Posted : 9/2/2007 2:51:00 PM
I have three dogs. All THREE are crated from the time I leave at 8:30 a.m. til 6 or 6:30 p.m. when I can get home. David's up at 5 and they get exercise/interact with him and when I get home they're with me (including going with me in the car if possible when I leave in the evening).
NONE are puppies, but Luna's been with us since she was a year and Billy's 8+ and Kee is an unknown 10-12+ years old.
NONE suffer at all. They are crated simply to encourage them to sleep -- which they do and then we make sure they get adequate exercise when we get home or/and are with them.
It's no hardship on them at all. My dogs are happy and very very well taken care of and loved. Now they are crated when they first come to us at night. But that's elminated absolutely as soon as possible and extra care is taken with exercise even then.
This isn't the situation for a 'puppy'. But for an adult dog it's NO problem. And a housetrained dog has no difficulty 'holding it' for those 10 hours and if so, then you take appropriate measures if they are incontinent. My dogs are ALWAYS left with an abundance of water too -- I don't control bathroom habits by denying food or water .. not *ever*.
All 3 of our dogs are dogs that wouldn't have had homes otherwise. Billy had been in rescue forever, despite the fact that he's a purebred cocker because he had horrid ear infections (which we resolved very quickly -- all it took was the right vet intervention and care). Kee Shu was being schlepped around by an owner who just plain couldn'ts tay sober long enough to keep a roof over their heads. She has a wonderful life now. Luna was a 'wild child' -- she was given up by a woman who just couldn't figure out how to train a head-strong hound mix -- Luna's first 10 months were spent in "doggie daycare" 24/7. *sigh*
If a family is willing to take on a dog's emotional needs and physical needs in an active way when the family is home, it's no problem. Saying that family shouldn't have a dog JUST BECAUSE the owner's work simply means that the vast American public shouldn't own a dog ... because reality is, MANY of us do.
If a family can't provide the intense physical stimulation a young dog (like my Luna) needs, then simply get an OLDER dog.
The shelters are full folks -- and in Animal Control most senior animals don't stand a chance -- and trust me, they'd be happy to have a good, warm, loving, well-fed home to SLEEP in during the day in exchange for giving love at night.
Sorry folks, you truely touched a hot button with me. I've had rheumatoid arthritis my entire adult life and MY physical activities are severely limited. But don't put ME out to pasture either just because life is a bit of a challenge. I work a long day (I'm a legal secretary) and sometimes it's not fun for ME to be nailed to a chair, unable to move around and have fun .... and my office 'cubby' is just about the same size as Billy and Kee's crate. Trust me -- I'd stay home and sleep if *I* got the chance.
My point is - don't assume that sleeping while the humans are gone is cruel. It is NOT. Particularly not for a mature dog in a home where it will be loved and cared for.
Now please don't misunderstand me -- don't take a high energy *young* dog, feed him an ultra high protein food (with no activity to burn it off) and then crate him for 10 hours a day during the work day, let him out to pee at 6, put him back in a crate at 7 so you can eat dinner and again at 10 to sleep -- THEN you have an unhappy dog. That's cruel.
You merely have to match the dog to the living situation!