Define a "Well Cared For" Dog. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Define a "Well Cared For" Dog.

I was thinking about this, and it got me thinking. What is a 'well cared for' dog?

Does a dog have to be trained at all to be well cared for? Or could they go potty all over the house and still be well cared for, if the owner cleaned up after it so the dog didn't live in its own waste? Are any basic obedience commands necessary for a dog to be well cared for?

Is all a dog needs to truly be 'well cared for' food, a place to sleep, water, and maybe a bit of attention from their owners? And vet care when the need arises? Isn't this what's written in the law? (Aside from the attention from their owners).

Thoughts?

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 07:50 PM
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What's written in the law isn't supposed to equal "well-cared for". The law is the MINIMUM required for humane treatment - basic food, water, shelter. You could feed your dog bread and just enough water to keep the bowl damp, sleeping in a plastic crate with little/no bedding and the law would be ok with it.

Well-cared for entails different things to different dogs.
outdoor exercise - A small lap dog could be well-cared for with little outdoor exercise while a high line working dog might need hours of hard running.

housing - a livestock guardian might live outside, sharing a livestock shed with his flock. A small lap dog breed might need to be let out only for short potty breaks because the weather is too cold. Then there are all the variables in between.

Then there is mental stimulation, vet care (some might think yearly vaccines are good/some bad for example), training, interaction - some might need interaction with their humans others will see mostly livestock.

So, it is definitely much more than just a few easily defined quotas
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 07:54 PM
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Good point about the law being a very low standard. I'm thinking about what I would use to measure a child being well cared for and things like teaching them to be well behaved members of society come to mind. Thus, my answer would be yes, it is your responsibility to teach your dog to be a good member of society by teaching him rules about such things as toileting, biting, etc.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 07:58 PM
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Dee, yes, the standard for a child being "well-cared for" is below what any of us here would find acceptable for a pet, let alone a human being.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 08:31 PM
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Basics of well cared for means to me that all needs are meant. Which would very much depend on the specific dog.

Mental stimulation. A GSD for example is going to have much higher needs here than other breeds.

Exercise. Again GSD is going to have higher needs.

Diet. At least the minimum met. Of course I would love for everyone to feed a perfect raw diet, but I also know that will never happen. At least a dog fed ol roy daily is being fed daily and not picking through a trash can.

Medical. A dog with no health problems may need barely anything here, occasional exams and vaccines from a low care clinic to not be neglected. But a dog with health problems is going to require a lot more.

As for cleanliness.... If someone wants to let their dog potty all over the house, if they are cleaning up after them so be it. My stepmom uses potty pads with her min pins. The 2 females (they also have a male) will NOT potty outside. And they frequently go on the carpet... But she cleans it immediately after. So yes, as long as the dog is not sitting around in their waste then whatever floats your boat.

If all of these needs are being met.. Then its a well cared for dog. Now theres a lot of range still between just meeting the minimum, and what I strive for
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 09:23 PM
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I think that a dog does need training in order to be well-cared for. However, I would not want the law to determine what training, to what level of training, etc.

No a dog who potties all over the house and has no boundaries whatsoever is not well cared for. It is neglected.

Just like a child who punches his mother and demands to have everything he wants and gets it. That is serious neglect, if not abuse. The child is not happy. A child needs to have limits and boundaries to feel safe. They need to know what is expected of them and are happier in a situation where there is discipline, because one who does not discipline their child, does not love their child. I am not talking about beating a child, but discipline.

Dogs are not children, but they too require limits and boundaries. Allowing them to just exist, and never curbing them, never giving them any training would probably have them seriously on edge. They would feel they must be the leader as no one else is doing it. Such a dog would be likely to have issues with aggression because he has to make decisions that he is not equiped to make. If a stranger comes in to the home, a guest of the owner, the dog would have to decide for himself if that person is a threat, or is ok. And some dogs would decide the former and do all in their power to drive them off.

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selzer View Post
No a dog who potties all over the house and has no boundaries whatsoever is not well cared for. It is neglected.

Just like a child who punches his mother and demands to have everything he wants and gets it. That is serious neglect, if not abuse. The child is not happy

...

Dogs are not children, but they too require limits and boundaries.
I wanted to clarify my post, that in that situation then I would consider the dog not being well cared for in other sections. Like I said so be it if the person lets it potty inside, but a dog thats unhappy, has no limitations, etc would fall under not having its mental needs met.

I don't mean your post was some response to mine, just reading yours made me want to clarify mine
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 10:14 PM
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My dog gets ice cream on really hot days.I think she is well cared for .


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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 10:15 PM
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My dog is better cared for than I am!

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfiesmom View Post
My dog is better cared for than I am!
Mine too!

I am long ago divorced and the only females in my life are Brandy (GSD) and Nicki (Bengal Cat).

Since I don't have to buy fingernails, hair do's, makeup, dresses, SHOES, bags and all the other stuff that wife's need, I have a lot of money to spoil my pets! Mine are exceptionally well cared for and quite frankly really spoiled. They get everything they want and/or need. And that includes training (by me, not some quack trainer).
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