There are general dog attributes and then there are Labrador attributes. When posters post that they have an outside dog that happens to be a Labrador the correct response would be something closer to "dogs generally do better as indoor pets". A misleading response would be something like "Labs are people oriented dogs so they do better as indoor pets". The domesticated dog in general was bred to live with people. It is a dog trait. IT IS NOT EXCLUSIVE TO LABRADORS.
agreed. there are, however, a few breeds actually bred to stand guard, alone, of a flock (like a great pyranese). But then again, they have a job so probably not the same as if they were put outside in yard with nothing to do, even if that yard is somewhat large and in teh country.
I will note that labs were specifically bred to work closely with their owner though. sitting in a blind for long days to go get some ducks once they were caught. So even in their "work" they were working close with a human. This makes them more likely to want to please, more dependnat. This might be what people mean by labs specifically do not do well as outside dogs when family es work out of the house and have limited time with teh dog. I mean honestly, if you work outside the home you probably can't spend more than 2-3 hours with the dog and that is generous and likely on nicer days. Otherwise they are alone the rest of the day.
Last edited by Tanya; 08-13-2013 at 01:06 PM.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Do you have a point?
Herding and guardian breeds in general are meant to work independently so their need for human contact is reduced. Labs were always supposed to work in close proximity to people.
However, from a global perspective - its not good for any dog to be isolated in a yard without social contact. Even worse if that isolation is at the end of a chain.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Yes, I agree Tanya. Even with the Great Pyrenees they do have the need of social interaction filled by the socialization with the sheep and to some extent humans. That coupled with the job they do fulfills their needs and allows for a happy dog. Putting a dog outside, whatever breed, with nothing to do is wrong in many many ways.
On a related note I read yesterday that Oregon now has laws about chaining up dogs. They can no longer be chained up with choke collars and they can no longer be chained up for more than 10 hours a day. 15 hours if it is a running line. The fine is up to $1000. $6000 max if the dog dies while on a chain.
Last edited by slackercodemonkey; 08-13-2013 at 01:27 PM.
BigBrownDog , if you have a dog that kicks butt at herding then you have a dog that is being supplied with sufficient human social interaction. My point is that even a border collie cannot be left outside without the human connection.
Guard Dogs also need the human connection. Shutzhund, French Ring, etc need to have the human connection. They don't do the amazing things they do without a lot of training by humans.
My point is is that the need for a human bond is built into dogs. It isn't JUST a Lab thing. A dog left in the back yard left to its own devices is simply WRONG no matter what the breed. It isn't JUST a lab thing. It is a dog thing.
Same with guardian breeds. GPs/Anatolians/Kuvasz don't need anyone telling them to guard the sheep from the predators. They think independently.
I agree that when you want to channel that natural inclination into something like Sch or FR and focus those instincts on protection then yes - that dog needs extensive training. But it is not at all uncommon for a GP to be put in with sheep as a small just weaned puppy and to have minimal human contact. They bond with the sheep and act protectively naturally.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
The same kind of thing for Anatolians and GPs. They would both not subsist healthily in the back yard with little to no investment from their humans. Even with GPs and the example with them being weened with the sheep has the social element. People are taking advantage of a dogs social needs when they do that. Dogs are wired to be social. Leaving them in the backyard left largely to their own devices is wrong. Anatolians and GPs as well as Labs all would be unhealthy. It's abuse for all dogs.