Summer Heat Question
I have 2 Cavaliers and I know they are susceptible to extreme temperatures.
I was posting to ask if it is safe to let them stay out in my backyard while I am at work. They seem to be happier when they are outside and I'd like to keep them out if possible. Obviously they would have as much water as they would need and a shaded area that they can go to.
Would this be safe or even with some shade/water would they still be in danger?
Generally cavaliers are indoor dogs. Every dog enjoys the outside but I would not leave Fletcher or my other dog outside when I was not home. First yes the extreme temperatures are a factor but there are other things to think about as well, like could they get loose or stolen? what if it rains? Personally I think your dogs would be much safer in a crate when they are home alone, if you are leaving them all day to work you need to find a dog walker or consider doggie daycare. As you know cavaliers are very social dogs and should not be left all day.
Agree totally with MomObvious. My breeder would not have sold me one of her cavvies if I was going to leave them unattended outdoors. Lightning can occur quickly, high winds downing power lines - possibly in your yard, they can knock over their water dishes while romping/playing. Not only can they be stolen, (this is so ugly I hate to even mention it) but some dogs are stolen to be used in training fighting dogs (regardless of size). A suburban town outside my city had a dog stolen from the backyard while the owner was in the house. The thief drove his car in their driveway and simply took the dog and drove away - in the daylight. A neighbor of mine left her cavvie out in a fenced in yard and the meter reader left the fence gate ajar. Her cavvie got out and crossed two busy streets before a kind woman picked her up and walked the neighborhood trying to find out where the dog belonged (happy ending). In addition, the possibility exists your dogs may be deemed a public nuisance if they bark often at cats, chipmunks, etc., cutting through yeards, etc., and disturbing the tranquilty of residents. Call me overprotective - but these things happen. Great of you to get information on this important topic in order to properly care for your little ones!
I always say that one way of thinking about this is: how willing are you to risk having them stolen or eat something dangerous? That's kind of the bottom line from the safety point of view. The broader issue is that of welfare -- dogs left outside on their own tend to become problem dogs. It's boring, first off, and not very comfortable, and out of boredom dogs tend to bark (what else is there to do), dig under fences, climb walls (cavaliers have been known to scale 5 foot walls without any problems!), chew what they shouldn't. There's a post stickied in the training section that is worth reading, from a trainer talking a bout why dogs really cannot be left outside all day. That can explain things in better detail. :)
I will say from doing rescue for many years, that the most poorly socialised dogs with the most problem behaviours and poor housetraining, are those that have been 'back garden dogs'. In a regular working week, dogs left outside will spend the majority of their lives sitting alone outside.
Cavaliers are one of the most stolen breeds internationally. They are easy to grab, easy to sell, and attractive as dog fight bait (little resistence to 'blood' new fighers :( ) and to sell on to puppy farmers who will keep them in hideous conditions. This is a growing area of criminal activity as so many people work all day and leave their dogs in the garden -- easy to grab even if you have to climb over a few gardens. We are having a huge number of thefts at the moment in Ireland, north and south (and have had recent public warnings from the SPCAs and police forces to keep dogs inside during the day, never tie them out at shops, never leave in the car even for a moment), and you see regular listings of stolen dogs too in the UK and US. Don't risk it. :thmbsup:
As noted it's really good to be asking this up front. :) That's what makes for a great dog owner!
Thanks for the replies.
I've just been having issues with Hunter going to the bathroom in the house. I've had to keep him in his kennel while I'm at work until he can start behaving. My main thought was originally to buy one of those larger chainlink fence enclosures that even covers the top and lock it.
I may just keep them indoors but I wanted to consider letting them be outside.
Hi Steven! This is not really an issue of behaving but figuring out the underlying cause and a good management approach. A few questions: How old is Hunter? Has a vet checked him for a possible medical reason for this? And how long was he being left inside for?
If a younger dog, perhaps he was not fully and reliably housetrained and is regressing a bit?
Perhaps he has a medical reason, such as a urinary tract infection, causing him to relieve himself in the house? It is always good to have a vet check for something like this or possibly another medical reason if behaviour suddenly changes.
If they are left alone for many many hours, perhaps a resolution would be to have a dogwalker or relative come take them out midday if you are unable to do this yourself? Or use 'dogie daycare' services where the dogs can be dropped off, minded and collected?
If all the above checks out OK, can you just put a babygate across say a kitchen doorway and leave the dogs insde on a safe floor like that -- perhaps with a puppy pee pad on the floor? This is what I do with two of my girsl -- one is an ex puppy farm kennel dog and will never be fully housetrained though she won;t relieve herself as long as I am there. If I go out I leave them with a bed, pad water and radio on, gated in the kitchen (the other girl is there as a companion). They can see the boys and are happy enough. If Tansy has to wee she generally goes on the pad; sometimes she misses but no big deal as it is on a tile floor and easy to clean. I work from home though and generally they would rarely be left alone for more than a few hours. It is hard for a dog to hold itself for any longer then, say, you would be able to hold yourself before getting uncomfortable, especially if fed in the morning before you leave.
It is boring for dogs to be left outside in a kennel run and if outside they can quickly become a serious dispruptive problem for neighbours as noted above. A kennel would need to be absolutely secure with a safe and warm area that is totally weatherproof - a significant undertaking and still a very poor quality life for dogs. That's why I would really try to find some other approach. :)
Originally Posted by 01grander
It's better to keep him in a kennel and safe than to have him outdoors all day. The key is safety for the dog, and you know that they like comfy beds to lie on!
My CKC is about 1.5 years, and only last week did I allow him out of his pen and free reign of my first floor. I had penned him due to my concern that he would eat something and use my living room as his wee-wee pad. He has proved himself to be a model citizen this past week and I'm so proud of him. You didn't say how old Hunter is, but until he is fully housetrained,he has to stay in the pen, or your kitchen or any contained area. I did employ a dog walker the first 6 - 8 months to walk him around noon (I work all day).
I completely understand your concerns about him making a mess, but the worst feeling in the world would be coming home and not finding your dog in the yard, or to see that he suffered heat stroke.
Good luck, and remember, that being confined in the pen is not the worst thing, pretty much they sleep all day anyway!