a 95 pound boxer with no interest in trying to leave the yard. She is a big kluts (her legs are really long, she is not very co-ordinated) and couldn’t catch another animal if her life depended on it, though she does like to chase them. We do have a 6ft privacy fence with heavy duty locks on the gates. We had those before the dog though. We have a pool and have caught kids in the backyard before. One good thing about my dog, the kids stay out of the yard now. We do keep a closer eye on the dog when the bees are bad. She is highly allergic and needs to be treated right away. I still don’t sit and stare at her though, just check on her. She doesn’t bother with them anymore, she learned the hard way to leave the bees alone. When she was a pup we would have to watch her or keep her in at the times of day when the bees were bad because she would try to eat them. If people are supposed to go watch their dogs at all times when they are playing outside the dogs won’t get out as often and will become overweight and lazy.

  20. Crystal November 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    Growing up in the country, you just waited for a dog to “pick” you. It never took very long. Now that I live in the city, we just go to a pound and pick out whatever we want. No questions asked.

    The dog we have now is so well-trained that I frequently run with him off-leash, even in the city. Gasp!

  21. CrazyCatLady November 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    To the people who let their dogs roam the neighborhood…please understand that your sweet doggy, when packed up with other dogs behaves much differently than they would if they were alone or with you. Pack dogs will chase deer, (and catch them and kill them if the snow is deep.) They will get your neighbor’s chickens, sheep, cats or other animals.

    And, among many who live in the country who have goats, chickens, ducks, geese, sheep, if a dog harasses our animals, you may not see your dog again because we tend to go with “Shoot, shovel and shut up.” Don’t ask us if we have seen your dog, because if they killed our animals, we “haven’t seen it.” Having a dog kill the animal that your kid worked hard to train for fair a week before fair is not my idea of a fun time. Not to mention the loss of eggs, meat, income and friendship that the killed animal would have provided. As the owner of a pet, I am sure you understand that.

    I have two Livestock Guard Dogs. They will attack coyotes, raccoons, and yes, your dogs if they jump over my fence. I have hot wire around my property to keep my dogs in so that they will not roam around. My dogs do spend the night outside, so that they can do the job that centuries of breeding help them to do – guard my flock. They are very happy to do so, don’t mind the cold, and prefer to be outside.

  22. Donna November 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    I don’t know why anyone deals with the hassle of dog rescues. Go to the pound. Plenty of great dogs there. My Bingo is a delight. A wonderful corgi mix (which was exactly what I was looking for and just had to wait awhile to find). As a dog who had been in the pound several times – his original owners took good care of him but refused to fence him and he was picked up by animal control several times and, to our great fortune, his owners decided not to bother to come get him the last time – he came neutered, housebroken and somewhat trained.

    Besides rescue dogs are just dogs from the pound. The rescue will generally neuter and, depending on his long they have the dog before it is adopted, start training but the dog you are getting is just a dog from the pound with a lot more hassle. Cut out the middle man and buy direct.

  23. CrazyCatLady November 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    All that said, an owner who has their dog under voice control, who will go out with a leash if not under voice control, probably doesn’t need all the other stuff that those rescues are recommending.

    But please, don’t let your dog roam around without you. They aren’t kids. Many breeds are supposed to kill other animals – that is in their breeding. You can’t expect them to stop doing what is in their breeding. Kids are not bred to be fighters, to kill animals. Kids have a level of understanding that we will not be able to have with our dogs until we can do doggy mind melding.

  24. WendyW November 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    The rules that rescues have are INSANE. When we were looking for a dog in our preferred breed, Australian shepherd or border collie, I checked the websites for several rescues. These are HERDING dogs, they are used on ranches and farms for working purposes and love to have a job to do. The rescues in a ranching state STILL insisted that the dogs must have a fenced yard and live in the house!

    Some people need to get a life. Dogs are not people and should not be treated like children.

  25. Warren November 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Like anything else, there is a time and a place for everything. We have acre upon acre of land, and three dogs, 2 cats, 3 kids, and they all love roaming the grounds.
    They come when they are called, better than the kids. And usually they have another dog or two with them, because they know we have treats. We are 45km from the nearest highway, and city.
    They eat, sleep, play, and poop. Damn I wish I had their life.
    Now if we were in the city, yes, a good fence, and some rules for the animals, but not the hyper vigilant crap these rescues want.

  26. Beth November 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Yeah, I don’t have a clue who is actually allowed to adopt a rescue dog. My sister-in-law has been a dog person from the word go; she has owned multiple dogs her whole life, who are all well-trained, has a fenced yard in the country, teaches dog obedience training, shows one of her dogs, only one teen left at home, and is working very hard to establish a Humane Society in her county (not related to dogs per se, but shows her commitment to animals).

    Could she adopt a rescue dog? Denied.

  27. Snow November 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    I don’t like dogs. At all. I want dogs fenced in, not for their protection, but for mine, because when they aren’t and I’m out running, which I do every day, the damn dogs that aren’t fenced in chase me and I swear, if I am ever hurt by a dog there is going to be hell to pay. And I really hate it when they use my lawn as a toilet. I don’t want that. Keep your dog on a leash and clean up after it, or fenced up where it can poop in your yard.

    If these dogs live on a farm in the country, that is a different story…let them run, there is room. If they live in a suburban subdivision, they need to be fenced in. If you want to have a dog that isn’t fenced in or on a leash, don’t live near other people.

    I really don’t like dogs.

  28. CrazyCatLady November 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Snow, I have been known to yell at people (and give them bags) when they ….WALKING WITH THEIR DOG…let them poop and pee in my yard. When there was an orchard across the road. And kid toys in my yard!

    My parents learned the hard way with their dog. They live on acres with no one around….except the lady who jogs by every morning. Running = Prey to dogs. The dog nipped the poor lady and they have to keep the dog on a leash. If he bites again, he will be put down. This dog is perfect with grandkids, toddlers and such. But, they don’t have fences and the dog is now on leash at all times outside.

  29. Dan November 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    I was a free range kid in a neighborhood of free range dogs. (Leash laws arrived when I was 10). Of all the dogs running around the neighborhood, the only one that was hit by a car was the “tire biter” next door. He chased ever car that passed his house, was hit twice during his lifetime and he still made it to age 10.

    Nobody’s male dog was ever fixed. There were no dog fights. There were no dog bites. And there is EXACTLY as much dog poop on my parent’s front lawn today with a leash law as there was without one (once a week).

  30. Katie November 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    The irony and sad part of all this is that when they nit pick and deny the dogs to owners who would be fine, what they end up doing with the dogs instead is killing them (aka putting them down). Or if they are a no kill shelter they deny them if they are full and send them to a public shelter which will do the same. It is even worse for cats.

    I find it odd that the solution to some freak thing might happen and they might get killed or hurt is to kill them.

    Oh and speaking of unwanted pet parenting advice here is some stupid advice I got :
    1. My cat should be a vegan. (Don’t have a problem with this for humans but cats are carnivors).
    2. From my friends fat girlfriend about my athletically built lean/medium cat: That is terrible that you occasionally give her heavy cream as a treat. (Somehow I don’t think this girlfriend is unfamiliar with having a treat and I doubt here’s are occasional either).
    3. Also from the same fat girlfriend. It is terrible you let her sit in a chair at the table (she loves knowing she is part of the family). She will develop bad eating habits.

  31. LRH November 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    I agree with the original post, but I also agree with Snow and CrazyCatLady. I also observe this: I think the mentality of the people who want you to “helicopter parent” your pets is due to another tendency in those country I don’t like: the tendency to glorify animals, pets especially, as being EQUALLY important to any children in the house. They assert that pets are just as important as human beings, and that’s just ridiculous.

    Allow me to expand a little bit.

    Regarding the “helicopter parent your pet” deal: we have a dog, and it is NEVER allowed in the house. Ever. I don’t care if the high temperature is 35’F, it’s snowing, and the low is 15’F. I don’t care, they’re not ever allowed in here. If that makes me unfit, so be it, I’m unfit, but they aren’t coming in here. I have a dog house for them, and a blanket/quilt, and I can put an old-fashioned light bulb in their dog house which will warm it up quite a bit if it’s needed. If I had a porch or the like which it could stay in & I didn’t think it would start yapping or destroying whatever was in there, then I’d consider it then. Lacking that, that leaves the living room & such, and that isn’t happening.

    Also, the dog is fenced-in, yet the fencing is weak, it’s only “chicken wire” fencing and it can easily get out. I thus keep it tied up as well unless I’m walking it, and believe me, when I walk it, it gets 80-odd acres of wide-open woods to zip through, totally unrestricted. BUT–in our yard, I take my responsibility seriously that my dog is not allowed to be annoying to someone else. I don’t want it barking at the neighbor’s kids if they walk by. I don’t want it going in their yard and getting their pets all riled up or ransacking in their trash. To me, it is my responsibility to see to it that my dog cannot, in anyway, bother someone else at all. Period.

    And no, that’s not the same thing as not letting your kids run around, for one reason–children are more important than pets. Heck, ALL humans are more important than ALL animals. That’s one pet peeve (pardon the pun) of mine–people equating pets as being the same as their kids, and thinking their dog’s right to roam is no different than your children’s right to play outside vs being indoors all the time. That’s ridiculous. A dog’s needs matter, yes, but a dog’s needs will NEVER be at the same level of importance as any human’s, grown-up or child.

    As Snow said, I also encounter people with loose pets harassing me when I’m bike-riding or walking on public roads. There is NO excuse for that. NONE. I have the right to trek on such roads without being subject to such harassment or even danger. I recently attached a seat on my bike where my 3½ year-old son can ride with me, and I’ll be damned if someone’s dog is going to hurt him. I don’t care if I go to jail–someone’s dog tries to hurt him, that dog is a dead damn dog on the spot.

    That’s just the problem–people around here, and elsewhere too from what I’m hearing, seem to have this mentally insane idea that their dog’s “right” to roam” is EQUAL to my child’s and my right to enjoy a bike-ride without some Great Dane showing up acting menacing. That’s insane. NO WAY a DOG (or cat, ferret, any animal) has the same rights as a human being. I’m so tired of these animal rights wackos asserting as such, too.

    Again, though, the original post has it somewhat wrong, insomuch as this–there are actually dog owners out there who are responsible, and have their dogs trained well, to the extent that their dog could be unleashed and running free, and it’s well behaved. They will clean up after it if it goes #2 somewhere not in their yard. They will apologize if it starts being noisy or bothersome. People like that, I have no problem with, and they shouldn’t live in fear and have to “helicopter” their pets, I think.

    I am REALLY liking what Snow said. If you have 80-odd acres, let your dogs have at it. They love being able to run & chase squirrels and roll in the grass. BUT–if you live in a subdivision type of place–sorry, but the needs of the humans around you will ALWAYS be more important than what’s best for your dog–or cat, too (no hopping on someone’s nice car & getting paw prints all over a car they just spent half the day waxing).


  32. CrazyCatLady November 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    Yup. I do try to keep my cats from walking on people’s cars too! If we are close enough that they can do that, then the cats have to stay inside. Which we have done when we had to. Cats were not happy about it, but they were happier than if they ended up at a shelter.

  33. Diane S. November 6, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    @ Snow – BEAR REPELLENT! Hubby runs and bikes, he has “trained” all the dogs on his routes that he runs/bikes to leave him alone. Most dogs it only took 1x of getting hit with the stuff. The only one he hasn’t done it to is the beagle puppy that runs with him for a bit, and wags its tail, but when he tells it to “go home” it does.

  34. ifsogirl November 6, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Living in Canada I was curious about if our dog and cat rescues had the same rules. I used to volunteer for a no kill cat shelter in my neighbourhood and I know they had some strict rules such as NEVER letting your cat outdoors as well as a promise that if you can’t afford the vet bills or have to give up your cat you MUST give the cat back to the shelter.

    As much as I believe that yes if you adopt a pet you should be able to afford the upkeep, there are limitations to how much money each person is willing to spend. I worked in an Emergency Vet Clinic so I know just how expensive the blood tests and X-rays are let alone surgery if necessary. Years after working in the clinic one of my cats started loosing weight like crazy, he ate tonnes of food but just kept getting thinner. A friend of mine still in the buisiness looked at him and said most likely a Thyroid problem. There are three possible treatments. Daily pills at an exorbanant cost, surgery which offers no guarantee as thyroid tissue is all over one’s body and if ALL of it isn’t removed the surgery most likely won’t work, and third radiation treatment, which is the closest to a guarantee and costs $3000 last time I was aware (at least 10 yrs ago). I chose to care for him at the best of my ability, he was happy and didn’t appear to be in any pain. But as a newly single mom spending that kind of money on my pet wasn’t going to happen now that I was trying to just keep food on the table. Let’s keep in mind that I had adopted him from the SPCA 10 yrs prior for $40.

    Unfortunatally I had to rehome both of my when we moved. I first called thie no-kill rescue and they said they were full so nope can’t take them. Then I called the SPCA and they wouldn’t take them because of their age. Luckily I found a nice home for them where they could live together.

  35. Lollipoplover November 6, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Safety proofing for pets is a BIG business! Have you been in a pet store recently? There is a whole dog safety aisle (and the doggie indoor pee pads baffle me). I scratch my head because we’ve become so conditioned to buy something to solve a problem that the dog owner creates by not training their pet.

    We train dogs.
    We educate people.

    I adopted two puppies last year from two different groups, the Humane Society and a private non-profit. My kids found both dogs on Petfinder.com after our beloved dog of 15 years died. Both were entirely different experiences. The Humane Society had to place the dogs in 5 days or they were euthanized (this was at a Southern shelter). We had to give vet references and arrange the rescue transport (they were busing the dogs out of high kill shelters each weekend) but they were just grateful to place a pet.
    Our other puppy came to us from a great private rescue in Vermont. She was from a bad breeder and had been in several homes and her latest dipsh@t owner put her on Craigslist at a discount because she was sick. The rescue got her vet care and fostered her until she was well enough for adoption. Their requirement was that you had to be over 25 years of age and either stayed at home or worked from home when adopting a puppy (not older dogs). Puppies are a lot like toddlers. They need your time when they are young but if you do it right and train them properly, they are wonderful pets.
    We have a fenced in yard and my dogs frequently plan escape attempts…they are bird dogs and are obsessed with birds. Ironically, they will escape and come immediately to the garage door. Escapes have been by scaling the wood pile or head-butting a weak post, but usually it’s human error- one of the kids in the neighborhood leaves it open. They don’t like to leave us (they follow me from room to room) and are well trained. There comes a time you have to trust your dog- they are no longer puppies. It is VERY much like raising children.

  36. Michelle November 6, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    I absolutely do not think that dogs should be Free Range in the same way kids are, unless you are sure you live in an area where letting your dog run loose isn’t going to cause trouble for your neighbors. Dogs are not as capable of controlling their annoying behavior as children are, and other people have a right to expect you to keep your dog contained. A lot of people in my neighborhood don’t seem to understand this, and it causes huge problems.

    It should be OBVIOUS that you shouldn’t let dangerous dogs run free. Someone in the neighborhood next to ours has pit bulls that they let loose all the time. These dogs have menaced the neighborhood children, and killed one of my dogs (the one and only time he managed to escape my yard).

    A lot of people in my neighborhood like to walk their dogs off leash, despite our leash laws. This is a HUGE nuisance, because not every dog likes other dogs. So when I am out walking my German Shepherd and some unleashed little yip yap dog runs over, jumping up on him and barking, he freaks out. My dog is big, and he CAN kill your dog. He’s actually very sweet and obedient, and I do everything I can to control him, but it’s not fair to either him or me to have to deal with your little unleashed rat jumping all over us. It doesn’t matter how sweet and innocent you think your little precious is, he’s scaring my dog, and my dog can swallow him in one bite. (And pulling my dog away doesn’t help if your UNLEASHED dog just follows us.)

    Then there are the smaller things, like dogs making messes in people’s yard, and chasing runners. (I’ve never run past an unleashed dog that didn’t follow me at least a little way.) These aren’t things that you can say, “Well, my dog wouldn’t do that.” Because that’s what dogs do.

    However, if you keep your dog in the yard or on a leash, and you are reasonably sure he isn’t getting out and terrorizing the neighbors, the idea that you need to turn your yard into a maximum security prison is just crazy.

  37. suze November 6, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    Thanks Michelle…. you just saved me a lot of typing. I agree with you 100%. I could have written that same post word for word… just changing the fact that we had a Rottweiler in the house behind us and he growled constantly at my son and us. We told the neighbours to keep the dog in one Saturday afternoon while we put up a 6 foot fence to feel safe IN OUR OWN YARD.

    They proceeded to get rid of the dog two weeks later as they claimed we were the last straw. It wasn’t worth having this type of dog terrorizing neighbours (it had done other things also) and have people dislike them.

    And I’m shocked at Lenore for thinking dogs should be “free range”…. Really?

    Bottom line…. if you can’t walk your dog ON A LEASH everyday then it should be in a fenced/contained back yard. Why is it all of you think this is so unreasonable. Give your heads a shake !!!!

  38. Melissa November 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Depending on where you live and the size of your dog and the temperament of your dog should determine whether you supervise your dog. I had a friend with a five pound Chihuahua who we would supervise when we took it to the backyard as we had a Hawk that would watch it and dived at it a couple times, other than that dogs should be allowed in a backyard unsupervised as long as they are not barking or growling to disturb neighbors. We currently have a little dog (five pounds) who we let out in the backyard unsupervised whenever he would like. He has a great time chasing lizards and other things (like grasshoppers).

  39. BL November 6, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    “And I’m shocked at Lenore for thinking dogs should be “free range”…. Really?”

    I don’t think she’s against regular fences, though I have a neighbor who’s trained his last three dogs to stay on his property without a fence (unless he escorts them).

    But floodlights? Privacy fences? Constant watching?

  40. Stephanie November 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    @Melissa – EXACTLY. Just like with free-range parenting, the idea is to know your dog. Some dogs are escape artists – My sister-in-law’s rottweiler will scale our 4′ chain link fence, so no way in hell will I let him out there unsupervised if we’re watching him. But my pointer is so co-dependent that not only has he never made an escape attempt, he rarely wants to be outside without us! And he’s normally so captivated by the birds and bunnies and squirrels (but because he’s a pointer, he will simply hold a point for a long time and not chase them) that he can’t be bothered with dogs or people that walk by (unless it’s his BFF Dylan, the German shepherd who lives next door – then he gets SUPER excited).

    Just like some kids can be trusted with more independence than others depending on their maturity levels and previous experiences, some dogs are totally fine alone in the yard and others need closer supervision. But I’m in favor of leash laws for the most part (the obvious exception being farms and such), because they protect EVERYONE, including the dogs.

  41. Warren November 6, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    As usual, people here are trying to make one size fits all rule.
    Different settings require different measures. Different dogs require different measures.

    As far as people jogging and biking by where my dogs can see and chase them. Well my dogs are within their rights and doing exactly what I want them to do. Why? Because you would be about 500 yards onto my property, and therefore tresspassing. Different settings.

    @suze,, Lenore wasn’t saying to let your dogs roam the city free range. She was drawing a comparison. The constant supervision while in a fenced backyard……..sound familiar.

    And for these people that think they are going to be attacked by the dog that chases them while jogging or bike riding……….sorry but you are paranoid. If that dog wanted to taste your butt, it would have on the first day. Yes they can be annoying, I understand fully, but they are not a danger.

  42. Lollipoplover November 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    No one is saying let dogs roam free. Dogs are pets. Owners are ultimately responsible for everything they do. But that should not require some Mission Impossible security set-up for a dog in a backyard. It comes down to training the dog and respecting your neighbors.

    I take my two puppies to play with my sister’s dog at her township dog park. It is open to everyone and separates the dogs by size into two enclosures. The rules are posted (pick up after your dog, no kids under 10) that everyone follows and it is a great place for the dogs to run free.
    My township announced the opening of a dog park this Fall next to the fields where my kids play soccer. I saw the park and it is GORGEOUS- two acres of beautiful space surrounded by park lands. I immediately wanted to take my dogs there…and TRIED to sign up online. First, there was a fee per dog, per year- $60. The rest of it was mind boggling:
    “Bring your registration form, waiver, copies of your vaccination documentation and dog license receipt, and your original orientation certificate to the Township Building or Off-Site Registration location.”
    There is a 2 hour orientation that was required BEFORE you could register your dogs…to watch dogs run and play with other dogs. Would they cover humping? That’s always awkward. Over sniffing?
    I don’t know because I refused to sign up. I’ll head to the public park and take my chances.

  43. Yan Seiner November 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    I sent the article to Lenore. The sad thing is that what they advocate is actually pretty good – except for the floodlights, which are over the top.

    But when you couch perfectly reasonable precautions (fence your yard and keep the gate closed if you have a dog) in the language of fear and danger, you lose the message.

    Things like “exercise with minimal danger” – that says that danger is always present, and that we have to do our utmost to minimize it, by hovering over our dog every second he’s outside. How about accepting the danger, removing the really bad things from your dog’s reach, and then letting him be a dog?

    As I wrote to Lenore in a follow-up email, our dog is a working dog, bred to work for many hours every day. He needs to run, to explore, and to work off some energy. Constantly supervising him results in a bored frustrated dog that will chew your house to bits. We suspect that’s why he was turned in; in his first few weeks he tried to eat half the house before he figured out that there’s a backyard where he can run by himself.

    Strictly following this hover policy will result in a bored, frustrated, destructive dog that will be returned to the shelter as a problem dog.

    And for those who say that dogs need to be leashed while outside, I agree 100% with you. Either your dog has to be under full voice control (very rare) or needs to be leashed whenever he’s outside the fence.

  44. Rachel November 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    Not all dogs are created equal. I have a grey wolf cross who will do anything in his power to chase a rodent. In his youth he scaled the smooth side of a 7′ high privacy fence, and once chased a squirrel up a tree until he got stuck, 6 feet up (the other people walking around that corner of Golden Gate Park had quite a story to tell, I’m sure). He cannot be unsupervised outdoors unless he is on our steel, overhead cable run, and even then I have to be able to hear him. My Sheltie/Pomeranian cross on the other hand practically has to be forced out of the house. Leaving her unsupervised outdoors is scarcely an option, because the anxiety turns her inside out (we are working on her confidence and separation issues).

    Caring for dogs with the same degree of care and responsibility you would apply to a child is the good and considerate thing to do, both for the dogs and for the neighborhood, but it has to be practical, and one size rules fit none.

  45. linvo November 6, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    I agree with keeping dogs safe by having a fence around your yard, because you can never really teach them traffic safety. I don’t think Lenore ever meant that Freerange dogs should be the same as Freerange kids. And I have to add that my dog sees roads as a boundary when I am with her. She will chase birds on the oval and stops dead when they fly across the road. But I wouldn’t trust her to do that without me there…

    Supervising your dog in your backyard at all times is just ludicrous. It is way more likely they’ll hurt themselves when locked in the house by themselves anyway! My dog loves spending hours outside jumping up at the possums on the wires on warm evenings. No floodlights either!

    I do walk my dog off leash, a lot. But I have trained my dog so she comes immediately when I call, she doesn’t chase people AND she is never allowed to walk up to dogs on leash. I don’t even have to call her anymore, she just ignores leashed dogs automatically. I find the “always walk your dog on a leash” quite sad, personally. And I find it underestimates dogs’ ability to learn rules and obedience. So yes, I do find there is a similarity to helicopter parenting here. I trust my dog to be able to make the right decisions because she can learn which ones gain her rewards and which ones result in punishment. She is simply not as stupid and helpless as some people think dogs are. And neither am I as a dog owner for that matter.

  46. Yan Seiner November 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    @Linvo: I think I’ll have to wait a bit to try the off-leash routine. Our new rescue is a German Shorthair Pointer, and when he’s on point (ie spotted a small furry animal) *nothing* will stop him, including stepping on glass or thorns. He will gimp along with a chunk of glass in his foot, but will not slow down; he won’t even stop to look at his foot. Thus the leash. 🙂

    But yes, with dogs as with children, the personality of the dog should dictate the actions you take with him/her.

  47. linvo November 6, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    I wanted to add that we ended up getting a rescue dog from a tiny organisation that didn’t seem to have any rules about adoption at all. I know for sure that most other rescue orgs would’ve never let this dog go to a family with kids under 10 or 12. Because she was WILD. She jumped up at, (lovingly) nipped and violently licked everyone in sight. But I got her anyway because apart from that she was perfect for us. She hurt my then 6yo daughter so many times in the first months we had her. But my daughter – true to form – put up with it like a trooper because she understood the dog didn’t know any better and training takes time. After lots of trial and error we finally found a sure way to teach her not to jump up at us. I also had to do some inventive training to teach the dog to just keep away from kids we met outside of our home because she was a great knocker-over of kids and they weren’t all as forgiving as my little animal lover, which is fair enough.

  48. linvo November 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Yan, my previous dog was a hunting dog (lurcher), so I get that. It is why I went for a working dog mix this time round. And even though she loves chasing too, it isn’t quite as “blind instinct” as with my old dog.

  49. Doris November 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

    To those who say go to the county shelter, no way! They are just as bad as the other locations, as of almost 8 years ago when my son wanted a dog…we ended up buying one cuz we had/have no fence….

  50. LRH November 6, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    Warren I tend to agree with almost everything you say, but there is an exception here.

    Regarding a dog chasing someone while bike-riding or jogging–assuming I’m on the public road vs within your private property, they have no business doing anything but shutting their pie hole & minding their own business. Even if they’re not DANGEROUS, and it’s just a yorkie being a yapper, I think it’s just plain rude for them to do that & the owner to do nothing. Yes there is a difference between that vs a large dog trying to harm you, but I think both are indicative of irresponsible dog behavior.


  51. Warren November 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    LRH, I agreed that they are annoying. I was just stating that they were not dangerous.

    If in the city, I would have a fenced yard. But I would not stop my dogs from barking at passerbys. That is there contribution to the household. Security.

  52. Beth November 6, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    @Suze, you completely missed the point that the rescue organization required that a dog, in a fenced-in yard, must be supervised at all times. No one ever said that dogs should run free, not Lenore, not anyone. What is being said is that if you have a dog, or a child!, that is responsible and obedient enough to stay within the fences, it is OK to go inside and make dinner, or read, or dust, or whatever you have to do. Neither the dog nor the kid needs eyes on them every second.

  53. Really Bad Mum November 6, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    hahahahaaha… just read through the application form on the website…. I found the smoking status question the funniest, then I checked my local rescue shelter website… (K9 Rescue Group) * Western Australia* the difference is huge, and I know they don’t reject people for petty reasons because everyone I know who has adopted through them has been approved, regardless of if they are smokers or not lol.

  54. LRH November 6, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    Warren I am not the mayor of a city, neither are you nor any of the others I presume, but if I WERE mayor, it would be the law that no dog can ever bark at anything. Nothing. Ever. To me, a person should be able to stroll in their neighborhood & enjoy that stroll peacefully, not have to hear “YAP! YAP! YAP!” all the time. To me that’s noise pollution.

    If you, or another, says that such is taking it too far, you know “gee whiz, it’s not a library, there will always be some amoutn of ‘ambient noise,’ ” I agree actually. I’m just saying that I don’t think we take noise pollution seriously enough in the USA, we do too much expecting people to tolerate it because “that’s life.” To the citizen who would say “I want them barking for security,” my reply would be “that’s overridden by someone’s right to peace & quiet. Go to Home Depot & get a burglar alarm.”


  55. Really Bad Mum November 6, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    LRH, In Australia you can get fined by the ranger if your dog barks all the time, most dogs that are not neglected and that are trained properly only bark at certain times. Our 7 month old german shepherd rarely barks, and I have gone to the neighbours and asked if he barks while we aren’t home and they said no. When he does bark I go and check because something will be wrong ( bob-tail lizard in backyard, strange dog out the front, etc). tell those idiots that let their dogs bark all the time that it defeats the purpose as then they won’t know when something is wrong because they let their dog bark at everything not just unfamilar things.

  56. Donna November 6, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

    Well then, I’m sure most of the people in the world are probably pretty darn happy that you are not mayor, LRH. People have a right to own dogs. Dogs bark. Your right to peace and quiet doesn’t actually overrule their right to own a dog. Nor does it overrule their right to use the dog as protection. Dog owners and non-dog owners should be considerate and tolerant of each other. If you can’t do so, then YOU should buy hundreds of acres of land in the middle of nowhere so that you can build a house in the center and own no dogs so dogs cannot bother you. The rest of the world need not give up their right to own dogs to satisfy you.

  57. Warren November 6, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    Never bark at anything. Nothing ever? Really? Sorry, get a life. I don’t know about you, but I have never met a dog I didn’t like, and vice versa. If a dog gets excited and starts barking, or whining, or whatever as I pass by, I enjoy stopping for a second to get to know him/her.
    Dogs that bark non stop without something that stimulated the barking, are problems, and they should be dealt with. Dogs barking at specific stimuli is not a problem. If you feel that way, then buy ear plugs. My dogs will continue to alert me to people coming. They will continue to deter unlawful entry, as compared to an alarm going off, after the fact.
    You want peace and quiet buy 100 acres, live in the middle of it.
    An alarm will not take a chunk out of an intruder, my Pyrenese will. Alarms can be bypassed. Dogs cannot. There is no comparison. Intruders upon hearing dogs will always just pick another target, as it is way too much hassle to deal with dogs.
    Just for the record, people have tried to take owners of barking dog owners to court, and as long as they are only barking at some form of stimuli, they haven’t been deemed against noise bylaws.
    So for the person who thinks they have a right to absolute peace and quiet, my reply is “get some good earplugs, and sucks to be you.”

  58. Lollipoplover November 6, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    My dogs will bark when anyone comes near our yard. Just a standard two barks to alert me, but they are nanny dogs and usually the kids are out playing with them. A persistent bark is for when there is a stranger near. My neighbor (who they bark to greet) appreciated it when his shed was entered by some teenagers a few weeks ago. He heard the dogs barking up a storm and looked out to see his shed door open. The kids ran off and nothing was missing but he was grateful for the built in security that alert dogs bring to the neighborhood. He gives them treats all the time.

    As for dogs and their safety requirements, has anyone seen this?

  59. linvo November 6, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    I just read their application form too. They require you to list in depth details on all the animals you have owned in the past 15 years!!! And in some cases you have to provide contact details of your previous landlord? WTF?

    As for the food stuff. I feed my current dog and cat on a raw meat and supplement diet. My previous dog did very well on supermarket dog food though. If it’s a choice between being put to sleep because they cannot find a home or eating rubbish food, I know which one the dog would choose!!!

  60. Really Bad Mum November 6, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    lol….. oh yeah there was that goldfish that died from lung cancer after it took up smoking because we feed it at a diferent time from the pet shop and the stress was too much for it……….

  61. linvo November 6, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    And seatbelts for pets are mandatory in Australia, I believe. Or at least in some states. It’s not just to protect your pet, it is more to protect the people in the car from getting a dog catapulted at them in the event of a crash. Also great for preventing an excitable dog from jumping out the window of a moving car to chase cats or bunnies.

  62. LRH November 6, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    Warren and Donna as it turns out, I have about 80-odd acres of land, and yes, it’s quiet here, but I think it should be that way everywhere I’m at, so long as I’m not within someone’s private property. Telling someone to “buy earplugs” is to deny the reality that noise pollution is just that–it’s POLLUTION.

    If you are referring to a dog that every now & then puts up just the slightest amount of fuss over something specific, but then gets over it quickly, I would tend to agree with you. The problem is that, if you’re the neighbor of such a person, such dogs often-times don’t stop there. They go on & on & on & on & on & on–get it?–and the owner replies as you state, “buy earplugs.” Really? Would they feel the same way if I turned up loud music?

    Again, if someone just does a little music now & then, say, on 4th of July or New Year’s Eve, grant some leeway–but if it sounds like you live next door to Dennis Rodman, yes, that’s noise pollution.

    As for the walking in the neighborhood–it’s one thing if you have one person with a “yapper” but otherwise you’re able to take a stroll in the neighborhood and enjoy a peaceful walk. But if you’ve experienced it as I have before, where EVERYBODY’S dog does that and your nice peaceful walk has turned into an excursion that sounds like you live next door to a dog kennel–sorry, even though at that point I’m not on my own property, I do regard that as noise pollution. And yes, I think the right of a person–not just me, ANY person–to take a stroll in a neighborhood and not have to year “YAP! YAP! YAP! YAP! YAP!” practically the entire way trumps the right of every single one of those people to own noisy dogs which do this.

    And again, not always but often-times, the same people who do that are the same ones that don’t think anything of letting their dogs run loose & then have the nerve to blame it on you for daring to jog on that street. They’re the same ones who bring their dogs to public events, their dogs yap at the other dogs and make it noisy, and they do NOTHING to make their dog be quiet out of consideration towards people who didn’t go there to hear a dog barking contest.

    I can say all of this for one reason especially–yes, I have a dog, and I have absolutely trained to do one thing before it does anything else–shut the every loving phuk up. I don’t want to EVER, not for one second out of 10,000 years, hear a single sound of it. Ever. If it can’t do that, I would be at the shelter in 10 seconds finding it a new owner. It entertains the kids and brings them joy and happiness. It doesn’t have the right to pollute these 80 acres with noise pollution over some stupid squirrel that doesn’t mean dip to me just because it’s stupid enough to not know any better. I DO know better, and that’s all that’s necessary.

    As I’ve told other people–I’m really easy to get along with regarding practically everything. I know the world doesn’t revolve around me. But I’ll be darned if I should have to hear dogs yapping every other second at nothing. Again, the OCCASIONAL little bit that lasts maybe a minute & then that’s it, fine, but when it’s “yap yap yap yap” all the time, no, can’t have it.

    In fact, I am told in Sicily you can go to JAIL for noisy barking dogs, although as you sort of allude to it probably has to do with non-stop barking, not the occasional outburst that’s quickly over. I think that should be the law absolutely EVERYWHERE.


  63. Really Bad Mum November 6, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    linvo, I think it’s only for dogs on the back of utes. at least in WA. which is fair enough as they can jump off too easily and get hurt or cause an accident,

  64. LRH November 6, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    Really Bad Mum Shorter answer, I promise.

    What you are describing sounds perfectly reasonable. As much as it would please me to never hear the noise of a bark again, period, there is something to be said for being reasonable. I once had a neighbor with a dog & that dog barked for maybe 60 seconds once a month. Almost for sure, what that dog was doing was barking at the guy stopping by to read the gas meter or whatever. Otherwise, it was dead silent all the time.

    Believe me, I would have never dared complain about that. I mean gee whiz, 60 seconds of barking out of a 30 day period? What more can you ask for?

    The problem is that, in my experience, such is rare. More commonly, again, my experience–the person who WANTS the dog to bark at every passerby, often-times such persons live on a busy & there’s a passerby every minute. One guy had a dog who did that, which meant there was constant barking. When I complained, he had the nerve to blame it on the reality that people passed by his place–in the city, on a public street–and that it upset his dog. So basically, he was saying the dog’s feelings were more important than the rights of people to walk on a city street. Typical animal rights wackos.

    When you mentioned how non-stop barking tends to dilute the meaning–think of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”–such scenarios are exactly what I’m referring to. They absolutely should be dealt with. People who justify constant yapping over paranoia over an intruder, my reply–your irrational paranoia doesn’t make it okay to pollute the entire neighborhood with noise over something that isn’t likely to ever happen anyway.


  65. Really Bad Mum November 6, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    They also tend to stir up the other dogs in the area, and I’ve found these sort of people also ignore leash laws and let their little yappy dogs run out and charge at any dog that goes by, then when my german shepherd ( who thinks the dog is playing) tries to chase it ( he is on leash so he doesn’t get very far) they scream that he tried to attack their little rat… I mean dog lol.

  66. CrazyCatLady November 7, 2012 at 12:25 am #

    Lollypoplover and Beth, actually, at least one person on here early on said that they let their dog roam free with the neighborhood dogs. And the dogs all come home when the bus comes. They may think that their dogs are acting like Clifford, but in reality they are probably getting into some sort of trouble – trash cans, peeing on people’s tires so that is nasty when they need to be changed, getting into compost, chasing cats or wildlife. That person should be putting a pet cam on their dog to see what is actually happening.

    Another person said that when they were kids all the dogs roamed free and they were not a problem. When I was a kid, a couple of dogs roaming free came and killed our chickens. We told the people to keep their dogs chained/fenced. The second time my step-father shot them and we dumped them in the quarry across the county. This happened several times. Shoot, shovel and shut up.

  67. Donna November 7, 2012 at 12:29 am #

    LRH – Then your insistence on quiet would be interfering with my right to hear noise. I like noise. I’m a city girl at heart. I get creeped out when it is too quiet. As long as they aren’t barking incessantly, I like to hear dogs barking, cats meowing, kids playing, my neighbor’s guitar playing, etc. I like hearing human life going on around me. Your peace and quiet is absolute torture for me.

    So I choose where I live. I live in the city. I live right downtown. There is never dead silence. I don’t go to the country and complain about the silence in the country. If I go into the country, I accept that there will be little human noise.

    You need to equally choose where you exist. If you need quiet every second of the day, remain where there is quiet every second of the day. But don’t come into my realm and complain about the noise that I enjoy.

  68. CrazyCatLady November 7, 2012 at 12:52 am #

    Well, LRH, I hope I don’t end up living next to you. I have dogs, and the dogs have a job – to protect my farm animals. It is their job to bark and warn off predators. They bark at night…when the coyotes, badgers, skunks, raccoons and other varmints are out and trying to dig their way into the pen with my birds. If your state is a right to farm state, I have the right to have them.

    I will do my darnedest to make sure they stay on my property and not bother you. But like the roosters that crow, they will bark some. Every night. I will do the following: If you walk by, and I know you, I will tell the dogs that you are “OK” (meaning, shut up.) They will learn. I will also go out, or look out, to see what they are barking at. I don’t want them barking at the neighbor getting out of their car. I will take my night vision binoculars and see what the fuss is during the night….but within reason. If they are really loud and insistent, I will be out there with the shotgun to help them get rid of the predators. Mostly though, although my neighbors have lost about 20 hens in the last two years to a badger (hens inside the houses at night) the badger stays away from my property because of my dogs.

    You don’t have to worry about me and dogs (and geese and ducks) if you live in an area with covenants or HOAs. I will never live there. I want to live where people are fine with people having animals (that stay on their own property) and where people don’t hassle each other over how high the grass is or other silly stuff like building a car in the drive way. (Which I am pretty sure one son and maybe my daughter, will want to do.)

    I don’t want my dogs to bother you, I just want them to do the job they have been bred to do.

  69. LivinginVA November 7, 2012 at 12:58 am #

    We had the same issue when we wanted to adopt a kitten because they wanted us to promise it would only be an indoor cat.

  70. Really Bad Mum November 7, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    Donna, I think LRH is talking about those dogs that never stop barking day or night…. we have one near our house and it drives you insane, I could quiet happily wring that stupid dogs neck, and the stupid woman that owns it.

  71. Gina November 7, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    LRH–I have 5 dogs, If I hear them barking, I bring them inside. Sometimes I don’t hear them right away…life goes on. Dogs bark.

    BUT…YOU KEEP YOUR DOG TIED UP when it’s in your yard? I think that borders on abuse. I am so appalled I can’t even find the words.

  72. Really Bad Mum November 7, 2012 at 1:39 am #

    LRH I agree with what your saying. No dog should be allowed to bark either at things or people just passing by… UNLESS a stranger tries to enter the property or to communicate a need/warning to an owner.
    Gina, alot of farm dogs are tied up on their property, as long as they have food, water, shelter and are exercised then it doesn’t come close to abuse. If a dog is allowed to roam free on a property and get “blooded” they will have to be destroyed as they will always attack livestock after that. And it can happen easily as they are dogs… they have dog instincts. Our friends had to destroy their dog because of it. And LRH lives on 80 acres so I’m assuming there is livestock somewhere in the area.

  73. LRH November 7, 2012 at 2:01 am #

    Really Bad Mum You are basically right. Yes I have stated that I would like to never have to hear a dog bark, EVER, but I realize that’s sort of an over-idealized standard that can’t be reasonably met. In reality, I’ve found that if they just bark for a minute or so & then get over whatever is irritating them, I’m fine most times. But when it’s more frequent than that, I’m just like you said–I could wring its neck, and its owner’s neck too. (In fact, arguably, the owner’s neck is the MAIN one you should wanting to wring.)

    Gina Yes, “dogs bark.” Tigers maul. Cats paw up the hood of your nice car, make noise too if they’re in heat & not fixed, and get in your rosebushes. Those are all considered nuisances. And please don’t start the “tethering” preaching. I would say those who have large dogs confined to a 10 foot square space & never allowed out of it even for an occasional walk (mine gets 60 feet & frequent un-leashed walks on 80 acres) are the ones more worthy of scorn. “Tethering” is very common & often-times the only option & if the chain or whatever is generously long & done right to where they don’t get tangled etc, I see no problem with it. But anyway.

    Anyway, LivinginVA that’s silly as well. Cats, if they don’t put pawprints on the hood of their neighbor’s cars or such, should be able to frolick outside. Expecting the cat to always be indoors is silly.


  74. ValerieH November 7, 2012 at 2:05 am #

    I am fortunate that we could afford to buy our German Shepherd puppy from a breeder. I applied at dozens of rescue orgs. Many of them never responded, even though they kept posting new animals on petfinder.org. I filled out a 12 page questionnaire. They called my vet about my deceased 15 year old dog (1996-2012), and then asked me why the dog didn’t get frontline in 2008!
    The breeder was great to deal with. I got the dog I wanted with less chance of behavior problems because it was a puppy.

    It’s really sad for those dogs that can’t find homes. I suppose the rescue organizations do see very sad situations. When all you see is bad situations, you are predisposed to assume there will be more of the same. They don’t trust people anymore.

  75. Really Bad Mum November 7, 2012 at 2:20 am #

    LRH lol, I feel that way about 14 year old girls……. it would be so nice to never have to listen to them whinge and bitch hahaha..

  76. CJB November 7, 2012 at 2:29 am #

    We have a HERD of 4 dogs and 1 cat. Every stinking one of them is a rescue – as well as the other 10 that have passed through our home in just the past 5 years. YES we have a fence, however we just built it a few years ago. Prior to that we walked… a lot. I agree that it is about being good neighbors to not let your dog roam, pester and annoy.

    The most recent acquisition?? had bit AT a 5-yo child – she now has a RED FLAG on her file as “no children”. No mention that said 5-yo child had a toy and was beating the dog with it. The parent witnessed the incident AND told me the entire story , the dog did not break skin nor draw blood – it doesn’t matter “no children”. Hopefully she will find the right, new home. Until then she has us.

    Saph – is a livestock guarding dog… that came to us – afraid of thunder. SO, she LIVES outside all day / all night but if there is a forecast of thunder, she comes inside, goes downstairs and tucks into her safe place until it passes.

    Co – well, they acquired two very rambunctious puppies but only had the energy to keep up with one. So one had to go. We got the worlds best barker!!

    Nala – she had already been through 4 homes at less than 1 year old. She is an ESCAPE ARTIST. There is no keeping her home. WHEN she get’s out – she will be gone: 6 hours if alone, 24 hours if someone goes out with her. 🙂 After that time, she will be back on the front porch looking for a drink & covered w/ ticks. Our Fence & Gate you ask? She stands up and works the latch. ok, added 2 Cane Bolts. She can get it just twist open wide enough to get out. OK, then add a padlock. This morning I busted her trying to push through the slats. Good thing I put them on the INSIDE of the gate!! Found out the hard way that one of my neighbors was terrified of her. She called me screaming that my dog was at her front door and she was very concerned for her safety. I walked over and did the introductions. Gave the neighbor a simple command that will send Nala “home”…. All is much better now with the neighbor. In fact, a week later, she busted Nala “out” and brought her back home, opened the gate to let her back in!! 🙂

    The cat? He was found at a warehouse in the middle of the night, too young to be away from his mother (not feral). My sweetie cleaned him up and brought him home. Currently and In/Out cat that keeps the dogs in line.

    Almost took in a new kitten this weekend – similar scenario except it happened to ME. Luckily a girlfriend was also there and in the market for their son. The kitten joined THEIR herd instead of mine. 🙂

    NO they are not my kids, they are my pets. YES I pay vet bills but I am not going to go broke for them.

  77. Really Bad Mum November 7, 2012 at 3:07 am #

    CJB, Is Nala a working breed? Blue heelers, border collies etc sometimes escape coz they need to work…. maybe try and find her a home on a farm or station, my friends border collie started rounding up the kids he would nip at their heels until he had them in a group because it was his natural instinct and there were no sheep around lol.
    It’s funny how you only hear about the dog attacking the kid never what the kid did to the dog.

  78. Warren November 7, 2012 at 3:25 am #

    Again, non stop barking for no reason, other than to hear their own voice, is a problem. More so a symptom of a much bigger problem, that needs to be dealt with.

    My dogs will continue to bark at peoples approach to our property. As soon as someone turns on our drive, they know. Alot sooner than I ever could. They will bark when playing with the kids. The sound of them barking combined with the kids laughter is NOT POLLUTION, it is music to my ears. We have all sorts of wildlife around us, and some are predators. Pyrenese are a livestock protector. She will bark and put the run on any predator. Lately though she hasn’t needed to. I guess the word is out, that this is her territory.

    The idea of having a dog, just to leave it outside, tied up, all the time other than walks……….well why even have one.

    The definition of unconditional love is dog. No matter how bad a day you are having. No matter what kind of mood you are in. No matter if you are sick, tired, angry, just lost your job, just wrecked your car, or whatever. None of that matters to a dog. They are just simply happy you are home.

    Now if you will excuse me, I have to go and move our three dogs, so that I can crawl into bed, beside my wife.

  79. Jamie November 7, 2012 at 3:28 am #

    We have a 12 year old lab mutt, who is incredibly well behaved and incredibily spoiled. I let her out into our rather large backyard (fence on one side forest on two others and plenty of front yard before she gets to the street) without supervision. She’s fine; she does her business runs around a bit and comes back to the door when she’s ready. She’s also good at voice control, just about anywhere but the beach (she keeps wanting to run back to the car). We had a dog when I was younger that would escape the fence every chance she got. It’s totally subjective to the dog.

    We tried to adopt a shelter cat when I was in middle school and was denied because my parents had given the “escapee” dog away like 10 years prior. (My folks got a divorce and my mom couldn’t have the dog at her apartment and my dad traveled a lot for work.)

  80. LRH November 7, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    Well Warren Good for you like dogs so much, but not everyone else is like that. If you have neighbors around you that don’t like the barking, then it’s your place to make your dogs shut up. Your neighbors don’t need earplugs, they have a RIGHT to not have to put up with it the same way that you have a right not to have to listen to them blaring Aerosmith or Jay-Z at 3 in the morning.

    If you aren’t having that problem for whatever reason–you have plenty of space for there to be no one to complain to start with, you have neighbors but they’re okay with it because they look at it the same way as you do–then fine, no problem. One of my best friends is a dog lover & proudly declares how he got 70-odd acres of lands so he could have dogs free to do whatever without neighbors griping about it. We’re still best friends.

    But the minute someone next to you gets tired of “yap yap yap yap,” you’re a premium item in the jerkstore if you consider your dog’s right to bark more important than your neighbor’s right to not have noise pollution entering their yard. Even if the laws allow you this privilege, they’re wrong, they shouldn’t. It is a just plain common sense that if you have a dog, cat, goat, rooster, ANY animal making noise that is frequent & trespasses into someone else’s space, you make it stop. No excuses. Period. Heck, in some places, you can even be cited for light trespass if you have bright spotlights in your yard & it lights up your neighbor’s yard as well then they wish to be left out of it.

    Now, you have stated yourself that even you regard persistent noise as a problem. That’s good. If your dogs aren’t barking anymore than, say, 2-3 minutes total the entire day, that’s probably fine. But if they bark so much over every little thing–sorry, the people around you (if there are any) are under no obligation to have to listen to it.


  81. linvo November 7, 2012 at 4:04 am #

    Really Bad Mum: “alot of farm dogs are tied up on their property, as long as they have food, water, shelter and are exercised then it doesn’t come close to abuse”

    Yes because they are FARM DOGS and WORK all day!

    Pet peeve of mine. Lots of Australians come up with the farm dog argument as an excuse to neglect their dogs in suburbia. I cannot think about an environment more different to a farm than the suburbs and allowing a dog to get bored out of its brain IS abuse. I am actually against having outside only dogs UNLESS it’s a farm dog that gets worked every day or if you have a pack of dogs. Other than that, the “it’s natural” argument does not apply because dogs are not solitary animals in the wild. Hence their need to be part of the human family as an alternative to a doggy pack.

  82. CrazyCatLady November 7, 2012 at 4:16 am #

    CJB, our Livestock Guard Dog (Akbash/.Akita mix) is also great at getting out. Once he found a hole in the fence, he kept looking for more until we started up the electric fence. (That really hurt his feelings.)

    We have chain link around the yard. I accused the kids of leaving the gates open (they have the “U” shaped drop down type of fastening.) Then one day I saw him nosing it open…so we put “u” shaped wire into the holes to lock them. The dogs were still getting out, more this time of neighbor kids coming over while we were out and our own forgetting to lock the gates. We now have padlocks on the gates, and double gates/doors going to the driveway/back porch. Oh, and that same dog figured out as soon as he was tall enough how to open doors…well, at least the ones with lever style handles, which all of the outside garage and porch doors had so that they could be opened when you are wearing mittens.

    Those LGD are smart. Smart, but listen about as well as a cat when they get an idea in their head. But that is a good part of what makes them such good guard dogs. They lay around like the sheep dog on Bugs Bunny, then suddenly they are there beating up the coyote! But during the day when things are slow…sleeping like the dead, usually in front of the door so they can also guard their humans.

  83. Really Bad Mum November 7, 2012 at 4:35 am #

    Did u read the part where I said they need exercise? How bout the part where LRH said they live on 80 acres? People that put dogs out the back and ignore them from then on shouldn’t have dogs but treating a like a dog and having it live outside with appropriate shelter and attention is not abuse or neglect. Tying a dog up 24/7 is cruel. But tying a dog on an appropriate length tether at certain times for its own safety or the safety of others is responsible. Dogs like children don’t need to be with you constantly,

  84. Warren November 7, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    LRH, if you have nothing better to do with your time than to time the amount of barking a dog does over the course of a day, then you have more problems, than just poor attitude.

    My dogs bark when they are supposed to, and when they are having fun with each other and the kids. You don’t like it, then too bad, sucks to be you. 2-3 minutes a day? Really?
    Sorry Lenore, but this time calls for it.
    LRH, you are a selfrighteous, twit.
    I have great respect for our neighbours as they do for us. Some have dogs and some don’t.
    But they all have an IQ larger than their hat size, and during the day don’t give a crap if dog’s bark at kids, each other or wildlife. The only time they bark at night is when the local wildlife comes in too close.

    One of the reasons why we can have free range kids on our rural road, is because the dogs, and their barking keep the predators away. So take your holierthanthou attitude and keep barking up the wrong tree.

  85. Really Bad Mum November 7, 2012 at 4:55 am #

    Plus Cesar the dog whisper says in nature dog need and like alone time. So as long as its needs are met and it has daily attention and exercise, it is natural for them to be alone at times and is not neglect a dog that needs to be with you 24/7 is unbalanced and has problems.

  86. fighting for my children November 7, 2012 at 4:57 am #

    Are u freaking kidding me? Between supervising the kids AND the dog at all times how is a parent supposed to get anything done???

  87. Really Bad Mum November 7, 2012 at 5:09 am #

    Warren if you live in a quiet area where there aren’t too many people passing by then it’s not an issue if the dog barks at everyone but LRH i assume is thinking of busy places where there are people passing by the property all day then if your dog barks at every passer by you have problems as it would be constant all day and annoying. It all depends where u live

  88. Lori November 7, 2012 at 5:24 am #

    heck, just do what I did when we wanted to adopt a cat from the rescue – LIE. “I promise my cat will remain indoors at all times.” BS – as long as the weather is nice and they don’t don’t go irritate the neighbors, they need a little fresh air & sunshine just like the rest of us.

    I grew up on a farm & animals were not allowed in the house period. The dog remained outside even in Illinois winter & was just fine. His house was insulated with straw bales & was probably as warm as our house. He was only tied up when we were expecting someone and was a great deterrent to salesmen and Jehovah’s Witnesses!

  89. CrazyCatLady November 7, 2012 at 5:33 am #

    Craig’s List is another place to get free animals in need of homes. Many where I live say that they found the animals. Which, I do think, on the whole, is probably true. Too many people getting laid off right now. People who bought homes thinking, now is the time to get a dog, now that I am not renting…then find themselves having to rent again…in a market that doesn’t like pets or pet owners.

  90. Donna November 7, 2012 at 5:52 am #

    @ Really bad mum – To quote LRH “if I WERE mayor, it would be the law that no dog can ever bark at anything. Nothing. Ever.” I’m not sure from that comment, or any of his others, you are getting that LRH only wants dogs who bark all the time to stop. It is pretty clear that he was NO dogs to bark. EVER.

  91. Donna November 7, 2012 at 6:03 am #

    “Yes, “dogs bark.” Tigers maul. Cats paw up the hood of your nice car, make noise too if they’re in heat & not fixed, and get in your rosebushes. Those are all considered nuisances.”

    They are considered nuisances to YOU, LRH. I don’t consider any of them nuisances unless done to extreme excess. Barking for hours on end is a nuisance. Barking repeatedly during the night is a nuisance. Barking occasionally is life among other people who have a right to own dogs, not a nuisance.

    And I say this as a person who owns a dog that very rarely barks. Every once in awhile, he’ll bark when another dog walks by, but that’s it.

  92. Really Bad Mum November 7, 2012 at 6:16 am #

    Donna it is one sentence that seem more of a tongue in cheek comment. He has said over and over that its not realistic and dogs barking for actual reasons doesn’t bother him but when they never stop does. Bloody hell get over it and read the rest of the posts by him. Anyway if he can’t stand the sound of yapping ( his word) dogs then he can say so. And I agree that yapping dogs that never shut up are noise pollution.

  93. LRH November 7, 2012 at 6:16 am #

    Really Bad Mum Exactly. Ideally yes as Donna said I’d like to see the total abolition of ALL barking, but that’s probably expecting too much. Realistically speaking, eliminate endless yapping & that’s good enough. That’s like saying you’d like to eliminate ALL stop lights but such isn’t practical, but saying you’d like there not to be one every tenth of a mile either.

    The thing is one SHOULD care if their dog barking bothers the neighbors, it is relevant. The attitude of “sucks to be you”–well gee, who would want THAT for a neighbor? I sure wouldn’t. For example where I live I can pop off firecrackers if I wanted to. No laws forbid it. If you lived next door to me & the sound made you nervous because of bad experiences from your being in a war, wouldn’t you appreciate some consideration of that versus me saying “tough” & “it sucks to be you?” That is my point.

    Okay, maybe I’d like some leeway to where I could still enjoy them, say, on the 4th of July, but otherwise, I think even if legally I could continue to pop firecrackers, I’d be a prick to continue to in light of the neighbor’s position. The same goes here. Don’t be a prick.


  94. Donna November 7, 2012 at 6:17 am #

    ” If you have neighbors around you that don’t like the barking, then it’s your place to make your dogs shut up. Your neighbors don’t need earplugs, they have a RIGHT to not have to put up with it the same way that you have a right not to have to listen to them blaring Aerosmith or Jay-Z at 3 in the morning.”

    They have a right to not hear my dog bark frivolously at 3AM (you have no right whatsoever to not hear my dog bark at 3am if someone is breaking into my house at 3 am). They have a right not to hear my dog bark 24/7. They absolutely DO NOT have a right to NEVER hear my dog any more than I have a right to never hear Aerosmith or Jay-Z.

    There are assholes in the world. There have always been assholes. There will always be assholes. Most dog owners are not assholes. They don’t intentionally allow their dogs to be obnoxious to others. If you are bothered by all or most dogs, you have unreasonable expectations for your own peace and quiet.

  95. Really Bad Mum November 7, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    Yeah I get the one arsehole neighbour who does allow her dogs to yap all day and night!

  96. Donna November 7, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    @really bad mum – I’ve been a member of this blog for a several years with LRH. He has consistently and repeatedly expressed his intense hatred of dog barking and his position that he expects to never have to hear them bark. In fact, in about 3 years this is the FIRST time I’ve ever heard him concede that he has no right to expect complete silence from dogs and this topic has come up MANY MANY times and ALWAYS results in paragraphs and paragraphs from LRH about how evil dogs are because they bark. He writes paragraphs about it the second a dog is mentioned in passing in any thread. Even if someone just says “my kid took the dog for a walk alone for the first time today,” LRH will make sure we again know of his intense hatred for dog barking. There have even been mentions by him that dogs should all have their voiceboxes surgically removed so that they cannot ever bark. I don’t believe for a second that LRH is tolerant of ANY dog barking whatsoever.

  97. Really Bad Mum November 7, 2012 at 6:37 am #

    Bit like me and those god damn bloody stupid family stickers except I bitch to anyone that will listen I don’t give a f*** who’s in ur family. But I’m going on what he said in this conversation and what was said not other ones I haven’t read.

  98. linvo November 7, 2012 at 6:42 am #

    I never said dogs had to be with you 24/7? My dog chooses to spend time alone in the backyard. But she can come in when she wants to. I actually let her make a lot of choices because she is not a toddler and I don’t need to tell her what to do all the time. (just like I don’t have to supervise her all the time) As long as she doesn’t bother anyone and doesn’t get into dangerous situations that she is incapable of assessing herself.

    And I’m afraid I do not find anything Cesar Milan says has much value at all. But that really is way off topic.

  99. Nanci November 7, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    I haven’t read the replies but I was laughing so hard at the article! Especially the part about bees gaining access to your yard! What would a poor defenseless doggie do if there was a bee buzzing around and his owner wasn’t nearby LOL!

  100. Really Bad Mum November 7, 2012 at 6:53 am #

    Well that u have your opinion and I have mine all my dogs have been outside only dogs and they have/ are happy and healthy. All my dogs have been working dogs blue heeler, red heeler and now a German shepherd, and there has never been anything close to cruelty in our house because we care for them even though they don’t come inside, we spend a lot of time outside with them. But as I said that’s my opinion.

  101. Really Bad Mum November 7, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    Lol @ nanci, same as if the owner was next to him- try and eat it doing that funny snap with its mouth hahha

  102. Jenny Islander November 7, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    @Nanci: Indeed. I have known at least two dogs who ate bees without apparent ill effect. One of them–no word of a lie–appears to have caught bees with her lips in order to apply the stings to her arthritic forelegs, before crunching them up! (However I couldn’t ask her why she always manipulated the bee between muzzle and legs when she got one, so I can’t prove it.)

    I’ve been told by people who monitor animal rescues and faux rescues that organizations with these bizarrely strict, detailed adoption agreements generally don’t do permanent placements, ever. Either the animal ends up back at the rescue because the owners couldn’t comply with every tiny rule, or no animals ever leave the place. Sometimes these are responsible rescuers who are hopelessly cynical about the intentions of anybody who isn’t them, and sometimes they’re hoarders.

    Something else: Even the most active dog will spend a lot of time just sitting there being, sniffing the air, slipping into and out of sleep, or finding new cool spots to flop in. Is the owner supposed to sit outside for most of the day or force the dog to do the doggy hangout indoors when it would rather smell outside air?

  103. AW13 November 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    I have adopted two cats. One from the pound and one from a rescue. I had to fill out some paperwork at the pound, I think, but it was minimal – just agreeing that I would take the cat to the vet right away for a preliminary check-up or something like that. For the second cat, however, I had to fill out a five page, front and back, questionnaire. I had to list family members and ages, any current pets, what they ate, where they slept, etc. I had to get my landlord’s signature saying that cats were allowed (and that one I understood – we were in a college town and a lot of kids tried to sneak pets past landlords and when caught and threatened with eviction, would return the pet). I had to agree to spaying, not to declaw, and to keep the cat indoors always. I get that the rescue agency wants to find safe, permanent homes for their animals. But the amount of paperwork that goes with this is ridiculous. As is the requirement that the potential owner must be willing to spend X amount of money to care of a sick pet. At the end of the day, no matter how much you love your pet, it is still a pet. If you want to go into debt to provide chemo for your pet, that is your decision, but you are not allowed to force me to do the same. I’d suggest bypassing rescues altogether and heading for the pound. They are usually thrilled to adopt their animals out.

    @Reallybadmum – I hate those damn stickers, too. They’re worse than the “My child is an honor student at blah blah blah” stickers of a few years back.

  104. Emily November 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    Another thing: For the poster who says she allows her children to play outside unsupervised, with her also-unsupervised dog, couldn’t you argue that, in that case, the kids are supervising the dog?

  105. LRH November 7, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    I will do two posts, because otherwise it’s going to become too long.

    First–the sort-of off-topic subject of barking & other such nuisances.

    It may help to provide some background. Right now, as it is, for the most part, I don’t have any problems with barking. I have 80 acres around me, but most of that is BEHIND me; to the other side, there’s someone about 100 yards away. Most of the time they’re fine, but there were problems before which fortunately have cleared up now and all is well. We’re not only CIVIL to each other, but even borderline FRIENDLY, which is great.

    However, I once about 10 years ago lived in a place in the city where certain neighbors had a dog that yapped & yapped at EVERYTHING, & they NEVER made it shut up, ever. I once got so frustrated over it that I actually went into their yard to tell them to make it stop, but they weren’t home, so I actually took the dog by its chain (it was right there) and held its mouth shut and screamed “shut your damn mouth already!!” so loudly you could’ve heard me in Russia. The dog immediately stopped even long after I had let go (I “struck that pose” for maybe 10 seconds), and neighbors who knew I had done that were actually happy saying “we’ve been trying for YEARS to get some peace & quiet around here.”

    In looking back, I could’ve gotten in trouble for that, I should’ve called animal control, but then, the burden for what you have to go through to get something done about dog barking is often-times exhausting. All I wanted was some peace & quiet, and I’m serious, that dog wasn’t barking for a minute, it yapped ALL the stinking time. I agree that there needs to be a process else people could make frivolous claims against each other, but at the same time it’s ridiculous what one has to go through to get relief in such matters. Yet, had I played loud music, I guarantee you relief would’ve come for the other person much easier. I find that inconsistent.

    In other occasions, I’ve had dogs chase me while I’m trying to bicycle on a PUBLIC road, sometimes the dogs have been Great Danes. One place I lived at, not in the city, had neighbors with large & menacing dogs that barked at EVERYTHING and they even trespassed into our yard & scared our girl who was then only a year old (she’s now 5) and they were unapologetic about it & got mad when I told them I’d shoot that dog if it tried to hurt my child–an act which would have been legal, by the way (as well it should, and I checked to make sure). This was a place we rented, & the landlord put the entire onus on me to be tolerant of this, and put ZERO responsibility on them to keep their dogs at least HALFWAY quiet & certainly under enough control to where they couldn’t trespass into our space & be menacing to our CHILD. We moved out, they didn’t want us to, but we did anyway, and made sure they knew this was the reason why.

    One place in town we were looking to rent had neighbors whose dogs barked the ENTIRE TIME I was there checking the place out, an entire half-hour, it never stopped. We checked the place out about 3 times, and it did this every time, & the owner was totally unapologetic about it when told he needed to control it. We didn’t rent there because I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

    There are many other stories just like this we’ve encountered. I could go on all day. The point–it’s been darned near impossible to get some decent peace & quiet and almost every time, an asshole type of dog owner was the reason for it. Where it regards safety, again, it’s always been the dogs that threatened it, with unapologetic owners. It makes no sense, because we have a dog & yet without being cruel or inhumane to it, we’ve managed to train it to keep quiet and not harass people. Don’t tell me it can’t be done.

    We finally got this place with 80 acres around us, and 99.5% of the time it’s been great, but the memories of those bad times are so strong, I can still be a little touchy about it. This may explain how I sometimes get carried away with “there should be NO barking EVER, EVER” and so forth. When you’ve had to deal with so much of it seemingly everywhere, you’re bound to be a little touchy.

    Somebody in here mentioned “shoot, shovel, and shut up” as an approach–you’re darned right. I’m not saying I’ve DONE it, but I certainly don’t blame those who have, if that’s the only way they can get relief, and especially if safety for your children is a factor in it. My kids have the RIGHT to play in our yard, and if anyone fails to control their dog & it trespasses into our space is menacing towards them, they’re a dead damn dog. Period. If it’s a playful dog and isn’t menacing and doesn’t cause problems, then it’s fine, I’m not one prone to get agitated over such at all, believe it or not.

    Now, for the more “on topic” post.


  106. LRH November 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    The things many of you mentioned with regards to the ridiculous questions animal rescue places ask prospective pet owners astounds me. I certainly understand they don’t want to have a pet released to someone who’s going to be downright cruel to it, but their expectations of what makes a responsible pet owner (don’t ever let the cat outside, have you EVER given a pet away EVER) seem ridiculous.

    I once had a cat when I lived in the city & I had to give it away when I ended up having to move to a place that didn’t allow pets. I liked that cat a lot, but I had to move to where I had to move to, and they didn’t allow pets. That’s been YEARS ago, we are very “settled” where we are now & we could have a dozen cats if we wanted to. How much sense does it make to consider that relevant some 12 years later?

    Besides, you hear people complain about people dumping animals off or abandoning them, they say “they could bring it to us they didn’t have to do that, we could’ve gotten that animal a new & good home.” Well what if someone does that because a certain dog or cat has a personality that doesn’t work for them, and they have the decency to do that versus dumping them or abandoning them–but they now have found a dog or cat whose personality works well for them?

    It all seems ridiculous picky to me. Heck, as long as any would-be owner isn’t going to be a monster and be horribly neglectful or committing acts of torture, it seems ANY home would be a lot better than having the animal put to sleep. I don’t know. Maybe I just don’t get it.


  107. Really Bad Mum November 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    @ Emily, unfortunately the kids don’t have the offical dog supervision training certificate, due to recent lawsuits bought againt kids by dogs, any person under the age of 18 must hold a current certificate.
    WHAT IF? hahahahahhaah

  108. Lollipoplover November 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Another quandry- you take your kids and your dogs to the park. Dogs can run free in dog park but not the kids park. So you bring them in the dog park (where you are required to stay and supervise your dogs) but dog park says no kids under 10. What does everyone do with their kids? They let them play in the park with all of the other kids.. freely.
    Or they make the kids stand outside of the dog fence, “Stay where I can see you!”, while they playing video games.

  109. Captain America November 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    People should have more kids and fewer pets. . . result = more sanity and better families.

  110. Really Bad Mum November 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    @Captain American either you found the happy pills or you have never had an encounter with a hormonal teenage girl!!! Lol
    Switch it to more pets , less kids haha

  111. Cara November 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    We have two rescue dogs and no fence. In our area of Colorado few people have fences and right now we can’t afford it. But the local boxer rescue group won’t allow people without 8′ high fences to adopt. Okay well then just let the dog die at the pound because we don’t have a fence. That makes total sense.

    Also, they won’t let a family with kids under 5 adopt a dog. Because everyone knows that dogs and kids just don’t get along at all.

  112. EricS November 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    LOL! It baffles me the ignorance of people. As abnormal as it may seem, raising/training a dog/puppy is really not that much different with kids. I’ve had 2 dogs in my life. My first dog, I had the mentality of these Rescue shelters. I thought of my dog as HUMAN, and treated him as I would a human being. The plain truth is, dogs/pets are NOT human, and do not think as we do. Needless to say, he was quite a handful and need constant supervision. As he got older, he calmed down more and more (age will do that to anyone). He lived to be 15 years old, considerably long for his breed (life expectancy is about 12 max). In his last 2 years, I came across a show called The Dog Whisperer. Everything Ceasar said made complete sense. And I realized that everything I was ever told about training dogs was completely wrong. That everything I was told, actually made life much more unpleasant and difficult for my pet. In hind sight I saw all of that once I got educated. If I could I would have totally done things different. Fast forward 3 years later (4 years ago), I found another dog, or rather he found me (another story for another time, let’s just say the stars aligned and we were meant to meet each other). Since the passing of my first dog, I have watched The Dog Whisperer religiously (up to this very day). And I raised and trained my dog, as I’ve learned from the show. My dog is balanced, happy, obedient, and behaved. He’s 4 now, and has never needed supervision. I trust him, and he hasn’t done anything to break that trust. He’ll never run off from my side when he’s off leash. He’ll never bolt through an open door. He doesn’t jump up on people or furniture without permission. And he’s great with kids. All because I did what was BEST FOR HIM, and not what was going to make me feel and look good. Raising him wasn’t about ME, it was about him. In principle, and psychologically, this is not much different to raising children from the time they are born. What they learn growing up, is what they keep and molds them to how they are suppose to be. Not what what WE feel they should be for our benefit. And you can re-condition your children, much like you can “teach and old dog new tricks”. Just don’t wait till your kids are in their late teens to start teaching them the correct way of living. It gets much harder for humans to change as they get older in life.

  113. Warren November 7, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    So LRH, you have had some bad experiences, and some anger and impulse control issues. Get over it.

    Just for the record, you are lucky that dog you went after, in it’s yard…………you are correct. You could have got into trouble. After a severe butt kicking, you would have been charged with a few things to.

    LRH, do yourself a favour. Calm down, relax, and have a drink. You do not need to get worked up, about a dog barking at approaching people.

  114. linvo November 7, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

    A few months after we got our current rescue dog, we went camping for a week over Xmas (Southern Hemisphere, obviously :)). I was feeling very tired all the time and spent much of my time reading books in the tent. My 7yo daughter was reluctant to go find friends on the campsite by herself. So I told her to take the dog! She spent all week walking around the campground with that dog in tow. The dog gave her the courage to be free-range! Needless to say the dog had an awesome time too. (That was the most free-range I’d ever allowed a dog to be too.)

  115. Lauren November 7, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    When we got our last dog, I was not able to adopt from the shelter. Because I lived in an apartment and didn’t have a fenced in back yard. My shelter also requires a vet reference and 2-3 personal references.

  116. Marianne November 8, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    I live on the east coast too (DC suburb), and I have to say people out here are pretty crazy about their dogs. My husband and I got frustrated trying to find a rescue that would adopt to us, and eventually just decided to see what the pet store had to offer and that’s how we found our golden retriever. I definitely would’ve preferred to rescue, because I think that’s the responsible thing to do. The idea that all breeds require fenced yards is simply inaccurate. Our girl does great in our apartment and gets lots of walks.

    There’s a lot of career-oriented people here who decide to have dogs instead of kids. So all those helicoptering tendencies get focused on the dogs. I realize that the rescue workers just want the best for the animals, but they often push frustrated people to go to a pet store or breeder instead.

  117. CrazyCatLady November 8, 2012 at 12:28 am #

    The no kids under age five does make sense…for certain breeds. Our Great Pyrenees is one of those breeds. When they are puppies, they do treat young kids as puppies. Which meant he was headbutting the boys and knocking them down. I was really afraid he would do the same to the neighbor kid…whose parents might say he was aggressive and needed to be put down. These dogs are smart, they know that they don’t “need” to listen to the kids the same as they do the adults. (Being pretty independent, they listen like a cat as it is!)

    We had the same age suggestion with our very large and someone aggressive geese. Who, if you back off, take it to mean that they are in charge and will charge and peck. Which they did do to my younger kids. Until they learned what to carry with them to prevent the geese from attacking.

    Now, that is not to say that all breeds of dogs should be the same. But their purpose should be taken into account. Newfoundlands are great dogs to have around kids…unless they want to swim. (They will haul them out of the water given less than half a chance, which can be annoying if you are trying to teach your kid to swim!)

    Likewise, not all breeds of fowl need to be limited to older kids. Our ducks will only threaten kittens, nothing bigger. But, we do have one goose who did attack the toddler kids, and needed rehoming. Most of the geese end up at the river, which is sad for domestic animals – most of them can’t even fly (to escape predators,) because of their size.

    I do think that a properly informed family can have most of these animals with little kids, as long as they know the risks and are willing to commit to regardless. (Most get the big/active dogs and geese before they read up on their behavior.)

  118. C.J. November 8, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    @Nanci My dog could very well die if she gets stung by or eats a bee. She is highly allergic. We have to give her Benedryl immediatlely and take her to the emergancy animal hospital for steroid shots, then more benedryl for 5 days after. I still don’t stare at her all the time, just check on her every now and then and keep benedryl on hand. At the times of day that the bees are really bad she usually isn’t outside anyway. The bees are really bad at my house because my pool is enclosed by the deck, we have to go under the deck and kill nests pretty frequently. Luckily I think the dog has learned her lesson with the bees after eating one. I wasn’t a pretty sight. She had hives very large hives covering her whole body, her face swelled so much her eyes were almost swollen shut and she had trouble breathing.

  119. Warren November 8, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    Sorry the no kids under 5 makes no sense. Have you ever seen the bond that developes between an infant and a puppy? Or the German Sheperd that helps the toddler to take its first steps?

  120. Ann November 8, 2012 at 3:35 am #

    straight from a local animal shelters application…”I/We agree that this animal WILL BE KEPT INSIDE and that my responsibility to this animal includes, but is not limited to adequate shelter (your house), water, food and veterinary care. The animal shall not be allowed to roam at will.” What??? It’s a DOG. Isn’t this what they do? Mine is PO’d if she is not let out in the mornings to roam at her leasure. Don’t worry – she always comes back for breakfast! 🙂

  121. Emily November 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    @Ann–Does the application mean “the dog will not be allowed to roam the neighbourhood at will,” or “the dog will not be allowed to roam the YARD at will?” The reason why I’m asking is because, I’d interpret “roam at will” to mean the former. If the dog is in a fenced area, then he or she isn’t really “roaming.”

  122. Jules November 8, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    LOL, I just choked on my breakfast…picturing bats carrying my dog away by his ears and tail.

    My backyard is fenced in, but mainly because we have neighbors on all sides, and my dog (and children) like to playfully terrorize the neighbors. However, since I have a fence, I don’t supervise the dog (or children).

  123. Sabine November 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Lighting in the fenced yard is not a bad idea. Floodlighting is overkill, but a few of those low, solar-powered garden lights work just fine. And it’s not so the doggie can see. It’s so you can see what you’re getting into when your neighbor’s three pit bulls dig under your fence and rip your dog to shreds. Sometimes there is no time to grab a flashlight.

  124. Amanda Matthews November 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    Dogs have the intelligence of 2 year old humans. Yes, some 2 year olds are smart enough that you can give them free roam. Some aren’t. Some 2 year olds need a fence to keep them in the yard, some don’t. If you were trying to adopt a 2 year old, they’re not going to give you one if you say you don’t have a fence but will let it play unsupervised outside. And any parenting group is going to recommend you don’t let your 2 year old play in an unfenced yard unsupervised. Because while you can train most 2 year olds to stay in the yard, just the same as you can train most dogs, they have no way of knowing if this is going to be one of the 2 year olds/dogs that just can’t get it, and no way of knowing if you are actually capable of, and will actually put in the effort to, training appropriately. There’s people out there that didn’t train their 2 year olds, didn’t train their dogs, and they ruined things for the rest of us.

  125. walkamungus November 8, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    @LRH — So why do you have a dog if you leave it tied up outside all the time?

  126. Damn Djinni February 17, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    Even though some things are overkill, I understand why there are some rules for dogs. They are animals, and really, only recently we’ve regarded them as “part of the family.” They are fast runners with sharp teeth, even if they’re just playing they can accidentally hurt someone.


    People who chose to hurt your dog will get a slap on the wrist, depending on the animal cruelty laws. People get away with some horrible things.

    If someone snatches your dog, and they don’t have a chip, then what? How do you prove that the dog is yours?

    A loose dog is a danger to drivers if they run on the road.

    Dogs will leave quite a wound if they bite. Even if they are not that big.

    Depending on where you live, risk of rabies and other wild animals.

    If your dog goes missing, and ends up in the pound, they may get put down if you don’t get them in time. This depends on where you live.

  127. Rachel March 26, 2013 at 5:35 am #

    I notice a lot of fussy-ness about dogs,and they make me want to feel like me and many people I know are bad owners.
    I`m bad because…
    I use a tie out for short periods on some days which is some how dangerous and cruel even if done correctly,
    It’s not like dogs can’t be neglected in kennels or cages,and that they only are on tie outs.
    I just rent and don’t have a fence or kennel,and me and him dislike crates.
    I don’t supervise him like a hawk either.
    I also leave him in the car in fair weather sometimes.
    I don’t feed him the fanciest food out their,as I don’t eat that way myself.
    I trained him to pull carts and jump over obstacles and he might get sprained shoulder or a stubbed toe or something. Yet I`m the one to get that crap all the time,while he doesn’t. Dogs are actually sometimes treated more fragile then humans.

    Also people believe cats should not be allowed loose,even if the cat is a poor hunter and is only allowed out a hour or three a day. While you also have a large yard,and do not live near a freeway. Even if the cat is hyper active,young,neutered,vaccinated and perfectly healthy. Cats are literally supposed to stay indoors their whole lives,they are not even normally walked or go to parks like dogs. The house,car(probably in a cage though) and vet is all there is.

    I only recommend watching the animals on and around 4th of July,New years and perhaps Halloween.
    Some cats and dogs will run away over fireworks,every year I hear of at least one cat or dog not found after 4th of July around here. Their can also be rare cases of animal abuse but the other reason is more important and on Halloween its just safer for the kids and the dog.

    Also if you just moved,got the dog or cat or brought your dog on a vacation,the animal doesn’t consider that home for the first week and may run away if left alone. So make sure the animal is secure or watched.

    You should know how good a jumper your dog is,sense most dogs can’t get over a 5 foot fence, some small or old ones wouldn’t get over a 2 foot one,or are not diggers. While a few talented ones could get over a 7 foot fence.