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Aster's avatar

Just How Much Attention Do We Owe Our Dogs?

Asked by Aster (19301points) May 4th, 2010

we have 2 bichons; we love them. A male and female. The minute I get up the male wants me to start playing fetch in the house and it goes on until dark. If I say, “Go away!” I feel so guilty and he walks off. I also feel terrible that we moved from the country where they could run and chase deer to a house with a fenced yard. It’s heartbreaking. Should I feel guilty and sad for them? Or is cuddling and clean water/food enough?

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23 Answers

Sophief's avatar

As long as you love them and they feel loved then that is all that matters, and I am sure they are loved.

john65pennington's avatar

Attachements to dogs is a God-given blessing that all humans should cherish. i am convinced that dogs were placed on this earth for just one reason… please and protect humans.

We give our Border Collie all the attention he deserves and thats plenty.

Remember this, your dog still loves you at 3 a.m., no matter what your face looks like.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I aways try to make sure that my dogs get a certain amount of attention from me every day. We have regular walks and I set time aside to throw a ball for them. One of my dogs is very demanding when it comes to attention and I have to make sure that she knows that just because she is demanding attention, it doesn’t mean she is going to get it so saying “go away” every so often will not harm your dogs and they won’t feel “hurt” in the way that you or I might do if someone told us to go away. As long as your dogs are walked regularly (not just let out into the garden to excercise themselves – take them for a walk away from the house to give them new and interesting surroundings to explore) and you set some side to play with them and cuddle them, your dogs should settle nicely into a routine. We shouldn’t be a slave to our dogs but by the same token they shouldn’t be left to entertain themselves all the time.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

They need exercise.I have a German Shepherd that gets a walk every day.She also gets a chance to run on the beach and in the fields.She loves it and is a pretty happy dog:)

Coloma's avatar

As long as you are still providing affection and attention they are just fine.

Humans project their thoughts and emotions onto their dogs, pets a lot!

Simply doesn’t work that way for an animal.

They don’t carry around stories and grievances like humans do.

Your dogs are not thinking your thoughts, you are projecting onto them!

Animals live in the moment, and while they may experience some adjustment issues they do not harbor negative thoughts about their situations, are not lying around telling themselves how unfair it is that you moved them and how unhappy they are, thats a human thing! lol

marinelife's avatar

They would rather be with you than somewhere out in the country. I would say take them on a longish walk (45 min. to an hour) to make up for the lack of exercise. (A small yard does not do it unless you are playing Fetch with them in it.)

Aster's avatar

marinelife, thank you. When I said “out in the country” I meant we had 2 acres so they were just running in our “yard.” They could come in whenever. For me, a 45 min walk isn’t “longish.” it’s a lifetime! lol I’m not used to it. I can see that taking them for walks may be important. But we would be in the street, in front of other homes and I’d hate for them to “go” on their yards. Also, if I took one at a time, the other one would be whimpering. And, worse, they’d love it so much I Know they’d be on me all day to take them out a second time and a third.

ucme's avatar

I love my dog she absolutely follows me everywhere. Awww squeezable, lovable, cutesy wutesy bundle of fluffy gorgeousness….i’m sorry i’ve lapsed into Paris Hilton land do forgive me.

tinyfaery's avatar

If all you do for your dogs is provide food and shelter then what is the point? You owe your dogs all the love the deserve.

Supacase's avatar

The situation has changed and you all have to adjust, including the dogs, and develop a new routine. They cannot entertain themselves as much now so they are looking to you and you do owe it to them to fill in part of that gap.

Schedule a couple of times each day to play with them and maybe they will begin to realize that just because you can’t play first thing in the morning doesn’t mean you won’t play with them at all. Try talking to them more – it isn’t physical contact, but it is a way of engaging them while you can still get things done.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Aster Please don’t make excuses (like the ones in your last post) as to why you can’t take your dogs for a walk. This isn’t about you, it’s about them and @marinelife is absolutely right, a 45 min walk a day is good for them. If you don’t want them to “go” on other peoples yards, don’t let them, that is what a lead is for. People often fall into the habit of thinking that smaller breeds don’t need as many walks as bigger breeds and for the most part this is simply not true. Walking isn’t just about excercise, it’s also about giving them interest. If you can’t spare 45 mins a day for this dogs then maybe, seeing as you haven’t got the space for them to run freely in, yoou should reconsider whether or not it is fair to keep them.

Coloma's avatar

It’s not just dogs..all creatures have requirements.

My geese get pissy if they do not get to come out of their pen at least a couple times a day for 30 minutes or so to eat grass and wander around.

They have a huge set up, horse corral about 40×40, nice barn, 2 swimming pools, trees, plenty of food, but they want to be out & about, especially with me.

I am about to let them up on the lawn while I wash my car, they can play in the hose and enjoy eating all the fresh grass clippings. They also love to walk down my property to the creek to play, but have to go with me so the Coyotes don’t nab em. lol

Aster's avatar

It may Not be fair to keep them but I Know they’d be traumatized without us. We raised them. They have a routine with us and they sit on our laps.
I do play fetch occasionally each day of the week, inside and out. He did mention that near here is an area of only grass and trees where we can take them to play w/other dogs. We would take them in the golfcart. lol They Love to nap on our bed, too, with my husband. I think it’s their second most enjoyable thing after eating. He seems to like it too. They just shared our club sandwich and they’re both asleep. Poor guys….

jazmina88's avatar

dogs deserve our best…....

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Aster No offence but if these dogs “share your club sandwich and then curl up and go to sleep” on a regular basis then that is even more of a reason to make sure they get a decent amount of excercise everyday. It’s obvious you love these dogs but make sure you love them in a way that is best for them, the animals and not you, the humans and yes, I know humans are animals too with your human emotions. If there is a grassy area where you can take them then do so. Your dogs will benefit so much more from a decent walk/run everyday than sharing your sandwich.

I’m not trying to pick on you or anything, I just hate it when people make excuses not to give their dogs regular walks. Cuddling is great, I love cuddling my dogs but it is equally as important to give them regular walks. You asked how much attention we owe our dogs and I say a walk costs nothing, we owe them that at least.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

My bichon definitely gets cranky if I don’t walk her. She’ll start nudging me with her nose to remind me that it’s time to go out, then goes absolutely bananas when she sees me pick up the leash.

I sometimes also feel a little guilty because I work long hours, but I make sure to give her plenty of exercise and attention when I get home. She loves it. Just do the best you can.

Coloma's avatar

Yep, just do the best you can, no need to go over the top or become neurotic and militantly OCD.

Animals are very forgiving, sometimes they get more, sometimes they get less, just like us!

There are days my animals do not get as much time and days where they are out all day enjoying themselves.

Everything in life has an ebb & flow…don’t beat yourself up for the ebbs. ;-)

tinyfaery's avatar

@Coloma Okay. When can I visit? I know the Coloma area. I used to work in Placerville.

Coloma's avatar


lol, anytime, a beautiful day in the hills today!

OpryLeigh's avatar

@Coloma Me too and my dogs???

Coloma's avatar


It’s a party! ;-)

My daughter just called to tell me to go to and put up a pic of my gander ‘Marwyn’ & I…celebrity goose!

Aster's avatar

we just got back from taking them , in the golfcart, to this so-called grassy area. Turns out it was vacant lots with a view of a house. So they ,of course, took off at top speed to the HOUSE, making the dog in the fenced yard bark and the neighbor came out. We apologized and rode off down the street to the golfcourse and they had SO much fun, going against the rules, running on the hilly greens, taking a pee, then the female dog jumped back into the cart while the male kept running behind, in front of , and next to us. We got home, I put her in the yard and he took off down the street, finally coming back. Now the house rings of dog panting. lol They really loved it. Lots of business cards were left for the neighbors.

Godspromises's avatar

I love our dogs very much but I also understand that people must live life. II also know that dogs need other dogs too. That is why we have 2. If I give them too much attention ~ they begin to fight and compete for attention. When I give a little less then they get along very well. Interesting :) May God himself give us wisdom to love God ourselves others and our animals. in Jesus name I pray amen

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