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Old 09-20-2017, 10:11 AM
 
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This trend has been bothering me for quite some time now, although I'm not currently a dog owner.

Back when I last was, there wasn't even a leash law. Most of the mothers stayed and worked at home, and all the neighborhood dogs were let out in the morning (most weren't made to live outside; they were members of the family and slept indoors, usually in or near the bed of a kid) and spent the day roaming around, sniffing and playing with the other neighborhood dogs, sleeping in the sun, chasing the neighborhood cats (who were also roaming around loose all day doing cat things) and squirrels and cars, and waiting for the kids to come home from school, at which time the kids and the dogs would all play outdoors together until dinnertime which -- for the dogs -- was often either a nice big smelly can of dog food and/or table scraps from the family meal.

The really lucky dogs lived on a farm and had an actual job to perform. But all the dogs lived "a dog's life."

As I say, I haven't owned a dog for a while (I have cats), but I've observed some disturbing trends. No one stays home anymore; everyone leaves for work in the morning and is usually gone all evening, too. Parents have jobs far away to which they commute, and kids have activities away from the house every night. They eat meals either out in restaurants, in the car en route to something, or separately - each watching his own TV or glued to his own cell phone. Kids don't play outside anymore because it's too "dangerous." Dogs cant run loose anymore due to leash laws and in most places can't even be tethered outside, so they must spend the days and often nights indoors -- alone, if they're an "only" dog. Because the people work so hard and long, they have big fancy McMansions which they don't want dirtied up by pets, so dogs are relegated to one room or even a crate (wire cage) all day and -- again -- all night since people aren't home much anymore. Some unfortunate creatures are forced to live their entire lives in virtual solitary confinement outdoors in the elements (such as pits and dobermans kept for protection).

People don't seem to have extended family or close friends to care for their pets when they're away, so the pet-sitting business is booming. Yet another prohibitive expense that's bound to discourage owners.

People now exercise in gyms, so many dogs never get taken to a dog park to run free and socialize with other dogs or even on a daily walk. When boredom, isolation and a completely unnatural lifestyle makes them act crazy, they're called "bad dogs" and treated even more punitively without understanding why. They develop health diets and are put on unnatural, prohibitively expensive prescription diets (usually dry kibble full of grains). Because they don't exercise, they develop joint and knee problems which require expensive surgical repair. If they ARE lucky enough to be taken on regular walks, owners are now obliged to pick up their poop (funny that dog poop never killed anyone for hundreds of years, but now we can't abide it and it's an actual crime to leave it where it lands as we have since time immemorial). If the owner is ill, frail, or elderly, bending over to pick it up is not only unpleasant enough to discourage adoptions, but can actually present a fall risk to those with balance problems who probably most appreciate the companionship and love of a pet dog.

Then there's the unhappy trend of adopting a dog as "the first child," then dumping the dog in a shelter -- or even along some isolated road -- when the baby arrives because of course you can't keep both.

I've also seen runners dragging hapless dogs along the trail so they (the runner) can keep his heart rate elevated. The dog wants to stop and pee, poo, and smell the "roses" along the way -- not run a marathon. At the very least, the dog owner is walking along staring at his cell phone and completely ignoring the dog.

Granted, there are dogs that are spoiled rotten by owners with whom they are inseparable and who spoil them rotten (as they should), but too often families seem to adopt -- or, worse, buy -- a dog just as some sort of home accessory or status symbol without consideration for dogs' nature, needs, wants, or feelings.

Cat ownership is rising in popularity, whereas dog ownership is declining, and it's not hard to see why. People today seem to want a dog to live a cat's life.

Does modern man actually have the space, time, "need," or even inclination to share their lives with dogs anymore? If not, it's tragic and disturbing, and what does this mean for the future of dogs in America?
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:28 AM
 
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Seems like you are generalizing millions of people. On average lives are busier, but there have always been those who confined dogs.

Running free isn't exactly safe. I k know people who still do it, regardless of laws and some live outside of city limits so their is no leash law. When their dog is killed / doesn't come home they replace it. Chasing cats and cars. Sounds nice, not.

There are still stay at home mom's or those who work from home. There are also prior who work opposite shirts so someone is home or one person works part time and isn't gone long or often. Honestly there are a lot of people who stay home or can be home, just not as many as before.

My job isn't far at all and I work with several other local people. I have a very short commute and one lady I worked with went home on het lunch break to let out her dog. This isn't an unheard of thing either. I know others spend their lunch hour at home to cater to the dog.

The only activities my kids have away from home (at least at this time) is dog shows. There are a couple things they are interested in doing besides shows, but they will still have time to regularly train with and work their dogs.

We eat most meals at home, sometimes at the table sometimes in front of the TV which isn't relevant to the dog at all.

Some people feed gain free or raw, not that the old can or table scraps was actually healthy.

Dogs develop joint problems for a number of reasons genetics, over exercise as a puppy, injury, old age. Being obese (over fed under exercised) can increase a problem and symptoms of that problem. It not the only / root cause.

Dog parks are not good for all dogs and there are also reasons why they can be an issue to attend for some dogs.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:27 AM
 
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Regarding dual income households and the fact the owners are away for long hours, there is a whole cottage industry around dog walking, in situ play / training, doggie day care ... so many ways to fill a canine's time.

I realize not all can afford it.

One thing I would like to see is more people taking stock of their own financial reality before adding pets to the mix.

Yeah, I know ... a pet makes YOU feel good. Maybe a pet is your therapy. But if you can't afford proper care ....

JUST DON'T!!!!
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:40 AM
Status: "Support the Mining Law of 1872" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Cody, WY
9,586 posts, read 10,936,973 times
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I was born in 1943. There were a few dogs who ran loose at the time—very few. Our dogs had fenced backyards to romp around. Responsible people took care of their pets then just as they do now.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy in Wyoming View Post
I was born in 1943. There were a few dogs who ran loose at the time—very few. Our dogs had fenced backyards to romp around. Responsible people took care of their pets then just as they do now.
There was no leash law in my town in the '60s and apparently no one felt a need for one. My dog died of old age after a very long, happy, healthy, active, NATURAL life. I won't adopt another dog until I'm retired and can give him the time and attention every dog who can't run free and amuse himself deserves.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
Some unfortunate creatures are forced to live their entire lives in virtual solitary confinement outdoors in the elements (such as pits and dobermans kept for protection).
There are plenty of Pits who are house pets. Dogs of all breeds are kept confined outdoors dependent on the owners desire or needs.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:20 PM
 
15,737 posts, read 9,259,225 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
There was no leash law in my town in the '60s and apparently no one felt a need for one. My dog died of old age after a very long, happy, healthy, active, NATURAL life. I won't adopt another dog until I'm retired and can give him the time and attention every dog who can't run free and amuse himself deserves.
Your dog was the exception. Those dogs that lived the NATURAL "utopia" of a free-roaming existence were most likely victims to cars, dog fights and disease. The cats that they encountered were victims of them. And if by "amusing themselves" you mean impregnating or getting impregnated repeatedly, thereby creating millions of unwanted puppies, you are correct.

Your "take" on the life of the modern dog is so far off base, I don't even know where to begin to dispute it. Suffice it to say you should stick to cats.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:24 PM
 
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I said nothing against spaying and neutering, which I'm for (of course my dogs were neutered, as well as vaccinated). But they weren't deprived of their essential natures due to the "dangerous" environment.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
I said nothing against spaying and neutering, which I'm for (of course my dogs were neutered, as well as vaccinated). But they weren't deprived of their essential natures due to the "dangerous" environment.
"Natural" implied intact. As does "essential natures".

So you honestly think that it's perfectly OK for dogs to roam loose? You honestly think it's OK to let your dog defecate on my property and you have no obligation to pick it up?
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
I said nothing against spaying and neutering, which I'm for (of course my dogs were neutered, as well as vaccinated). But they weren't deprived of their essential natures due to the "dangerous" environment.
I think you're glamorizing the way dogs used to live. My dogs would rather be inside with me when it's cold or wet or hot. Free roaming dogs get in fights, are exposed to disease not to mention the dangers from humans and cars. I agree dogs shouldn't be treated like dolls and dressed up in clothes (unless necessary to protect them from the cold) or put in purses like an accessory but IMO the good old days for dogs were not that good.
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