The life of a modern day dog.

Do dogs deserve more than a backyard?

“I grew up with dogs always being outside, they were always outside”!

This is a common subject matter that dog owners often bring up; is it ok to have a backyard dog that doesn’t come inside?

With so many people having outside dogs throughout their childhood, should our dogs still be outside or allowed inside?

What is the right thing to do?

As everyone had a different expectation of what is acceptable behaviour for their dog to display and how Brent and I (Cat) use rules varying from home to home, It’ s about finding what is the best fit for your home as well and the needs of your individual pet.

In my home, my dogs Zooka and Zia are allowed in all the rooms of the house and up on the furniture.  are comfortable having a cuddle on the couch with our dogs and having them on our bed. On the other hand, I have good friends and professional colleagues whose dogs are inside with them only never allowed on their furniture and others where the dogs are allowed on the carpet but not in the bedrooms.

It all comes down to what works best for your home. The thing to consider when comparing the lives our modern day dogs live now in comparison to the lives the family pet lived 20-30 years ago.  In the 70’s and 80’s when I was growing up. My parents moved into a street with other young couples about to start their families. Most of our neighbours had kids of similar age, were we would rotate whose house we were playing at and all of this time was spend in the backyard alongside the family dog. All the kids knew that we had to be home when the street lights came on.


How we grew up

How our parents used to know where we were.

Nowadays we are lucky if we know our neighbours let alone if we start our families at the same time. Many of our social interactions nowadays are done outside of the home with the Cafés and their culture becoming more and more accessible and a regular occurrence, whilst our backyards are becoming smaller and smaller and less of a necessity for many people.  It is more common for our children to be in childcare due to work commitments from an early age and our overall lifestyles are busier than ever before.

So now when we think about the life of the modern day dog, their social activities and interactions have changed as a direct result of the manner in which our society has changed, so we must acknowledge that this effects our four legged best friends and adapt what our responsibilities and welfare needs of our dogs that are in line with our current lifestyles.

It’s important that we remember that dogs are companion animals, they thrive and need our companionship to live a fulfilled life; that is why dogs are often to referred to as “man’s best friend”, as people and dogs have thriving relationships.

So if we keep all of the above details at the forefront of our minds when making decisions in regards to the question as to whether outside living is in the best interest of and suitable for your dog.

A question that could help you make the best decision for the wellbeing of your dog is;  (here is a link to a blog on having mindfullness with your dog)

Does your dog get to spend more than 2 hours a day with you? (This includes weather extremes such as heat waves and heavy storms). We can spend a lot of hours and time away from our home with work or study commitments, so it is imperative to ensure that our companions dogs get the attention and time they deserve from us.

Even time spent having a “cuddle” and or spending time at our feet can greatly improve the bond that we share with our dogs as well as providing quality enrichment for our dogs, sometimes this time together can be more valuable than a walk.

If you are stuck in the situation where you would like to have your dog inside however due to its unruly behaviour, you don’t know how to start, you are not alone.

In our in home training consultations, we can get dogs inside and behaving in a calm manner and bed / mat trained.

Having your dog behave calmly and being able to spend time together starts the wheels turning in the right direction to create the relationship that is the envy of dog owners and avoid sufferig from Picket fence syndrome.

So go and enjoy some quality time with your dog and remember why you brought them home in the first place. Your dog wants to spend time with you; it’s our role when we take on the responsibility of a dog to ensure we do the right thing by them.

Let us know how you spend time with dog below.

If you would like help with your dog, you can email us on

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