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Thread: Owners who neglect dogs

  1. #1

    Default Owners who neglect dogs

    Should I somehow talk to dog owners who are neglecting their dogs' needs (Unknowingly)?

    Firstly, an elderly owner who is a family friend has a 1year old Kelpie. I took care of the Kelpie for 2 months and we bonded deeply as I exercised and trained him daily. I'm quite concerned about how he is being neglected by his elderly owner.
    - No daily walks or exercise/play because of the old man's health.
    - Locked in the backyard as the owner believes that dogs should be kept outside.
    - The old man spends much of the day watching TV in the living room without spending time with the dog.
    - Cheap home brand food that gives the dog a bad stomach.
    - Feeding bowls that not cleaned daily
    - The old man beats the dog with a walking stick for bad and destructive behavior
    - The owner strongly believes that his dog is exercising himself by running laps around the backyard
    - Feeding the dog unhealthy human food like dumplings

    Secondly, my uncle who keeps a Maltese locked up outside in the yard because his wife thinks the dog is dirty.
    - Left outside regardless of the weather
    - Infrequent feeding
    - No training whatsoever (not even basic commands such as sit)
    - No daily exercise play or walks
    - Tells other people to treat the dog like a pest because if you are too nice to the dog, then he will be too spoilt

    I feel bad for the dogs, especially the Kelpie who requires huge amounts of physical and mental stimulation (I would spend 2 hours everyday just exercising him by playing fetch and tug of war). Should I just leave them be or hint something towards the elderly owner and my uncle? I'm planning to visit the Kelpie dog 1- 2 times per week to play /walk and train him as the elderly owner has given me permission to visit whenever I want. Would it be disrespectful of me to both visit the dog frequently and bring to both owners' attention that their dogs need more attention?
    Last edited by tange; 06-19-2015 at 10:50 PM.

  2. #2


    Definitely not dissrespectful however if the owner is a bit pig headed then you could potentially annoy him enough that he might stop you from visiting weekly in which case the kelpie will be the one who gets "punished" by this. What a suck full life for both of those poor dogs. Why do people have dogs if they think like this? It's just wrong.

    Generally if the old man has been/believed this about dogs his whole life there is going to be very little you can say or do to change him. You could say something but be very tentative on your approach with it to avoid loosing your visiting privileges.
    If your uncle is more approachable then say something, the poor little thing is already living a life of domestic jail and torment so there isn't anything to loose for the little guy by saying something.

    Good on you for taking time to help these guys who can't help themselves.

  3. #3


    Thank you for your reply. Yes it would be horrible for me to lose the privilege of visiting the Kelpie. I used positive reinforcement methods rather than smacking the dog to train him and it worked wonders. He learnt to play fetch, tug of war, hide and seek, stopped biting or humping people's legs, come on call all in a few weeks. Now the dog is gradually holding his head high on walks and would put his head on my lap while falling asleep because he feels safe. Hopefully, the elderly owner would see the results and stop hitting or yelling at the dog. I'm planning to visit him in order to give him some additional exercise and to check up on his well being but I think I should be very careful of bringing this up to the old man.

  4. #4


    Good idea. Sounds like you are all the poor thing has got in the world and he is very lucky to have you. So many others would just shrug and say "not my dog, not my responsibility" so thank you for being so compassionate and giving him something to look forward to in his life.

  5. #5


    You could also offer to take care of either of these 2 dog yourself, if the owners feel they are a burden. At least the dogs would have your love and affection. As you already know these 2 dogs can only give back unconditional love. Good job!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    melbourne australia


    Id say you have a lot of strong opinions and negative judgements about how others keep their dogs.

    I am not saying i dont agree with your assessments - though not entirely. (Dogs dont have to have clean bowls to eat. I"ll often leave food hidden in dirt here for my dogs to 'find' whilst im out. No sign of a clean bowel there, 'treating a dog like a pest so you dont spoil them', personally, this is how i was raised as a child! And no sign of Child Protection, let alone animal rights activists.

    How about you stop running that list in your head of how these people fall short of a decent dog home (In your opinion), and start thinking about how YOU can help? In the way you have decided to walk the kelpie 1-2 weekly for the elderly gent.

    Keep out of other peoples business and stay in your own. As you wont be welcomed, possible told to stay away, when you cant help at all.

    Its tough, and sometimes you have to not notice, till it gets to breach of dog license, city laws, cruelty to animals level. As only the law can MAKE someone change behaviour. Remember, that human attached, and i use the word lightly, to the dogs in these circumstances, are so behind the 8 ball, you dont stand a chance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rural Western Australia


    Yeah my dogs do their own bowl cleaning. However I do agree it is right to be concerned if you feel there is a something you can do to help these dogs. I have fostered quite a few near to gone insane kelpies that have come from situations you describe. It does break your heart. I suggest you keep visiting the kelpie if you can and not be confrontational to the old man, the fact that he has given you permission to visit suggests that he probably does realise that the kelpie needs this interaction that he cant give. If you have a frienship with this man perhaps you can thibk of ways to subtlely include him, like inviting him on a short walk, or inviting him to watch as you do some fun training in the backyard with you and the dog.

    With your uncle perhaps suggest a cosy weatherproof kennel for the dog. I must say I tend to be a bit more outspoken with family members as they are with me. We tend to work it out.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 07-03-2015 at 10:51 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Western Sydney


    Unfortunately some peoples idea of how to treat their dog is very different to how I treat only have to visit the local pound to see this.

    Dogs are not garden gnomes to be left in the yard by themselves and chuck out a bone now and then... many people do this and it's not a crime but it should be. People like this should never be allowed to own a dog or any animal for that matter...there's not much you can do except try to educate them which is really a waste of time in most cases and don't think the R$PCA will do anything because they don't give a stuff either.

    P.S. I'd like to do exactly the same thing to these people as they do to their dogs...but we wouldn't be allowed.
    Last edited by Dogman; 07-03-2015 at 12:55 PM.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

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