Dino Dogan of Dogan Dogs Video Blogs wrote such an awesome article about this topic that I just have to share it with you.
I had a conversation with a friend yesterday. She wanted to get a dog but lives in a small studio apartment. Also, she was very surprised that one of her neighbors has a Great Dane. "They must be living on top of each other", she commented.
I told her that dogs really don't need a lot of room, they are cubbyhole dwelling animals, they love finding a cozy little spot and curling up with a good bone.
She then said that she doesn't have a yard; "the dog needs a yard to run around in". She added.
I thought this point was worth closer examination.
Do dogs really need a yard?
Most people believe that dogs need a yard. Now don't get me wrong, if you have one you might consider letting your dog use it, however, you should also consider the fact that yard-dwelling dogs are likely to develop territorial aggression, incessant barking and gate-charging behavior. Which led me to start thinking about who is the yard really for?
This is my conclusion.
The yard is NOT for dogs, its for humans.
Its easy(er) for us to put our dogs in the back yard and let them do whatever. This way we don't feel so bad for not taking them on a walk which is what they (dogs) really need and want.
So to all you apartment dwelling humans, not having a yard and taking your dog for a nice, long walk instead is in fact preferable.
Say 15-30 minutes in the morning and 30-45 minutes in the evening. You might not like it, but your dog needs a walk more then he needs a yard.
On weekends, I would recommend longer walks and more time-in overall with your dog.
What else do humans rationalize in our minds and say "oh, its for the dog" that isn't?
I think grooming is another such delusion humans engage in.
We think that bathing a dog, clipping the dog's nails and whatever else they do at the dog salon benefits the dog somehow.
At best, we are compensating for lack of long walks (a natural nail trimmer for dogs) and since we are a "clean" culture having a filthy dog would result in our inability to cohabitate; which brings up an interesting question.
Who would suffer more if there wasn't for the other?
Don't get me wrong. Whatever we can do to make ours and the dog's existence better, happier, smoother, etc., I'm all for it. But next time you think you are doing something for your dog, ask yourself.
Am I doing this because it benefits me somehow?
Trace your rational thought back in your brain and it will no doubt lead to an emotion. What emotion did you discover?
We all know which emotions are good and which ones are bad, so make it good.
Can you think of the time when you rationalized your actions to make it seem you’re benefiting someone else; when in fact, it was benefiting you in some way?
Check out Dino's great blog at Dogan Dogs Video Blogs, or connect with Dino on Twitter or Facebook.