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Moving out to a little ranch that will be even hotter - Help deciding on what breed is best

Hi! I live in Florida, where it can get really hot outside. We're moving out to a little ranch that will be even hotter, because there is barely any shade except a few clumps of trees scattered here and there. We aren't allowed to keep a dog inside. But outside, dog hair might get in the pool, or the dog could drown. My question is what type of breed is best? We will be getting a dog soon, but I need help deciding on what breed is best, and what else I should be concerned about. Should the dog be kept on a wire run? Is a Golden Retriever a good choice?

I think, based on the circumstances you are describing, I'd advise against getting a dog at all, unless you can keep it indoors or create a safe, climate-controlled outdoor area for it. As much joy as a dog might give you, I'd advise you to be the one to suffer and do without, if the alternative is causing a dog to suffer. Because it is so terribly hot where you live, with minimal shade, it would be uncomfortable and probably unsafe for the dog. I do think there is a risk of drowning as well, because the dog justifiably would be attracted to the water. As for the hair-well, that would depend on the breed; there are non-shedding dogs, so that problem is avoidable.

If you are absolutely set on having an outdoor dog, be certain to provide shade, a continual source of water, plenty of attention and a safe restraint. I'd stay away from the cable idea and go with fencing (building an inescapable kennel area separate from the pool). If you can build the kennel off of your garage, with in-and-out access through a dog door, and then provide air conditioning inside for the dog, you would be able to keep your outdoor-dog in acceptable physical conditions, from a housing standpoint.

The dog still would require routine physical and veterinary care, grooming, food, water and parasite prevention, as well as plenty of love, training and attention. The basic needs of all dogs are the same, regardless of breed, although they may have different health, grooming and training requirements. Because dogs are companion animals, they need to be part of a social group. People have made themselves companions to dogs, and dogs that are properly cared for thrive. It might be difficult to provide for your dog's social needs if it is alone outside most of the time.

I suggest you reconsider the idea of a house dog; if you have parents or a family member who won't agree, try to learn what their concerns are. If it is shedding, seek a non-shedding breed; if it is fear of elimination or misbehavior, promise to enroll in, and reinforce, training. Agree to crate the dog when you are not home (provided it isn't for longer than six hours at a stretch).

There are many good reasons for keeping a dog indoors, but most of the reasons for keeping a dog outdoors are to avoid, rather than resolve, correctable problems. The best way to keep a dog is in the house, as a family companion, especially if the climate isn't conducive to health and comfort outdoors. Most pet dogs are less trouble and require less physical maintenance when kept indoors; they also are happier and bring their owners more enjoyment!


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