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Old 03-27-2012, 10:07 PM   #1 
finnfinnfriend
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Do you think keeping just one dog is cruel?

I always wondered if it was cruel to keep just one dog if someone can't be with it 24/7. I mean, they are pack animals, so do they need another dog? I want to know what everyone thinks...
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:14 PM   #2 
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I'm a huge dog lover and a dog breed enthusiast, but I would never own more than one dog O:

I've had single dogs all my life and they do just fine on their own when we're at school/work. They're pretty good at entertaining themselves with Kongs/toys or just napping. As long as you are able to provide the proper exercise required for the dog's breed, he/she will live a long and happy life :)

Socialization IS, however, an extremely important part of a dog's life. A lack of proper socialization as a puppy will result in a scared, hard-to-train and unpredictable dog.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:32 PM   #3 
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I think it depends entirely on the dog .. and how it copes with a specific situation. I've had dogs that are very happy to be alone in the yard while I was at work - and others who were miserable without company of some kind.

I used to live near a beagle who was left alone all day every day - omg, did he howl! I felt kind of bad about how happy I was to see him rehomed once the council made the owners do something about him.. but oh, the blessed silence once he was gone! The owners didn't take into account that beagles are pack dogs -- I totally get how it was cruel to leave that dog alone and bored for so many hours. On the other hand, herding and guard breeds are often okay alone for some hours a day as long as they get exercise/toys and quality time with people.

So I don't think keeping one dog is cruel if they are having their needs met in general and aren't unhappy.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:47 PM   #4 
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Oh okay. So it kind of depends on the breed? Like a Golden retriever is okay alone but a beagle will want dog companionship?
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:58 PM   #5 
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I think it depends more on the individual dog. My dog does not like it when there is another dog. he will not play with other dogs either.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:58 PM   #6 
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It depends on the dog in general and it's personality, not necessarily its breed. It can also depend on what the dog is exposed to as a puppy and how he/she is trained.

I currently have a yellow lab (a breed that thrives on human companionship) who is home alone for about 8 hours a day and does perfectly fine. We started leaving him alone for shot periods of time as a puppy and over time, those periods became longer and longer until he was no longer phased by us being gone. With plenty of toys and things to keep his mind occupied (an exercised mind is an exercised, happy dog), he does great for those 8+ hours.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:02 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finnfinnfriend View Post
Oh okay. So it kind of depends on the breed? Like a Golden retriever is okay alone but a beagle will want dog companionship?
I think breed can have some influence, but mostly I think it depends on the dog itself, no matter the breed.

May people will tell you that a Standard Poodle shouldn't be kept alone if you can't be there all day, but I had one as a singleton for 11 years and he barked a bit the first few weeks when he was a young pup, but it wasn't an all day thing. (I asked the neighbors to be sure.) After he grew up he never barked unless someone knocked on the door.

After I lost my boy to cancer I got another SPoodle. This one was over a year old and well socialized. Well, she had been raised with lots of other dogs around and when I tried to have her as a singleton it didn't work out and I had to return her to the breeder. (It was for the best and she ended up in a great home with another dog.)

I'll try another Standard Poodle one day, but right now I'm not ready for that so I'm getting BETTAS!!
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:04 PM   #8 
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It's perfectly fine to have just one dog. He will look to the humans as his "pack" .. If people still want to go by that definition. Most dog breeds are so far removed from their wild counterparts that there is no pack mentality anymore. So keeping one is fine.
I kept my dog for 14 years. A short period we adopted a street dog, but sadly she had to be pts after only 2 years. So 12 years was solitary for my dog. I can tell you he certainly attached himself to our cats and to ourselves! He was a happy dog. He had a whole list of other problems though.
Walking any dog and letting him socialise in parks and on walks is essential to good pet ownership. They're social animals. So find a group of people who do public walks and join them! :)
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