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One thing else I forgot to say... and it's probably the good thing I know about Charmy's breeders and our early idea of responsible dog ownership...
There is a huge difference between an outdoor dog who is expected to sleep out in the backyard, without any way of getting warm or cool, whether it's summer or winter....
There's a big difference between that and an outdoor dog who is given adequate shelter and care.
While our Charmy was outside, he was a pretty happy and comfy dog. I think he looked at his night trips out to the backyard the same way your indoor pets look at being locked in their crates. It's what they know and are used to.
His parents either slept in the family's barn or under the front porch. Charmy's first 12 weeks were spent under that front porch. The next 3 or 4 months he spent in our backyard, he never was allowed to suffer.
I remembered crying about him having to be out in the rain, but we had a pretty wide overhang (his entire doghouse was built into the side of the house and completely under that overhang). And he also dug a little doggy den under the deck. Probably because he was used to sleeping under porch stairs when he was a baby.
And while he was outside for long stretches of the day, we were always out there with him throughout the day. We loved that dog.
When I read about dogs who are left outside with poorly constructed dog houses (right in the middle of the yards, flimsy, drafty)... or are given no shelter at all. I feel pretty sick about that.