Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Southern California
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I think keeping your Golden outdoors and in the garage is just fine. That is, so long as you live outdoors and in the garage with him. It's not the outdoors (after all, humans are originally outdoor animals, too), it's the companionship. Goldens need lots of companionship, far more than just a couple hours a day. They are bred that way. It is a big trait that is simply part of who they are. To leave that need unmet is emotional abuse, and dogs lead rich emotional lives, perhaps even stronger than our own.
I think the issue most people have here is not that the dog is outside, per se. It's the isolation, the lack of companionship, the lack of stimulation and the lack of being with his "pack." That's equivalent to prison life for a dog. Not good.
Being other than human does not mean being less than human. It just means different, not less than. You seem like you really care. But I don't think you understand just how rich and deep the lives of Goldens really are, and how they actually need constant contact with their "pack," and how denying your boy that is a terrible disservice to him. I think if you understood that, you wouldn't be doing what you're doing with him.
And finally, if you think a Golden inside is an "80 lb. problem" you don't know Goldens very well. They are not destructive (if appropriately trained and loved). They are not "dirty." They are couch potatoes, who will lie gently and lovingly at your feet for hours on end, just for the privilege of being near you. I don't think you understand Goldens, at all. And if you think a Golden inside is an 80 lb. "problem," then you probably don't know as much about dog training as you think you do.
Sorry you're not willing to listen to some very good advice here. Some of it was unfortunately phrased badly and more condemnatory than helpful. But people here aren't just nasty or odd, there are folks here who know more about this breed than 99% of people in the world. They are worth listening to.